Finding inspiration is the key to unlocking all of your creative energy, building momentum, and getting closer to success. All of us go through periods where we feel a complete lack of motivation, and sometimes it causes us to go into a slump that makes the thought of making positive changes seem overwhelming.
Three years ago, I was struggling to just get out of bed in the morning. After being diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease and after an MRI learning I have three severely herniated discs in my both my low back (lumbar vertebrae) and neck (lumbar vertebrae) which required me to take time off from running my companies to undergo surgery. I was bedridden for three months, then I spent the next four months learning how to walk again, undergoing physical therapy (PT or Pain and Torture as my doctor calls it). Every day my self-loathing grew, as I felt more guilty for not being able to spend time on my businesses, which had lost all momentum after over 12 years of providing a stable income. With my self esteem plummeting, and anxiety and depression skyrocketing, I knew that I needed to make some major life changes. With nothing to lose and nowhere to go but up, I decided to change my attitude, habits, and daily routine. It about one month, I went from having to make a constant mental effort to follow these strategies to incorporating and practicing them every day without realizing it.
The results of making these positive changes have been remarkable. I secured my first multi-million dollar business deal doing what I love to do, revived my businesses, and came through on my promise to myself and my family and friends in New York City that I would return! I still spend every living moment in pain, but it no longer is steering my direction in life.
If these 10 strategies were able to work for me, then I promise you that they can have the very same effects on your life. It takes 21 days to change a habit, so it’s time you incorporate these strategies into your life and take control of your own happiness and future.
8 Simple Strategies To Find Inspiration
11Phone A Friend: Attitude Adjustment and
When you trying to find inspiration to complete a project for work, or climb out of a slump, give your family a phone call. I am going to tell you something that you won’t like to hear. A lot of your friends, and those you think are your friends, are secretly hoping that you will fail. A study by Leiden University in the Netherlands found that people experience joy at others misfortunes, causing them to doubt If you find yourself in an especially deep slump, the best way to find inspiration is by calling a friend or family member and talking with them. I personally like to call my older sister to see how my niece is doing and catch up on what is new in her life. Talking to someone else on the phone forces you to change your tone of voice and attitude and I find that by the end of the call, I am in a better mood and feel in control of my life again. I also call my younger sister, who is in her second year of medical school and also has a back injury and chronic pain like myself. Having someone to commiserate with reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles.
10Gain Momentum By Building On Smaller Successes
I had someone tell me that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it caused me to have an epiphany. If you start small for a week, you will be successful. You can’t fail at accomplishing something that is very easy. Who can’t exercise for five minutes? When you accomplish something, you feel good about yourself. Make each task or step towards success very small, and then you will find that after a few months your mini-steps will have added up to a lot of progress and a lot of success. Trying to achieve a major success in one or two days time only sets yourself up for failure and prevents you from every building up momentum.
9Find People To Draw Inspiration From
You are the sum of the five people you surround yourself with, so it’s important to find people who have either already achieved what you are working towards or are currently doing it. People are often flattered to be told that they are one of your role models, and will have a hard time saying no to you if you ask them if they’d be your mentor. Having a glimpse into these peoples lives can allow you to live vicariously through them. It also will provide an aid in the creation and daily refining of your personal vision of success, which I talk about next. As a chronic pain patient, I find inspiration from reading about John F. Kennedy (JFK), who also struggled with severe chronic pain in his back and had health issues so severe that he was given his sacramental Last Rites of Catholicism three times in his life before ever becoming president of the United States. Whether it’s a deceased political figure like JFK, or someone who has successfully accomplished what you are working at like my friend Scott DeLong who sold ViralNova for $100 million, you will find that the more you learn about them and see that you have in common, the more inspirational they will generate.
8Create And Refine Your Vision of Success
I want you to close your eyes and imagine what your future life will look like after you have successfully accomplished all of your goals and aspirations. What will you spend your time doing? What countries will you travel to? What will your home look like? Stop thinking of what you wish to accomplish as you dream life, and begin referring to it as your vision. Dreams only happen when you are sleeping. It’s a lot like the concept of ‘fake it until you make it’, since you are tricking your subconscious mind through repetition and positive thinking so that you force yourself to take on the mindset of the best version of you. By spending time creating a vivid image of your own personal success, you will begin believing and trusting that your abilities can get you to where you want to be. Each morning before I do anything, I go on Zillow.com and look at mansions. I spend 20-30 minutes clicking through properties that I know I will some day be able to afford, but for now I am just picking out the details I like the most.
7Learn To Think Positively By Monitoring Your Thoughts
They say it takes 23 days to create a habit. If you make an effort to monitor your thinking, you will quickly recognize negative thoughts and then replace them with positive ones. Negative self-talk is what most frequently causes us to go into a slump, so it’s very important that you become aware of what you’re thinking. When your mind says “I can’t possibly achieve this, I never could before,” automatically correct yourself with “I will achieve this, and am even more likely to because I have prior experience doing it.” This sounds silly, but it really works.
6Be Well Rested
There is a vicious cycle which begins when you get behind on work. You start pushing yourself to work later into the day, and then each day you burn yourself out earlier in the afternoon. For those of you who are Type A like me, and always have to be busy doing something, stopping work to focus on getting proper sleep will require a lot of self control. If you cannot convince yourself to do it, call your parents or ask your significant other to command you to get some sleep.
5Get Exercise, Find Beautiful Hidden Parks
Myself at Paradise Springs Nature Area in Eagle, Wisconsin. Read all about my travel adventures on on my Midwest travel blog.
When my self-esteem was at it’s lowest, I started going on solo trips to parks all around my state which were considered “diamonds in the rough” that only locals knew about. I write about one such experience where I found a beautiful park called Paradise Springs on my Midwest Travel Blog. Exercising stimulates endorphin’s in your mind, brings about a natural calm, and allows your mind to work on solving any problems which you would otherwise be at home obsessing over. Exercise also wakens the senses, and provides an excuse to disconnect from technology and reconnect with the natural beauty we take for granted each day.
4Setting Goals: Starting With Just One
Stop writing lengthy to-do lists which just intimidate you and make you more likely to procrastinate before starting. A technique I began using with great success is to just have three goals per day, with one of them being the big or harder goal and the other two being simple goals. I find that getting the big / more time consuming goal out of the way first gives me momentum into finishing my other two goals. Typically by the time I am done with the two other goals I have enough momentum going that I plow through far more than 5-10 tasks. If you find yourself struggling to decide what goal to start with, read the next strategy to learn how to feed your mind.
3Find Inspiration By Stimulating Your Mind
Every day I make a goal to go on a walk and truly pay attention to all the details around me. Once a week, I go sailing and clear my head by doing an activity that requires all of my focus… at least most for periods of time. Sailing can definitely be a pretty low-stimulus activity. If you make an effort to awaken all of your senses, then you too will smell the beautiful flowers, feel the cool autumn breeze against your skin, absorb the warmth of the sun as it radiates off your skin, and find inspiration from stimulating all of your senses. The more attention that we pay to details of nature around us, the more we want to discover and experience. “After a weekend or so of exploring, after looking around three or four or 20 miles from home, the explorer grasps at the magic peculiar to riding with eyes and mind open,” writes Stilgoe.
2Read Books & Blogs To Guide You
As someone with a Type-A Personality, there are only a few activities which my brain will approve as worthy of my time. One of them is reading books, which I consume at an alarming rate. Whenever I lose inspiration and motivation, I pick up a book or go to a blog to read about something pertaining to success, my own business, or self-improvement. Books have never failed to inspire and reinvigorate me. Reading helps motivate and focus your mind on whatever you’re reading about. So make a goal to read something which will better your career, relationships, health, business, or whatever you need improvement on. When you find yourself feeling unmotivated, pick up a book!