Have you ever had a day when you’ve felt less than enthusiastic? You know you want to get on with something or another, perhaps you want to eat healthily, or you want to feel better than you do, but somehow you just don’t feel inspired. Yesterday was one such day. I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t feel like reading, and I certainly didn’t feel like cooking dinner… never mind cooking something delicious and healthy.
So, what to do when you find yourself feeling like you’re struggling to even get going?
Well, thankfully, inspiration is a state of being, and this means that it can be readily accessible, because we have the ability to change our state of being, at will.
Seth Godin says, “Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you’re stalling. You don’t wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.” Yes, I can see myself in the middle of the kitchen, wooden spoon in hand, commanding inspiration – wait, no, the entire meal – to appear, haha!
I’m being cheeky. But here’s the thing. Changing your state gets you into a frame of mind which enables you to access inspiration, whether it’s dinner inspiration you need or other things you want to be get on with.
- Just start. It’s easy to sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. But just starting gets the juices flowing – literally. There have been many times when I’ve been in the kitchen, looking in the fridge with seemingly nothing to eat for dinner, but then, taking just one thing out of the fridge gets it going. Then I get another ingredient and then another, and before I know it, the idea comes for a lovely “throw together” dinner. It’s a little bit slower with writing, for me, but it works all the same. My author friend, Mark Forster, whose first book was, Get Everything Done And Still Have Time To Play, called this, “Just get the file out,” while Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Workweek, has a similar approach, advocating flossing just one tooth. So, get going and the flow begins.
- Tune into what moves you. Inspiration has a momentum all of its own. You may have noticed that when you’re doing something that you enjoy, just for its own sake, the inspiration and flow happens of its own accord. But there are also times when we have tasks to do that don’t really inspire. What to do then? Firstly, tune in to what other activities do inspire you and get into the groove of that. For example, you might love listening to certain music. If so, put that on and then get on with the task at hand. I find that I am better able to get certain things done (like writing this article), when I’m in a cafe, rather than on my own in my home office. So I’ll usually go down to my local coffee shop, or if not, I’ll turn to Coffitivity, an app that creates cafe sounds, to help me get into that space.
- Get some fresh air. Being outdoors and into some fresh air really helps to blow away the cobwebs. Sunlight and natural beauty make your mind more receptive. It allows you to relax and when you are in a relaxed state, ideas come, which is why many people often have their best inspiration when they’re in the shower. So grab yourself a sliver of time and get outside for a breath of air, and allow inspiration to come of its own accord.
- Express gratitude. Instead of focusing on what’s not happening and how uninspired you’re feeling, take your mind off it and focus instead on expressing gratitude. However we describe inspiration, it usually has something to do with transcending our ordinary experiences. Gratitude gets your brain into a different mode, allowing you to access the creative side more easily. Pick something you tend to take for granted and look at it from a different perspective. For example, you can feel thankful for the rain, or even the lack of inspiration because that enables you to really appreciate the feeling of being inspired when it comes!
- Meditate and/or pray. Many people associate inspiration with their spiritual practices. Schedule time each day to read something that touches your heart. Talk with others about how you connect with the divine. Develop a daily meditation practice. It has been said that every thought is a prayer – whatever you think is a form of prayer that you are sending out to the Universe. Why not take a few moments to ponder your thoughts and consciously choose them.
So, the next time you find yourself in that space where you just don’t feel like it, try one of these five strategies and see what inspiration arises.
Question: What ways do you use to get inspired? Come on over and share your answer on Facebook.