Unlocking the Secrets of Inspiration: A Guide for the Everyday Person
Inspiration is a powerful force that can drive us to achieve great things. But for many of us, finding inspiration can feel like a mystery that seems to elude us. In a world filled with distractions and competing priorities, it can be hard to tap into that inner spark that propels us forward.
A research article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience provides some insight into the science of inspiration. The article suggests that inspiration is linked to increased activity in the default mode network (DMN) of the brain. The DMN is a network of brain regions that becomes active when the mind is at rest and not focused on a specific task. The research found that individuals who reported feeling more inspired also had greater connectivity between different regions of the DMN.
The research also showed that inspiration is critical to the quality of creative work. Three different studies of writers showed that the works produced by those who felt inspired were predictably more creative, judged so by independent panels of experts.
Thomas Edison's analysis that "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration" is not exactly true.
So, how can we understand the process of inspiration in order to use it to produce more creative work?
Your Experience of Inspiration Has...
- It is evoked. You don't make it happen; rather it is your response to something outside you.
- It is transcendent. During the inspired state, you become aware of vivid new possibilities beyond your usual thinking.
- It is motivating. When inspired, you are overwhelmingly compelled to express or actualize your new vision.
- Receptive. You are inspired by the qualities of something outside you... like an encounter, a work of art or the sunset in the image above.
- Active. You're inspired to something... to express the qualities that inspired you in a new form... like a painting, a song, a new business, etc.
Five Secrets to Access Your Inspiration
So, how can you harness the power of inspiration in your everyday life? Here are a few practical tips for tapping into your own inner wellspring of creativity and motivation:
- Take a break from the daily grind. Inspiration often strikes when you step back from your routine and allow your mind to wander. Set aside some time each day to simply relax and let yourself daydream.
- Get in touch with nature. Nature has a way of inspiring the soul. Take a walk in the park, go for a hike, or simply spend some time outside. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature have been shown to improve your mood and increase your sense of inspiration.
- Surround yourself with inspiring people. The people you spend time with can have a big impact on your mindset and motivation. Seek out individuals who inspire you and make an effort to spend more time with them.
- Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and ideas can help you to organize them and make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. You can also refer back to your journal as a source of inspiration when you're feeling stuck.
- Try something new. Sometimes inspiration comes from stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Whether it's learning a new skill, visiting a new place, or meeting new people, stepping out of your routine can help you see the world in a different way and discover new sources of inspiration.
By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can increase your chances of finding inspiration when you need it most. Remember, inspiration is not something that can be forced. It is a natural, ever-evolving process that occurs when you allow your mind and heart to open to it.
Making Space for Inspiration
To learn more about how to use the inspiration you feel to actualize your vision in the world, check out my free quarterly training, The Visionista's Gateway.