Have you ever felt inspired? How often do you feel the inspiration within you? Some days I feel inspired to write, and write, and write… I have so many ideas in my head coming from my heart that I feel I’m going to burst if I don’t get them out. So to start this article, I decided to look up the word “inspire” and it means several things: “to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence; to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.); to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.; to influence or impel; to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does; to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence; to guide or control by divine influence” (Dictionary.com). There are some key words here: “to fill,” “animating,” “feeling,” and “influence.” I picked those words because when I feel inspired, is because I was influenced by something I did or read, or by someone I heard that triggered feelings and thoughts that animated me. Words were sown into my heart that produced a fire within me that I could not contain.
Today I simply want to inspire you and motivate you to get inspired! I find there are certain circumstances, some activities that produce strong moments that trigger inspiration in my life. I think a lot before I start a new project, have a new idea, or respond to a complex problem to solve. During that brainstorming time, I create different scenarios in my mind that could be possible solutions to the problem at hand. Or I brainstorm about brand new ideas. For example, ideas for a new book include questions such as: Why do I want to write this book? Who will it help? Who would my audience be? Can I speak about that subject to encourage people to read the book? If I have answers to all these questions, I write down the idea/concept for the new book and put it aside until I get to do it.
Maybe my early training on computer programming helped me to think a lot first, then organize my thoughts in a logical way, and ask a million questions before starting something. That process causes me to create an organized, well thought out product (or project) in the end. But overall, I find I need time to think, and from thinking comes the inspiration. Therefore, I need to ensure I have the time allocated to think.
Our lives these days are filled with business instead of inspiration. No time to think. That’s why I believe inspiration has become a rare treasure that can rekindle our lives when we find it.
So if you want to get inspired in your life, here are a few things that work for me that may help you too:
- Find those circumstances – a place, certain music, specific scenery – that takes you to a place of inspiration.
- Make the time to simply think. Examples of how you can make that time could be going for a walk, while you drive instead of being on the phone, or allocating time once a week just to think.
- Write your thoughts immediately when you feel inspired. Otherwise, you will lose the thoughts and ideas if you wait until later. Keep a pad of paper and pen in your car, next to your bed, in the bathroom, etc. that is accessible on a moment’s notice. Keep a recorder in the car or record your thoughts in your smartphone as they come.
- Volunteer to do a project you’ve never done at work. This will get your juices of inspiration going when thinking about how to do something new. The project could be something as simple as volunteering to create the PowerPoint file for a group presentation. If you don’t know how to use this software, it will be a great opportunity to learn. Be careful to not overcommit though and be strategic about the type of projects you choose to do.
- Take a class at the community center on something you’ve always wanted to do (i.e. dancing, swimming, computers, writing, pottery, carpentry, etc.).
- Redecorate your house or a room in your house. Doing so will make you think of new ways to arrange the furniture, paint the walls in a new color, and find ways to be creative to do it inexpensively.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising clears your mind, gets rid of stress hormones, helps you sleep better, and all of those things in turn help you become inspired easier.
- Attend conferences in your industry so you can listen to inspirational and motivational speakers. Their job is to inspire you, precisely! As an inspirational speaker myself, that is my number one priority when I’m hired to speak at conferences. Also attending conferences makes you feel you are part of something bigger than yourself and helps you to not feel alone.
- Lastly, network and get to know other professionals in your community and in your industry. There are plenty of professionals, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who want to make a difference. Listening to their stories will inspire you to also work with passion and make a significant impact in your community. Doing so will be part of our legacy as business professionals in America.
I hope my article inspired you to find your inspirational sources so you can possess this rare treasure – inspiration – and live a fulfilling life.
Marci Malzahn is a banking executive and founder of Malzahn Strategic (www.malzahnstrategic.com), a community bank consultancy focused on strategic planning, enterprise risk management and talent management. Marci is also an author and motivational/ inspirational speaker. You can contact Marci for speaking engagements through her website at www.marciamalzahn.com. You can purchase Marci’s books at www.Amazon.com.