We don’t realize the crucial role of inspiration in our day-to-day life when it’s gone. Inspiration is often described as a temperamental muse by creatives. In reality, everybody can be inspired to do anything, whether it is creative or not. Inspiration lives in a world of ideas. It is the force that pushes you forward, whether it encourages you to challenge yourself or it helps you solve new problems. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you work in a creative industry or want to kickstart your fitness routine. As long as you feel inspired, you can unlock the power you need to pursue your journey. Inspiration is an idea that can motivate, excite, guide, and carry you forward. Think of it as a spark. You only need one spark to light up a fire. Inspiration is only the beginning of your journey, regardless of where it will take you.
The problem with it is that inspiration can be volatile. Some days, you feel it, and others, you don’t. The good news is that you can find it back again with little effort.
#1. Put your favorite music on
Music can influence the mind and the brain. Psychologists use music to help calm patients in therapies. Countless researches also document its connection to cognitive abilities. For instance, children who learn to play an instrument tend to achieve better results in math. But there’s also a subjective power to music. Playing your favorite song can instantly improve your mood. Ideally, high tempo and high energy pieces can boost your happiness levels. Feeling good in your skin can help you find inspiration again. If you want to focus on complex processes or prepare for a tough challenge, classical pieces can be both uplifting and sophisticated, taking your brain on a journey as you listen.
#2. Find a role model
What does a role model look like? The answer varies for everyone. Role models are people who inspire you to challenge yourself. Whether you look up to your former high school teacher who was always patient with everyone or to Jon Rahm, who will be running back-to-back major championships same year in 2021, it’s up to you. As surprising as it sounds, a role model doesn’t need to be successful to push further. They only need to give it their best. They inspire us to improve ourselves because they always give 100% at what they do. Athletes, teachers, parents, role models come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They show us how to become the best version of ourselves.
#3. Take a stroll down memory lane
Setbacks can affect you. When something doesn’t go as expected, it’s tough to find your inspiration again. It can be tempting to give up while you heal your self-esteem. However, we’ve all encountered setbacks in our life. So when something bad happens to you, the easiest way to handle it is to remind yourself that you’ve gone through challenges and disappointment in the past. Every setback makes you stronger if you use it to bounce back. So rather than feeling devastated that things didn’t work in the way you expected, remind yourself of a previous setback. How did you overcome the challenge? What did you hope for the future? The knowledge that you’ve already gone through a similar experience can give you the strength to find your inspiration again.
#4. Try a new hobby
Hobbies can help you uncover unknown potential. Hobbies can offer a bubble of peace away from day-to-day anxieties. Craft activities are especially effective to calm the nervous system. Therefore, manual hobbies can have a beneficial effect on your brain as it lowers stress levels. When the cortisol level drops, the brain can let go of the fight-or-flight response. In other words, your brain shifts priorities when you engage in a manual hobby. It enables you to access thoughts and moods that would have been locked by stress, otherwise. Knitting, painting, or even journaling can become a strong factor of inspiration. Indeed, you need to let go of stress to find the strength to be inspired again.
#5. Hit the gym
A fitness routine can be a game-changer when it comes to inspiration. We all experience some days where it feels our brain is unable to connect ideas. Being physically active can do wonders for your thinking process. When you work out, your brain receives increased blood flow and oxygen. Spoiler alert: This is a good thing. The brain needs oxygen to help you think faster. But frequent workouts also help release happiness hormones, which can reduce stress levels. In other words, sports could prepare your brain to feel and recognize inspiration. It boosts your brain functions, helps you relax, and improves thinking patterns. If you’re dealing with inspiration block, the answers might lie in your gym gear.
#6. Don’t force it
Bad days exist. They can be triggered by a variety of factors, whether you are feeling down or under pressure. As inspiration is a force that pushes you forward, it makes sense that you might not be able to feel inspired on tough days. Sometimes, when things get tough, you need to rest and recenter your energy before carrying on your journey. You can’t force inspiration when you are not physically or emotionally ready to welcome it. Be patient, and focus on healing yourself.
#7. Try long-forgotten flavors
Are you familiar with Proust’s madeleine moment? Marcel Proust, a French writer, refers to a memory awakening moment he experienced while eating a typical French cake. He found himself back to his younger years, remembering the unique flavors and instant in time. The Proust’s madeleine is not as uncommon as it might sound. Taste is one of the senses that can leave a deep memory, ready to resurface once you come across the same or a familiar taste.
You can use a similar technique to take your mind back to the moment in time you felt the most inspired about your future. Reproducing your favorite childhood’s treat, for instance, can revive the dreams and energy you had then.
#8. Change your work schedule
Are you a night owl or an early riser? Most people instinctively know whether they prefer the morning or the evening. However, what you may not know is your most productive time during the day. Productivity means that your brain is fully focused on the tasks at hand and can easily tackle challenges and new problems. Yet, if you face the same challenges outside of your productive window, you could need longer to overcome them. It can be helpful to experiment to identify your golden window. Shifting your work schedule to match your productive window will improve your day-to-day performance. It also means that you are more likely to find inspiration in the golden time slot.
#9. Sleep more
You need sleep. Period. The brain is constantly working to regulate and control body functions. During your sleep, some essential functions are reduced or stopped, such as body temperature or digestion, for example, so the brain can also partially rest. But if you suffer from sleep deprivation, your brain is constantly on overload. It makes it harder to react to inspiring themes or ideas. Indeed, lack of sleep affects your mood, cognitive abilities, concentration, and energy levels.
Inspiration is all around and within you. However, you need to be in a receptive mood to benefit from it. So, whether you find a role model or tap into a long-forgotten memory that makes you want to push yourself further, the principle remains the same. If you are mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared to unlock the best version of yourself, you will find and use the inspiration around you. But it’s okay to give yourself the time to heal or rest too. Inspiration can wait; your health cannot.