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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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