I look for inspiration everywhere I go. Anything can be turned into an idea, anything can be cross-pollinated to make something better. For instance, the recent explosion of Uber across the world combined smart phones and private driving; I find it to be genius.
Why weren’t taxi services doing this before? Because they stopped looking for ideas and ways to improve. They stopped looking for inspiration.
Good Places to Start
If you’re looking for inspiration, a good place to start is just getting outside. I have implemented a regular walk around my neighborhood as a way to just defocus my mind on the immediate and pressing tasks (of which there are, and will always be, many) and to put myself into the beauty of the world and my surroundings. I often grab a cup of coffee or tea, my favorite sunglasses, and maybe my headphones (to be explained in a second) and just start going around and observing what is around me.
You can also go to places that challenge your thinking, like art museums. You can go see new shows, or just simply put yourself into a situation you have never been before. The thing about the familiar is that it puts our mind into this passive state where it isn’t really learning or absorbing, it’s just running on autopilot. This is an amazing tool that we can use to get more done, but it makes us incredibly dull if we never leave it.
My favorite way to do that is travel. If you just go someplace new, stay someplace you’ve never stayed, and do things you don’t normally do, your mind will “wake up” and you’ll have this incredible rush of creative energy. Think about if you’ve ever moved somewhere. You are now in a forced unfamiliar situation. I’ll bet that you feel incredibly alive as your brain maps out the routes in your new area, you take in new landmarks, and you meet new people. You will likely meet 100 times more people in the first couple months of living somewhere than you will later on once you have an established routine. And it’s all about the state of mind the brain is in.
- New = inspiring, creative, change
- Familiar = habits, tasks, discipline
You need a healthy balance of both.
So I mentioned headphones before. As I talk about this next part, likely about 57% of your eyes will roll (that was a completely made up statistic).
I listen to a TON of audio by self-help gurus, motivational speakers, and people like this to help keep my mind pumped and to learn new patterns of thinking and behavior that will make me more successful. When I go on those walks I mentioned before, I’ll often pop one of those on to enhance my experience. It turns on your emotional triggers which helps your mind expand outside of its comfort zone and get creative. They can motivate you to get some drive for the day. Listening to them regularly helps change bad patterns of thought in your mind, such as negative self talk.
So give it a try. I use YouTube and search for people like Jim Rohn, Les Brown, ET the Hiphop Preacher (for real), Tony Robbins, and various other motivational speakers, YouTube channels, etc. Experiment by searching a phrase you want to find, an emotion you want to elicit, and see what happens.