Creative types are not the only ones who struggle with finding ideas or inspiration. From time to time, we all get that down feeling of being stuck with no way out — where nothing good comes out, no matter how hard we try. Inspiration is a wayward lady that comes and goes whenever she pleases. However, people often get most inspired when their mind is wandering somewhere else, such as in the shower, while walking, or during sleep.
Our daily fast-paced lives and routines don’t create much space for the mind to wander about. With lots of responsibilities and commitments, we need to have everything under control — including our minds — in order to keep up with the rhythm of life.
We can’t escape our lives, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t turn the situation into our own advantage and make the boring, ordinary things into a source of thrilling inspiration and brilliant ideas. Our minds need a bit of a change in order to learn how to perceive the everyday environment as something new and exciting.
If you want to learn how to produce lots of new ideas, you need to learn how to explore. Life doesn’t always give you fascinating stories and adventures that will drive the creative energy through you, but there sure are plenty of tiny story pieces surrounding you every day.
‘Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.’— Bruce Garrabrandt
Rediscover the Learners’ Mindset
Think of little babies and how they discover the world around them — everything is new, unusual, and makes them curious. As we grow up, we start to take our surroundings for granted. Everything — people, events, even our own knowledge becomes boring and ordinary because we’ve already had a first-time experience with it.
How is it that couples who have been together for ages fight boredom and routine in everyday life? They learn how to fall in love with each other over and over again, rediscovering little things about their partner that made their heart beat faster when they first met.
Why not do the same with habitual parts of your everyday life? Have a good look at it, as if you were looking at it for the first time ever— what’s special about it, what’s beautiful and unique, or what confuses you and makes you uncomfortable?
Change your point of view and you’ll be surprised by the new ideas that you can get out of it.
Gratitude is the simplest yet most effective way to slow down and raise your awareness. We spend every day in a rush — to get work and chores done, be everywhere on time, fulfil commitments, etc. By the time we are done with all our obligations, there is usually no energy left to appreciate anything. All you want to do is be left alone and relax.
When you intentionally slow down during the day, you give yourself the opportunity to notice things that might normally slip out of sight. Gratitude works as a tiny anchor that draws your attention to the things that matter (or not so much).
Take the weather, for example. It’s early fall (or spring for our friends in the Southern hemisphere) and the summer heat is finally gone. The sun is bright, the air is crisp, and leaves are blazing with all possible shades of yellow and orange. It’s the perfect time to get out cosy sweaters and savour hot drinks (wink wink, pumpkin spice latte lovers). Now, when did you last take a moment to appreciate such a simple thing?
When you take a moment to count your blessings — even the smallest and most insignificant ones — you are giving them attention. This way, when you are practicing gratitude, you allow your mind to slow down and notice the important role that ordinary things play in your life.
Savor Your Experiences
Nature has endowed us with five senses that often go unnoticed in the everyday rush. For example, let’s look at something that most of us have in common — morning coffee, tea, or any other beverage of your choice that helps you to jumpstart your morning. How do you take it?
Do you shovel it down like fuel to keep you going for the next few hours?
Or do you take a moment to enjoy the bracing smell, strong taste and velvety texture in your mouth, and the warmth of the cup heating the palms of your hands and spreading throughout your body?
It’s still the same cup of coffee, but taking a few more minutes to fully enjoy it would give a flow of sensations that you can channel into your creative source.
Everything that surrounds us has color or taste or smell or texture that we can perceive and reflect upon. Embracing slow experiences gives you the opportunity to savour those moments and appreciate them more deeply.
Not everyone in the world has exciting and incredible lives to fuel their inspiration and provide ideas. I know for a fact that I don’t; this is absolutely fine because inspiration hides in both the most habitual and the most fabulous things. It is your choice to notice it and welcome into your life.
‘Learn to appreciate small quiet moments, the ocean, a walk on the beach, time alone, your health, your strength, your smile, your life.’― Germany Kent
Allow yourself to step out of routine thinking and get a fresh look at the life you are living. It is special, it is unique, and it is full of small wonders that you pass by every day. And, once you start noticing them, a whole new world will open up to you.
Originally published at https://medium.com/ on October 18, 2019.