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- 1 Sometimes I get asked, “How do you come up with new ideas?”
- 2 23 Ways To Get Inspired And Forge Ahead (It’s easier than you may think!)
- 3 1. Ask a beginner.
- 4 2. Study advertising.
- 5 3. Connect your mind, body, and spirit.
- 6 4. Ask hypothetical questions.
- 7 5. Do mindless chores in silence.
- 8 6. Take a long shower.
- 9 7. Switch it up.
- 10 8. Plan for a decade- not a year, week, or day.
- 11 9. Go on a wandering hike.
- 12 10. Shop local.
- 13 11. Analyze what isn’t working (Problems).
- 14 12. Flip through old journals and scrapbooks.
- 15 13. Accept a challenge.
- 16 14. People-watch or Eavesdrop… but don’t be creepy. 😉
- 17 15. Turn to your tribe.
- 18 16. Push past fear.
- 19 17. Strip away everything unnecessary.
- 20 18. Leverage wisdom gained from family life (Positive OR negative… it’s all part of the story.)
- 21 19. Get away for a bit.
- 22 20. READ.
- 23 21. WATCH.
- 24 22. Utilize your senses.
- 25 23. Find instant inspiration anytime.
- 26 24. BE Inspirational. (okay, 24.)
Sometimes I get asked, “How do you come up with new ideas?”
I wish I could answer that easily. The short answer is more like “it’s magic.” But, there is a method to the magic.
Finding inspiration is unpredictable and fleeting for most. Divine sparks seem to happen at random. The elusive muse only revealing herself on her own time. But let’s say that you run a blog (like I do) and need to constantly come up with good ideas and stay inspired to write (quality content) on a consistent basis. Unpredictable and fleeting doesn’t really work, then. What do you do when you need to “tap in” and find inspiration, but don’t know where to start?
You can tap into an unlimited supply of inspiration, whenever you want- all you have to do is look for it with intention. Go to the source. It is very very hard to get inspired without a hunger for knowledge and a thirst for discovery and exploration. Intentional living, asking more questions, action- that’s what inspires.
Feeling stuck? Like all of this sounds just too airy-fairy? That’s okay!
There are many ways to get inspired and forge ahead! Keep building and asking and growing. Here are 23 simple actions you can take right now to start.
23 Ways To Get Inspired And Forge Ahead (It’s easier than you may think!)
1. Ask a beginner.
What seems obvious to you is astounding to someone else. Really!
Start by asking someone who knows very little about your topic. Find out what the struggles and pain points are. What are the desired outcomes? What do they wish were easier? What is their mindset towards the topic?
Asking these questions will open up a whole new world of possibilities for creativity and innovation. Using an outsider’s unique perspective on what you deeply understand will give you a bigger picture.
What is one topic that always blows people away when you talk about it?
This might not be a shocker, but not everyone knows everything. You do have knowledge that you can package and share. Everyone is an expert at being themselves. Use that. Utilize your prior knowledge of any topic to get inspired from a newbie.
2. Study advertising.
Businesses spend major amounts of money on advertising. From small announcements in a local classified to national high-budget ads played during the Super Bowl. The good news for you is that you can tap into what is being served to you. The time and money has already been spent to make sure the ad is pre-tested for appeal. Figure out what the appeal IS and figure out how you can model your marketing efforts from it. That’s just 1 example.
I’m not just talking about television ads, either.
Heck, I barely watch TV, myself. But advertising now is sneaky nowadays and it can be found just about everywhere. If there are eyes- there are ads. (That’s not to say that advertising is a “bad” thing. Labeling things as “bad or good” is a sticky topic.)
Try to also take note of any ads that trigger you. If something you see makes you stop and think, angry, or interrupts your normal patterns in any way, look into it further. There is always a reason.
3. Connect your mind, body, and spirit.
When everything is in alignment, inspiration flows freely.
Take care of yourself. Work on healing and advancing your body, mind and spirit. The stronger of a connection you have to YOU, the more you will stay inspired.
It is not selfish to love and take care of yourself. It is absolutely necessary. It’s a requirement. @chelseashoots
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4. Ask hypothetical questions.
Asking questions is one of the single most important habits of successful innovators.
Too many people believe that they know enough about any given topic to not ask questions. Even if we aren’t exactly sure of the full story, we tend to formulate a rough idea (or belief) in our mind about the topic and move on.
However, when you ask hypothetical questions, you get to explore deeper. I like to ask random questions to Mr. H all the time! Sometimes even hearing his answer will lead to MORE questions and MORE understanding.
5. Do mindless chores in silence.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I throw on Disney Pandora so I can bust out my cleaning quickly, without thinking much.
But there are times that I enjoy doing chores like dishes or yard work in silence. While my brain is preoccupied on a mindless task, my mind is free to wander.
Some of my best ideas hit me while scrubbing baseboards or planting in my garden.
6. Take a long shower.
Aside from cleansing away the filth and negative energy from the day, a shower is the perfect place to get smacked in the face with a genius solution to a problem.
It’s not the new Lush bubble bar (even though they are pure magic!) giving you a new sense of wisdom, but a combination of relaxation and the right kind of focus that lets your brain make new connections and process thoughts in creative ways.
While your hands are busy taking care of business, your mind is free to wander and daydream.
Normally, you would be quick to dismiss some of the ideas that pop into your head because your mind is too tied up worrying about deadlines, work, and your endless to-do list.
In the shower, you can easily create connections in your mind that help you see things more clearly.
7. Switch it up.
Do you always take the same route to work? Visit the same grocery store every week? Eat the same meals? Watch the same shows? Read the same books? Change it up.
You engage sleepy-mode once your muscle memory kicks in.
Eventually, your body will start running on auto-pilot, going through the motions almost unconsciously.
Snap out of it and heighten your mind.
Increase your awareness by not always thinking you know what’s coming next. (This also happens to be what I believe causes a TON of car accidents, especially the ones closest to home.)
8. Plan for a decade- not a year, week, or day.
I am so guilty of this myself! I get so stuck in a pattern of worrying about getting through the day that sometimes I fail to see the bigger picture.
It is freeing in a way, as well, when you start to shift your thinking to long AND short term.
Let’s say I have a blog post that I really wanted to put up today but I have an insane migraine. (That’s actually a common issue for me so I will go with it.) I could spend the day not only suffering in pain but also causing myself internal suffering by worrying about my blog.
OR I can shift my focus and realize that in 10 years, I won’t care that I didn’t finish the post TO-DAY, I would just want myself to be comfortable. My future self can actually allow my present self to feel okay about a decision.
Planning for a decade can also inspire you to do things that you thought you couldn’t. Patience and persistence are virtues, here.
9. Go on a wandering hike.
Witnessing the beauty in the ordinary is extremely inspiring. ♥
Without a destination, you are free to roam and explore. Let life happen and make a choice to actively participate.
10. Shop local.
Online shopping is great! The introvert-in-me loves limiting my interaction with people most of the time.
Big box stores have their benefits, don’t get me wrong. I love bargain hunting and clearance shopping just as much as the next person.
However, my FAVORITE way to shop is local. Whether buying from friends, farmer’s markets, thrift stores, flea markets or yard sales- I believe everyone should strive to shop locally more often. Not only is it good for the local economy but supporting others that you have a personal connection with has so much value.
I have many stories and profound insights from working with small businesses and scouring thrift stores for the diamond in the rough.
11. Analyze what isn’t working (Problems).
Then work to find the solution.
Problems are only bad when you don’t think you shouldn’t have any. In truth, problems teach us lessons and learning lessons gives us wisdom.
The best inventions were a solution to a major problem- electricity, the wheel, snuggies…
12. Flip through old journals and scrapbooks.
I table a lot of ideas.
Sometimes something sounds great, there is still an issue to tweak, the timing isn’t quite right or it just doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea, just not right NOW.
With a new mind (I am learning and growing every day,) I can usually see something a different way and might easily fit the puzzle pieces together the next time I get back to it.
I also like to go way back into the scrapbooks from childhood. Sometimes, inspiration strikes based off of something I did or said at a very young age to help me learn lessons in the present.
13. Accept a challenge.
The harder the challenge seems, the better.
But it is not enough to just accept it. Fully commit to something that seems challenging but will benefit you in a deep and profound way.
Prove to yourself that you are worthy of following through. Give yourself a confidence boost and create new connections in your mind.
14. People-watch or Eavesdrop… but don’t be creepy. 😉
Some of my best material comes from overheard conversations. Sometimes I overhear someone in line at the bank or “eavesdrop” in a comments section online.
I enjoy watching how people act and REact to life and in general. But, please… try not to get too close.
15. Turn to your tribe.
There are numerous places I know I can turn to when I feel stuck, need help or crave inspiration. I enjoy actively participating in online communities and by networking with others in those communities, I am able to learn and grow quicker than flying solo.
Having a tribe gives you the advantage that you will need if you do happen to hit a wall (even though you have this list to fall back on!) and find yourself stuck and dry of ideas, you can turn to your tribe to ask questions and to gather inspiration.
16. Push past fear.
Not many things motivate me quite like being scared shitless. I can do almost anything to avoid being confronted with my fears.
Fear of failure, fear of going/staying/being broke, fear of being in the spotlight, fear of being heard, fear of crowds… All of these fears can be benefited from once you finally push PAST it. (Subscribe for more on THIS topic!) Utilize the fear and turn it into motivation to push forward.
17. Strip away everything unnecessary.
Whatever you are left with is what will matter most. Use what you have left for inspiration by looking closely and asking questions.
When you surround yourself with limited distractions, more room is created for what inspires you.
18. Leverage wisdom gained from family life (Positive OR negative… it’s all part of the story.)
I am learning so many lessons from being a mom that I even decided to dedicate a portion of my blog to little Aidan’s journey. I am not saying that you have to write a book about every little thing. Just know that even if you are stuck in the mud, you can also rely on your day to day experience to draw inspiration from. Look closely. All you need is awareness.
19. Get away for a bit.
Read forums, blogs, books, magazines, the back of the shampoo bottle. Read to your kids, read to a stranger. READ EVERYTHING.
Watch videos on Youtube or go see a broadway show. Watch a soccer game or an artist paint. Find the connections.
22. Utilize your senses.
SEE your vision board come to life with all of your desires. Put everything on it that already inspires you. Have many.
HEAR a beautiful song or an enlightening conversation.
TASTE food from a place you have never been before with a name you don’t understand.
TOUCH terrain from an unfamiliar place.
SMELL a new baby.
23. Find instant inspiration anytime.
I keep a running list of ideas and inspiration. Instant inspiration. Anytime I am feeling stuck, I can refer back to my “idea vault” and instantly jolt myself back into a better flow and energy. It’s exciting when I can come back to an idea that didn’t work at one time, but now fits exactly what I need.
My lists aren’t only about business and blogging. I have lists for gardening ideas and plans. Similarly, I keep a record of what I want to accomplish, photography projects I am dying to try and, in general, anytime inspiration strikes.
24. BE Inspirational. (okay, 24.)
The best way to get inspired is to be inspiring. Period.
Above all, BE love.
EMBODY what you preach on a deep level.
Shouting at others with a megaphone standing on a soap box will get you attention. However, doing so will not touch people on a soul level. It won’t manifest the type connections that really enhance your life.
What unintentionally happens when you operate in this fashion, is that you end up being tuned out by those who need your message the most.
Use your platform, your message and everything you do to INSPIRE and light up the dark.
From here on, make a conscious decision to BE inspirational.
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What are your favorite ways to get inspired and forge ahead?