Inspiration and genius – one and the same. – Victor Hugo
Our days can be long and tiring. With so much to do, there seems to be little time left for creativity and inspiration. However, we are most effective when we are inspired to think outside of the box in order to find creative solutions to the problems and challenges we face in our everyday lives.
Whether you have writer’s block; contemplating a life-changing decision; or you just need a little nudge to get some things figured out, try these igniters for inspiration.
1. Rest your mind and body
Fatigue can get the best of you. Exhaustion can leave you with little energy to think creativity. If you find yourself dragging and your inspiration is just not there, try going to bed earlier or waking up a little later. Consider using the weekend to catch-up on some much needed rest. Your mind will recover as soon as your body does.
2. Step outside
Your home or office can actually stifle inspiration because of the monotony and routines found there. To kick-start your creativity, step outside, breathe some fresh air, admire the scenery and clear your mind.
3. Get romantic
One major benefit of getting romantic isn’t just the connection and bond you form with your partner, but love making is also responsible for releasing Endorphins. These biochemical compounds located in your brain are responsible for periods of intense happiness and pleasure when released. An “Endorphin Rush” can definitely bring about some inspiration.
4. Spend an afternoon with your child
Our children can often remind us of what is truly important in life. Time with them keeps us grounded and focused on how to continue striving to be the best parents we can be. We can also learn a lot from them. Sometimes their simplistic and honest view of life can jumpstart us into looking at a problem from a different perspective.
Move! One the best ways for your body to release a healthy dose of inspiring-producing hormones is to get up and get going. I have noticed on days when I feel stressed and completely uninspired, I make myself go to the gym and exercise. After plugging some high-energy music into my ears and getting the first mile on the treadmill behind me, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
6. Do some housework or yard work
The value in getting some chores done isn’t just in the fact you can get a little exercise in the process, but you can actually get something accomplished! Too often the larger problems of your life can seem overwhelming. There is little energy left for inspiration when these concerns are in front of you. But vacuuming the carpet or mowing the yard are tangible, cross-them-off-your-list type items which can make you feel successful. This feeling will cross-over to other areas in your life, too.
7. Read a good book
Steinbeck, Faulkner and Grisham are not only some of my favorite writers; they also motivate and inspire me to write, too. No matter your favorite author or genre, sitting down with a book you enjoy will help take your mind off your daily routine and will engage your imagination. The result will be a clearer mind better equipped to discover new-found inspiration.
8. Watch a movie
Like reading a book, watching a movie can also give you new ideas or help you see things in a different way. Really good movies have a way of speaking to our hearts and recharging our minds. One thought, one idea, from a movie can be just the seed we are looking for in order to begin growing and cultivating our own inspiration.
9. Go for a walk
Take a walk. Better yet, go for a walk with a friend or your partner. Having some unencumbered time without emails, telephone calls (leave your cell phones behind, if possible) and meetings can lead to important conversations where new ideas can be explored and refined.
10. Take a bath
Personally, I don’t get this one, but my wife swears by it. At the end of a long day, she will draw a tub full or hot water and drop-in pellets of bath salts. She may take a book to read, or just bask in the relaxing water to clear her mind. Her stress level is always reduced afterwards and she is ready for another day.
11. Relax in a coffee shop
Sometimes the distractions in my house keep me from finding the inspiration needed to do any quality writing. This is when I pack it up and head to the Starbucks. There, I get my favorite cup, find a quiet table, and let my inspiration begin to percolate.
12. Go for a long car ride
There’s something soothing about hearing the car engine run or the sound of the tires striking the pavement in a predictable cadence. Take along a few of your favorite CDs and you have an incredible recipe for inspiration. The solitude and the forward movement of travelling in a car further promote this unusual place for your creativity to be revved up.
13. Hang out with your friends
Let loose and just forget about it for a while. Time with your friends can be the perfect distraction to take your mind off any stress or anxiety that may be weighing you down. Sometimes moments of inspiration strike when you are not even looking for it or least expect it.
14. Go on a date with your partner
Similar to hanging out with your friends – but more intimate and fun (see Get romantic above)!
15. Do nothing for as long as you can stand it
When your inspiration and creativity are just not flowing, try shutting it down for a while. Actually walk away from the barrier. Time spent doing absolutely nothing will clear your mind and recharge your batteries. You will find clarity when your day becomes less complicated.
16. Play hooky from work or school
Take a day just for you. If your schedule allows (and it won’t get you too far behind) consider taking a day for self-care. Go the gym, visit the library or do whatever it is that puts you in a relaxed and inspirational state. When you return, you may find yourself refreshed and ready to go full-steam again.
17. Take-in a ballgame
There’s something cathartic about going to a good ballgame. Whether it’s attending a basketball game right now or waiting until Spring returns and then hitting the park for a baseball game, the emotion and energy expended is usually contagious, and inspirational!
18. Channel surf
There are no accidents without value. Here’s what I mean: If you find yourself in an apathetic and uninspiring state, which is using the catalyst for wanting to channel surf in the first place, chances are very good you will land on a show or program that will provide suggestions or will inspire you to solve a problem that’s been nagging you.
19. Visit the shopping mall
This isn’t an excuse to spend beyond your means, but rather an opportunity to put yourself in a different environment and expose your mind to a variety of sensations. The smells coming from the food court, the brightly-colored advertisements in the store windows and the thrill of buying something new can all contribute to getting your inspiration back on track.
20. Get a massage
There is a mind – body connection. Nurture one and the other benefits from association.
21. Cook a delicious meal
Preparing a meal takes a measure of creativity. It begins with planning the menu, organizing the ingredients, and then bringing it all together. Your ingenuity will be sparked and you pallet (creative and otherwise) will be satisfied.
There is a plan for each of us. At times, however, we may feel our personal plan is off-track or just not attainable. When this happens, we need to rely on our faith and surrender our doubt. Your prayer, or a consciousness manifestation of your heart’s desire, will be heard because the Universe is always listening. You just need to remember to keep asking for more of what you want. Bo doing so, your inspiration will be reignited and your progress will be unstoppable.
How do you ignite your inspiration?
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