What Makes Someone Inspiring?

Last Updated on August 1, 2022

Have you ever come across a person and felt inspired by their presence?

To know what makes them that way, this article will fill you in.

Here, we’ll talk about what makes someone inspiring. We’ll explore the traits of an inspiring person.

This way, you can better understand them. You can also follow their example and inspire others, too.

Why should you know what makes someone inspiring?

What makes someone inspiring is their ability to steal your attention. This is one reason.

They steal your attention, and they inspire you to be a better version of yourself.

You find them inspiring because of their actions. They’re great at what they do and they uplift others.

And sometimes, their mere presence alone is enough. The knowledge of their existence can inspire you to do marvelous deeds.

You should also know what makes someone inspiring for these reasons:

  • You could use their example to evaluate your life – You could look at them and recognize the good in their lives. And you can see how you can have it as well, too.
  • You need to differentiate excellent influences from bad ones – Some people can make or break you. Know which people can help you improve your life.
  • You could use tips from them – They achieved their goals in life because of their attitude, character, and personality.

10 traits of inspirational people

Tree in a Book

Here are 10 traits that make a person a source of inspiration:

Setting up for success

1. Courage

Inspirational people are courageous.

What makes them show courage:

  • They dream big – Even if they can get cold feet when reaching for them, they go for their dreams, anyway.
  • They’re reliable – You can count on them. It doesn’t matter if things are tough or if they won’t get anything in return.
  • They own up to their decision – They don’t back down from decisions. When they commit, they will do the job. 

For example, there’s somebody that many people call “The Living Saint”, Mother Teresa. 

She showed courage when she committed to helping poor people have better lives. She gave everybody hope. To many, especially the destitute and homeless, she’s a hero.

Her commitment was an act of courage because she gave up her life for a cause she felt so strongly about. She used to be a school principal who led a comfortable life. However, she wanted to be of use to others.

Her selflessness made the world a brighter place. Without a reward in exchange, she devoted to helping those who needed help. It inspired other people to do good deeds for others, too.

2. Patience

People with patience know there are some things in life you can’t — and shouldn’t — rush. 

What makes them show patience:

  • They’re willing to wait They’ll allow things to fall into place before they get in the way.
  • They don’t react or respond too early They know if they do, it will only affect the outcome.
  • They don’t mind if they’re the only ones – Not everybody will be patient like them, especially in a fast-paced world. And this sets them apart.
See also
How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Lin Manuel-Miranda, a playwright who bedazzled the world with Hamilton, shows laudable patience.

It was his dream to write a piece that the world would love. However, he knows success doesn’t come overnight. 

So he wrote his piece and waited. If he wasn’t as patient, he wouldn’t have seen his dreams come true.

He’s inspiring because of his non-stop work ethic. He worked since he was in high school and now, at 41, he continues to work on becoming even better.

3. Determination

Their undying determination is admirable. To a fault, they’re relentless. 

What makes them show determination:

  • They’re steadfast – When they want and believe in a cause, they’ll do whatever it takes to support it.
  • They have grit – They’ll work overtime, read more books, or attend training sessions more often if needed. 
  • They’re not easily discouraged – Whatever and however challenging the aim is, they’re willing to put in the work.

An example of a determined person is Richard Branson. 

Many people know him, Virgin Atlantic, and all his other business ventures. However, what many people don’t know about is his learning disability: He had dyslexia. 

Despite being dyslexic, he persevered. He wanted to make it big and live the life of his dreams.

Because of his determined spirit, he got everything he worked for. He’s living the life he mapped out for himself — in his island and with a billion dollar empire.

Like Richard Branson, inspiring people is their unwavering determination. They don’t make excuses. They know if a person wants something, that person will figure out a way to make it happen.

4. Resiliency

Inspiring people get up every time they hit the ground. 

What makes them show resiliency:

  • They make things happen – They have a proactive mindset. They don’t wait for things to fall in their lap.
  • They always want to try again – They don’t give up easily. And sometimes, they don’t give up at all.
  • They’re optimists – They believe in the power of good over bad. And they’ll always chase after the good.

Brendon Burchard, a man who survived a car crash and became a best-selling author and one of the world’s top trainers, is an example of someone with admirable resiliency. 

After he got into an accident, he turned his life around. He quit his corporate job and geared up to build a name for himself. He gunned for a career as a trainer, author, coach, speaker, and business executive.

The day he left his old life behind was the same day he pledged to be better. From then on, he swore to live and love more. And he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.

Related: Who is the Greatest Man in the World?

Feel-good traits

5. Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity always play a big part of what makes someone inspiring.

What makes them show honesty and integrity:

  • They’re always exemplary people – It doesn’t matter when someone’s looking over their shoulder and when that someone’s not.
  • They keep promises – They mean what they say. They’ll honor their word even if they have to put in extra effort.
  • They don’t gossip – They don’t spread misinformation or talk about other people.
See also
15 Short Motivational Stories with Moral Lessons

Winston Churchill, a British author, state leader, and orator is a wonderful example of someone with honesty and integrity. 

He was authentic. People knew him as transparent and someone who always kept his word.

He led his men to victory during war because he was forthright. His effective communication skills were praiseworthy.

6. Gratitude

Grateful people are a joy to be around. And it’s a reason they’re inspiring.

What makes them show gratitude:

  • They take the time to note things down – They’re always grateful for everything and everyone in their lives. They don’t take anybody for granted and appreciate even the smallest contributions.
  • They acknowledge their mentors – If someone helped them move up in life, they wouldn’t forget them.
  • They appreciate their weakness – They know things aren’t always easy and life isn’t always peachy. However bad some things are, they acknowledge them.

An example of someone who showed gratitude is Sheryl Sandberg, the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Facebook. 

She has the habit of listing down things and people she likes.

Among the things and people on her list are the people who help her with her health. And she makes this a priority.

Wondering why she’s incredibly productive? Look into her grateful heart.

7. Confidence

Another trait that makes someone inspiring is their confidence. 

What makes them show confidence:

  • Inspiring people believe in themselves – They know their full potential. And they don’t give in to fear and self-doubt.
  • They uplift others – When most people need inspiration, they inspire others to believe in themselves, too.
  • They listen – They know they have lots to learn from other people. And they’re unafraid of asking for help.

An outstanding example of this is Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. 

She built her company after the people she used to work for brushed her off and made her feel weak. She was expecting a promotion, only for it to be handed to a man she trained.

Her motivation was to prove to people she had it what it takes. She also wanted to convey the message that nobody deserves to be set aside.

Related: Inspirational Stories of Great Personalities


8. Empathy

People who respond with kindness, love, and understanding to others are also inspiring. 

What makes them show empathy:

  • They don’t behave recklessly – They know their actions have effects. That’s why they always think before doing anything.
  • They’re not judgmental – They’re aware of a person’s feelings and why that person behaves a particular way.
  • They don’t mind opposing point-of-views – They may not always agree with another person’s point-of-view. However, they don’t laugh at the other person’s view or make them feel inferior for having it.

Apple, the company that introduced premium gadgets, is an example of an entity that shows empathy.

Empathy is a trait that makes great leaders. It gears up employees to make great judgment calls, show emotional intelligence, and prepares them to handle other people well.

And that is among the company’s top reasons for investing in a wellness center for employees. With a wellness center, the employees of Apple can easily consult doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and dietitians.

See also
How Do I Get Rid of My Short Temper

9. Self-respect

A person with self-respect is also what makes someone inspiring.

What makes them show self-respect:

  • They prioritize their well-being – They safeguard their physical and mental health before anything else. They eat healthy food, exercise, get enough rest, and more.
  • They value their time – They invest in becoming more valuable. They handpick their activities and engage only in useful ones.
  • They do everything in their best interest – They’re always careful about their actions.

Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, embodied this. 

Her mother, Anna Rebecca Hall, was a socialite and celebrated beauty who enjoyed being in the limelight. Anna Rebecca Hall wanted her daughter to be a socialite, too.

However, Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to live her life the way she wanted. So instead of being at her mother’s beck and call, she had enough self-respect to pave her own path. While challenging, she strived to do things differently and be different.

Against her mother’s wishes, she married Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her father’s fifth cousin — a man who became president. When FDR became paralyzed while in office, she stepped up. She held press conferences, wrote newspaper columns, toured the country, and more. 

10. Respect for others

They always respect others — regardless of a person’s status in life. 

What makes them show respect for others:

  • They know other people matter – What other people want matters. And how other people want to live their life is up to them. And they know better than to stand in the way.
  • They honor other people’s space – They don’t distract other people. And they respect boundaries. 
  • They’re just and reasonable – If they’re the boss, they treat their employees fairly. They don’t belittle others.

Take Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, for instance. 

True, he was under fire years ago for his comments about fake products being better than the real ones. 

However, he knows he could’ve presented his comments better. And he remains a man who respects everyone.

He always advocates that he’s against bribery and shady practices. Firmly, he says that whenever a person interacts with another, there should always be mutual respect and trust. He owes his success and his company’s success to it.

Related: Who Are Some Great Leaders?

What makes someone inspiring for you?

What makes someone inspiring is different for everybody. 

For many people, someone is a source of inspiration because they possess the traits featured above. For others, they find a person inspiring based on this person’s positive influence on somebody’s life.

How about you, what makes someone inspiring for you?

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