Doesn’t it feel great when we are inspired, uplifted and on top of our game. But it is not always like this. There are times and chapters in our lives when inspiration is lacklustre and questions abound from the superficial to the very purpose of our existence. Feelings of ongoing tiredness and not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel are prevalent.
Take a minute and check in with yourself – what is the reading on your inspiration gauge currently? Is it low, low-medium, medium, medium-high or high? And is this reading just currently or has it been like this for a while now?
It is not rocket science that when we feel inspired, we are energised and lit up. There is fire in the belly and we are in flow. Creative endeavours have at their very source some form of inspiration which helps start and then propel one’s efforts and vision forward. Conversely when we are in the middle of a project, not honouring some of our basic life balance needs and are caught up in the demands of routine, we find that inspiration wanes.
Inspiration can also be hard to find when one is going through a life transition. Sometimes we don’t even realise that we are in transition as circumstances change and we are left questioning why the old ways of operating are just no longer cutting it.
In times of transition, one can rightly expect to not have all the answers or clarity of purpose and direction. The desire for energy, inspiration and clarity of purpose is an underlying need, be it knowledge workers or the always “on the go” executive who is now having to deal with a new unknown chapter in his life.
Naturally we feel much more productive and “switched on” when we are on purpose – we know where we are going (or at least trying to!) and can see some returns for our effort.
So what can you do to keep your levels of inspiration up? Depending on your circumstances, you may need to consider the following points which range from the big picture to the more immediate:
- What is the framework or big picture that gives meaning to your work and life? The SQ perspective is about having an understanding what it is that you are doing and why. What makes it worthwhile for you to get out of bed in the mornings? My clients’ responses have included enjoyment of doing deals, making money, having fun, learning and making a difference.
Re-visiting this can remind you of what is important to you as well as the intentions you hold in doing what you do. These are the foundations for your action and being.
- Align your current activities with your short, medium and long-term goals. Are you clear about your value base and even more importantly are you living from these as your foundational touchstone? Actions arising in alignment with your value base also provides synergy and helps focus in the right direction.
- Manage your ‘now’ well. In being on the go, have you sacrificed the basics such as your exercise routine, healthy eating, getting adequate sleep and quality sharing with loved ones. Be conscious of your own physiology and emotional needs and plan accordingly. Putting the basics in place tends to restore the baseline level of energy and a sense of deeper fulfilment.
Inspiration also comes from achieving your milestones and taking time out to celebrate your achievements. My IT clients routinely experience frustrations when things take longer than expected and they can’t quite see the end in sight, as originally planned. The sense of tiredness combined with jumping into the next project before there has been time for a breather is also not a great recipe for inspiration. Finally, in pursuing your dreams and objectives, don’t forget to appreciate the journey… NOW!