We thought it important to first learn more about what one needs to do to let life in, to allow oneself to be open to new ideas and new ways of looking at things.
Here’s what we learned about inspiration.
1. To experience inspiration you have to be open to new ideas, flexible and willing to change. You need to quiet the voice that tells you “I can’t, it’s too hard, it won’t work, I’m too old” or any other downer self talk.
2. Don’t be afraid to put it out there. If you are passionate about your inspiration, others will follow your passion. People will want to find out more about why you love something so much.
3. Use adversity as a learning experience. When something doesn’t work for you, think about how it can be made better. What needs to change? Be the inspiration for that change.
4. Get started. Quickly. Before you allow yourself to talk yourself out of it. “I can’t knit, I have two left hands.” “I’m too old to ballroom dance, surfboard, learn karate,” “I don’t have the time.” If you need to, divide a piece of paper down the middle, write down your excuse and on the left side and in the next column dispute it. And reread the right hand column as often as you need to.
5. Turn off the noise. Noise comes in all kinds of packages. The Internet, the family, the job, the bills, the cell phone, all the distractions. Consider it all noise and remove yourself for a period of time. If need be, seek solitude. Solitude enables you to focus on your mind and body and to tune in to your environment. Inspirations that can’t cut through the noise are subtle. In solitude you can experience them.
6. Don’t attach an outcome. What if your inspiration doesn’t fly? The idea doesn’t work. You really do have two left hands? So what? You’ll learn something from the experience no matter what. You’ll learn so much from the effort that the outcome really doesn’t matter. For achievement oriented individuals, not attaching an outcome is particularly challenging. Go for it.
7. Visualize. Generate the emotions of your inspiration by creating a mental picture. When you picture your dream you will begin to attract what you need to accomplish it.
8. Find a support crew. Ignore the naysayers and surround yourself with people who choose to encourage you. They’ll support you and help you achieve your goal.
9. Teach. When you have an inspiration, teach it to others. None of us knows it all. When you teach, you do your best learning.
10. Don’t accept no for an answer. Just because something’s always been done one way, doesn’t mean there aren’t better ways to do it. Many better mousetraps need to be built. Ask questions, question the answers.
11. Take a risk. Learn to live with uncertainty. Maybe you will fail. Or, more than likely, you’ll feel alive instead of bored. And you might still fail.
12. Pay it forward. You’ve reached a stage in life that enables you to allow others to learn from your experiences. Embrace your life stage and be the inspiration you are waiting for.