“There is no single, set way to make every person feel inspired. That’s because we are all different and are inspired by different things. You need to learn what works for you…” – Jim Connoly on ‘Inspiration’
I remember being in a music lesson when I was around 14 years old. We had just been charged with writing a piece of music, a charge with which some students were struggling. “I don’t know where to start, Miss. I’m not feeling very inspired”, somebody said.
“Not inspired”, remarked my teacher, “You cannot stare out of the window waiting for inspiration to come fluttering in. Inspiration does not come from nothing. You need to create something for it to land on.”
Whatever industry you work in, there are always times at which you are in search for an idea. The lightning moment is something many of us wait for… but really, this is a bit of myth. In fact, by waiting for inspiration to arrive, you are not in control. You can decide to be inspired, and do those things which help you to become so, but you must first understand what the conditions are, for you personally, to become inspired.
Here are some tips on how to move your mind into inspiration mode…
1. What Inspires You?
Consider yourself. What is it that you find inspiring in particular. For example, some might find inspiration in films, whereas for somebody else watching films might be a total waste of time. In order to find inspiration, you must first diagnose where it is that you, personally, need to look. Perhaps you find inspiration when…
- Reading a great book
- Doing your favourite form of exercise
- Listening to your favourite album
- Staring at the sky or taking in a view
- Doodling on in notepad
- Meditating or reciting affirmations
2. The Pressure of Originality
Sometimes we feel pressure to come up with a wholly original idea. This is really hard, because there is pretty much no such thing as an original idea. I have certainly been put off trying simply because I can’t think of something new. However, everything we create is as a result of things we have seen and experienced. There is no shame in at least staring from a place of familiarity.
Stealing and copying are different things. Many successful creatives steal; they use an old idea as a foundation on which to build something new. Once you remove the originality barrier from your creative plight, inspiration becomes much easier to ascertain.
Beginning is the hardest thing to do. When all you have is nothing but a blank page in front of you, the road ahead seems long. However, if you just trust yourself and remove the fear of ‘not getting it right first time’ you will find that whatever do, say, write or design to begin with will, at the very least, be part of the inspiration for your big idea. When your work is finished, that first idea may not be part of it… but it will have been the first crucial step in the journey. If you do not start, you cannot finish.
4. Harness the Moment
Don’t let moments of clarity, momentum or spontaneity pass you by. A great idea will often come to me whilst running. I make sure to get it on paper as soon as I get home, before the clarity of it and my enthusiasm for it leaves me. I have lost the enthusiasm for may excellent ideas, just because I have not gotten them on to paper fast enough.
5. Use Other People
I am often in a room where many people are writing at once. This is hugely beneficial for inspiration for a few reasons. First of all, saying your ideas out loud is a great way to gauge reaction; is that idea as funny, clever, brilliant, useful or helpful as you thought it was? It is also useful because somebody might have a thought in reaction to one of your offers that serves as the next piece in the puzzle… a piece you would not have thought of on your own. So, I recommend that you bounce of others, when you can.
By Chris Thomson
A cluttered brain can also get in the way of inspiration. Here are a few encouraging tips on how to deal with that… Tips for Quieting A Noisy Mind
*The Conscious Professional is dedicated to providing corporate mindfulness and professional resilience training, executive coaching and wellbeing services at the level of professional excellence. Thank you for following our blog.