Learn to Find Inspiration Everywhere you Look

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I hear you now, saying, “Why do I need to find inspiration? I’m not an artists or a poet.” Yes, I hear what you are saying, but you’re wrong. No matter who you are or what you do, we all need inspiration in our lives.

Inspiration is more than the driving force that keeps a writer, photographer, or painter creating. Inspiration guides the entrepreneur who comes up with a new way to make life easier. Sometimes inspiration is driven by necessity.

Inspiration Is All Around You

You just need to know how to look. Notice I said how, not where.

Everyone needs a bit of inspiration whether you are a stay-at home mother, a content creator, or a sales associate at the local dollar store. We all need inspiration. It’s more than looking for a way to make a fortune with a new product, it’s about finding your purpose and making the most you can of your life.

Sarah Blakely was solving a problem she identified in her own life when she came up with the idea for Spanx. She was fixing a perceived problem and that solution resonated with other women. But none of it would have happened if Sarah wasn’t actively looking for a problem to solve. She needed the inspiration!

Learning how to find inspiration means giving meaning to your life.

Inspiration Starts With You

Let’s begin at the beginning. The first place you need to look for inspiration is within yourself.

You can’t be inspired if you close yourself off and drift through life on autopilot. Pay attention to the world around you. Otherwise, you might as well stick your fingers in your ears and sing “la, la, la…” When I realized that, it made me wonder how many wonderful inspirations had passed me by while I figuratively stuck my head in the sand like an ostrich.

When I was a little girl, I imagined the upstairs hallway in my house to be a stage. I would play records (yes, vinyl records!) and dance and sing my way up and down that hall. Needless to say, the audience was packed and every number ended with thunderous applause.

I actually spent an entire summer playing Robin Hood. There was a downed tree in the church yard behind my house and, for me, it was the branch of the tree on which Error Flynn stood, saying, “Welcome to Sherwood.” Somehow I never imagined myself to be Maid Marion.

The point of tell you that is to remind you that the dreamer who could put herself in Sherwood Forest is still there, hidden deep within. No matter how mundane your job may be, you have a dreamer inside you too. Let her out!

Opening your mind to the inspiration around you means that you actively arrange and rearrange the input you receive. Will everything you see inspire you to do something amazing? Probably not, but if you aren’t ready, if your eyes aren’t open, you’ll miss it entirely. Take the time to think about the situations you encounter and be ready to combine and recombine the elements to find something you may not even be aware that you were looking for.

Instead of worrying, thinking, “What if I fail?” go out and conquer that fear! If you’re busy worrying about failure, you won’t see that potential success as it goes whirring past you for someone else to find.

Now that I’ve proven that you need inspiration, let’s talk about how to find it.

But My Life is Boring!

Perhaps, but maybe life is boring because you aren’t present in your life. Wake up! Start looking around and you’ll find more inspiration that you have time to act on. Here are a few suggested sources for inspiration:

Listen to Music

What’s your favorite kind of music? Whatever it is, take the time to turn it on and relax as it flows over you. Life to busy to relax? Just turn it on anyway. I listened to music every day during my commute.

Disney created two movies, one in 1940 and the other in 2000. Fantasia creates a bridge between music and video, but the reason I mention it here is that several of the sections of Fantasia were based on the animators listening to the music and finding the images it created in their imagination.

Watch Movies and Television

I have often been watching a television show or a movie and thought, “What if this story happened in the middle ages?” But the inspiration in entertainment isn’t only for writers and poets. You might think, look at that afghan (Roseanne) I could make one like that or maybe even, I could make one that’s better than that. You just have to engage your mind to find tons of inspiration here.

A side benefit, of course, is that movies and television bring the family together. Watch a movie or TV show with your kids or your partner. Maybe you won’t be the only one who is inspired.

Read, Read, and Read Some More

Read books, magazines, and anything else with words printed on it. I know it’s hard to find the time to read but the benefits far outweigh the difficulty of finding time. Books inspire, magazines inform. There are millions of stories to devour and tidbits of information to read in every publication.

Once you’ve acquired the reading habit, pass it along. Read to your kids. Share information with them. You’ll be glad you did.

Put Social Media to Good Use

There’s more inspiration on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram than you can shake a stick at. Here are just a few examples:

  • Jodie told a funny story about babysitting.
  • Marie made an incredible dessert and posted the recipe on Facebook. Your mouth is watering already, isn’t it?
  • Look at those Instagram photos my husband’s cousin just posted. I need to get a blouse like that.
  • Everybody complaining about their teenagers’ dating habits? Score! You can create at least three blog posts from that.
  • Can’t scroll more than a screen’s worth without reading about whipped coffee? Guess what we’re having tonight!
  • Everybody is traveling to Vegas? Yeah, you want to go too, don’t you?

Pay Attention to Friends and Family

Your friends and family members will inspire you every day, that is, if you pay attention. The next time you have a get together with family and friends, encourage them to talk about themselves. It won’t be hard. People love to talk about themselves. All you have to do is say, “So, Penny, what’s going on at school?”

Now you can sit back, nod your head, and listen. Start putting the pieces of her story together and then combine and recombine it with the stories from other friends and family members. What better way to get inspiration?

I don’t have to remind you not to embarrass your friends or relatives, do I? But their stories can inspire you to all kinds of creative pursuits and, who knows, maybe you’ll come up with a better way to do something.

Watch the way people interact with each other.

So? Now that we’ve looked at some of the places you can find inspiration, tell me, where do you look for inspiration?

Image Credit: Unsplash

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Irene P. Smith
Irene P. Smith

Irene is a hybrid Technical Writer/Programmer with over 30 years' experience. She was a Contributing Editor to PC Techniques Magazine and also wrote for such magazines as CodeWorks and PC Hands On. Irene lives in New York State about two hours Northwest of New York City, on a quiet street with her husband, her son, and her mother.

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