There is a lot of waiting in life. It’s estimated that we will spend five years waiting at traffic lights, for busses, in the bank line, etc. But there’s one wait that can take decades to complete! Know what it is?
It’s the wait for inspiration.
It’s true, even I wake up some days and have no clue what I’m going to write about. Sometimes none of my projects inspire me to roll out of bed into my desk chair. Even my fun Wordy Wednesday posts can seem like a burden to create. But why do we wait for inspiration to strike? Is there a way to inspire inspiration in ourselves? These questions inspired me to find an answer, so let’s take a look.
First, the formal definitions.
the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative
a person or thing that inspires
a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea
a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation
the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions and influencing or suggesting opinions
Inspiration can take many forms; it can be a song on the radio, a pep talk from a friend or a beautiful sunset. Unfortunately, this means that “inspiration” as its own object doesn’t exist. It isn’t a thing we can go out and find. As the definition says, inspiration is a divine influence, something we can’t create for ourselves.
As usual, I call bull on that.
Sure, I wait around for inspiration all the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also need to just sit myself down and work regardless of how I’m feeling that day. I believe inspiration is like happiness; we can’t search for it from an external source, we need to make it happen in our own way. In fact, when we look at inspiration as a verb, we see happiness is tied in closely with being inspired.
fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative
create a feeling, especially a positive one, in a person
animate someone with (such a feeling)
give rise to
This definition clearly tells me I can inspire others, so why shouldn’t I turn that around and inspire myself? Sounds like all I need to do is be happy and inspiration will abound!
Okay, so it’s not that easy. But when you think about the times you were inspired, I bet they were during periods of enjoyment, relaxation, and contentment. Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, make yourself happy and you’ll find you wait a lot less for your muse to visit.
Proof: Today I woke up not looking forward to the day and with no ideas for this post. Then I decided to buy myself flowers to add color and joy to my surroundings. In turn, this sparked the idea of writing on inspiration.
It works. Go out and make happiness and I guarantee, inspiration will follow.