Here’s a great quote about inspiration, courtesy of St Francis of Assisi:
But given that none of us has the benefit of St Francis on speed-dial, how then can we break through the ‘same old same old’? How can we get out of our rut; how can we snap out of the mundane, everyday boring – in short, be inspired? Inspiration fuels productivity, both at work and outside of it. It gives us the ‘get up and go’ to do the things that matter to us. Here are five simple ideas, each with the benefit of research and expert opinion, on how to be inspired.
#1 Seek the Opinions of Others
Speaking to other people introduces new perspectives that can enrich your own thinking. Don’t limit yourself to speaking to people in your department; seek out the opinions of anyone who may have a view – particularly those who are reflective or/and questioning by nature. Anthony Nielson, the playwright, endorses this approach; speaking to the Guardian he says:
#2 Question everything
Questions very often open the doors of imagination, so questions are a good start if you are seeking inspiration. You may not have all the answers, but searching for the answers can be enough to generate the spark you need. Ask yourself plenty of open questions: Why? When? How? Who? What?
#3 Think Like an Expert
What would Steve Jobs have done? How do I know? Or substitute that name for anyone renowned for their expertise in your area of work. A good tip is to read interviews that feature experts - the experts will usually give you insights into how they think.
#4 Look to Provide Value in Whatever You are Doing
You can link this to #2; question also the value of your work. To paraphrase Einstein, rather than trying to become a successful person, try instead to be someone who provides value. Prolific author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki agrees: in his view, there is no better reason to start a business, company or organisation, than to create products and services that improve the world.
So reflect on the question, “Where’s the value here?” Here are three starting questions worth considering when appraising your work or proposal, courtesy of Hubspot:
- Why should I/they care?
- How will this improve my/their life?
- What must I do?
#5 Reset Your Goals
What is it that you are really trying to achieve? Once you’ve defined your goal, consider all the different ways your goal can be achieved before deciding on the best path to pursue. Thinking about the various avenues to approach your project or task can in itself be insightful.
There’s no shortcut to success - as in all things, action is the key to progress. Fortune is typically on the side of the brave, so when inspiration comes your way, make sure you do something good with it.
How do you set about gaining inspiration in your life? Share your tips and tricks with us - we’d love to know!