Ah, inspiration. That abstract yet ultra-important thing that activates your heart space and jump starts your creativity. If you're anything like me, you make it a regular practice to seek out stories of inspiring people - people who endure challenging things with immense bravery, or who come up with clever solutions to impossible problems, or who entertain us in the most unique, uplifting ways.
When it comes to artmaking, inspiration is most often found in the works and words of others.
It's the turn of a phrase, the pinpointed observation, the juxtaposition of two colors coming up against one another, or in the brilliantly executed pirouette. Any of these things, and many more, help us get our creative juices flowing, so it's not a stretch to say that if it weren't for inspirational people, our lives and creative practices would be very much diminished.
So what does it take to become an inspiration? How do we act in ways that might fuel other artists?
What can we do to churn out such high levels of creative mojo that we become Inspiration Machines?
Here are a few behaviors and practices I've observed in those who lift me up. With a little patience and a lot of practice we just might get there ourselves.
Pay attention to your thoughts, then choose to speak and share only the ones that are purposeful and considered. The power of words cannot be underestimated when it comes to inspiration. Being a conscious editor - of our written and spoken words - is key.
Always tell people when they move, inspire, challenge and/or impress you. This one's easy. Simply put, it makes people feel good.
Regularly do things that tap into your joy and excitement. Let your bliss ripple out into the world. Others will feel it too.
Tell your stories of moving from struggle to triumph. They draw people in and make them feel less alone.
Share your good news from the heart. Sharing isn't bragging. Sharing is modeling; it's teaching; it's allowing others to be happy for you in the same way you're happy for them.
Look at yourself through the lens of a leader. Sometimes we need to "act as if," even when it feels far from the truth, because when we act as a leader it positively impacts our behaviors and actions, as well as provokes an inspired response from others.
Learn how to excel at something. Inspiring people are often dedicated doers. Commit to That Passionate Thing and keep going for it. Become a master, even if it takes a lifetime. No, ESPECIALLY if it takes a lifetime, 'cause what's more inspiring than that?
Fight the urge to complain by counting your blessings. In other words, "Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate."
Do things that scare you. Risk is an inherent part of inspiring others. It's the act of saying to others, "If I can do this, so can you."
Think of your whole life as one giant art project, one grand epic poem. Life IS art and when you look at yours through that lens, you're constantly thinking outside the box. Outside the box is EXACTLY where inspiration lies!
Remember that you, and everyone else you know, is going to die. Sure, it's morbid, but when we remember our fleeting journey 'round the proverbial sun it's easier to make meaningful choices about everything we do. Meaningful choices = inspiration.
What about you? How are you being an inspiration these days, or what more can you do to step into the role of Inspiration Machine? Don't be shy - tell me in the comments!
Photo by Martin Fisch//cc