33 Ways to Find Inspiration
Monday November 11, 2013

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“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” 
― Jack London

One of the questions that readers email me about and those I meet tend to ask when I’m out and about doing work for my blog is Where do you find your inspiration. I’m always a bit befuddled by this question, as I’ve always simply taken for granted that my mind is overwhelmed with ideas, questions, possibilities and at times seemingly absurd dreams incessantly. But because the question comes up so often, I thought I’d take some time and write down exactly where I find my inspiration. And I hope what you discover is that you have inspiration dancing around in your mind more so than you at first realized.

One of the most important directives when it comes to finding inspiration comes from Jack London’s above quote. Inspiration isn’t looking for us, so we must get up and do something in order for it to dance into our minds. In other words, we must sing for our supper.

After all, we all live in the same world as Beethoven, Claude Monet, Henry Ford, Oprah Winfrey, Rachael Ray and the long list of individuals who were inspired to tap into their gifts. And as we all have our very own unique gifts, we must trust that the universe is eagerly wanting us to seek the inspiration that will unwrap our gifts. But in order for this magical adventure to begin, we must take action, and that is why I begin with the number zero. The following 33 will not be able to reveal their pixie dust unless at first we are genuinely curious about this thing called life.

So have a look. If you ever find yourself needing inspiration for your next project, your upcoming remodel, a change in how to do your job more effectively, or how to improve your life in general, give one of these a try. They’ve all worked at one point or more for me.

0. Be curious

1. Take a risk – leave your comfort zone

2. Read Daring Greatly

3. Spend time in nature – take a hike in the woods, a stroll on the beach, find a bench in a park or take a bike ride outside of town.

4. Spend time with someone new

5. Spend time with someone who brings out your best self

6. Spend time with your own company – follow where your curiosities take you

7. Get a good night’s sleep

8. Dive into history – read works by Doris Kearns Goodwin or David McCullough

9. Watch a TED talk – a few I recommend – Elizabeth Gilbert, Susan Cain,  Malcolm Gladwell

10. Take a class that piques your interest

11. Observe the people you admire – learn from what they do

12. Attend an art exhibit

13. Attend a play at the theater

14. Watch a film

15. Attend a lecture or book reading

16. Flip through magazines full of images – decor, fashion, outdoors, cooking, etc

17. Read non-fiction

18. Read newspapers – local and from around the globe

19. Read

20. Change your perspective, literally – take a different route home, rearrange your furniture at home and/or the office, change your exercise routine, move (a bit extreme, but an amazing opportunity to gather new ideas)

21. Travel

22. Try new recipes

23. Taste food you’ve never tried

24. Read an autobiography by someone who inspires you. See the world through their eyes.

25. Find time to meditate regularly (even if it is only once a week for five minutes)

26. Keep a journal – look back through older journals to see how far you’ve traveled as a person.

27. Attend a conference that grabs your curiosity

28. Plan a day with no appointments or responsibilities – let your mind wander.

29. See the world through your children or your pets eyes. Appreciate the simplicity and ability to appreciate the present moment.

3o. Read inspiring blogs such as Marc and Angel Hack Life

31. Read a classic novel and contemplate the life lesson the author is trying to reveal to the reader

32. Watch OWN’s Super Soul Sunday or any interview by Oprah

33. Reflect on activities you once loved as a child or as a young adult. Make time to include them in your life again – at least once, to remind yourself why you enjoyed it so much.

Life is an amazing, surprising journey that offers so many wonders if only we choose to take actio, and refuse to simply exist. While it has been said many times that success in life is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, that prerequisite inspiration is needed.

And the good news is, it’s everywhere we look. We simply need to open our eyes and become as present in the moment as possible.

~JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Now that I’ve shared my list of sources for inspiration, I’d love to hear yours. Feel free to share in the comments below or on TSLL Facebook page. Who knows? You may share an idea that is exactly the source of inspiration a fellow TSLL reader was looking for.


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4 thoughts on “33 Ways to Find Inspiration

  1. I have been enjoying your blog ( and recommending it) for several months. Your perspective is very refreshing and I often journal after reading your comments as I am inspired to pursue my thoughts. The quotes you share are equally appreciated, however, I was distressed to read a quote by Jack London in relation to finding one’s inspiration. After reading about Jack London and some of the controversy surrounding his writings and unfortunate death he seems to be the antithesis of positive inspiration.

    1. Debbie,

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am now curious to do some digging into his history. It was not my attention to contradict the notion of inspiration for aspiring to do better in one’s life. Thank you for your comment.

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