Inspiration, come to me! 14 techniques to inspire you every day.

Who I am
Robert Maurer

Author and references

Genius is 99% transpiration and 1% inspiration. Thomas Edison

Very well, Edison, he has crafted a sentence so convincing that everyone knows it, it arrives to me personally on Facebook every other day.

C 'it's a problem though (in addition to what we lack originality when we post on facebook): too many completely forget that 1% of inspiration.

Even a bit of the faultEdison's aphorism, that it has always been used to dampen enthusiasm and remind people how hard work is needed.

But what if Edison wrote it for just the opposite reason?

That is, to remind us that, even if you work very hard, you don't go far if there is not the breath of an idea at the base?

You see, when poor results are obtained, everyone rushes to blame the lack of willpower, laziness, procrastination.

But, in my experience, these are often secondary problems that depend on one primary cause: the total lack of inspiration.

E, se tquarreli very but you don't get inspired, in the end you can only get permanent dissatisfaction, with little effort and mediocre results.

But why is inspiration so important in life?

And how do you find it?

Let's see it together.

What is inspiration

"With the term inspiration we mean a particular excitement of the mind, fantasy or feeling that pushes an individual to give life to a work "(as always, thanks Wikipedia)

The first thing you can notice when reading this definition, is that inspiration has to do with excitement, and this would not be bad: tell me when was the last time you found your job or your studies really exciting!

The second is that, by crossing Edison's phrase with the definition of inspiration, we can say that, to do something with desire and success, the ideal cockatil is formed by:

  • theinspiration, which prompts you to start it
  • la sweating, which makes you carry it out and complete.

Now, we have already talked about the importance of sweating often (for example in this article in which I explain the great power of waking up at 5:XNUMX in the morning).

But maybe you don't quite understand how inspiration drives us.

To explain it, this time I get help from Professor SBKaufman of Columbia University:

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.

Inspiration awakens in us new possibilities allowing us to transcend everyday experiences and limitations. Inspiration, propels a person from apathy to possibility and transforms the way we perceive our abilities

In short, to have inspiration, according to Kaufman:

  • it makes us discover what we do not see
  • gives us one good shot of self-esteem
  • transform the perception of our abilities, from fixed to limitless (see the article on growth mindset)

But who is this Kaufman who says such beautiful things?

He is a brilliant American psychologist of about forty who is trying to change some paradigms about human intelligence.

In fact, in recent years, especially to keep up with the somewhat crazy development of our society, there has been a tendency to emphasize controlled and structured reasoning as the most important marker of human intelligence and the main driver of success.

For this, the intelligence tests are full of strange numbers and sequences.

For Kaufman this emphasis has translated into a tendency to “robotise” our brains and the actions we have to perform, which he finds very bad.

In fact, on one side, we will never be able to be as analytical and precise as a robot.

So, betting everything on that kind of intelligence can be frustrating in the long run.

On the other side, on the other hand, the type of educational training that is given to us makes us lose some important components along the way, but let's say, less strict, of intelligence: intuition, imagination, ability to daydream, depth, transcendence.

Things that, then, disappear virtually completely in most of the traditional jobs that await us after our studies.

So that we find ourselves, from a certain point on in our life, to devote ourselves mostly to activities that I would define "technical / mechanical".

In short, sweating activities: no momentum and no inspiration.

Maybe that's why I find myself receiving so many emails that, in different sauces, repeat more or less the same thing over and over again:

"Armando, in what I do I don't see anything and I don't give a damn"

The fact is, when you lack inspiration, you perceive things as boring, and you restrict your abilities within the fixed limits that they have or that you have given to yourself. 

Thus transcendence is lacking in your life, and I don't mean that in a religious sense: I mean that breath of idea, that little enlightenment that uncovers a little beauty in what you do and makes you realize how much “more” is inside yourself.

So that you just have to drag yourself sweating while - and you say it to yourself too - “wait for inspiration”.

And here's another problem.

Because, contrary to what we tend to think, inspiration does not come by itself, as if by magic.

It goes ready, favorite, close.

For this, today, I will reveal to you 14 powerful and phantasmagoric inspirational techniques.

14 techniques to inspire you

1. Get inspired with one aphorism a week

The aphorism is an antidote to robotic intelligence made from no more than 10-15 words.

As Karl Kraus says, it «never coincides with the truth; or is it a half truth or a truth and a half "

That is, the aphorism inspires:

  • or because it contradicts mechanical logic itself (presenting "half truths" in a credible and profound way)
  • or because he leaps over it, going much deeper than it (a truth and a half!).

Reading aphorisms allows you to develop an original and profound vision of things and of meet so many brilliant people: those who wrote them.

It is a pleasant company, and there is something for all tastes: from Einstein to Gandhi, from Oscar Wilde to the legendary Mr. Anonymous.

I prefer those who tell "half truths" when I want stimulate my neurons to seek the other half of the truth.

An example?

"The real things in life are neither studied nor learned, but they meet" (O.Wilde)

Nice is not it? But not quite true.

While I prefer "truth and a half" aphorisms when I need to motivation or to understand something about life, such as this:

"If you want to change the world, change yourself first". (Gandhi)

Here, at least for me, there is little to question. That's 150% true.

Whatever your preferences, the inspirational power of a right aphorism at the right time is immense.

I recommend that you choose one every week and save it on your mobile screen saver, so that it can accompany you wherever you go.

2. Observe dogs, cats and babies

You see, they are special creatures; in the meantime, they get excited about everything and enjoy learning.

Anyone who has raised a child knows that they still have the joy of discovery; that is, not only do they learn to do something new every day, but this does not tire them at all, on the contrary, they are very pleased with it.

And then, animals and babies have another advantage: they always live in the present.

If you watch them sleep, eat or play, you always see them completely and perfectly intent on what they do. 

When you feel in crisis, try to become a child again, or even just as curious as a cat: finding inspiration will be easier for you.

3. Meditate, or at least breathe deeply

In the end I too fell into the fashion of the moment and some time ago I started meditating.

Not in a Buddhist or Zen way: I have a lot of respect for these thought systems, but you don't have to mess with complex doctrinal systems to meditate.

Just learn to breathe deeply while you sit and try not to think about anything.

Why does the mental emptiness we create during meditation help inspiration?

I can't say exactly, but certainly there feeling of calm and clarity you experience during and after 6-7 minutes of meditation is an experience to try.

Something completely different from the mental mess we normally have.

And if you want to overdo it, after the meditation listen to some music to try the Mozart effect, and then tell me if you don't feel better.

Learning to meditate isn't difficult, but it's not easy either, believe me.

Start looking for information here and there on the blogs and set yourself the goal of having your first meditative experiences.

4. Walk in silence for at least an hour

Not surprisingly, Aristotle taught philosophy walking under the portico of the Athens gymnasium.

The fact is that silence and movement stimulate thought and allow you to get out of the mess.

With some fundamental differences, however, with respect to meditation.

While during meditation you have to do a mental vacuum, when you walk in silence you have to think, and observe what is around you.

But you don't have to think about anything!

The secret to getting inspired while walking is forget about everything that is not, in that moment, present around you.

Because if, while walking, you mull over the usual negative thoughts or worries of the day, you will not find any inspiration.

Pay attention to what is around you, notice the details, the people; try to look at the world from the outside, as if it were different from you, and it will seem different and full of inspiration.

5. Teach someone something

I'll tell you a secret; when you teach, if you do it with care and passion, you learn a lot more than when you learn.

And forgive the repetition of words.

As the great physicist Richard Feynman argued, explaining something to someone makes you see things from different points of view and makes you understand them in a deeper way, 

Also, it forces you to put yourself in someone else's shoes, which is also a great way to see the world with different eyes and, perhaps, inspire you.

6. Do karaoke on youtube!

If you've ever played Guitar Hero you know why.

Sing your favorite music out loud in front of a youtube video "download"Psychologically, you relax, makes you express your deepest self.

A little bit is thanks to the music, which involves; a little is because singing out loud is a way of letting go and going beyond the usual "pressures”Which tend to stifle our way of thinking.

7. Create your Ka-tet

Ka-tet is an imaginary word found in the fantastic universe conceived by Stephen King in his saga "The Dark Tower”.

Ka-tet, according to Stephen King, means "one from many“, That is a group of people united by the same“ ka ”(Destiny? Ideals?).

In short words, find people like you. With whom to discuss, confront and discover that you are unique but you are not alone. 

Wow! You are unique but you are not alone! I invented this one (I think), and it could be a decent aphorism.

See, there is nothing better, to get inspired, than talk about their dreams and aspirations with friends who share them. 

But be careful: try not to form a Ka-tet made only to talk about how much you are in crisis! Because otherwise you end up feeling sorry for yourself.

While in a Ka-tet we cry, of course, but above all we laugh and share.

Have the courage to speak, with your Ka-tet, what you love and what you hate. 

You will find yourself sharing deep and very inspiring evenings.

8. Volunteer

That is, give something back to life. 

And if you are a student, I particularly recommend that you do volunteer work in an area relevant to your studies.

  • If you study medicine, do it in ambulances.
  • If you study literature, it is full of literacy programs for foreigners.
  • If you study economics, work for a micro-credit agency, or for development cooperation programs.

Be creative and you will see that, whatever your course of study, you will find something that is right for you.

This will help you discover further meanings in your studies, and to build an open and generous mindset.

Also, you will find that there are people who are worse off than you, and that you can make them feel better.

This will allow you to relativize your problems, helping you to overcome them. (Warning: relativizing does not mean minimizing).

9. Read biographies

This idea was given to me by Raffaele, a blog reader.

Biographies usually speak of particular people, somehow "exceptional".

And therefore they can easily be a source of inspiration.

But be careful: what should inspire you is not just the results they have achieved.

Instead, you need to focus on how they reached them, reflecting on the process and method, not the result.

Among other things, there is plenty of choice: from Che Guevara to Steve Jobs, from Plutarch's Parallel Lives to André Agassi's Open, everyone can really find the source of inspiration they need most.

10. Keep a journal

First, it will allow you to reflect on yourself while maintaining one a "real" trace of what you are and what you do.

As they say in the movie "Memento":

Memory can change the shape of a room, the color of a car. Memories can be distorted; they are our interpretation, they are not reality; they are irrelevant to the facts.

And then, it will allow you to set the ideas of the day: we continually have small and large inspirations, we just forget them!

Fixing them on paper will help you remember them and to do something with you when the time comes.

Some of my favorite articles, like the one on motivation, grew out of micro-ideas I had throughout the day that I would have missed without having a journal.

11. Ask someone you love and respect what inspires them in life

Sit in front of your father / mother, a friend, a stranger you respect, then look him in the eye and ask him: what do you think is the most important thing in life? What inspired you and what inspires you?

If you are able to do this, you will both have one of the most exciting moments in your relationship.

And maybe you'll learn something you didn't know.

12. Check out this video from Susan Boyle

You just have to have a minute and a half of patience before the story goes live, but it will be worth it.

IThe video is self-explanatory, my comment would be superfluous.

Except perhaps to say that each of us hides so much more talent than we believe.

13. Open your blog

I'm not kidding, you should really think about doing this.

It can have the same therapeutic and inspirational functions as writing a diary, but with one difference: even when no one reads it, in a blog you do not speak only to yourself, but to the world.

And therefore it will be natural for you to reflect and express yourself in a different way,

On the blog you can write once a month, when you really have to shout what you have in your head to the world; or even every day, if it gets you.

It does not matter!

Even just opening it and writing a single article, it will be adifferent and highly inspirational experience.

14. Observe the art

This idea was given to me by Katia, a blog reader.

Katia suggests, in particular, to look at works of art, if possible from life, in museums or wherever they are.

And on top of that, he made a really interesting comment, and which I will bring to you word for word:

"The common trait that struck me about your suggestions (apart from karaoke, but I'm the problem ...) is how to relate: with a writer, with a group of people, with nature, with the present, with dogs cats and babies, etc. Connecting is the key to solve a lot of modern dynamics and problems, but it seems the most difficult thing…. "

I can only agree, and that's something I hadn't thought about while writing.

Seeking Inspiration: yes, but not all at once

If you lack inspiration and you start doing all the things I have recommended overnight, instead of finding it

Because you will not feel inspired, but suffocated.

First, then, give yourself time! 

Then proceed methodically, choosing a couple of techniques that seem right for you, and start inspiring yourself right away.

Then, when you're ready, add a couple more, and then a couple more.

Slowly you will find all your momentum in work, study, life.

And so:

  • You will not feel fatigued anymore
  • You'll see around you possibilities, instead of limits
  • You will make sense of the things you do
  • You will feel more motivated
  • You will feel happier

A greeting. Armando.

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