Have you ever wanted to feel more inspired when writing a message, picking out clothes for an important event or focusing on a problem? Good news: inspiration is something that can be worked on. As Jesús Alcoba explains in his latest book, Inspiración, it isn’t impossible or just for artists – inspiration is within all of our reach.
Let’s admit it: inspiration does not have a good reputation. Mostly, it seems like everything requires effort or perseverance, or, as Picasso explained: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” That said, all of us have had the experience of feeling more or less inspired and recognize there is a big difference. According to Alcoba, the reason why it is so hard to find inspiration is because it is the result of a very complex and elusive emotional experience. But it is one that has the power to connect us to the deepest parts of ourselves and fulfill us – which is why it is so important to work on. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Alcoba suggests we can find it.
Keep a pen and paper handy so that you can jot down ideas when they pop up
1. Start searching. No one finds what they’re not looking for. If you want to be more inspired in a specific area, you need to put in time and give your attention to it. If you want to know how to best address a problem, study past solutions to similar issues; or if you’re having trouble deciding what to wear, it might be helpful to look up style suggestions.
2. Bring in ideas from other areas. Good ideas happen when we apply our knowledge from different subjects. Alcoba reminds us that “when chemistry entered the culinary sector, or when biology was included in industrial design, it created fresh and interesting ideas and helped these different areas develop.” So ask yourself, what other things do you like and do well at that could inspire you to solve the problem at hand?
3. Hold onto inspiration. Inspiration is fleeting, something we do not even remember unless we are paying close attention to it. That is why it is important to keep a pen and pad of paper handy so that you can jot down the ideas that pop up when you wake up in the morning or get out of the shower. These notes or voice recordings don’t have to be perfect, as long as they can be used later.
Inspiration is something that can be worked on
4. Find peace of mind. It should come as no surprise that the biggest breakthroughs in the field of science happen not within, but around it. This is precisely what happened to Newton, who was relaxing when an apple fell and inspired his theory of gravity, or Bohr, who came up with his model for the structure of the atom while watching a horse race. We store a lot of information in our minds and curiously it is later when we are doing nothing or simply relaxing that we can find results.
5. Connect with yourself. Oscar Wilde said that “a work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.” This applies to any project we work on. The more we connect with ourselves and the less afraid we are to express ourselves, the freer we are to give our best.
Inspiration is out there and can be developed through simple methods, like those Jesús Alcoba suggests. And, if it does strike, it will not only make us more productive, but will also able help us to feel more fulfilled and complete. That’s why we owe it to ourselves to give it a shot.
English version by Laura Rodríguez.