Saturday, July 20, 2024

Inspiration gives ideas a chance to fly

People are not just randomly struck by this phenomenon. Neither does it occur by accident. One may wonder if it is simply phenomenal rather than just nature taking its course. But if it was a commodity that could be bought, it would forever be flying off shelves.

As it turns out, success and failure have a direct link to inspiration. It is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative. The late Steve Jobs became what he was because of such mental stimulation. Each person is differently wired, so it should be expected that their mental stimulation will be sparked by different things. The trick then becomes learning to create that mental stimulation and consistently being in that state so that, like Jobs, many get to reach great heights in this lifetime. It is believed lack of inspiration is the reason why it seems difficult to achieve certain goals in life.

Researchers who have taken a keen interest on the subject have concluded that there might be no set way to make people feel inspired. There is no formula. They need to learn and master what inspires them individually. Essentially an individual needs to get to a point where they first of all recognise this mental stimulation as and when it happens such that there is a level of familiarity. It is indeed a process and therefore will not take complete form overnight. A process that is said to be set off by careful thought about where one was and maybe what they were doing the last time they felt any kind of such stimulation.

People may be inspired by music, art, cooking, exercising and so on. It is normally the simplest of things that set the ball rolling. What is beautiful about these little things is that they are always under ones control. That is to say one can decide to take any of the actions above when they want to feel inspired. They do not need to wait to be struck by inspiration. They can find the things that work best for them, and then build a strategy that uses them. That is to say if the best ideas come to one each time they take a walk then maybe their daily routine should be adjusted such that it begins with a stroll around the block. They could have a note pad to record all the brilliance that happens in their minds during this time. Or for others it could be some kind of audio recorder for each time an idea comes into mind. One can wait for the fictitious muse to arrive or they take control and direct their own mind.

There could also be a flipside to it. For instance many people believe that in order to create, their inspiration needs to come from a wholly unique idea, something no one has ever thought of before. However, one look at the creators of the most amazing art, inventions and ideas, proves the opposite to be true. Pablo Picasso famously said that good artists copy,  great artists steal. This phrase became popular again in 1996, when Steve Jobs repeated it in a documentary called  Triumph of the Nerds. In that interview Jobs went on to confess that they had always been shameless about stealing great ideas. What he was talking about was not necessarily ripping off a piece of work and claiming it. Far from it! He went on to explain that he and his team would expose themselves to the best things that humans have done and then try to incorporate them into something unique, something of their own.

Little if anything is truly new. It is important to understand and embrace this idea in order to remove one of the biggest barriers to creative inspiration. As well as inspiring self to create, there is also need for motivation to put what has been created into action. It is one thing to have a great idea sketched out on paper and it is something else to actually use that idea. There is need to learn to give ideas the chance to fly, to give answers the chance to make a difference. This means backing them up with intelligent activity.


Read this week's paper