Depending on how self-aware and connected you are to your vision, you will require more or less effort to stay inspired while facing challenges.
“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London
Life is in constant movement; it is an ongoing force and it requires from us, as human beings, to be vigil and flexible to the core. Our responses need to be in tune with the changes life brings.
This isn’t always easy, as to “flow” with life often requires a lot of energy, focus, commitment and perseverance. Where do we get all that energy when we need it? The short answer- from our spirit.
Being In-spirit a.k.a Inspired
Inspiration is a powerful force that can lift a person from a state of apathy to one of possibility (1). When we are in our spirit we awaken new qualities and perspectives that are not our usual ones. We are able to overcome the limits of our mind and can create from a higher position of Being.
How Do We Step into the State of Inspiration?
Firstly, we need to accept the “ever flowing” nature of inspiration. If we think that being inspired is a state we can fully master once and for all, we are signing ourselves up for massive disappointment. Inspiration is something that needs to be renewed every single day (2).
Like a car requires fuel to keep going, we have the inspiration tank that needs to be refilled on regular basis. If we push ourselves into action without “fuelling” our tank over time, we will face fatigue, boredom, and reach the state of burnout. The worst fate: we could give up.
We can’t go far without renewing our inspiration that “pushed” us into doing the action, or starting the process in the first place. Inspiration is energy and it has a half-life (3). Being aware of this and being more open to sensing when the energy is depleting helps us manage to stay “in the game“ even when the going gets tough.
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine
1. Keep an Inspiration Journal
During the course of your day, stop a few times to write down what inspired you. Focus on important moments; write down all the bursts in spirit you experienced within the last 24 hours. Every time you felt like achieving something- write it down. Document everything that you think today had to offer, all the wisdom and the little hints. This will help you stay in the present moment.
Inspiration lives in the now.
2. Create an Inspiration Board
Find 5-10 things that ignite your spark for creation. You can choose quotes, pictures of places, photos of people, or anything that fits on your wall. Choose anything that reminds you of the reality you want to live in. When you create your inspiration board, place it in the most visible spot in your house. This is somewhere where you can revisit multiple times a day with ease.
Inspiration boards are extremely useful when you are at the beginning of a new project or when you are facing challenges. One look at it might get you back on track.
3. List People That Believe in You
People that believe in us are such a powerful and often totally neglected strength that we can benefit from on our journey to self-actualisation (4). When challenges arise we are easily pushed to doubt and torment ourselves, meanwhile others continue believing in us. That is fantastic, isnt it?
Make a list of people that believe in you, even when you don’t anymore.
Once you create the list, you’ll have a chance to rediscover a sense of dignity. You are not alone in this anymore. People have faith that you are able to succeed. Look at your list everyday. Especially when you feel like quitting.
How is that for inspiration?
4. Trick Yourself into Staying on Track
When you feel like procrastinating, and you give into that feeling, you start to feel guilty over time. Your “ inspiration tank” will drain quickly (5). In order to avoid total “shutdown,” you can adopt methods such as giving deadlines to your procrastination.
Netflix for 15 minutes or Facebook for 15 minutes. You can set an alarm on your phone and return to your initial task when the alarm sounds. This will satisfy your need for instant gratification while not completely killing your inspirational buzz.
5. Nourish Your Soul
When you are working towards an important cause, sometimes the hardest thing to do is take a rest. Most of us do not allow ourselves to slack and indulge in the pleasures of life until our mission has been accomplished. This can have devastating affects on our body as we don’t allow it enough time to rest and rejuvenate. Taking one day a week to do “nothing” but practice self-care and enjoy is a crucial habit for staying healthy and inspired.
6. Recollect Your Successes
When facing challenging times it is easy to doubt yourself and to overlook the progress that you are making. What is the antidote to this? You must remind yourself of your accomplishments.
If you are someone who offers a service, collect positive feedback from your clients and make a booklet or a video. You can visit this for some positive vibes when you need them the most. Collect photos from your past adventures, events you organized, and images that remind you of reached goals. These are your instant inspiration infusion.
7. Master Minimalism
There are different routes to mastering minimalism (6). You can get rid of unnecessary belongings around the house, or you can choose to be a “mind minimalist” in which you reduce the number of thoughts running around your head. You can minimize your money spending; you can reduce your time on social media. Whatever you decide to “cut out” or reduce will leave more time and space for you to spend in meaningful and inspiring ways.
8. Grow Your Gratitude
Another underestimated, yet totally powerful, quality we as humans possess is our ability to be grateful. It is so easy to do, yet we don’t seem to do it enough.That is why we need to consciously decide that we will intentionally look for good things in our life.
Don’t miss an opportunity to be grateful.
The more gratitude you cultivate, the more open your heart is to inspiration, love, and beauty. When you are stuck and things are going against you, you might feel like you have nothing to be grateful for. In that very moment the best thing you could do is to share gratitude: with yourself or others.
Being grateful will get you going.
9. Speak Powerful Affirmations
When we take the time to verbally affirm our desires and dreams, it feels like we are already shaping them into reality. We are brave enough to say what we want and to be open to our wishes manifesting. This state is highly empowering and supports us in staying positive and inspired despite our doubts and fears.
There is neurological research supporting that affirmations activate the feel-good hormones in our bodies that keep us optimistic and devoted to our cause (7).
Start by saying out loud 10 times I AM BRAVE
10. Go on an Adventure
Your adventure can, but doesn’t have to, include traveling. There are many options for experiencing something extraordinary without great risk or cost. One rule: it has to be something you usually don’t do so that you have the chance to infuse your life with surprise and uncertainty. Infused with the juices of inspired, creative existence.
Whatever you choose to do in order to stay inspired keep in mind that the tough times will not last forever. They will pass. So go for what you want and keep at it no matter what obstacles present themselves between you and your goals.
You'll get there eventually and on the way you will learn a lot.
(Read this next: How I Quit My Job, Lost 40 lbs, Quit Drinking and Started a Business)