Eureka! Now What?!
You are probably thinking about inspiration the wrong way. We imagine a EUREKA moment, I’ve got my life figured out. We imagine it as a catalyst, a starting point, to a chain of life-affirming actions. Inspiration is the reason we do literally anything in our lives because it is a heightened sense of purpose. What pushes you to get out of bed in the morning? To take on that extra project at work? To talk to your kids, to find ways to be a part of your community, to take care of yourself? How do we keep our inspiration flame stoked? Well, we need to break down what it actually means to you.
We all know what it feels like to be uninspired. Let’s start there. It’s when we don’t know what we want or how we want it. It’s when we can’t think of new ideas or build on old ones. Being uninspired is like trying to wade in quicksand or being mentally near-sighted, the only things that are clear are what’s right in front of you, the possibilities beyond become blurry and unseen.
Channeling our spirit and energy to keep up with the challenges of life is what being inspired means. When we can find it in ourselves to mount an obstacle, we can see beyond it. Staying inspired is not a eureka moment, it’s a marathon.
Inspiration also has other names. Focus. Energy. Perseverance. Creativity. Purpose. Commitment. These are all the faces it has, each working to keep you moving forward. It is not enough to glide through life suffocated in apathy, not caring to be a more evolved version of ourselves with each new day. Being inspired lets you unlock new perspectives and qualities of your own personality that can make you a better person, friend, parent, employee, leader. Overcoming whatever life throws at you takes a toll, but once you do it, you reach new depths of self love and self awareness. It is by going through the labyrinth that we find meaning, not by avoiding it. But here’s the catch. You cannot wait for lightning to strike to start walking through the dark. You cannot sit idly by and hope that any moment, some supernatural force will show you the way out. You need to take action first and it is only by moving, getting up and getting out there that you can start the motors that will eventually keep you going. Monotony, restlessness and stagnation are our enemies and we need all the help we can get to find our enthusiasm for our every day, on repeat.
Power Tip 1: Start with Self Awareness
We will always come back to the transformative act of journaling. Journaling fosters mindfulness, helps with stress, strengthens emotional functions, that includes fighting the devils of monotony. During the course of your day, stop a few times to write down what inspired you. Focus on important moments and ground yourself in the present; write down all the bursts in energy and motivation you experienced within the last few days or weeks. Every time you felt like achieving something, every time you felt a nudge of positivity and creativity, write it down. When you start paying attention, you will pick up on the hints that your own mind leaves about where you need to focus more. Maybe you feel particularly inspired on your daily walk, or spending time with your pet, or when you’re grocery shopping or exercising.
You might find it helpful to create an inspiration board of some kind, filled with quotes, paintings, portraits of people or anything in between that you can cut and paste that inspires you to create on your own. Inspiration is ultimately a vehicle to the reality we wish for ourselves, so find things that remind you of this reality and start building. Place the board in a visible and often looked-upon spot in your room. Remind yourself constantly how important it is to stay inspired.
Power Tip 2: Take Some Small Steps
Affirmations are a simple, powerful way to start getting inspired. Remind yourself how capable and creative you really are. Studies have shown that affirmations activate all the great hormones that keep us healthy, happy and motivated.
I am confident.
I am powerful.
I am strong.
I am getting better and better every day.
All I need is within me right now.
Note to self: I am going to make you so proud.
I am not pushed by my problems; I am led by my dreams.
I am grateful for everything I have in my life.
I am independent and self-sufficient.
I can be whatever I want to be.
I am not defined by my past; I am driven by my future.
I accept myself for who I am and create peace, power and confidence of mind and of heart.
I am going to forgive myself and free myself. I deserve to forgive and be forgiven.
I belong in this world; there are people that care about me and my worth.
My past might be ugly, but I am still beautiful.
I have made mistakes, but I will not let them define me.
I don’t compare myself to others. The only person I compare myself to is the person I was yesterday. And as long as the person I am today is even the tiniest bit better than the person I was yesterday—I’m meeting my own definition of success.
I finish what matters and let go of what does not.
I feed my spirit. I train my body. I focus my mind. This is my time.
Happiness is a choice, and today I choose to be happy.
When we take the time to verbally affirm our desires and dreams, it feels like we are already shaping them into reality. We are brave enough to say what we want and to be open to our wishes manifesting. This state is highly empowering and supports us in staying positive and inspired despite our doubts and fears.
There are other ways to create small adventures for yourself so you stay surprised and excited about your life. Just make sure it isn’t something you’ve already done. If you usually go for a run, try riding a bike. Visit new restaurants. Cook different meals. Reorganize your living space. Watch shows of a different genre. Read a book from a distant time period. Foster change in your environment in noticeable ways so you yourself evolve with the effort you put in. Uncertainty isn’t always a bad thing, it can be a catalyst to new emotions, perspectives and realizations.
Power Tip 3: Don’t Let It Be a Solo Mission
Working with others and creating collaborative environments are proven to boost inspiration. Surrounding yourself with people with the same goals as you helps to keep you on track and motivated to keep going when the road gets rough. Use others’ flames to light your own candle. It won’t make them any dimmer and it can only help you even if you don’t think you need their support. The people who love and support us can be a source of our greatest inspiration and strength. When we are drowning in doubt and fear, our friends, family. Mentors and coworkers can shine some light through the fog and remind us of our potential and greener pastures ahead. The clarity can come from the fact that they may have been through the same things or they truly believe in you that much, and in that case, a self fulfilling prophecy would not be the worst thing. Let them speak your future into existence, just make sure to show your gratitude for their presence.
Make a list of people that believe in you, even when you don’t anymore. Once you create the list, you’ll have a chance to rediscover a sense of dignity. You are not alone in this anymore. People have faith that you are able to succeed. Look at your list everyday.
Real Talk: Inspiration is not a moment. Inspiration does not happen by chance. Inspiration is a way of living so that you remain excited and optimistic about your life. It’s in the way you talk to yourself, it’s in the way you love yourself, and it’s in the way you show appreciation for what you already have. Feed your inspiration with self care and then reap its rewards.
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