There’s a super simple way to get creative even when you lack inspiration.
Don’t look for it in the first place.
Inspiration is fleeting and fickle and, quite frankly, useless.
The muse is a lace-wrapped stripper who will only leave you blue-balled, waltzing in with her flashy ideas and power-hungry hips, whispering of screaming fans and glory-soaked riches.
Write down her words when they come but never waste your day waiting for her — for she is with another man.
Palaces are built by people wearing work boots.
Making art is often back-breaking work — just ask Michaelangelo. And it’s always hard graft.
Why settle for the flitting fantasy of the muse, when you can marry the miserably frigid matron of creative work and suffer for life instead.
If you think about it, it’s pretty much been wins all the way through.
Sure, there have been some rough patches.
There have been a couple of pretty sharp shocks and a fair bit of frustration, if we’re being honest.
But there have been some pretty crazy highs too. And some irreplaceable memories.
It’s worked out pretty well so far, all things considered.
Even when the future looked bleak and you weren’t sure what was next, you kept on plugging away, doing it your way.
Just like always.
Hindsight is a funny old thing.
We rarely give ourselves enough credit for the great things we’ve done.
The trials of education, the stress of finding a job, getting punched in the face, heartbreak, or an early morning run are all hellish at the time.
But this pain fades pretty quickly, and before too long, we think it was easy. We might even think about doing it again.
A bloke called Seneca said something about this back in the day:
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it’s because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
Once we decide to take on — or are forced to take on — a challenge, it becomes a lot easier.
We’re capable of doing so many difficult things, even those we thought impossible. You’ve already done so many!
Here’s a story about an old bloke who went on one last adventure.
As the pandemic shuttered doors across the globe last April, Captain Tom began to walk a marathon around his garden to raise £1000 for the NHS. And when you’re 99 and use a walker, that’s no mean feat.
By the morning of his 100th birthday three weeks later, Tom had raised over £35 million and was nothing short of a household name.
He received 150,000 birthday cards. The RAF flew over his house. The Queen knighted him. He recorded a number one single, has two Guinness world records, and was GQ’s ‘Inspiration of the Year.’
On January 31st this year, Captain Sir Tom was admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and died shortly after.
The last year of his life was nothing short of remarkable and he never saw it coming. He just decided to do what he could to help out.
What a way to go.
And it just goes to show that it’s never too late to make a difference, even if you think that difference is too small to bother making at all.
Life might just surprise you.
What we think of as motivation is actually inspiration.
The problem with inspiration is that it’s fleeting — that’s just how it works.
We might watch a movie or read a book and be uplifted or watch someone else doing what they love, and that inspires us: “I want to do that.”
Sometimes that inspiration trickles into action. But pretty quickly, the reality of the task ahead squashes the inspiration out of us because inspiration alone isn’t enough to get motivated.
We get motivated by being specific about what we want and then going after it. We get motivated by taking small, specific actions towards our goals.
Choose to take action, and you’ll find that your motivation isn’t too far behind.