The word “inspiration” usually means something that mentally stimulates you. But “inspiration” also means to breathe in. The meanings poetically combine when you think of yourself breathing in thoughts, filling your body with ideas. But don’t forget to breathe out.
Some people watch hundreds of TED talks, looking for inspiration. Tech entrepreneurs visit Hacker News every few hours, looking for new inspiration. Musicians, writers, artists, and everyone else, all scouring the world for inspiration. Breathing in, and in, and in, and in. Yet most of them aren’t feeling inspired enough. They’re looking for more, thinking something else out there will truly inspire them. Want to know why?
Because nothing is truly inspiring unless you apply it to your work. (“Work” meaning your life’s output, whether creative, business, or personal.) In other words, your work, itself, is the inspiration. You may hear something or see something that gives you a new idea. But it’s only when you stop and think of your work through this new perspective, that you actually jump up and go turn the idea into reality. That’s the real inspiration that everyone is looking for!
The inspiration is not the receiving of information. The inspiration is applying what you’ve received. People think that if they keep reading articles, browsing books, listening to talks, or meeting people, that they’re going to suddenly get inspired. But constantly seeking inspiration is anti-inspiring.
You have to pause the input, and focus on your output. For every bit of inspiration, use it and amplify it by applying it to your work. Then you’ll finally feel the inspiration you’ve been looking for.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Seeking inspiration? [Sivers.org]