You never know who or what will inspire you.
Yep, I was inspired by a Super Bowl commercial. Made by Cadillac no less. 30 seconds of Steve Wozniak.
The search for inspiration makes you look around (or “Look Up” as we talked in this post). When taking a journey – be it a literal one, or philosophical one; there is the want of inspiration which drives forward momentum. Why are we inspired by certain people, places, things, quotes or cute puppies? Is it really inspiration which drives us or is inspiration a feeling that we lean upon?
The word inspiration means to “breathe in or to be breathed upon”. Therefore, is it safe to say we need inspiration to live life or the life we want to have? To do the work we want to do? Do I really have to wait for inspiration to breathe on me before I can take my passions to new levels?
In the commercial Steve Wozniak clearly implies it’s about passion. The passion to create. I would take that idea further to say passion creates inspiration. Our passions dare to take us to the place we cannot yet see or touch or at times imagine except in our minds eye.
Being a Learning Rebel is about passionately wanting to drive change. Finding inspiration to do so is hard and sometimes the best we can do, is just show up and do the work needed, letting the passion drive us. You never know what will pop up to inspire you, or what will inspire others. This is the hard part – showing up mentally. We have all been there. Regardless if you are a learning practitioner, a writer, a blogger, a presenter, a speaker, a trainer, the CLO or the CEO. We have all shown up and left inspiration and passion in bed, spooning without us.
I admit, there have been times inspiration has alluded me. My brain hopelessly empty for the next post, next newsletter, the next proposal submission. This is life and we have to push through it. The big part of inspiration is not to understand the “Why or how, it happens” but the “Why it doesn’t happen”.
Why inspiration fails us.
I would posit that inspiration doesn’t fail us, we fail it. We get caught up in not “feeling” inspired, when indeed we are surrounded by inspirational messages – albeit some are like wisps of smoke, there one minute and gone the next, but they are there none-the-less. Waiting for the idea of inspiration to hit us first, then create, is a fools game. I suppose it’s a chicken/egg conversation but the more I work, the more inspired I become, then the more creative (and passionate) I can be. That’s not to say I haven’t looked at my computer and wonder what evil is before me – I have, but I find the more actively I engage in my environment the more likely I am to have inspiration knock me on the head.
Then, what really is our problem?
- We are afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid we aren’t perfect. We are afraid our idea isn’t perfect or afraid what people will think when they discover we aren’t perfect. Fear is like the Berlin wall, one night we go to sleep happy in our thoughts and the next morning it’s there, fear – all around us. Fighting through it is the hard part, we all have suffered from impostor syndrome – feeling that at any moment our peers/clients/manager will discover the fraud inside. We can both cower with the fear and allow it to paralyze us, or control it and gather strength from it.
- We are waiting for the “right time”. Perhaps you have said this, “The timing wasn’t right…” or “This wasn’t the time for…” fill in the blank. The timing wasn’t right for me to make changes. There wasn’t time to write or create what I wanted. Waiting for the right time to draw inspiration? You will be old and not remembering where you last put your car keys. Don’t wait for your passion to light, don’t wait for inspiration to hit. Now is the right time.
- We wait to be perfect. Passion is not perfect. Art is not perfect. Writing is not perfect. We are not perfect. Inspiration rarely finds us at the perfect moment. Inspiration finds us when we are ready to accept it, not a moment sooner. If we wait for the perfect moment, with the perfect content to make the perfect changes that need to happen to improve the world around us. We won’t get there, and the shame in that, is people won’t experience your great thoughts and ideas.
- We are resistant. This is tough. Sometimes we feel lazy. Sometimes we physically and mentally do not want to open up. We are making a choice to not let outside influences in. This is the one negative attribute that requires an active fight. Like a 5 year old being petulant in the corner “I don’t wanna”. Well, you have to, you are a grown up. Get up and do something. “The Woz” just wanted to create something – was willing to give it away for free, for people to have and share. He was inspired by his passion not resistant to it.
What’s the magic tip to passion and inspiration?
I don’t have one. I don’t have a “5 Easy Ways to Find Inspiration Around You” post. I do, however, have a thought.
Tell yourself can do it!
Then, just get to work. Put pen to paper, start sketching in your notepad or on your whiteboard. You’re here to “Fight the Good Fight” – and whatever your particular fight may be, you need to be passionate about it. Now, take responsibility for your inspiration and for your personal encouragement. Sure, it’s great to receive high-fives from the outside world, humans need, crave and thrive because of it. But it’s okay to listen to that internal voice telling you to not look back and go for it.
You have a voice and it deserves to be heard.
You have an idea and it deserves to see the light of day.
You have inner strength and it deserves to be applied.
From within, you will find what drives you. From your passions you will find inspiration. From getting out there every day and doing what you do best you will find your voice.