Most professionals talk about being inspired, but when you get right down to it, most of them aren’t. The world around them doesn’t offer the spark that they need to breathe new life into their work or their art, despite how amazing the world around them may be.
Inspiration can mean change. When you’re inspired, you see things differently and approach problems from new perspectives—in your personal and professional life. However, there’s no rule book telling you how to become inspired. Luckily, 15 experts from Forbes Coaches Council have put their heads together and explored how working how professionals can become inspired through their everyday life, and how that inspiration can help them do better, in both work and life.
Forbes Coaches Council members discuss how you can spark inspiration in your life and kick-start your creativity.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
1. Discover Your Higher Purpose
When you discover your business’s higher purpose and you work to fulfill that every day, then the work you do will inspire not only you, but others too. Your partners, employees and clients will be inspired and share that back with you. There really is more to business than just profits. But fulfilling your higher purpose helps with that too, attracting and engaging the right people. – Sturdy McKee, SturdyMcKee.com
2. Flip-Flop Your Perspective
It’s unfortunate folks think they need inspiration to live a fulfilling life. They wait for inspiration to act, but it won’t come because it’s the other way around. Action triggers ideas, which lead to inspiration. Start with something in your emotional periphery and take a first step. Make a call, write an outline or volunteer just once. The process and inspiration will unfold before you. – Anita Hodges, Anita Speaks 2U
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3. Get Motivated With Affirmations
Affirmations, or positive statements that we say about ourselves, are an amazing way to get and stay motivated. After all, there are countless research studies verifying the importance of positive affirmations! Whether you set reminders in your phone, place Post-it notes around your office or recite them as part of your morning routine, find a way to incorporate affirmations into your daily life. – Brooke Schultz, Brooke Schultz LLC
4. Understand Your Passion And Share It
Understand your passion and share it. What motivates you? Write it down in a simple sentence. This will give you clarity about what gets you in the zone and drives you into action. Make a connection with that inspiration so you can use it whenever you feel like you’re getting off track. Share it with those that you trust, so they can also help remind you of your passion, as well as find new inspiration. – Andy Bailey, Petra Coach
5. Sit Still And Ask
Inspiration comes in many forms, depending on personality and background. Personal self-inquiry and self-reflection are key to really nailing down what inspires people. If you’re going to be successful in anything, you must find what inspires you. They key is to sit still long enough to ask yourself the question, and then the answer will be clear. – Adriana Rosales, Adriana & Company™ LLC
6. Replace Your Phone With A Notebook
Many people check their phone last thing at night and first thing in the morning. What if you replaced your phone with a notebook? Before you sleep, write down three things that you are grateful for from the day. First thing in the morning, put your intention for the day on paper. These two small actions will have big payoffs: creating time for reflection and proactively launching your day. – Antonia Bowring, ABstrategies LLC
7. Create A Gratitude List
When someone starts each day by listing out just a few things for which they’re grateful, they train their brain to look for things to add to that list. My preferred categories include a relationship, an opportunity, something that happened yesterday and something simple. This exercise primes your brain to be gracious and inspired on a daily basis. – Scott Swedberg, The Job Sauce
8. Create High-Level Habits
I highly recommend having daily “high-level habits” that set your mind and body up for a successful day. Wake up earlier, beginning the day without social media or the news, but instead with exercise, meditation and perhaps yoga. End the day the same, in that you do something regularly to wind down the day that enhances not only your mood and lowers stress levels, but also creates a sense of clarity. – Michelle Tegola, iTribe Social
9. Be OK With The Need To Pivot
Each new day brings new priorities, and what inspires you today may not be what inspires you tomorrow. In order to find daily inspiration, become comfortable with pivoting to focus on what is most meaningful for you in the moment. Your happiness may involve focusing on the success of a major work project one day, but pivoting to focus on an elderly parent the next. Be OK with the pivot! – Karan Rhodes, Shockingly Different Leadership
10. Go Back To The Basics
What has worked for me and many of my clients is a simple mental review of “why.” Why did you start doing it? In business, as in life, any project that was started had an initial goal. That goal was motivating enough to start that project—recalling the reason is usually enough of a motivation to keep going. The main advantage of this approach is in its simplicity and efficiency. – Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group
11. Meditate For 20 Minutes A Day
When we meditate for 20 minutes a day, we get inspired and handle stress better! Meditation helps us get connected to our inner voice so that we are more clear, calm and confident in our decisions. It also changes our brain and shrinks the amygdala, the emotional center in our brain that causes us to react. Therefore, meditate for 20 minutes a day so you can choose inspired action, not perspired action. – Susan K. Wehrley, BIZremedies
12. Put Together A Win List
I have exchanged my to-do list with a win list. A win list is a list of actions and behaviors that I know will create momentum for me and my organization. I focus on at least one win a day and then I record all the wins, big and small, at the end of the day, to review everything that I feel good about accomplishing that day. Often, one win can lead to the next one and many other wins. – Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
13. Be Intentional About Your Day
Start your day by getting grounded using mindfulness or breathing exercises. Then set your intent for the day—for how you want to show up—and prepare a list of things you want to accomplish, focusing on both what’s important and what’s achievable. Ask yourself, “If I accomplish this list, would I feel successful at the end of the day?” Be sure to include an activity that brings you joy. – Orly Maravankin Ph.D., PCC, Edge Consulting, Inc
14. Draw From The Personal Well Of Your Life
Put up a picture of a hero of yours—the more unique the better. The Trappist monk Thomas Merton inspires me and I keep an image of him near my desk. Second, post a musical lyric or literature quote from your youth that motivated and energized you. Again, the more unique to you, the better. Tap into your history for inspiration and lasting motivation by keeping them nearby and part of your day. – Thomas Larkin, Communico, Westport CT
15. Return To Play
Return to play: toys, games, coloring, magnetic sand. Play is as important for adults as kids—it’s recess for the mind. The “unfocus” of play brings mental connections and resolutions. Engage in play with your full imagination, and conjure up an imaginary friend for bouncing ideas off. A few minutes of play and unfocus will bring you back stronger, healthier and with lightbulb moments more likely happen. – Andrea Luoma, PhD, Accommodare Consulting & Executive Coaching