“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” ~ Ella Fitzgerald
“I have learned so much from Nelson Mandela, and he has been my leader. He is a perpetual inspiration for me and millions of others around the world.” ~ Malala Yousafzai
“I definitely want to be an inspiration or a role model for all the little girls out there or anyone out there that wants to break stereotypes. I feel like I’m breaking stereotypes with what I’m doing. I’m not the typical fighter, and there’s a lot of people out there that won’t do something just because they don’t fit the stereotype.” ~ Paige VanZant
Have you ever felt like you are in a rut? Have you ever faced a task that seemed too daunting to undertake? Have you ever wondered what the point of it all is?
If you answered yes to any of the above then you know what it feels like to be in search of inspiration. Inspiration means to be in spirit; to be under a divine influence. Interestingly, it also has the connotation of breathing into, of bringing life to something.
Feeling uninspired is heavy and frustrating, so if you find yourself in this tight spot here are 5 easy ways to breathe new life into your spirit and move you forward.
- Mix it up!
If you are in a rut or feel stuck then mix some things in your life up a bit. Now relax, you don’t have to do anything drastic like shaving your head or quitting your job. Remember, big doors swing on small hinges.
Start by picking three or four objects in the room you are presently in. Gather them together and really look at them, as if for the first time. Spend some time brainstorming new ways of using these objects. Maybe that stapler can hold down a stack of papers, hem a pair of pants, or create a piece of artwork. Get fanciful, creative, and even silly. You have my permission.
By opening up your perception of everyday objects you naturally open up your creative juices in other ways. So that problem is now not so insurmountable. New inspired ideas are just waiting for you to come looking for them.
- Get a fresh perspective.
Have you ever heard the expression, “you’re singing to the choir?” That’s what most of us do – we surround ourselves with people who think along the same lines as we do. Go out of your way to get a fresh perspective.
Find a neighbor or co-worker who sees the world differently, has a hobby you’ve never tried, or has some interesting past experiences like living in an ashram or traveling with the circus. Spend some time with them asking questions and discovering a whole new window into the world.
By hearing new ideas and viewpoints you will open your mind to new possibilities that were out of reach before.
- Ask for a fresh viewpoint.
Asking for help might be difficult for some, but the results are well worth the discomfort. When you have a difficult situation or problem ask someone you trust to listen to your story. Often just telling it out loud leads to new insight.
Then ask probing questions to get another point of view. Questions like “What do you think is the real problem?” and “What opportunities are here that I’m not seeing?”
The adage two heads are better than one holds true in this instance. Sometimes we are too close to an issue to have a clear view of it.
- Create an imaginary committee.
This step is kind of like a combination of the three above. Create an imaginary committee that comes with different points of view. Then see the problem and possible solutions through those eyes.
For example, your committee could include a 9-year-old child, a wise old crone, a Samurai warrior, a 60’s flower child, and an Egyptian Queen. What would each of those characters say about your problem? How would they solve it?
Play with this – the more fun you have the more inspiration will flow.
- Do the opposite.
Take the problem or situation and fill in these three statements:
I can’t ___________________________ .
I don’t ___________________________ .
I won’t ___________________________ .
Now cross out the negating part and read the rest. So, I can’t understand where John is coming from becomes I understand where John is coming from. Then, act as if that statement is true. If you understand where someone is coming from then you are more compassionate, even if you don’t hold the same view.
Remember the key here is to ACT as if it’s true – it doesn’t have to be actually true yet for this to work. Getting out from under some of the boxes you’ve built around yourself allows space for more inspiration in your life.
When your inspiration is flowing you feel like all things are possible. As soon as you begin feeling stuck or frustrated play with one of these steps to help put yourself back on an inspired path.