Inspiration – Don’t Have It??
Committing to the schedules we create for our lives can motivate us to get things done and they can also leave us feeling a bit deflated. What is it about being inspired – Finding inspiration? I found this great quote by Thomas Edison that sums up my feelings on inspiration. He says, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
So, let’s start with understanding the definition of the word. Inspiration, according to Webster’s, is defined as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something; to do something creative.”
What do you do when you’re not inspired?
Let’s go a bit deeper – Inspired means to have an extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse that is breathed in. So, here I am preparing for a podcast and I am seeking inspiration and I’m just not finding anything that is really screaming, “pick me, talk about me.” There’s no, “That’s it!” moment.
And it dawned on me that there are moments in our life when we don’t have inspiration, where we are not inspired. So what do we do? Well, that’s what today’s podcast is about. What do you do when you’re not feeling the inspiration?
When you don’t see anyone that inspires you or moves you or there is not something that is within you that is providing you with some reason to move beyond where you are.
My answer is probably a little more simple than what you may expect. It’s not some long, drawn out equation or process or sitting down and being really quiet or anything close to that.
All of those things you can and do work, but, for me it’s simply about just moving forward. That’s why I love the Edison quote. Sometimes moving forward is standing still. It’s about the action that you take. Sometimes action isn’t actually a movement. And the fact that I am moving forward with this podcast, even though I don’t have a “that’s it” moment, is a perfect example of moving forward. Because, there are times in life when it requires the discipline of belief. To believe that what you’re supposed to do is going to happen, you may not see the messages. The messages are there, let me make that clear. You just may not be open to them at the moment. That’s okay, you may not be inspired and that’s okay. What is important, is that you decide for yourself to continue to move to take the next step, and again I don’t want to make it confusing when I say to stand. I’m just saying sometimes standing can be simply listening. Listening to what comes next. For me, listening and standing and taking action all boil down to me moving forward towards inspiration. We all know inspiration can be an amazing thing. For me, I am so pumped and full of energy and excitement and ready to blow through the doors, when I am truly, truly inspired. But, there are times in my life when I still had to move, I still had to take the next step even though I didn’t feel it.
I think there are times when inspiration requires discipline because you can potentially be inspired by something and it completely take you in the wrong direction. Not all ideas are meant to have a complete and full birth. Maybe they’re just meant to spur you on to something else. So, for most of us, inspiration is a very fantastic dreamy, exciting place. There are going to be times that you will think to yourself, I’m not feeling the inspiration, I’m not inspired. This doesn’t inspire me, so what do I do now? What inspires me is to follow through – anyway.
So let’s talk about some of the reasons why you might be feeling a lack of inspiration, sometimes it’s just pure resistance because sometimes when you know that you’re being pulled towards something, your ego comes into play and doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable. So, it’s going to want to do whatever it can to keep you in the place that is comfortable and sometimes that resistance, that lack of knowing, that lack of inspiration or lack of motivation is really us being resistant to what is on the other side. So, you have to ask yourself, is what is on the other side – what I’m resisting, is it because maybe I feel like I don’t deserve it? Maybe I don’t feel think I’m ready for it or maybe I don’t even understand it. Sometimes, the resistance, the lack of inspiration is coming from the fact that you subconsciously already know and you’re sabotaging yourself so that you can’t have what is on the other side.
There are times when you may feel completely empty and if you feel that way for too long of a period, then there potentially could be some cause for concern. This resistance that I’m talking about, it really has to do with you getting to the core of who you are and what you want to do with yourself and the situation and whatever it is that you’re feeling basically no feelings towards at all. But, like I said, when I stand or when I say just take the next step, both of those are actions. Making a conscious choice to just stand and see if that feeling or lack thereof of inspiration passes, that’s still an action. If you do as I’m doing and start to think through: Well, what is inspiration? What inspires me? Why don’t I feel inspired? What am I resisting? What is on the other side for me? And you start to just to take those baby steps then before you know it, things will begin to create and show up.
Are you putting too much pressure on yourself to feel something? For me, it’s about being in nature, it’s about being around my dogs, its being around people that I love and my family. Nature specifically for me, nature always inspires me. I’ve got to be pretty far down on the yucky pole for me not to be able to step out into nature and not be inspired. It truly is a mindset, I wrote a blog, gosh probably over a year ago, regarding the 90-second rule by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. A feeling only lasts within your nervous system for 90 seconds. Anything beyond that 90 seconds is a conscious choice of you holding that feeling within your body. Just like this situation here with me and my podcast today. I said, okay well even though I have been thinking about this podcast for about 2 weeks nothing has really come to me, and then it hit me right before. I said to myself, “Well, I’m not feeling inspired.” Is that not in and of itself, my inspiration? Was I not inspired to speak about inspiration and the lack thereof and what do you do about it? We are always being given messages and if you push through those moments if you redirect your attention – like I said, going outside or playing with my dogs, for me, I use that as a way to kind of come back. Then, you will find your inspiration. Inspiration doesn’t always have to be a mountaintop experience. I think that somehow we have taken the word inspiration and while just you know the word inspiring just sounds so “haaa”, inspiring. It sounds like someone should be singing it, right? It’s a word that by definition creates and expectation of us.
Anything can inspire you – other people’s opinions, life events, your beliefs, hobbies, passions. You can find the inspiration that you need. It’s just a matter of like I said, whether it’s the action of standing still, making that conscious choice or moving forward and from a discipline standpoint and believing that “it will come, it will come, I will find it.” Continue that mantra of remembering, “it will come,” put truth be told, the fact that you exist on this planet is an inspiration. The fact that you’re breathing and your heart is beating, that is an inspiration. Sometimes when you take it down to the cellular level it’s helpful to remember that just your pure existence is an inspiration. Hopefully, that might put a smile on your face, might put a little pep in your step, a little beat in your heart. Because it’s okay sometimes when you don’t feel inspired. It’s okay to not have that lofty, cloud 9 experience. Those experiences are awesome and they’re fantastic and they’re exhilarating, actually. But, I can tell you that in this time that I’ve been speaking with you, for almost 15 minutes, I’ve inspired myself, because it can be a little bit frustrating for those of us that put ourselves out there to a commitment to doing something on a regular basis that we are publicly held accountable for, and then what do you do when you don’t have anything? What do you do? You just do it. So, when it comes to inspiration hopefully, this podcast today will, while it may not have been a rah-rah cheerleader moment, it’s one of those podcasts that you can come back to and remind yourself that it’s okay. It will come. I just have to take the next step or I just need to decide to stand. But, don’t forget how amazing and inspiring the fact that you exist is. I hope I’ve inspired you in some way today. I’m honored that you take the time to spend with me on our Road to Excellence!