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25 Simple Things You Can Do To Get Inspired

25 Simple Things You Can Do To Get Inspired

We all feel uninspired at times. The good news is that it’s a natural part of the creative process and something everyone struggles with. The next time you’re stuck in a creative dead zone, read this list of 25 things you can do to get inspired.

1. Change Your Environment

Get out of the house and go somewhere new. A new environment can spark inspiration by giving you a new way of looking at things.

2. Learn Something New

Get outside the boundaries of your own knowledge to learn something new. Learn ten words in a foreign language, research the music of 17th century Europe or pick up a star chart and learn about our universe.

3. Create a Vision Board

Think about what you want for your life and start envisioning it. Collect pictures and words that depict this life and bring them together in a vision board.

4. Get Back to Nature

Take some time out in nature and appreciate its amazing beauty. Go for a hike through the bush, climb a mountain or simply have a picnic by the pond in your local park.

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5. Visit Your Local Bookstore

Bookstores are full of creative inspiration. Spend some time browsing the shelves and get inspired by the beautiful images and interesting ideas.

6. Try a New Creative Art Form

Push yourself outside the bounds of your creative specialty and try something new. If you’re a writer, try painting. If you’re a musician, write a poem.

7. Keep a Notebook to Jot Down Ideas

Keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas whenever they strike. These ideas might not seem ground breaking at the time but they might serve as inspiration at a later date.

8. Learn About the History of Your Craft

Learn about how your creative craft originated, who the pioneers and greats were and how it has progressed over time. In every craft’s history, there is much inspiration to be found.

9. Research What Others in Your Field Are Doing

Learn about what other people in your creative field are doing. A quick Google search can be a great source of inspiration when you are low on ideas.

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10. Listen to a New Type of Music

Seek out music that is different to what you usually listen to and try it out. What about jazz, classical or rap?

11. Try Meditating

Take some time to sit, be still and breathe. Our busy lives can sometimes leave us so frantic that it can be difficult to get inspired. By taking the time out to meditate, you’ll give your brain a chance to refresh.

12. Follow Ten People Who Inspire You on Twitter

We’ve all got creative idols. Go follow yours on Twitter and get inspired every day by their musings.

13. Give Yourself the Gift of Time

Don’t rush yourself. Give yourself a day to just be and do whatever comes to you. You might be surprised at the inspiration that strikes when you least expect it.

14. Read an Inspiring Blog Post

Visit your favorite bloggers and read an inspiring post. There’s nothing like a few powerful words to spark your inspiration.

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15. Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone

It’s easy to get stuck in a routine. Try something you’ve never done before that pushes you out of your comfort zone. By breaking the routine of your daily life, you’ll encourage the flow of ideas.

16. Watch a Great Film

There’s something powerful about a great film that can really get you thinking. Pick out a great film and absorb it fully.

17. Read an Autobiography of Someone You Admire

Reading about the life of someone you admire can be greatly inspiring. Hearing about their struggles and triumphs can inspire you in your own work.

18. Google Creativity Quotes Online

The words of others can be powerful and inspirational. Google creativity quotes and pick out ten that you find inspiring. Keep them in your journal and read them whenever you need a boost.

19. Journal Your Thoughts

Journaling can be a powerful release and spark creative inspiration both now and in the future. Your journal is your special space to be open and free with your words, letting what is within shine through.

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20. Ask Someone Their Greatest Life Lessons

Seeking the wisdom of others can be incredibly inspiring. Ask someone you admire what the greatest lessons they have learned so far, you might just find a nugget of gold in there.

21. Watch an Inspiring TED Talk

There are so many inspiring TED talks just waiting to be watched. From science to art, history to technology, whatever your creative thing is, there is a TED talk to inspire you.

22. Read One of the Classics

The classics are rightly named for a reason. Google ‘classic books’ and pick one to read this week.

23. Experiment With Your Materials Without Pressure

Sit with your materials, experiment and create whatever comes to mind without the pressure of deadlines or achieving a particular outcome. The process of experimentation is liberating and can spark some amazing ideas.

24. Ask Your Creative Friends About their Projects

Hearing about other people’s creative projects can be incredibly inspiring. Ask your creative friends what they have been up to and get inspired by their enthusiasm and ideas.

25. Start Before the Inspiration Strikes

Sometimes to get inspired, you just need to start! Inspiration comes from doing, so get your materials out and start creating!

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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