If you’re like me, you dream of inspiration. Maybe it’s tingle in your fingers or your mind that lets you know it’s time to get to work. Or perhaps it’s an excitement about trying something new.
It’s one of the best feelings.
I’ve spent some time thinking about what it is and how we can get more.
Inspiration and feeling inspired
I had to separate these two. I realized inspiration is really just an idea that makes you want to take action on it.
But feeling inspired is a completely different thing. You don’t need an idea at all to feel inspired. It is something you can feel inside at any moment if you want. Our emotions are always available to us if we choose to feel them and cultivate them. For me, feeling inspired is associated with emotions and mental states such as energy, excitement, focus on possibility, and an I-can-do-this attitude.
These are all positive feelings for me, but it can look completely different for you. For me, I need good feelings to go into the creative state.
What does it take for you to feel inspired?
I love a good idea, and I bet you do too. Where do those guys come from?
The soup within is my answer. They come from inside us, but you must do things to get them.
You must feed your mind with knowledge, skill, experiences, perspectives, anything at all from the world that you can find.
Then connect with a question and you will have ideas. All ideas aren’t created equal as you know. We need a generous quantity, a whole bunch and to find a few that will call us to take action.
A few tips to getting inspiration, or an idea that makes you want to move.
Open your mind.
You will find more connections if you let more in. If you think you already have an open mind, then open it more. Experiment with looking at the world without any labels or names. You can see it all differently. And when you see it different, everything becomes available for a new use. This requires effort which is why we don’t usually bother, and allow ourselves to be limited.
A lot has been said about the value of curiosity. It can feel like work too. How can you fit time for that in too? All you need to do is find one thing at a time that makes you wonder about it. Do some research and ask questions. Find out more information. You can go deep as you want, but even a superficial understanding can be enough to give you inspiration.
This is pretty simple. Just ask yourself. What will give me inspiration to act today? What ideas do I can I find that will generate some emotional energy within me. Ask these questions often. Your brain will come up with an answer.
Get to know yourself
Self-awareness is a great help to the creative. It’s worth delving into your inner workings to find out more about yourself and put it to work. We all work a little differently, and there are few universal truths. We must all take a journey of self-discovery.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- What types of ideas get you motivated to do something?
- Do you need to look around and absorb other’s works?
- Does it help to tell yourself to get to work?
- Or do you need time to get outside and move and be in a different environment?
Prioritize your creativity
Turn off the distractions, let others know you have work to do. Make time for your creative development. Let it be important to you.
Make it a habit
Creativity must be a habit for you. Make time for it on a regular basis. It really is true that the more you work, the more ideas come to you. There are all sorts of happy accidents along the way that can lead to new thinking if you let them.
There is no perfection
It’s a lousy thing to aim for. Instead focus on being your unique self. Let your strengths and weaknesses work for you. Be open in your work. Let your truths flow out. This is part of developing your creativity – being able to fully express yourself.
Doing something for someone else
A lot of thoughts about creativity focus inward, but turning outward and serving someone else is a great way to find new inspiration. When we serve others, we forget our own needs and focus on something new. We can ask ourselves what someone else needs and how we can help them. This is a great opportunity to generate many new ideas.
Turn things upside down
When I feel stuck in my thinking and a lack of inspiration, I look for something in my life to turn upside down and inside out. Shake things up. (I feel a little stuck often! That’s because I have a great need for variety. So I am usually looking for some little thing to change up.) Most of the time it’s simple things, though every now and then I make a major change. Here are a few of my things:
- take a walk in a different location
- cooking a new dinner or using a new ingredient
- switching artistic media
- trying a completely different type of subject
- a day trip somewhere
- going to the library and looking for books in a new area
- take a break and do nothing
- take on a big challenge
- look around me and notice something new
- do something weird
- move around in spontaneous ways (when no one is around!)
I hope you can develop your own set of tools for finding creative inspiration. They are individual, but we can learn from each other too.