Have You Been Inspired Lately?
A few years ago I lived abroad and one thing the group leader I was traveling with had us do, was write a postcard to ourselves that would be mailed back to the States for us to read once we returned from our 4 month adventure. I ended my postcard with some affirmations for being courageous enough to take that trip with 40 strangers and then wrote the line “continue to do things that inspire you.” When I read the postcard to myself months later, that line stayed with me. “Continue to do things that inspire you.”
Why did I feel this line was so important? When we are inspired, it takes us out of our current environment and allows us to see things from different angles, activate our creative side, and gives us a boost to proceed with new perspective and energy. While there are a lot of things we know are helpful to us (ie- eating healthy, getting enough sleep, drinking water, taking mental health breaks,) staying inspired isn’t one I hear often, even though it can benefit us in a lot of the same ways.
So what are some ways we can inspire ourselves?
1. Vacations– Some of us work years before taking a vacation; Others end up checking work email or still taking phone calls even when they do take vacation, without truly unplugging. European countries and others will take vacations for a month at a time without interruption. They understand the world will go on if they aren’t answering a phone call about a product design, or if a deadline is shifted…so be it! Life, family and health is more important and that is what is prioritized in that down time.
So when we unplug and let our minds rest during vacation, this frees up our mental space to dream, think bigger or clearer, or inspire new thoughts.
2. Traveling somewhere new– This can overlap with vacations but it doesn’t have to. There is the type of travel where we go aboard or explore a new city, which can infuse us with local architecture, food and people that inspire us. But it could also be achieved by taking a road trip over the weekend, or visiting a new museum or spot in your area.
Go outside your comfort zone to be introduced to new scenery, foods or people. These new experiences can shed newfound light.
3. Getting lost in a book or movie– If you’re not much of a traveler and more of a homebody, use books or movies to inspire you. Hearing other stories (whether fiction or non-fiction) can take you outside of reality and let you dream, or put yourself in the mind of the characters.
4. Taking up a new hobby– New hobbies allow our creative juices to flow. Perhaps it’s not even a new hobby, just one you haven’t had time for recently. Ask yourself, what is something you’re doing now that could free up time for that hobby? Perhaps you’re over-extending yourself at work and can take back more of that time. Or look at how much time you spend on social media, or watching the news. Getting out and doing a creative activity can spur that inspiration that technology often impedes.
5. Create a vision board– Vision boards are a great way to inspire you on a daily basis to achieve the things you want. Cut out pictures and words from magazines and paste them onto a whiteboard that you can hang up and look at every day.
I remember at my last job I received a Marriott vacation postcard advertisement that had the most beautiful view. I hung it on my wall at work and said “someday I’ll lie on one of those lounge chairs basking in the sun.” Coincidentally the trip I went on abroad landed in Capetown, South Africa, which I realized was where that postcard picture was taken. And guess what? I made myself go to that resort and take a photo with my postcard I had hanging on my wall for years! It was so kismet and that’s when I realized the power of manifestation and accomplishing what we put our intentions towards.
Take a moment to think about 1 thing you can do (from this list or something else) and write it down somewhere you’ll see daily as a reminder. Allow yourself to dream, and continue to do things that inspire you.