A few months ago, I bought a single speed bicycle – one without gears.
Given Berlin is a flat city, this isn’t a problem at all. But I park my cycle in the office basement, which has a steep ramp. This ramp is difficult to climb on a gearless cycle. I tried my best – I went in with a good headstart, I stood up on the ramp, I zigzagged through it, but failed every time.
One day, I saw my colleague with another single-speed bike successfully climb this ramp. The next time, I decided to just follow him. I rode my bike behind him as he powered through the steep incline. And to my utter surprise, I could do it too. I cycled reached the top of the ramp before I knew how I did this. And ever since, I have succeeded in climbing that ramp every single time – even by myself.
When we perform a task with somebody who is better than us, some of their skill magically rubs off on us. This magic is what we call inspiration.