Inspiration is Hard Work (GWTW315)

“How do you stay inspired?” is one of my favorite questions to be asked and to ask others. Everyone has their own tricks and tips to navigate the endless sea of information and experiences in today’s digital landscape. But something that is not talked about enough is the fact that inspiration is hard work. The speed at which technology and our creative industries change is breathtaking. Just when we think we’ve got a handle on our jobs—bam!—something new to consider. There is so much new content being created every single day, where do we begin? When have we accumulated enough inspiration for us to finally sit down and get to work?

Quotes mentioned in this episode:

From Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley:

“Ask yourself, what can you do to increase your ‘deal flow’ of new ideas? When was the last time you took a class? Read some unusual magazines or blogs? Listened to new kinds of music? Traveled a different route to work? Had coffee with a friend or colleague who can teach you something new? Connected to ‘big idea’ people via social media?

To keep your thinking fresh, constantly seek out new sources of information” (p. 81).

“…you can choose to be creative. But you have to make an effort to stay inspired and turn creativity into a habit” (p. 82).

Eight ways to grow your inspiration-building habits:

  1. Invest time in seeking out new experiences, ideas, people, and classes.
  2. Explore the unknown areas surrounding what is known.
  3. Focus on what matters and impacts your work the most.
  4. Take time to do something new every day.
  5. Embrace the challenge, pain, and struggle that can and will accompany the effort to grow your inspiration-building habits.
  6. Ask someone for a book or podcast recommendation and then actually read or listen to it.
  7. Establish a routine for setting the stage for both inspiration and creativity.
  8. Remember that getting back to work and using what you’ve learned requires discipline to shut off the flow of ideas and inspiration.

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