8 Ways to Find Inspiration
Finding inspiration is paramount. Whether you're a writer or an artist, a musician or dancer, inspiration is what drives you to your destination. It can give you a general focus, an ideal to live to or a goal to achieve.
But the need for inspiration isn't limited to professionals, everyone needs it. Mothers, fathers, teachers, entrepreneurs, secretaries, tow truck drivers, janitors... anyone and everyone.
But where do you find inspiration? You can find it anywhere, you just have to train yourself to look and to listen. People tend to focus themselves inwardly when they're trying to get something done. Focus is a necessary tool to get a job done, it can limit your perception and limiting your perception isn't so great for finding inspiration.
Here's a list of my no-fail ways to find inspiration.
1. Talk to Strangers
I know, I know. This is the exact opposite of what your parents taught you as a child, but as an adult, it is a powerful place to find inspiration. Say hello and smile to the person in front of you in line at the grocery store and try to engage in conversation. Ask them how their day is going or make an easy-going joke about the wait. While some people are more receptive to talking with you and others aren't, talking to people and listening to a different perspective makes all the difference in the world.
2. People Watching
You can fall into this by accident or deliberately sit in a busy place, but people watching is fascinating. They way people walk, talk and interact with people and things are always so different. You can see a woman picking up litter happily or a family of six having an argument. It gets your imagination flowing. You wonder why they family is arguing or why the woman is happy. I often make up stories to go along with what I'm seeing. The important aspect this teaches you is observance. You'll start noticing things around you that you've never noticed before which also stirs your mind and imagination.
This can almost fall under people watching, but it really involves everything environmental. Your blood gets a natural pump, you get to stretch out and you feel better. Think about what you're seeing around you. Listen to the birds and the wind. Open your mind up and let thoughts naturally come to you. Many people find solstice or inspiration in running as well, but in many ways, walking is much better than running. You have to look out for roots and obstacles while running, but if you're walking, you get to have a closer look at that root or obstacle. And if you're not alone, you'll have the breath to converse.
But let's take number three even further. Exercising is important for health, we all know this to be true. Why? Endorphins. They help relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria. Chances are that you're one of the many, many people who work long hours. Those long hours of stress creates cortisol, a hormone does some nasty stuff to the body, to put it in a nutshell. This is why moderate exercise is so important. After all, who can think straight when you're tired or moody?
5. Read, Read, Read
This is for everyone. Turn off the television and read! You don't have to pick up Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. You can pick up anything. Magazines, newspapers, history books, art books, coffee table books, comics and graphic novels, books filled with quotes... anything and everything. Pick up something you would never pick up. If you usually read romance novels, pick up a science fiction novel instead. If you only read non-fiction, be brave and read a romance novel. Here's the kick: finish it! All of it. Even if you don't like it, because we learn from everything, even stuff we don't like.
6. Begin a Dream Journal
This is something I've been telling myself for years to do as well. Put a pad of paper or a fancy leather bound journal next to your bed along with a pencil or pen, and every time you wake up from a dream, record everything you remember. Try to do it quickly, those memories have a way of slipping right out from underneath you. Many people believe the mind is capable of things far greater than we give it credit for, so why not give it a chance to express itself in a journal? You might be surprised what you read.
I call this brainstorming, but many people call it freewriting. There are many ways you can do this, but one effective way is to pick a topic and set a timer, let's just say 15 minutes, and write anything and everything that comes to your mind. Don't stop writing until the timer goes off. Don't worry about grammar, spelling or choosing the right word. Just do it. Chances are you won't have anything you can use, but that's not the point. This helps you work past blocks and mental apathy. It helps you get the habit of never quitting.
Lastly, and by far the most important, is to relax. It sounds quaint and trite, but it really is the most important thing anyone can do to find inspiration. But there's a trick to this, you have to truly relax. Many people think plopping in front of the television, sitting in front of a computer or smart phone is relaxing. That's simply not true. You may not be "working", but you're not relaxing either. Any one of those can easily put someone in sensory overload. Same thing with reading. I love reading, but some books or magazine articles can get my heart racing or affect my mood. Go cloud gazing, try meditation or just sit quietly in a comfortable spot and close your eyes. Relax.
Finding inspiration for anything you're working on can sometimes feel as though you're searching for the lone gunman on the grassy knoll. It doesn't have to be. Try using one of these eight techniques and you'll be amazed, I guarantee it.
I'll leave you with one final point that all of us need to remember: Believe in yourself. That is the greatest inspiration anyone can find.
KayeC Jones is newly published children's book author along with her husband Russ Hughes. They both write and draw, but work best together, bonking heads and scribbling on paper. You can find them at their brand new site and art blog and at Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, GoodReads and Pinterest.
Our Website- http://cozybearstudio.com
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