Inspiration. The one word that equates to new ideas, new projects, dreams, and allowing our imaginations to create portals to territories yet to be explored. Writers and artists struggle with this word all the time. They aren’t alone. When your boss comes to you and pitches a concept, there is a need to get inspired to get our creative thoughts going.
So what can you do when inspiration decides to vacate your mentality? Sure, you can change your scenery around you. You can go for long walks, or take a drive, read a book, or even get around other folks and brainstorm. There’s no sure fire way to fix having a lack of inspiration because it’s different for everyone. What you can do is change your dynamic.
Ask yourself some really good questions. For example, who are you? Are you a person that loves art? If so, what kind of art do you like and why? Start looking at things that you really love and see if others who created work prior to you, have done things that might inspire you to do something different. Don’t plagiarize. If you love art, go take a walk through a gallery and see if there’s anything that might make you think, I’d love to draw something like that. You don’t have to be exemplary by any means. You do have to force yourself to try or else you will forever come up with excuses that will prevent you from success later in life.
If you are a musician, what kinds of music are you into? What genres speak to your soul the best? I love to write. And I read many of your blogs. You all inspire me to think outside of the box and even though it’s been a while since I wrote a blog, that doesn’t mean that I stopped completely. I’ve been dealing with a lot of death around me, and family who is fighting cancer and a lot of loved ones who are battling various afflictions. To be frank, my own inspiration has been lacking. I’ve really had to step away and see the changes around me to understand that inspiration isn’t just joyous occurrences. It can be heartbreaking and messy. It can be joyous and full of life.
Be willing to practice new things. How do you think some of the greatest meals and desserts were created? I guarantee you that who ever creates a new dish, or recipe was inspired by something. Inspiration is like our own spirit guides who touch our soul with a little magic. It’s through that same magic that some of our greatest things in life leave our legacies with a permanent stamp on this world. Many of us won’t be famous but we will have impacted others who will go on and do incredible things in this world.
I have a great aunt named Mollie who died when I was ten. I loved her greatly but she died a bitter, lonely woman. I’ve always said that even when life has jaded me that I never wanted to become like her. In many ways she was an inspiration to me because of her disposition. She blamed the world for her unlucky fortunes. Her marriage had failed, she was childless and she was so jealous of my grandmother because my grandmother was her father’s favorite child. This was due to the fact that she got out there and learned everything she possibly could from her father. They had a closeness that Mollie envied. Mollie’s heart filled with contempt and spite from the sour marriage she had been in. I know that feeling very well. Her trust level was shattered and she refused to let anyone in. My heart aches for the pain that she felt. My point is that she inspired me to not allow myself fall in the same pattern. I admit. I did for a while. Depression is a wicked beast. It sneaks up on you without you even realizing that you’ve fallen victim to it. It took a long time but I remembered how Mollie was. I knew that if I was going to beat the pattern, then I had to admit where I went wrong. It takes two to destroy a relationship. I did my part without realizing it. Be careful when trying to teach one another lessons because it can destroy relationships without understanding the consequences. Mollie is the reason that I pushed so hard with my education. She’s part of the reason I’ve traveled the world and allowed myself the freedom to grow. She’s been my fuel to not allow the depression and bitterness to take over my soul and for that I’m grateful.
I’m watching friends battle cancer right now. No matter what happens, they inspire me to not let the bad things in life rule my future. None of us are guaranteed anything. We aren’t guaranteed longevity of life. We aren’t guaranteed to be financially stable or free but we are guaranteed that as long as we are on this earth, we can influence others and create inspiration for others. I started volunteering with an organization called Empowered Girls of NC. This organization inspires me on many levels. They work with young girls ages 5-18 mostly in STEM areas. Their goal is to help as many girls as possible recognize that there is nothing in this world they can’t achieve as long as they work hard.
Everywhere I look, I see people who inspire others daily. The barista who fixes your favorite cup of coffee is inspiring because they create art with their coffee and it brings a smile to those who are tasting their masterpiece. The cashiers at your local stores are inspiring because they are on their feet all day trying to keep their lives together. Doctors and nurses are inspiring because they help every single one of us when we’re sick. Inspiration doesn’t have a name that makes it inspiring. Inspiration is a mindset. It’s the feeling that we all get when life overwhelms us so much that the little things add up to big things and our minds have gone blank. We’ve forgotten who we are in that moment and it really helps to step outside of our comfort zone and just listen to others around us.
I have a very close friend who has been through hell and back with relationships. She’s borrowed money from a lot of people and no one wants to talk to her now. She’s gone back and forth in relationships that are toxic and while she understands the toxicity, she hasn’t wanted to give up one of those relationships. She’s finally realized that she’s a person of worth and that she won’t change him. We spoke on the phone this morning and she fights depression daily. She told me she went home after work last night and slept for a very long time. When I reminded her she was sleeping her life away, she informed me that she only has a very small amount of money and is limited in what she can do. I get it. I really do. I just wish that she could step away from the negativity long enough to get inspired to do something with her time. She said she was good at photography but when I bring it up, she says she doesn’t have the gas money to go places to take pictures.
Many folks I’ve spoken with recently have told me the same thing. It’s hard to get inspired when you don’t see anything changing. I’ve felt that way too. After doing some research I found three major things to be true. If someone is giving you a project and you don’t know what to do with it, ask yourself if you’re even interested in what they are presenting? If you aren’t interested, it’s going to be harder to get motivated. Look at things with a new set of eyes. Don’t convince yourself that the project is a bad thing. Give it a chance. Secondly, where’s your confidence? Confidence can be a very powerful tool in dealing with depression. If you have the confidence in yourself, then you should be able to tackle any project thrown your way. So what if you fail? Do you think Einstein let his failures in creating electricity deter him from finally succeeding? Nope. He had the confidence that he could do something good and he did. Third, so what if there’s resistance to your ideas? Behind every great idea in technology that we have today, there was a lot of resistance to making those dreams and inspirations a reality. Look at the electric cars that are driven today. There were people decades ago who came up with the ideas and were silenced. The ideas eventually became realities. Everything in this life that’s difficult was once considered impossible. The reality is that the impossible has now become probable. If you don’t believe me, look at Simone Biles. That young woman is pure inspiration. She has created gymnastic moves that no other woman has ever achieved. The fact that she’s a minority woman of color gives even more credence to her especially in a sport that mostly white women excelled in and to be frank, it’s about time more women of color are getting their opportunity to leave their legacies on the sport.
The bottom line is that we are surrounded everyday by things that are considered inspiring. We just have to open our hearts and minds enough to see the inspirations around us. Listen to those talking around you. What kinds of conversations are they having? Be willing to learn and don’t think you have to have the last word on everything. Sometimes keeping quiet can lead to a lot of inspiration. It’s not uncommon to have difficulty with inspiration. Just don’t let the lack of inspiration keep you from allowing yourself to be inspired by people, animals, and things around you that inspire us all every day.