The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. – Helen Keller
Many people treat inspiration like it’s just a random event that can strike any one of us at any given time, as if inspiration is like a lightning bolt that indiscriminately flashes down to the earth hitting some of us occasionally. Once that inspiration runs out, we just have to wait for another supernatural event to happen again so we can get our inspiration again.
I’m here to tell you that being inspired is as simple as letting it in. There’s so many ways in the modern era to be inspired that none of us have any excuse for not being inspired. I sometimes get the feeling like some of us don’t want to be inspired! WAKE UP and let it in! Seriously though, some of you are starting to tick me off with your apathy, but I’m probably preaching to the choir, because if you’re reading this you’re probably a person who is open to inspiration.
Inspiration is not random
I’m not making this up, in a study cited in the Harvard Business Review, which studied people who were inspired more often in their lives, and guess what? Those people were more open to experiences. In other words, they were open to being inspired! In the same article, it mentions that inspired people have a stronger desire to master their work and not out competitiveness, but simply because they are more intrinsically motivated.
This makes sense to me. Oftentimes the people who are grouchy, crummy workers, and jealous when you do well are the hardest people to inspire. It’s like they have a wall built around them to protect them from accidentally having a decent life and then they get bothered when you weren’t happy doing the same.
Why you should seek inspiration
Inspiration has a lot of positives, but here are some of the positives that I can think of relatively quickly:
- It makes you better at your work – As stated above, people who are inspired more often have a desire to be better at their work. It only makes sense if you see someone doing great that you may be inspired to be great as well.
- It makes you more positive – This may be correlation and not causation but people who are inspired more often are generally more positive. This also seems like common sense, because if you’re willing to be inspired by those who are doing something great, chances are you’re not the envious type who tries to drag everyone down to their level. You’re the type who wants to be around people doing well so that hopefully they can help pull you up to their level.
- It makes you more creative – If you’ve ever watched the show Shark Tank, you probably are open to inspiration. You’ve also probably have had multiple improvement ideas related to the invention being presented. This is an example of inspiration making you more creative.
- Being inspired makes you more fun to be around – When you let yourself be inspired by others and you’re truly interested in what they’re saying and doing, you’re the most interesting person to talk to. Isn’t it weird how that works? Being interesting isn’t always about what you have done that you can brag about, it’s about conveying interest to others. Perhaps you’ve recommended a book to a friend and they actually read it and communicated how good it was. Didn’t that make you feel good? Let a friend inspire you today.
- It will inevitably lead to more inspiration – Once you find out how you’re inspired, you’ll probably want more of it. You’ll become an inspiration junky like I am, and your life will never be the same. You’ll also become good at knowing where to look for inspiration and new experiences and information, making random inspiration less random.
Ok, I want to be inspired. But where do I look for it?
Everyone is different in how they are inspired. I can tell you a few things that work for me to find inspiration and hopefully they are useful for you as well.
- Books – This is by far my most favorite way to be inspired. I have a list of recommended books that have inspired me that I encourage you to purchase. They certainly will be worth your small investment. If the actual reading, like with your eyes, isn’t your thing check, out Audible for audiobooks. You can get 2 free audiobooks using this link if you haven’t signed up for Audible yet.
- Art – Many people who know me are surprised when I tell them that I like walking around art museums with my wife and relaxing and seeing what others have come up with from their inspiration. Naturally this is a great way to be inspired, and it’s an something that I recommend everyone do regularly.
- Nature – There are so many things that are breathtaking and beautiful in nature. We live near Lake Michigan and taking walks never gets old, and it certainly is a great way to beat your blues and be inspired by the greatness of God’s creation.
- Others – I hope that I’ve convinced you that others can inspire you, and that you follow my blog and Facebook Page for more inspiration. As I said earlier, other people can and should inspire you. It makes you more interesting to be around when you have the ability to set your own stories aside and truly listen to someone else. If you can’t find anyone inspiring around you, combine 1 and 4 and read biographies about people you find inspiring. I recommend this biography about Elon Musk. I’ve convinced a few people to read it and not one of them have been disappointed.
- Everything else – When you look around, I think you’ll find that being inspired by many things is as simple is finding the beauty in whatever you’re looking at. Without finding beauty in things like Lake Michigan, it simply becomes a massive amount of water, and giant mountains become nothing but giant rocks. If you really look for inspiration and beauty, it’s usually there.
I’m sure there are many other things that I have missed that can inspire people (that’s why I threw in “everything else”) but if you have something that really inspires you, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading, and remember to be inspired today!