Recently I read an article in Harvard Business Review about inspiration and it piqued my interest. Part of my personal mission statement – To connect, inspire and lead with creative courage and optimism – even includes a mention of my desire to inspire. But I, like many people today, get caught up in the busyness of life. I’m running from point A to point B, and at times, without enough space in between. I forget to create time to just be – and that’s when inspiration happens.
Inspiration Can’t Be Scheduled
Inspiration isn’t something someone can plan for. We can’t schedule it. Often we can’t even predict it. But we can increase our odds for it. That is, if we are open enough to catch it. Make room for inspiration, but don’t put “Find inspiration” on your to-do list, because that’s unrealistic. Rather, put “Be curious, be open, wonder, create space” – and then it might find you. Have you ever heard someone say, “I was sitting at my desk and became so inspired to…”? Hell no. It happens at yoga, on a walk, in the car. So, change the way you show up and inspiration will show up.
What Magnolia Tree?
As I mentioned, I can be guilty of doing instead of being or hitting auto-pilot myself. I remember one time my mom was visiting me at the apartment complex where I had lived for years. As we exited the elevator, turned left to walk twenty steps to my apartment complex (like I had done hundreds of times) my mom stopped me and said, “Molly, oh my gosh! Look at this magnolias tree….these magnolias! They are gorgeous. I’ve never seen a magnolia flower so big!” I had no idea what she was talking about. I had walked by this tree hundreds of times but never had the created the space to notice it. Whereas she saw it – and she noticed one of the prettiest magnolias she’d ever seen (and me too, once I actually looked).
Why hadn’t I noticed it earlier? Because it wasn’t on my to do list. When we create space and take moments to de-clutter our mind, we create room to notice new things. And this space can lead to inspiration.
5 Ways to Make Room for Inspiration
But how can you make room for inspiration? Here are five ideas.
- Listen to other inspiring speakers. I find listening to people I admire and reading their books opens new perspective and possibilities.
- Try saying yes to things you usually say no to. And try saying no to things you usually say yes to.
- Carry a notebook with you for one week and write down moments that you notice. Be aware of your surroudnings and capture times where your subconscious says “Hey, there might be something here.” It can be something you see, hear, think or even smell.
- Spend time every day technology-free. So many of us are chained to our phones, computers and tablets. Make a point to put them away. You can spend that time working, meditating, or chatting with a friend. Regardless, allow time so your gadgets can’t interrupt you.
- Try a different daily routine, even if it’s taking a different route from the office to home. Be intentional about starting or ending the day differently. Who knows what you’ll see.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
When we make space for the inspiration in the little moments of our daily lives, we are likely to experience it more often.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.