We are all waiting for that magical time in our day when suddenly we are inspired to do something more, to create something more, and to become something more. Mentally, we can rationalize our end-goals, quietly contemplating and affirming to ourselves that “Yes, I need to stop smoking. I need to start writing my book. I need to exercise more, meditate more, eat more consciously, study harder, become a better husband/wife, change my wardrobe, create my business, write a blog, wake up earlier and de-clutter my home.”
Theoretically, everything seems reasonable, do-able, and you already know that simply doing any one of these things would enhance your quality and experience of life. It’s a no-brainer.
There are usually two major excuses we use to deflect and deny our right and responsibility to make any of these things happen, and they are:
1. I don’t have enough time.
2. I need to wait till I am inspired to do it.
Today we are going to talk about number 2. Inspiration. It’s a funny thing. Here are some things I know about my experience of inspiration.
1. Don’t wait to “get inspired” because you’re going to be waiting a long time.
I know we all want that Lightening-Bolt-Epiphany-Esque-“O.M.G I am so inspired”-Experience, but I believe that inspiration only comes and grabs in that manner you only about 10% of the time. The other 90% of the time, we have to get off our booty and find it.
If I waited till I was truly inspired to write a blog post, cook, make life changes, meditate, work, and exercise – my life would be a dark and bleak place to hang out! Inspiration isn’t a very reliable or tangible substance to make major life decisions from.
It’s great, but not substantial enough for me to wait around for it all the time.
2. Inspiration usually comes at inappropriate times.
Let me tell you somethin’ about that 10% of the time when we do feel majorly inspired; it usually comes at somewhat inapprorpiate times. For example, I am always so completely and magically inspired to write a great blog post when I’m eye-deep in studying for a test tomorrow. How convenient!
Inspiration may come when you are busy with something else, caught up in a prior commitment, or doing things the way you have always done them. Then you get inspired to do something in a slightly different way – WOAH! It’s the universe offering you another option and saying “Hey listen, I know you’ve done things this way for a long time, but how about trying it this way? Or how about putting your attention on this instead? Or here’s a great idea for you – use it!”
It’s at that time you have to make your call. What are you going to prioritize? This is your decision. If you decide to say “pass” on this wave of brilliantness, you have to accept that you might not get that inspired feeling for it again – although that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t act on it at another time. If you decide to prioritize your inspiration, you may create something beautiful and worthwhile, but it may be at the expense of something else.
There is no right or wrong answer; it is just a question of your priorities.
3. Inspiration doesn’t get things done. Hard work does.
Inspiration is a great force to kick-start new projects, but inspiration alone does little to get the task done. Inspiration acts in short and powerful bursts. Hard work is sustained effort to create progress. Inspiration without hard work is futile.
If you are writing a book, it is unlikely you are going to be super inspired about every single chapter. It is even unlikely that you will be inspired to write every single day.
When you start a new exercise program, it’s very exciting and it’s easy to feel extremely committed – but that quickly goes away. You don’t get the body of your dreams because you were “inspired” to exercise every day. You get the body of your dreams because you worked hard, and you made a commitment to your inspiration – even if it isn’t there in all it’s glory every single day.
4. If you want to get inspired, start doing what you want to do.
The wonderful thing about Inspiration is that you can create it. You can create that feeling of inspiration by action. Simply ask yourself “What do I want to do?”.
“Want” is key, because “want” implies that you choose to do it.
Choose one “Want”. The most important thing to you right now.
Now, if it isn’t clear already, ask yourself “What can I do now to start making it happen?” and start.
You might not “feel” like it. You might not even know exactly how to start. But start anyway. Take some small steps towards this want.
After a while of sustained action, ideas, inspiration and magic are going to start opening up to you.
For example, if you really want to start a blog, but you don’t know what you want to write about, or what kind of blog you want to have – just start a blog. Sign up on wordpress. And start writing. It might not be clear at first, but over time, it will become clear, and you will become inspired