What Inspires Me

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The question I’ve been mulling over this week is what inspires me?

This came from this week’s management tip on lynda.com by Todd Dewett called, “Inspiration Is A Choice” in which he stated that inspiration is not a random occurrence, but is a choice.

According to the dictionary, to inspire is:

to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence; to spur on, impel, motivate; or to affect, draw forth or bring out (such as thoughts or emotions)

Dr. Dewett gave four pointers to practice to attract inspiration:

  1. Always choose a positive perspective
  2. Spend your time with positive people
  3. Count your blessings
  4. Spend time every day finding things that inspire you

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On the day that I listened to this, I paid particular attention to what inspired me on that day to be energetic and engaged, to relax into finding the solutions I needed at work for several problems, and to desiring to spend time working on my photography at night instead of frittering away time in front of the television.

Here was my short list.  I share it with you to inspire you to look for and attract your own inspiration:

  1. Making random chitchat on the elevator.  This day happened to be an executive that I did not know, but I heard about his recent travels and what his family was up to (we actually started talking as we walked in from the garage, so it was bit longer of a chat than usual).
    *
  2. Walking outside during lunch.  It was hot and humid, but the crepe myrtles are in full bloom right now and they are all different colors, as you can see in my photos, from white to purple to red to pink.  I love how the colors just make everything bright and cheery.
    *
  3. Taking time to enthusiastically greet the dogs when they mob me at the door after work.  They’re so excited that I’m home!  It’s fun to make a big deal of them and get them more wild for a few seconds before they go lay down again.
    *
  4. Working on my photographs and seeing them improve as I learn to use Lightroom better.
    *
  5. Encouraging others in their creative ventures, from you – my blogging friends – to the waitress at Cracker Barrel whose poetry books I buy and read, to my favorite boy toy as we both realize that he’s having a major equipment failure with his photo printer.

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This is not a one-time exercise.  I’ve increased my observation of what inspires me, to identify and court it in my life, and just like I’m working on nurturing creativity, I’m also choosing to be inspired.

How about you?  What inspires you?  I’d love to hear it, because you give me ideas to consider and so often, help me clarify my own thoughts.

I leave you with these two quotes, to remind you that inspiration, like nurturing creativity, needs to happen daily.  And that it happens by paying attention, being present in the moment, and being eager to receive it.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last.
Well, neither does bathing. 
That’s why we recommend it daily.
– Zig Ziglar

Do stuff. be clenched, curious.
Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or
society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention.
It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality.
It connects you with others. It makes you eager.
stay eager.
Susan Sontag

 

18 thoughts on “What Inspires Me

    • You’re welcome! It’s hard to catch everything that’s out there. I’ve made more good friends with blogging by sharing things from my own post that I thought fit with theirs. I find it really compliments my thoughts to find someone else exploring a similar topic.

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  2. Pingback: 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity | Living The Seasons

  3. Hi Nancy, I realized that I hadn’t seen your blogposts in a while even though I am following you. Very strange… In any case, I recently met another blogger near Richmond and we talked about all the Virginia bloggers we knew of. So I tracked you down from a comment you left on an early post (remember Chihuly :-)) Do you know Sylvia of Silver in the Barn? You may want to check her out.
    I love your theme of inspiration and creativity – I am actually taking an on-line class on creativity coaching to round out my life coach training. That gives me even greater opportunity to look at this whole concept of motivation, inspiration and creativity.
    To me, Nature is always a great inspiration and endless source of metaphors for our human experience.

    • I haven’t been posting regularly, so if you skip looking at the feed a few times, it would be easy to miss that I actually did start posting again.

      Thanks for the recommendation for Sylvia. What a cool blog! I do actually know quite a few Virginia bloggers – the area seems to be teeming with creativity.

      I’m glad you liked the theme (and left a note to tell me so). I think learning more about motivation, inspiration and creativity is wonderful.

      And yes, nature is a great inspiration. I’m amazed at how much I even find in my own little backyard!

  4. Lovely post, Nancy, with great reminders. I particularly like the last quote as, for me, inspiration stems from paying attention. Walking the same paths nearly every day could become boring without that attention and mindfulness because I’d fail to see all the newness that occurs moment by moment. I am also inspired by others (your blog post is a great example of inspiration!), and their creativity and different ways of seeing things. :)

    • Thanks Robin! I have to agree with you about the need to pay attention so everything stays new to us. And I’m glad my blog post inspired you – you’re right about other bloggers also being a source of inspiration!

  5. I get a lot of inspiration from other bloggers. After seeing others (like yours) great photos, I’m inspired to get a better camera, for one thing. I’ve been inspired to start purging and live with less–though this is a project that is going to take some time.

    • I’ve been doing the purging too and I’ve really liked having less clutter and less things too. But it’s taking quite a while to get done.

      I really dragged my feet several years ago on getting a better camera, then dragged them again on actually improving my camera skills. I’m glad my husband pushed me into both though. What a good boy!

      Nancy

  6. Both quotes are excellent. I am inspired by people, nature and activity. The busier I am, the more inspired I get. Your photography inspires me too! The photographs in this post are amazing. You just get better and better all the time. Have a great week!

    • Thanks Darlene, for the compliments and for noticing. I have been working on my photo skills and it really is noticeable when I look at what I did several years ago.

      I love what you shared for inspiration. I like one-on-one with people, but large groups of people just drain me. I have to really be careful about my energy on days I’m in big meetings.

      I hope you’ve been having a good week also and the move is coming along nicely!

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