Inspiration from life
How to Discover What Inspires You In Life — What's Danny Doing?
Hopefully my inspiration in life motivational guide will help out in your search to find inspiration!
I feel inspired at the moment.
I’m hopeful, happy, and full of motivation. A lovely sense of purpose and progress courses through my veins.
I say it’s ‘lovely’ because it makes a welcome change to how I sometimes walk through life! Honestly, if melancholy and rumination were Olympic sports, I’d be in contention for a medal!
But, aside from the occasional bad day, I feel lucky that the general backdrop to my life feels positive right now.
It’s also made me a) wonder what inspires me and b) ask the question “what is inspiration?” More to the point, how do you find out what inspires you in life so you can cultivate, nurture, and harness its positive influence?
If you’ve been wondering similar thing, keep reading to learn about the current source of my inspiration in life, and, hopefully, some ideas for discovering some inspiration of your own!
[Last Updated: March 2021]
What is Inspiration? My Inspiration in My Life & What Inspiration Means to Me
More than anything else, I want to make the most of my life.
In a way, that is my ultimate life inspiration.
It’s why I’m travelling now, instead of sitting in an office. It’s why I’ve chosen life on the road, away from the comfort and security of friends and family, to do something a bit different.
It’s why I’m working hours on end trying to grow this blog and make passive income from it.
I want to free up time, push myself, and focus on projects and ventures that bring me joy.
Yet, ultimately, I guess my inspiration in life is related to fear as well.
I’m scared of being on my death bed one day and feeling like I still have life left to live. The thought of squandering what little time I have on this planet inspires me to do cool stuff.
I see this as my macro-level inspiration. That’s what inspiration means to me and where I get my inspiration from.
It works like a compass point, channelling me down certain paths- away from the safe and predictable and into unfamiliar territory that’s aligned with my goals.
On the subject of goals, check out these 100 life goals to help find your aim in life!
At a micro, day to day, level, though, I get inspiration from all manner of sources.
I listen to podcasts from inspirational people. I read inspiring books by inspiring authors, about interesting and inspiring topics. Sometimes I just look around me and find inspiration in the world outside.
Each source of inspiration feeds into my ‘why’ and reminds me how I want to live.
Finding inspiration has a host of positive outcomes to look forward to. Within them is the meaning of inspiration. Keep reading for a list of inspiration advantages.
The Importance of Finding Inspirations in Life
Why is inspiration so valuable? Here are some of the key benefits being inspired seems to provide.
Heads up, you might also like this post about how to stop thinking about the past!
1.Positivity & Hope
It’s hard to feel inspired and negative at the same time.
There’s just something intrinsically positive about it. Getting a dose of inspiration can lift you out of a place of negativity and into one of hope.
To be inspired is to be stimulated. It pokes and prods and invigorates you into charting a course. Inspiration is energy! You can’t help but feel better about life.
Inspiration goes hand in hand with creativity.
And creativity is central to doing things differently. For me, creativity is about having new ideas, thinking outside the box, and living in a novel way.
It often takes a moment of inspiration to get there.
3. Hard Work
Nothing in life that’s worth doing is ever easy.
Everything from attaining fitness goals to career goals takes hard work to get there.
Sticking it out through thick and thin is tough.
Inspiration can spark and sustain the drive you’ll need to get through.
Having ‘drive’ allows you to keep your foot on the pedal, over time. You navigate the good and the bad and commit to a certain outcome without getting derailed by difficulty.
The meaning of inspiration can be revealing.
It can shine a spotlight on hitherto unrecognised aspirations. Being inspired catalyses action and slingshots you towards newfound purpose.
That’s no small thing! Meaning and purpose are vital to a sense of fulfilment and wellbeing.
Ultimately, inspiration leads to far better results.
It’s like walking through life with a jetpack on your back. You’re stoked to get going and exceed in one way or another.
There’s no limit to what you can do when you’re truly inspired to take action.
6. Antidote to Apathy
Apathy is toxic.
You walk around in a constant funk.
Nothing stimulates, excites, frustrates or instils any sense of urgency whatsoever. I see apathy as the enemy.
It’s a one stop shop to mediocrity and a subpar life.
Being inspired renders apathy obsolete. You could market inspiration as an instant apathy-killer. A bit like how it’s an antidote to negativity, it’s a cure-all for feelings of indifference too.
7. Incredible Life
All told, inspiration makes for an incredible life.
You’re energized, hopeful, and engaged; you’re instilled with a sense of purpose that drives action and overcomes obstacles.
Inspiration is anathema to ordinariness.
And to that end, it’s worth going to the greatest depths to find it.
Inspiration can be found in any number of places. Here are some of the places I’ve found inspiration in my life.
Sources of Life Inspiration: How to Discover What Inspires You In Life
Inspiration is a funny thing. This world is full of inspiring things; sometimes it jumps out at you unexpectedly. Other times, though, you have to work hard to forge it from nothing.
Want to discover what inspires you? Looking for ways to spark inspiration?
Hopefully, the following ‘source of inspiration’ list will help you identity what gives you inspiration in life.
Heads up, you might also like this post about 30 Things to Do Before You’re 30!
1. Thought Exercises (Powerful Examples of How to Get Inspired)
Thought exercises can be a remarkably powerful way to spark feelings of inspiration.
There’s one in particular that I think about a lot. It goes something like this:
Imagine being on your deathbed at the end of a long life. You’re lying there, preparing to die, when a magical being approaches.
They tell you they’re going to turn the egg-timer of your life on its head, such that you’ll live it over again from scratch, in exactly the same way, from start to finish. From birth to death, you’ll live the same life again. This process will repeat again and again for the rest of time.
What feelings are evoked from the idea of living your current life over and over again?
If it’s positive, and you can’t wait to get back into it, then that’s a good sign! You’re obviously doing something right. But if it feels like a punishment, then it’s a clear warning sign.
You’re obviously living a life you’re unhappy with.
This realisation can be a powerful catalyst for change. It can inspire you to take action and do things differently.
2. What Is My Inspiration?Death…
It’s all too easy to pretend we’re going to live forever.
Why else would we settle for a mediocre life?
The thought that I could die tomorrow, or be diagnosed with a terminal illness, is one of my greatest motivators. I want to at least try and make the most of my time.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it isn’t always this black and white.
Life can be truly unfair and deal people an almightily bad hand. Your current circumstances may only be down to force of circumstance.
Even so, if there’s any wiggle room for improvement, then I think it’s worth exploring.
When I think of wasted time I think of going through the motions. Time goes so damn fast! It’s a limited resource. I want to milk it for all its worth.
Struggling for inspiration? Stop and really consider that you might die soon. If that doesn’t work, then think about someone you care for dying!
Don’t wait for an actual major life event to shake you from apathy. Instead, imagine something catastrophic happening. Use it for inspiration to make changes in the present.
3. Fear (What Gets Me Inspired!)
This one is big for me.
Like I said earlier, I think a lot of my life inspiration comes from a simple fear of missing out.
I’m scared of leaving money on the table! I want to live differently. I want to push myself to have extraordinary experiences. I want to be the best version of myself I can possible be.
The fear of failing in this pursuit inspires me to try even harder.
What are you scared of? How can you use it to fuel your journey and enhance your life?
Finding space to sit and reflect can be an important means of finding inspiration and discovering its meaning in your life.
4. Deciding Your ‘Why’ (How to Get Inspired & Be An Inspiration to Others)
Your ‘why’ is a key player in feeling inspired and maintaining drive.
It’s not what you do. It’s not how you do it. It’s why you do what you do.
I could say that mine is living the fullest life possible. That’s what drives me to certain actions and guides my decision-making.
In this way, having a ‘why’ serves as an invaluable north star.
It’s your ‘raison d’etre’. It’s the reason you get out of bed in the morning; the thing that drives and motivates you forward.
Pinpointing your ‘why’ is a direct method of cultivating inspiration.
It’s a central ingredient to feeling truly inspired for the long term.
5. Taking Action (A Key to Being Inspired)
Inspiration is nothing without action.
It might feel nice.
But by failing to act upon inspiration, you do yourself a major disservice. Nothing objective changes.
Ironically, I’ve found taking action can spark inspiration too. It is cause and effect of inspiration rolled into one.
Struggling to feel inspired? Do something that resembles progress. Growth stimulates a feeling of inspiration like nothing else.
Go for a run. Go to the gym. Learn a new dish to cook your family. Start a journal. Create a business plan for an idea you’ve had. Heck, it might just mean doing the dishes, or mowing the lawn!
I can relate to the power of this approach.
At the end of last year I came out of a long term relationship. I was devastated and lost literally all motivation. I didn’t want to do anything at all. Everything seemed totally pointless.
I watched a YouTube video on heartbreak (pretty tragic, right!?). In it, this guy talked about the power of taking action and feeling a sense of progress.
I decided to buy a new domain name and get started planning a new blog.
I designed a logo, made it on the computer, and set about the task of establishing a new website. That was the origin of What’s Danny Doing!
It wasn’t smooth sailing. There were major ups and downs. But it was a useful distraction, which led to further action, and additional positive decision-making.
Now I’m here, 8 months later, feeling more inspired than ever before.
It’s hard not to feel inspired when you find yourself in places like this!
6. Time and Isolation (One Inspiration Idea That Isn’t Always Easy)
When was the last time you sat down by yourself, in silence?
…Being asleep doesn’t count!
I reckon spending time alone and with no external stimulation is key to a healthy mind. It definitely seems key to self-awareness. After all, it’s in these moments that you learn about yourself.
You get to see where your mind goes. You can hone in on how you’re truly feeling.
Life is full of distractions that make it hard to do this.
We need space to think. We need time and silence to be creative and come up with ideas.
I find that spending time alone, in stillness, with nobody else around, and simply ‘being’, can be enough to stimulate self-discovery and true inspiration.
7. How Do People Get Inspired? They Use the Internet and Social Media!
Okay, those are the deep and meaningful sources of inspiration behind us!
On to some more tangible ways to find it.
The first? Social media.
I’m actually not a big fan of social media. I think it’s a massive time drain, which works against my desire to make the most of my days.
However, it’s obviously an incredible tool for connecting people around the world.
You can also come across some truly inspiring people. Used in the right way, you can discover amazing individuals and ideas that trigger positive change in your life.
Some influencers do it right. They seem genuinely passionate about inspiring people and bettering lives. Tom Bilyeu, Tim Ferriss, Marie Forleo and David Goggins are four examples I recommend checking out.
Ask yourself who inspires you and follow them on the internet/social media!
Indeed, the internet’s one of my primary sources of inspiration.
It’s an absolute treasure trove of it. You have instant access to some of the world’s most inspiring people ever! You can literally bring these individuals into your life, by virtue of the web.
I listen to podcasts and watch interview-type videos of this nature (on YouTube) every day.
It’s almost unbelievable to think that the greatest and most inspirational people of our generation (and history) are at our fingertips.
I recommend mining this resource for all it’s worth in the hunt for inspiration.
8. Quotes (a Big Source of Inspiration for Me)
I love a good quote!
It’s amazing how much power can come from a few well-chosen words.
Inspirational quotes are some of my favourites. The internet is full of them. If you’re short on inspiration, just run a quick google search and you’ll be inundated!
I’ve found it personally useful to commit some to memory.
Here are a few of my top quotes for inspiration:
“Live life such that the fear of death can never enter your heart” – Tecumseh
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” – Anais Nin
“Throw yourself into the river of life and let the questions disappear” – Buddha
“I will not die an unlived life” – Dawna Markova
I find having a quote or two to draw upon can make a big difference when inspiration is in short supply.
Check out this post for sunset captions and quotes you might like…
Check out this post for inspirational captions you might like…
Sometimes a simple quote, or something you see in your environment, is enough to find inspiration in your life.
9. Books, Videos & Films (Endless Inspiring Things to be Found Here!)
You find inspirational books, videos, and movies everywhere you look.
They can be truly awesome sources of inspiration and motivation. The movie ‘Rocky’, for example, is probably high on the list for lots of people!
I’m a little cautious of relying exclusively on these sources though.
They can provide a short, sharp burst of inspiration. But it’s often short-lived. I read or watch it, and feel pumped up to make some positive change.
Then, within hours, I’ve forgotten about it!
That said, one or two of these sources have had a lasting effect on me. One book of this nature that I read recently was called ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, by David Goggins. If you’re looking for an inspirational read, then I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Click here to check it out.
10. Friends and Family (People of Inspiration)
Sometimes you don’t need to look too far for inspiration.
Friends and family can hold all the answers you need.
Look around you to see what they’re doing. Where are they excelling where you aren’t? What can you learn from them? How can you gain from their example?
I actually find it easy to get disheartened when I feel like I’m somehow ‘doing worse’ than my peers.
I try to pinch myself and take the positives instead. Love is inspiration! Use it as fuel for the fire and see how you can emulate the success of high-achieving friends and family.
11. Nature (Where I Go When I Need to Be Inspired)
There’s inspiration to be found in nature as well.
Try and get out into the great outdoors every now and again.
I find natural beauty inherently inspiring. Mountains, forests, grassy plains, rivers, lakes and oceans…It doesn’t matter.
Something about these places sparks creativity and reflection. The natural world can be so profoundly beautiful that it’s difficult not to feel inspired by it.
Nature also provides a reprieve from the fuss and hubbub of ordinary life. It’s simple, quiet, and wholesome. That break from the norm, and step back from stress, can be enough to help rediscover passion and motivation.
Inspiration means very little if you never act upon it. My inspiration in life often snowballs. Feel it, act upon it, and before long you experience ever greater levels.
Found a Source of Inspiration? Here’s How to Act on Inspiration
Finally, having struck upon inspiration, let’s turn to what to do with it.
Remember, inspiration is a powerful thing! But without action it’s almost worthless.
Don’t let it go to waste. Here are just a few of the ways you could use inspiration to your advantage by doing something with it.
1. Draw Up a Bucket List
Take that inspiration and draw up a long list of things you have to do before you die.
Think about every single area of life.
Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Who do you want to meet? What do you want to achieve?
Write them all down and commit to ticking them all off. Having a bucket list is great way of realizing your priorities and highlighting changes you must make in your life. It’s the ideal way to channel your inspiration.
Here’s my personal bucket list, if you want to take a look!
2. Goal Set
Next up, goal-setting.
This is similar to writing down your bucket list.
However, there’s something more realistic about setting goals. Bucket lists are about dreams that’ll happen at some point in time. They’re more about experiences and encounters than making progress.
Goals are about objectives and forming actionable steps to make them happen.
Channel your inspiration into establishing a set of goals for yourself. Treat it as a business plan for life. As yourself these questions:
They could be travel goals. They could be career goals. They could be personal goals, relationships goals, or fitness goals. It doesn’t matter! Just sit down and write them all out.
Goals help you turn vague, ambiguous thoughts and aspirations into concrete plans.
These goal-setting games should help.
3. Start Small
With your goals in place, now it’s time to make them happen.
Don’t rush in, all guns blazing. It’s tempting to try and do everything at once.
Pace yourself instead! Take small, measured steps towards your overall aims. Inspiration can be fickle. It can turn on a dime and disappear overnight.
Trying to do too much at once can lead to overwhelm, which is sure to stifle your drive. Start slow and let your momentum snowball.
Deciding to act upon your inspiration will ensure you live an incredible life!
Sometimes you just have to decide to make something happen.
Think about anything you’ve ever done in your life.
It all started with a decision.
Being truly decisive means cutting off all other options. You burn your bridges and commit to a course of action. There’s no going back. You’ve cast your dice and you’re on the move.
Use the inspiration as rocket fuel to catapult yourself into a decision. Then don’t turn back.
5. Challenge Yourself & Persevere
Inspiration should always be put to good use.
The best return on investment is generally on tasks that will challenge you somehow.
On the other side of suffering lies greatness. But accessing it is sure to have trials along the way. Inspiration will help you chart the course and stick it out.
Cultivate inspiration, bolster your willpower, and do something incredible.
6. Memorize Favourite Inspiration
Feeling inspired is a learning opportunity too.
It’s a chance to reflect on why you feel that way suddenly.
Take stock of the situation. What exactly is it that inspired you? Moreover, what is your newfound inspiration compelling you to do?
Understanding what inspired you means you have a better chance of feeling that way in future. You can put yourself in the same situation, or around the same stimulus, once again. It might have been a solitary thought, film, quote, or conversation.
Whatever the case, write it down to refer back to in future.
Similarly, realizing what you feel inspired to do highlights your priorities. You might discover something new about yourself.
What Is Your Inspiration In Life?
Inspiration is one of the greatest feelings out there. It’s one of hope, excitement, and motivation.
Everyone stands to gain by finding inspiration in their life. It inevitably leads to a more enjoyable, vibrant experience.
My inspiration in life is tied up in my desire to live as fully as possible. Hopefully, this post has highlighted some of the key sources of inspiration from which to find your own ‘why’- that North Star to lead you to an awesome life.
I’d love to get your thoughts. Where do you find inspiration in your life? Did I miss anything out? Let me know in the comments.
And please subscribe to the newsletter too! I’ll send through more posts like this to help inspire and motivate you to live the best life possible.
Did you like this post about what gives you inspiration in life? Read more like it below!
45 Short Thought for the Day Ideas [Short Inspirational Words]
How to Find What Inspires You
Feeling uninspired? This happens at times, but you can get your creative juices flowing again following some easy steps.
You’ve probably experienced moments when a new thought appears out of nowhere.
During this moment of inspiration, you may feel excited and find the motivation to create new things, solve problems, or pursue goals.
But if inspiration isn’t happening as much as it used to, it can make you feel stuck in a cycle of frustration and self-doubt.
If you are feeling this way, you’re not alone. Even the most successful people have difficulty finding inspiration or identifying what inspires them.
Your ability to be inspired isn’t gone forever, but it may need a bit of encouragement to appear once again.
Derived from the Latin word “inspirare,” meaning to “breathe into,” inspiration is the feeling of being mentally stimulated to manifest what we want to create.
Being inspired can give you the ideas and desire you need to:
- solve complex problems
- develop something new and exciting
- change directions in your life
Inspiration embodies positive thinking and awareness of the possibilities. It’s free of limitations and represents pure, spontaneous thought.
How is inspiration linked to mental health?
When something inspires you, your motivation and excitement can increase. This, in turn, can lead to:
- improved clarity
- higher energy levels
- more creativity
Feeling inspired can elevate your mood and contribute to a positive outlook and general sense of well-being.
Persistently feeling uninspired and unmotivated can be a sign of low mood or a symptom of depression.
If you have felt unmotivated and hopeless for more than 2 weeks, it might be a good idea to talk with a mental health professional.
Sometimes finding inspiration isn’t about actively pursuing it but allowing it to find you.
For example, you may recall inspiration hitting you at the most unexpected times, like while driving or in the shower. Most likely, those were times you permitted thoughts to manifest naturally without conscious effort.
Strategies that may allow inspiration into your life include:
1. Changing things up
Exploring new locations or just getting out of the house can help with creative ideas.
According to one 2021 study, gazing at aesthetically pleasing artwork may help spur inspiration. So, it might be worth adding a trip to an art museum to your list of new things to do.
Switching routines or doing something you’ve never done before can also help you with creativity.
“Exploration is a wonderful way to open our eyes to the world, and to truly see that impossible is just a word.”
— Richard Branson, entrepreneur
2. Journaling your ideas
Inspiration may occur if you spend some time allowing your thoughts to flow without limitations.
For example, try to give yourself the freedom to jot down any idea or goal that comes to mind without thinking about the challenges they present or worrying much about the how.
If you’re having a hard time letting it flow, try using writing prompts to spark that creative energy.
“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”
— Earl Nightingale, former American radio speaker and author
3. Immersing yourself in nature
Nature provides an environment for letting go of intrusive thoughts and worries, allowing creativity to flow. Consider taking a stroll through a park or visiting a community garden to help ignite your inspiration.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
— Albert Einstein, German physicist and developer of the theory of relativity
4. Remembering who you are
How do you know what inspires you? By connecting to yourself and what matters to you.
Feeling uninspired about life may be a result of focusing on things that may not align with your true self or life purpose. Perhaps you’ve lost touch with activities you were once passionate about, or you’ve left some of your dreams behind.
If this resonates with you, consider taking some time to reacquaint yourself with what used to inspire you or activities you once enjoyed.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
— Steve Jobs, co-founder and former chairman of Apple Computer Inc.
5. Working on your self-esteem
When you aren’t feeling positive about yourself or tend to self-sabotage, you may less likely feel inspired. Self-respect is critical to inspiration.
If so, consider learning ways to boost your feelings of self-worth, overcome impostor syndrome, or manage self-doubt so inspiration can flow.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. ”
— Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter and artist
6. Asking yourself, ‘What would I do if fear wasn’t a factor?’
Fear is a natural human emotion. When it shows up, inspiration may not have a safe place to land in your thought process.
So, by allowing yourself to brainstorm ideas without fear or judgment, you may find that new concepts flow more freely.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
— George Addair, minister and founder of the Omega Vector Foundation
7. Surrounding yourself with inspiring people
Inspiration can be contagious. Consider being around people who are experiencing a creative flow state.
If you have difficulty finding inspirational people, you could try joining online communities or local organizations with folks who share your interests.
Negativity can also be contagious. So, it may be beneficial to avoid people who consistently discourage your creativity.
“Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put some sunglasses on.”
— Lady Gaga, American singer
8. Eliminating the pressure to be inspired
Inspiration naturally ebbs and flows. Consider acknowledging that you’re currently in an uninspired state and allowing yourself time for those brilliant thoughts to appear naturally.
It’s natural to feel uninspired at times or not know what inspires you. Try to leave judgment or guilt out of the process. If inspiration is shy at the moment, it might be a good time to focus on some practical tasks in the meantime.
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.”
— Mandy Hale, New York Times best-selling author
Inspiration often appears when you least expect it. Therefore, cultivating inspiration may require allowing it to occur naturally through immersing yourself in nature, visiting new places, or being around inspiring people.
It can also involve a little soul searching to rediscover your passions or managing any self-esteem challenges or fears.
Inspiration may come and go, but it never goes away entirely. Sometimes, all it takes is a little patience and allowing your mind to wander a bit for inspiring thoughts to make an appearance again.
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher, poet, and abolitionist
Where to look for inspiration: for life, work, new decisions and relationships
© Eat Pray Love (2010)
Author Alisa Taezhnaya
April 01, 2019
With the onset of long sunny days, we have the strength to change and the desire to try something new. We tell you who and what to inspire in order to spend spring and summer with pleasure and benefit.
What to read:
- Paul Gauguin "Noah Noah"
- George Orwell "Pounds of Dash in Paris and London"
- Marcel Proust In Search of Lost Time
- Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov "Notebooks"
- Haruki Murakami "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running"
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez "Live to tell about life"
- Patti Smith Just Kids
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Diaries and memoirs are not just one of the best ways to get closer to us, but a distant person, but also an important tool for introspection and understanding of one's own motivations and desires. Despite a different era, occupation and vocation of the person who wrote the diary, his thoughts about life around him, finding solutions to daily problems and even describing the routine reconcile with his own choice and provide food for thought. Feel free to take notes, write down the thoughts that excited you, be sure to discuss what you read with your loved ones. Memoirs and diaries reinforce our sense that our difficulties are not unique, and that those we idolize have had to go through the same obstacles and moments of uncertainty. Another important property of memoirs is that one can move from them to the names, places, books mentioned by the authors, as if moving from person to person. And maybe finally start keeping your own diary and collect your memories.
© Eat Pray Love (2010)
What to do: visit a childhood favorite, a wildlife sanctuary, choose a trekking tour instead of a regular vacation, climb into a secluded corner where no one will find you
The healing influence of nature for a city dweller is an undoubted fact, and good weather from the middle of spring is an additional reason to get out into the air. It is known that sleep grows stronger in nature and long-awaited forces appear, the sounds of nature soothe, and meeting animals in their natural habitat gives strong impressions and awakens empathy. It is not necessary, as in school, to collect herbariums (although this is interesting), but in nature you can find a dozen ways to recover. Learn the chirping of forest birds and remember the leaves of trees, do gardening or plant the first tree in your life, start meditating or making small sketches in nature, take photos or simply contemplate the changing landscape outside the window without judgment - choose at your discretion. A short change of scenery can change our perspective on ordinary things, from which the eyes of the city are completely blurred.
What to see: permanent exhibitions in art museums or read art catalogs, courses on visual culture on the Arzamas.Academy website.
- Ernst Gombrich. History of Art
- John Ruskin. "Theory of Beauty"
- John Berger. "The Art of Seeing"
- Umberto Eco. "History of Beauty", "History of Ugliness", "Vertigo"
- Stephen Farsing. "Art. World History»
Half a day in an empty museum is one of the most enjoyable ways to collect your thoughts. But even if you do not have the opportunity to get to the exhibition and see with your own eyes the original of one of the classical artists, this is not an obstacle. One after another, TV channels shoot the most interesting series on the history of art (“BBC: The Power of Art”, “The Private Life of a Masterpiece”), and on social networks you can find accounts of most of the world's museums - from the native Tretyakov Gallery and the Hermitage to the Louvre and Prado. One of the most enjoyable solutions for the home will be a beautiful and skillfully compiled art history catalog - let yourself have it or ask for it as a gift. Flipping through an art book for a couple of minutes a day instead of talking to the phone is a much more non-standard process for the brain, and therefore inspiring.
© Eat Pray Love (2010)
What to do: Set aside an evening for each loved one whose opinion matters to you moreover, take your time and devote all your attention to another person. We often do not have enough time to simply discuss all the events that have happened, and we are unable to do anything other than exchange news. Therefore, if you feel a lack of non-judgmental communication, think about which of the interlocutors you miss the most. Devote a full evening to each of them, make sure that none of you are in a hurry, and take care of a comfortable environment in order to exchange sincere views. Of course, a conversation with a loved one is not an interview, but think in advance what you would like to talk about and, importantly, what you would like to ask the other person. Close emotional contact and meaningful communication charge and switch our attention after on-duty work communication and daily activities that take a lot of nerves.
What to do: listen to the sounds of nature, seek and discover new music, download audiobooks, go to podcasts.
If you're a big city dweller, chances are you're bombarded with hundreds of uninvited sounds every day, from advertisements in public spaces to music you didn't order in your workplace, coffee shop, or home. These sounds can drive you crazy, creeping into your life, even if you don't know it at all. That is why you need to take special care of the ecology of sound in the season of increased sensitivity and susceptibility. To get started, set up silence modes and stock up on earplugs (or always carry them with you): at the workplace, at home, in transport, where there is a high probability of receiving unwanted noise streams. If it is comfortable and pleasant to sleep with earplugs, take care of sleep.
Neutral silence can be replaced by the sounds of nature: unfortunately, few of us are granted the privilege of starting the morning with the rustle of trees and the murmur of the river, but imitation of this at least a little closer to the long-awaited feeling of peace and helps to focus - there are plenty of playlists with nature sounds in all social networks. Explore lists of music and editorial recommendations from popular music services and internet radio, select new voices for your favorite books. And if music and literature are boring, spend a relaxing day with podcasts: a new audio format of friendly shows on a variety of topics is one of the most popular ways to tell about the exciting world around us in a new way.
© Eat Pray Love (2010)
What to do: collect visuals for your dreams and plans - both immediate and distant
Visualization - photography, drawing, collecting moodboards images) — has been considered one of the most underrated companions of productivity in the last few years: for example, these techniques are now actively advocated by coaches for solving business problems and conducting presentations and educational events. But we will not talk about business, but about personal goals. First of all, visualization helps to bring our dreams closer in streamlined terms to scenes from real life. “Happy relationships”, “joyful friendships”, and “favorite work” are no longer ponies dancing on rainbows, but specific tangible conditions and events: walks in specific interesting places, favorite things to do with friends, or a clean workplace.
Visualization helps to ground fantasies, but does not banalize them, but gives a comfortable form of achievable. If you don’t have time to get a driver’s license, but you need to, find photos of beautiful cars, watch clips shot in a car, and listen to songs that you dream of putting in your car.
If you want to relax for a long time, but can't find the time, take a virtual trip to the places of your dreams, choose one and find out the most exciting about it. If you want to change the situation in the apartment, but do not have enough money and strength, collect a folder of interior solutions: specific images are better motivated and relieve anxiety in the face of temporary impotence. Instead of a fictitious idyll, collect what you want to achieve in one place, change the visualization components and set yourself up for big things with small sketches - the reality will be necessarily more multifaceted, unexpected and interesting.
Where to look for inspiration for life, creativity, work, study. What influences inspiration
It happens in our life that everything seems to be good, stable and prosperous: at work, with friends, with family. But for some reason, nothing pleases, and life seems gray and dull. In this situation, we often want to change something, but we do not know what, how and, most importantly, why. Only the soul longs for the shining colors of the festive fireworks. Is this condition familiar? I think most of us have experienced it. What is missing in our life to make it bright, dynamic, exciting? Lacks inspiration. This absolutely amazing state, when it seems that wings have grown behind your back and any goal is achievable, and the soul sings with joy, and you want to live and create. 9Olo inspiration
- 3.1 How to get inspired: recipes for creative people
- 3.2 How to get inspired: advice from a psychologist
Secrets and mysteries of inspiration
For a long time, inspiration was associated exclusively with artistic creativity. Artists and poets talked about him, musicians and sculptors were looking for him, writers were waiting for him, because without inspiration it is impossible to create a real masterpiece. Creative individuals, of course, this state is closer, but every person needs inspiration, as well as creativity, because without it, life turns into a dull series of monotonous everyday life. This state can be present in any activity, in raising children, in communicating with friends. How inspiring is love!
Inspiration as ecstasy
Why is inspiration so valuable? This state is subjectively experienced by a person as an emotional lift, as an amazing clarity of thought, a feeling of colossal efficiency and readiness to accomplish the impossible. But it's not just a feeling. Under the influence of inspiration, a person really creates masterpieces, solves the most difficult tasks, can work for days, forgetting about sleep and food. Moreover, it gets a real buzz from this, a pleasure that you want to experience again and again later.
It has long been believed that inspiration is a kind of mystical gift, accessible to the few and not always. Inspiration cannot be controlled, it cannot be subordinated to its own purpose, it cannot be learned. It comes when it wants.
People tried to unravel the mystery of inspiration in the Antiquity. So, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, reflecting on the amazing state that artists and poets sometimes experience, called it ex stasis - “going beyond oneself”, when the human soul penetrates into the world of transcendental entities. Ecstasy is a word very appropriate for the subjective experience of inspiration. But no less suitable is another word, which is a direct translation of the Platonic term - "frenzy", a state of obsession with an idea, a thirst for creativity and a thirst for life.
Inspiration as a mystical gift
Plato's theory that inspiration is somehow connected with supernatural forces was taken up for hundreds, if not thousands of years, as a good explanation of the nature of this amazing and in many ways strange phenomenon. And people who live in creativity readily supported the idea of the mystical nature of inspiration. For example, the brilliant Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo noted in his notes: “If my heavy hammer gives solid rocks one or another look, then it is not the hand that sets it in motion: it acts under the pressure of an extraneous force.” The 19th-century French writer Alfred de Vigny wrote: “I don’t make my own book, it is made by itself. It ripens and grows in my head like a great fruit.” And V. Hugo declared even more categorically: "God dictated, and I wrote."
Even now there are many supporters of this point of view. First of all, these are creative personalities, who thereby prove their chosenness, unusualness. But not only. Making their activities dependent on divine providence or otherworldly forces, that is, mystical and inaccessible to control inspiration, artists, writers and musicians can rightfully justify their laziness, referring to the absence of a “muse”. And if the order is not ready on time, then the artist is not to blame, but the lack of inspiration. But it comes by itself and cannot be controlled.
But inspiration has nothing to do with mysticism, it is one of many mental processes, and it is controlled not by some otherworldly force, but by our brain.
Psychology about inspiration
Modern science says that inspiration is a special mental state of activation of all emotional and physical forces of a person. It depends, firstly, on the objective processes in the brain inherent in all people, and secondly, on the individual characteristics of the human nervous system. Indeed, there are people whom inspiration visits more often than others, but this has nothing to do with either divine or mystical power.
How inspiration is born
All of our activities are controlled by the brain, and its effectiveness depends on the processes of excitation and inhibition in the cerebral cortex. The basis of inspiration is a strong focus of excitation in the cerebral cortex, and not just strong, but dominant, that is, suppressing other active centers. Foci of excitation arise as a reaction to external stimuli or thoughts and feelings experienced by a person. Usually we have several such foci, since at the same time a person perceives many different objects, thinks about something and feels something. But for the state of inspiration to appear, something else is needed.
Imagine a firecracker taking off - this is a thought or an external stimulus that gives rise to other thought-associations. A moment - and the firecracker scatters colorful fireworks of sparks, each of which, in turn, crumbles into dozens of bright stars. So there is a focus of excitation in the cerebral cortex. Nerve impulses scatter from it along neural circuits, transmitting excitation to different parts of the brain. Many associations appear, thinking is activated, attention is concentrated, memory resources are connected. The motor sphere does not stand aside either, physical strength increases, movements become more accurate, all skills and abilities are remembered. This is the psycho-physiological basis of inspiration - a state in which a person can feel almost omnipotent.
However, excitation itself is unstable, people with a high level of excitability of the nervous system quickly light up, but also quickly “burn out”. For a state of inspiration, excitation must be stable, that is, it must work in tandem with another process - inhibition. Without it, it is not only impossible to maintain working capacity for a long time, but also to control your activity.
Inspiration and the subconscious
Many researchers of creativity associate the state of inspiration with processes occurring at the subconscious level. We have a huge amount of information stored there, but there is no conscious access to it, from time to time it pops up to the level of consciousness, for example, when we think about some problem, in a dream or in delirium during a serious illness.
A strong focus of excitation, spreading not only in breadth, but also in depth, into the subcortical zone, "connects" the subconscious. The connection of inspiration with the deepest level of our psyche explains both its spontaneity and its uncontrollability. Sometimes an urgent need for creativity, for changing one's existence, for the realization of some idea arises even against the will of the person himself. She controls his behavior, makes him give up a prestigious but boring job, comfort and even a family.
In addition, the state of inspiration is often characterized by a change in consciousness, which also indicates the influence of the subconscious. Then the creator forgets about time and natural needs, and subjectively it is felt as the control of some force that came from outside. Although in fact it is the tricks of our subconscious.
So, we figured out what inspiration is, but did not find an answer to the question of how to find it and how to manage it. Why does this strong focus of excitation arise at some point, activating human activity, and what causes this very moment?
Where to look for inspiration
The answer to the question: how to find inspiration, worries creative people for hundreds of years. Someone humbled himself, considering this phenomenon to be mystical, and someone tried to somehow control it, lure it, find it. And the methods of "summoning" inspiration were sometimes quite exotic.
How to evoke inspiration: recipes for creative people
To understand the main secret of inspiration, you can turn to the experience of prominent people who have become famous as creative personalities, for example, writers and musicians. They must be on a short footing with inspiration and know how to call it.
But it turns out that their methods are quite original, very individual or simply unhealthy.
- For example, the German poet F. Schiller was inspired only if he smelled… rotten apples. Therefore, the poet always kept them in his desk drawer.
- V. Hugo worked well when he had a bronze figure of a dog in front of him.
- But the composer I. Haydn used a diamond ring for this purpose and said that music comes to him only when he examines this ring.
- Charlotte Brontë, author of Jane Eyre, had to go into the kitchen and peel her potatoes to get inspired.
- A. Dumas (son) could work productively, having a thorough snack, and then every hour while he worked, he pampered himself with all sorts of delicacies.
- Composer R. Wagner loved to fiddle with multi-colored pieces of silk during his work and always laid them out around him before starting work.
Agree, all this is interesting, but of little use for general use. True, some "recipes" are more understandable and explainable from a scientific point of view. For example, J. J. Rousseau, to catch inspiration, could stand for hours in the sun without a hat. This provided blood flow to the brain and stimulated thought processes, but it was hardly useful. O. de Balzac and J. S. Bach used coffee as a similar stimulant. Moreover, the author of The Human Comedy drank 40-50 cups of it per night when he preferred to work. The excessive consumption of coffee ultimately became the cause of his death.
Even more destructive stimulants are alcohol and drugs, which were also used by some creative personalities, for example, Hoffmann and Ibsen worked while intoxicated, and Edgar Poe, John Lennon, Jim Morrison used drugs. The state of intoxication suppressed the activity of the rational part of the brain and contributed to the activation of the subconscious. But the lack of control over the creative process made such impulses short-lived and not always productive.
Alcohol and drugs are not only harmful, but also ineffective, for example, Ibsen, having sobered up, almost always destroyed what he had written. But, most importantly, this is clearly an unacceptable recipe.
How to find inspiration: advice from a psychologist
Of course, in order to create a masterpiece, inspiration alone is not enough, you also need abilities, skills and colossal work. But now we are talking about letting inspiration into your everyday life, allowing yourself to feel the pleasure of every minute, making creativity not some kind of exclusive activity, but a part of your existence.
There are many ways to get inspired, but there are 3 important things to consider:
Interest is the strongest stimulus, under the influence of which the dominant focus of excitation is formed in the cerebral cortex. Interest maintains a high level of activity of memory, attention, thinking, creativity. It fills us with energy and makes us, forgetting about fatigue, enjoy every minute. Inspiration comes to those who are passionate about their business, hobby, idea, project, etc. It is useless to lie on the couch and wait for the muse to arrive if there is no interest in the business or solving the problem.
In order for inspiration to come into your life, you need to find something that is really interesting, important, meaningful, something that can captivate you. But even the most boring task can be made fun if you think about the end result or the goal you would like to achieve.
Envy is another very effective motive. Are you surprised? We are accustomed to condemn this feeling. But envy is different, and it is not for nothing that one distinguishes between black and white envy. The feeling that I'm talking about now can be expressed by the words: “Wow! That's lovely! I want that too, and I will definitely be able to do it!”
Needlewomen and artists love to look at the work of others. They are looking not only for samples, but also for inspiration. The same source can be communication with like-minded people, discussion of your own and other people's projects, an ambitious desire to prove that you are no worse, you are also capable of accomplishments, new original ideas, lucrative contracts, brilliant books, etc.
Someone else's success can be a very inspiring and excellent stimulus for creativity, that spark from which bright fireworks will burst. But it should only be remembered that the fire of inspiration does not go out too quickly, more work and a persistent desire to achieve the goal are needed.