Thinking about Inspiration

The Founding Members launch for Create2Flourish took place last week and I am delighted with the results. Thank you to all of you who registered with the introductory price. We’ve been connecting on Facebook and I’m enjoying every minute of it. We’ve started some good conversations.

As that phase of the work to get the new program launched is done, I’m turning my attention to the next phase: get the hub finalized and start populating with the videos so I can relaunch shortly. The “official launch” this time, with full access to the hub and the start of the journey. I am aiming for early April – on my mom’s birthday :) I think she would have liked that.

I focus, once again, on content creation. Last week, I decided to reorganize the order of the videos, and I am now working on a new set based on Inspiration: working with images, ideas, focusing on what we see, why we are attracted to some images. I’m finding it really interesting myself, to focus on trying to drill down on a way of working that’s been natural to me for a long time, but dissecting it is fascinating!

So, what IS inspiration?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines Inspiration as someone or something that gives you ideas for doing something; a sudden good idea. Inspiration is a feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something which gives you new and creative ideas. There are lots more, but similar, so I won’t bore you.

Of course, if you’ve been reading my posts lately, you know that I like research. So in looking for a good definition of Inspiration, I came across an article in the Harvard Business Review called “Why Inspiration Matters”. This is some of what it says:

“In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature … But as recent research shows, inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.”

Inspiration has three main qualities

Pyschologists Todd Thrash and Andrew Elliot have noted core aspects of inspiration: evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation. First, inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention. Inspiration is also transcendent of our more self-serving concerns and limitations. Such transcendence often involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities. As Thrash and Elliot note, “The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities.”  This moment of clarity is often vivid, and can take the form of a grand vision, or a “seeing” of something one has not seen before (but that was probably always there). Finally, inspiration involves approach motivation, in which the individual strives to transmit or express a new idea or vision.

The article went on to say that what makes an object inspiring is its perceived subjective intrinsic value, and not how much it’s worth or how attainable it is. Inspired people reported higher levels of important psychological resources, including belief in their own abilities, self-esteem, and optimism. Mastery of work, absorption, creativity, perceived competence, self-esteem, and optimism were all consequences of inspiration, suggesting that inspiration facilitates these important psychological resources.

“Your own reasons to make are reason enough. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” Elizabeth Gilbert

I carry a small notebook everywhere I go. I never know what will inspire me: a thought, a smell, grasses blowing in the wind, something I read, who knows? Nowadays, carrying a phone as it’s part of our hand takes care of most of that need to document, because in a few seconds we can take a photo of what inspires us or that moment that caught our attention. But sometimes putting pencil to paper changes the way you “See”. I am not good at drawing, but my abilities are enough to do a rough sketch; even writing a few words about that moment is usually enough.

I invite you to look at the world through different eyes. Be inspired by small things. Doesn’t matter why, just because …

Thanks for reading. Keep getting inspired,


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