Waiting for inspiration...waiting, waiting...
Updated: Sep 11, 2021
Waiting to be inspired is like waiting to lose weight, or waiting to have enough money to redo the bathroom. It doesn’t usually happen just by patiently waiting (unfortunately).
Now don’t get me wrong. There are lots of times that you are going to have to take action without inspiration if you want to achieve things above and beyond what comes easily. It’s a common misconception that making progress relies on continued inspiration.
As I see it, you have 2 options
1. If you want to be inspired, go look for inspiration.
2. Decide that you don’t need to be inspired.
Let’s start with the first, it’s an easy 2 step process.
Step 1: Identify what you really want. This sounds obvious but too often we have some vague idea of what we want the future to be. What is your desired outcome for today? For the meeting you are going to? For your schedule, or exercise, or diet, or conversation with your boss? What is the desired end goal for seeking out inspiration?
If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t figure out how to get there.
Step 2: Look for things that will support your thought, “this is achievable.” Allow yourself to believe. In this digital age, there is so much inspiration to be had if we seek it out AND actually pay attention to it instead of scrolling by with a quick tap of the “like” button. Now more than ever we can find inspiration from millions of sources. We can listen to podcasts of people who have achieved what we want. We can find stories of humanitarian acts in under 30 seconds online. We can learn about the gamechangers in our history or find self-help books with 48,000 five star reviews and have them delivered to our doors by tomorrow. IF we want to be inspired, there is no shortage of opportunity. And that doesn’t even include Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram.
Even easier? What if you look inward for inspiration?
This sounds tricky but is quick and easy. What would I feel if I accomplished whatever it is I am trying to find inspiration to achieve? Let me give you an example.
What if, theoretically, I didn’t feel like writing this blog tonight even though I committed to putting one out every single Friday? What if I wanted to feel inspired to do it?
So I take a minute and think about how I will feel if I don’t start online shopping, if I don’t go get a snack, and if I just get it done ahead of time so I can have plenty of time in the morning for another obligation.
I would feel amazing. Accomplished. Satisfied.
I love feeling all those feelings.
What if I could feel those now, before the blog is done? How would I act?
Just so happens I can tell you exactly how I would act. I would write down how I want to feel. I would sit in the satisfaction of accomplishment for a minute, letting the intoxication of success lure me into action.
But here’s the caveat, just imagining how it will feel is not enough when the open amazon tab fights to pull my attention away. I need to come up with what I would need to think to feel satisfied now, before it’s done.
Here’s what I came up with (theoretically)
This is exactly what I want to be doing right now.
I will be so happy tomorrow morning that I will be ahead of schedule. I may just feel like a badass.
Maybe someone needs to hear this today and I am the one they can hear it from.
This can be fun. It doesn’t have to be hard.
Being inspired feels great, so why not stack the odds in our favor?
(Or you can wallow in procrastination AKA “wait” for inspiration. Up to you.)
However, if this seems like a lot of work, or unattainable, you could just ditch the whole inspiration thing and move on to the second option:
Decide that you don’t need to be inspired.
Sometimes we feel like we will never succeed because we aren’t inspired, that action only comes from inspiration. What if that just wasn’t true? What if being inspired was totally irrelevant to success?
What if just taking initial action was all that was needed for progress, for up leveling your life? Here’s a hint, often that IS all it takes. Inspiration is useless without action, action AND lack of judgement.
Judgement slows progress
… so refuse, really refuse, to judge.
Decide not to minimize your efforts, to say they aren’t enough.
So the choice is yours. Do you just patiently wait for other things that you want or do you get impatient and just go after them?
So why would you wait for inspiration?
Be the person who shows up and does what is going to get you what you want, even when the good book and couch are calling to you.
Be the person who doesn’t fall for your old tricks of “I deserve a break.” You don’t deserve a break from your dreams, you deserve your dreams.
This doesn’t have to be hard.
Inspire yourself… or just get moving one step at a time.
And don’t forget to celebrate your success along the way, even if it is just finishing your blog before finishing online shopping.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? Come on over to my facebook page at NursingBeyondtheJob and share your inspiration with the rest of us!