Inspiration is the source of our greatest work. We rely on it every day to write, paint, design, plan and compose, yet many people often find that it’s hard to come by. Here are some of my favourite ways to find inspiration when I want it.
Ask a Big Question
One of the best ways I know to find my inspiration is to reconnect with my purpose. Ask yourself why you do what you do. If you’re only doing what you’re doing for the money, it will always be hard to be inspired. Ask yourself the big question: why do you do what you do? Do you want to be the best? Do you want your work or your art to be the very best it can be? I can tell you that when you ask yourself these big questions you’ll find that you never lack inspiration.
Reconnecting with your purpose can help you find meaning and inspiration in your work and your life. By reflecting on why you do what you do, you can rediscover the passion and enthusiasm that first drew you to your chosen career or profession. Perhaps you are motivated by a desire to make a positive difference in the world, to help others, or to express your creativity and imagination. Maybe you are driven by a deep curiosity or a thirst for knowledge and understanding. Whatever your primary purpose may be, it’s important to keep it in mind as you go about your daily work.
When you are connected to your purpose, you are more likely to feel a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in your work, even when the tasks at hand may be challenging or difficult. You are also more likely to stay focused and motivated, and to be more creative and innovative in your approach to problem-solving.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, understood his purpose and was deeply cinnected to it. Jobs was driven by a deep passion for technology and design, and a desire to create products that would “make a dent in the Universe”. He believed that technology could be a force for good, and he was committed to pushing the boundaries of what was possible. This sense of purpose and vision drove him to create some of the most innovative and influential products of our time, including the iPhone, iPad, and Macintosh computer.
By reconnecting with your purpose, you can tap into the same sense of energy and enthusiasm that inspired Jobs and all the other great innovators throughout history. So take some time to reflect on why you do what you do, and let that purpose guide and inspire you in all that you do.
Take a Break
If you’ve been working on something for a while and seem to have hit a creative barrier, the best thing could be to stop for a while. Yes, even if you have a deadline looming. If the creative juices aren’t flowing, it can be more efficient to stop, take a break, catch your breath with a cup of coffee and go back refreshed than it would be to push on regardless.
Sometimes, taking a break can be the best way to refresh your mind and get your creativity back on track. Going for a walk, listening to music, or engaging in other relaxing activities can help you clear your mind and find new inspiration. Taking a break can also give you a chance to gain a new perspective on your work, which can help you approach it in a more innovative and creative way.
Allowing yourself a break doesn’t mean giving up or procrastinating. Rather, it’s a strategic move designed to help you achieve your goals more efficiently. Taking a break can also help you avoid burnout and ensure that you’re able to sustain your creative energy over the long term.
For example, many successful writers and artists take regular breaks to help them stay inspired and productive. Musician Ed Sheeran has spoken about the need to take extended breaks from social media and other distractions in order to focus on his music.
Taking a break be a powerful tool for enhancing creativity and achieving your goals. Whether you’re working on a creative project, a business plan, or any other type of endeavor, it’s worth taking the time to pause, recharge, and return to your work with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
Have a Conversation
Stop, talk it over with a friend or colleague. it’s a great way to get a fresh perspective. They may not give you the answer, but a good chat can often open doors to possible solutions for you.
When you need a fresh way to find inspiration, sometimes all it takes is to have a conversation with someone you trust. Talking it out with a friend, colleague or mentor can provide a fresh perspective and new ideas. They might ask questions you hadn’t considered, offer insights you never thought of, or simply provide a listening ear that allows you to verbalise your thoughts and feelings. Even if they don’t have a solution, they could help you approach the problem in a new way, allowing you to see it from a different angle.
It’s important to choose someone you trust and who understands your goals and challenges. It could be a mentor in your industry or a friend who knows you well. When you have a conversation, try to keep an open mind and be receptive to new ideas. Listen carefully to what the other person is saying, and ask questions to clarify their thoughts.
If it’s inspiration for your work you need, you might consider joining a professional or social group related to your field. Networking with others who share your interests and challenges can be a great way to exchange ideas and find inspiration. Attend conferences or events, or participate in online forums or groups to connect with like-minded individuals who can help you brainstorm solutions and spark your creativity.
Ultimately, having a conversation can help you break out of your own mental limitations and discover new ideas and opportunities. It’s a simple but effective way to find inspiration and overcome creative blocks. I use this method frequently and it’s surprising how effective it can be.
Watch a Film
This is one of my favourite techniques. As a creative, my job is to be inspired every day and one of the most enjoyable ways I do it is by having a supply of films handy. I make a point of watching at least one a day. Why does this work? I don’t know. What I do know is that it keeps the creative part of my mind active and engaged, especially when I have to get through the more mundane bits of my work. Give it a go, not everyone likes it but I love it.
Films can be an excellent source of inspiration because they offer a unique blend of visuals, sound, and storytelling. They can transport us to new worlds, offer us fresh perspectives on life, and introduce us to new cultures and ideas. Watching a film can be a way to immerse ourselves in a different environment and get lost in a story. This can be particularly helpful when we need a break from our own ;ives and want to take our minds off things for a while.
Furthermore, films often have complex narratives, character development, and plot twists that can stimulate our creativity and inspire us to think more deeply about our own situations. We can learn from the techniques used by filmmakers to engage their audiences, such as the use of symbolism, metaphor, and visual storytelling. We can also draw inspiration from the themes and messages conveyed by the film and apply them to our own creative pursuits.
In short, watching a film can be a fun and effective way to find inspiration and recharge our creative batteries. So next time you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, why not give it a try? You might be surprised by the results.
Read a Book
For a quick injection of creative inspiration, try this. Pick up a book and spend 15 minutes sampling another person’s perspective, ideas and vision. When you read (and this is true of both fiction and non-fiction) you enter another world, one that has been entirely constructed for you.
This can be extremely nourishing for your inspiration. It’s like taking a mini-vacation for your mind, a way to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enter into a world of new possibilities. Plus, reading allows you to see things from different angles and can help you generate new ideas or find unique solutions to problems.
Whether it’s a classic novel, a biography or a how-to guide, you’re bound to find something that piques your interest and sparks your imagination. So, take some time out of your day to read and see how it can benefit your creative thinking.
The Next Step
Inspiration is the wellspring of our creativity. Yet it can’t be forced to appear on demand. Some days it can be elusive, like trying to wring water from a dry sponge. Next time you feel like that, try some of the techniques in this post. They usually work for me. What is your favourite way to find inspiration? Do you have a trick for encouraging your creative side to make an appearance?