“the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”Oxford Dictionary
Can you relate to this definition of “Being inspired”?
When googling inspiration I get About 3,520,000,000 results… including one of my fav’s from WeWork and another from HBR.ORG suggesting that “In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities.”
Since 1984, I have sold the idea to everyone I’ve consulted to, that inspiration is natural. We are born inspired and we die inspired, but, in between, the noise of daily life can overwhelm it. Forty years later, I am absolutely convinced it is the reality of life. We are all inspired. And this week, I want to share with you ways you can reveal it, and why. This week’s podcasts will follow the same pathway.
Let’s start with WHY
Recently I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed and gobsmacked by the sudden in rush of artificial intelligence, a.I. This new science in the business and publishing world is going to transform the way we relate to each other. It is definitely going to do more for humanity than we can imagine. The first thing it is going to do is remove 90% of jobs which involve robotic or repetitive thinking. This for the greater part includes middle management, marketing, business development, consulting, and most public works. Therefore there are a lot of people going to be looking for alternative employment within the next five years. The reason that this particular development is so spectacular is that it takes the dehumanising aspect of the workplace out of the equation and leaves only one thing standing, inspiration.
Inspiration is that one thing that a robot or artificial intelligence cannot do. It separates machine from human. Machine can imitate inspiration but all ambushing can do is repeat what has been already repeated and regurgitate it. Inspiration is a fresh new thought that has never been thought before. It is said that in our entire lifetime if we have one single thought that has never been thought before we should consider ourselves to be one of an elite community of individuals since the beginning of time. We are masters of regurgitation and now AI is taking over that job. So we are all going to be asked to find that inspiration.
That is the first reason why you might become more interested in the topic of inspiration but there is a second which is even more impactful on your life. And that is the topic of boredom. You see, when you start to live for the purpose of making money at work and bringing up the children at home you become a bore not only to yourself but to those around you. What goes missing is your inspiration. You get out of your swimming lane and into other people’s lane trying to find something interesting to think about and talk about because life has become Groundhog Day. It is my personal experience that 99.99% of all relationships that eventually fail fail because they are boring. The people are boring, the conversations are boring, the sex is boring and love and intimacy is boring. The one and only antidote to that boredom is inspiration. It’s not as so many people think, going on holidays or buying a new house or going on bushwalks in the countryside. That is also boring. It’s not new hairstyles or new jobs or new conversations about new iPhones all that is doing is covering up the misery and suffering and the loneliness that comes when we have forgotten our true essence of inspiration.
In contrast to the dictionary end untold number of definitions of inspiration on the Internet which make it sound like something hyper exciting and hyper exhilarating, I would like to present you with something quite the opposite. My approach is in complete contrast to the American hype and the motivational stimulus that is cause and effect when it comes to mental health problems. People who take inspiration to mean something hi, always end up in a state of mental apathy. So I am not going to join the vast number of people on the Internet who claim that inspiration is a stimulation. I’m going to suggest to you that inspiration is as natural inside of you as the air that you breathe. But like most people we forget that we breathe and we worry more about whether our boss is going to give us a pay rise then whether we are engaging in our true self and bringing our best self to this moment in time. And this is where I believe inspiration cuts it self clean from every other form of mental state.
Metaphysically at the top of your skull is a small joint where, as a child your skull finally joined up and closed a little gap. This opening in the top of your head you can find with your finger if you prod long enough right at the top of your skull. It’s now not a gap of course it is closed and sealed up nicely so your brain doesn’t escape. But there is still a small indentation at that point. If you ask 90% of people to put their finger on that point they will immediately go there. So we feel it and we know that it’s there automatically. Just below that point in your brain is the central point of all of your thinking when you are not being emotional. It is believed that inspiration comes into that part of your brain. And therefore, I am going to suggest to you that inspiration comes through you, not from you. This may provoke you to switch off from this article immediately and if it does please join the throng of the masses because most people want to believe that they are the source of their inspiration. And this is where motivation and inspiration separate paths.
So, the research backs it:
Pyschologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot have noted these core aspects of inspiration: evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation. First, inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention. Inspiration is also transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. Such transcendence often involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities. As Thrash and Elliot note, “The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities.” This moment of clarity is often vivid, and can take the form of a grand vision, or a “seeing” of something one has not seen before (but that was probably always there). Finally, inspiration involves approach motivation, in which the individual strives to transmit, express, or actualize a new idea or vision. According to Thrash and Elliot, inspiration involves both being inspired by something and acting on that inspiration.HBR Mag
Compared to the normal experiences of everyday life, inspiration involves elevated levels of positive affect and task involvement, and lower levels of negative affect. Some people think it is a stroke of cosmic luck to be inspired, like the Author of Eat, Pray, Love… good listen but I disagree.
Inspiration is not the same state as motivation, however.
Compared to being in an enthusiastic and excited state, people who enter an inspired state report greater levels of spirituality and meaning, and lower levels of volitional control, controllability, and self-responsibility for their inspiration.
Whereas motivation is activated when someone is making progress toward their immediate, conscious goals, inspiration is more related to an awakening to something new, better, or more important: transcendence of one’s previous concerns.
So, why be inspired? Better Work. Better Leadership. Better Love. And as a bonus, Better Health.
Tests on inspiration was not transitory, predicting positive well-being (e.g., positive affect, life satisfaction) three months later correlated to the feeling of being Inspired! Inspiration was more strongly related to future than to present satisfaction. The extent to which inspiration lasted was explained by self-reported levels of purpose and gratitude in life.
INSPIRATION TECHNIQUES: HOW TO REVEAL YOUR INSPIRATION
- Catching A Feather
- Breathe it
- Turn Up
- Salmon Jumping
- Helicopter View
- Stay in Your Lane
- Pig Poo Boots
- Free to Be – Radio Active Choices
- Noise Cancelling Head Phones
These are the podcasts you’ll find on Soundcloud to fill your week and help you learn HOW to Reveal your Inspiration..
Written, especially for you.