How To Live A Life Imbued With Inspiration, Creativity And Passion
Inspiration Is The Expression Of Creativity
“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”―Vincent van Gogh
In his book, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone takes the reader on a journey into Michelangelo’s life from his early days with the Medici family through to his detailed sculptures and painting at the Sistine Chapel.
The common theme depicted in the book was of an inspired painter and sculpture who lived for his art.
Although Michelangelo was supremely talented, he still devoted much of his waking life to developing these talents.
He spent numerous hours, even working throughout the night, to dissect cadavers so he could have a better understanding of the human form.
He tirelessly sketched and sculptured the purest Carrara marble, turning blocks of stone into the finest masterpieces the world has known.
He once said when sculpturing, that the marble took on a life of its own and it would tell him how it was to turn out.
He was merely the conduit between the marble and the masterpiece revealing itself through him.
Inspiration is the call from your soul to express itself through you. It is no secret that inspired people engage life with every faculty of their being.
They are happier, motivated and in love with their passion. They embody their love with every part of them and ruminate on it every moment they are awake.
It literally consumes their life.
Inspiration is the expression of creativity and the mind of the universe flowing through you.
And it is not just for artists. If you yearn for direction in your life, inspiration may be calling.
Most people do not really know what inspires them. Let us take look at ways you can find inspiration in your life.
While some artists are inspired by nature, others are inspired by humans and their ways of living. We all have different inspiration sources. Some of us need to look within for inspiration, while others have to look outwards.
There is actually no golden answer when it comes to finding inspiration and there can be multiple answers for an individual.
Nobody can tell you what should or should not inspire you.
When I look back at my life, I see I have been inspired by different things at different times.
As a teenager, I was inspired by my favourite band. I wanted to be a musician. As times change, our inspirations and role models change.
Focus On What You Want Now
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”― Elizabeth Gilbert
What interests and pursuits do you regularly undertake that bring you joy?
Don't worry at this stage whether you can derive an income from it. Is it something creative or do you find inspiration in tasks nobody else seems to have time nor patience for?
How do you know you are inspired by your pursuit and not just happy to be doing it?
Well, inspiration is something that brings you deep joy. When you are inspired and pursuing your passion, time stands still.
For example, I find when I’m speaking in front of audiences, time stands still and I am absorbed in the moment.
Words just seem to pour forth and I am neither attached nor invested in the exact words I speak.
I often finish a seminar and cannot recall a single thing I said, despite having rehearsed and planned the topic in advance.
I feel joy and bliss radiating from my body when I am present and aware of the moment. I have no desire other than to be the conduit for my thoughts to manifest themselves as words that resonate with my audiences.
You may have a similar experience in terms of how inspiration looks and feels to you?
Connect with that feeling of inspiration daily by tuning into its frequency.
People who are inspired often comment they do not mind whether they are paid to pursue their passion.
They could work tirelessly for days, weeks or years, yet the common element to their passion is the joy and the fulfillment of them.
There is a well-known passage by Patanjali, who wrote the ancient yoga sutras. The passage reads: “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, and all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
I have shared this passage with audience members and I am still surprised to discover how deep the meaning of the passage resonates with people.
Patanjali advises us that when we are connected with a deeper purpose, our thoughts transcend their limitations as our consciousness expands and we find ourselves in a new and wonderful world.
Our hidden talents become alive as they shine forth and in doing so we discover ourselves to be greater than we ever imagined.
The passage suggests when you align with a greater force, this is the essence of inspiration.
People who are inspired act from a deeper place. They are not concerned with accolades and recognition from others, they strive for personal satisfaction and a sense of purpose and meaning, which derives from their work.
It is important to understand that inspired people choose to view their work as play. At the end of a working week they have really allowed themselves to play rather than work.
Inspired People Work From Inside Out
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”― Jack London
I recall times where I have worked sixty to seventy hours consistently for weeks, yet as I reflect back I see my work was an opportunity to play.
And whilst tiredness and fatigue are part of the process, the opportunity to play at something you are passionate and inspired to do far outweighs turning up to a nine to five job which you dislike.
So how do you know you are inspired?
What does inspiration look like when you become aligned with this faculty?
You are inspired when you identify with the following characteristics:
- You love what you do
- You cannot wait to wake up in the morning to pursue your passion.
- Time stands still when you are pursuing your passion.
- You are energised and full of life when pursuing your passion.
- It doesn't matter you are not getting paid since you gain a great deal from your work.
- Being creative is an opportunity to display and reveal your hidden talents.
- You are absorbed in your work and unaware of anything else in your life.
- You look for new ways to improve upon the work you do.
- You approach your passion with humility and gratitude.
- You feel an inner sense of peace and security when pursuing your passion.
- You’re aware of anxiety and tension when you go for long periods without pursuing your passion.
- You love the satisfaction it brings if others complement you on your work — you do not necessarily seek approval from others.
It is obvious from the characteristics above that those pursuing their passion do so with a level of inspiration, which is beyond the call of duty. Inspired people work from inside out, rather than requiring continual motivation.
There is often some confusion between inspiration and motivation. Given the list of characteristics above, you can clearly see an inspired person does not require motivation.
However, people who require motivation need an external source to keep them progressing along their path.
A good example of looking at motivation might suggest that in order to motivate someone you would have a hand on their back, nudging them forward. When you take your hand away, the person is less inclined to stay motivated.
Inspired people are their own motivators.
They do not need the motivation from an external source to keep them inspired.
The source of their inspiration comes from a deep place within.
Inspired people are deeply aware of the inner source of their inspiration, which emanates and creates the passion and enthusiasm that they feel toward their work and purpose.