You Don’t Find Inspiration, You Cultivate It
Inspiration is a prerequisite for anything good that we wish to achieve in our lives. A slice of inspiration can change how we perceive ourselves, our capabilities, and everything else in the world.
In the absence of inspiration, life becomes dull and meaningless. Add to it our competition obsessed culture that sucks out all the motivation we have. It keeps us trapped in the loop of ordinary experiences and limitations.
The “problem” with inspiration…
There is this prevailing idea that inspiration strikes us. Elusive in nature, eureka moments are considered to be random and sporadic. Almost all of us believe that inspiration is beyond our control, that it will come on its own, we can’t really invite it. But, the reality is quite the opposite, as it is to many other ideas and beliefs entrenched in the society.
When mindfully observing ourselves, we find out that there are some feelings that are virtually always present when we are feeling inspired. These elements go missing when the inspiration is absent.
Let us discuss these elements to better understand what constitutes inspiration and how it can be invited regularly. (Note: these elements are in no particular order)
- A sense of purpose: A purpose is an antecedent to inspiration. We get inspired to do something in order to achieve something. That something, that goal must be clear to us to nurture inspiration.
For worldly endeavors like work, lifestyle, etc., goals can be set. But, our purpose at the existential level is fixed which just needs to be understood. Simply knowing the purpose of our existence as human beings is enough for us to create the right life goals. When we are on the path to fulfill our existential purpose, the inspiration is naturally high.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ― Rumi
- Energy and zeal to pursue the purpose: Energy and inspiration go hand in hand. To cultivate inspiration, we need to channelize our energy in the right direction by doing things that excite our spirit. The completion of each such activity will result in a positive spiral, inviting more inspiration.
- Excitement for the outcome: When we are full of inspiration we are always positive about what awaits. This excitement comes when the challenges are balanced with our capacity to act. When we feel something is within the stretch of our potential, excitement appears.
- Absorption in the tasks (at hand): When an artist finds muse, he gets engrossed in creating art using his means of expression (painting, writing, sculpting, etc.). He does not think of the future or past or anything else. He is fully engrossed in creating the art.
- Openness for new experiences: As mentioned above, our conditioning, our beliefs keep us trapped in the loop of ordinary experiences and our limitations. Mundane and banal activities kill inner inspiration. Our openness to new experiences excites us and creates an opportunity to expand our consciousness. If we are always open to understand more, learn more, and create meaningful interactions, new experiences will follow and there will be an unlimited flow of inspiration.