Inspiration is a fascinating factor behind your career. Ability is evident and knowledge too is apparent. However, inspiration is the glue that brings these and other strengths together to achieve great things.
Why is it so important?
Prominent Positive Psychologist, Scott Barry Kaufman, believes inspiration has the ability to turn “apathy to engagement”. Music to the ears of those of us who have felt or feel ‘stuck’ in our career. Related research by Todd Thrash and Andrew Elliot, creators of the ‘Inspiration Scale’, have found that inspiration drives greater levels of creative productivity. Therefore, it clearly has the capacity to help us plot our desired path and to generate the innovation, creation and ingenuity required to make this conceptual path a reality.
What is inspiration?
In 1983, E.P. Torrance, a leading thinker in the field of applied creativity, resolved that inspiration involves realising a future vision of ourselves. Almost 35 years on it still proves to be a very relevant definition. In his 2016 book on maximising performance, Terry Orlick wrote that “all people who have excelled at anything had dreams of….becoming their best”. Torrance and Orlick give us clear instruction. To be inspired, we must first understand our dreams and goals. And then translate them into a clear vision. Of where we want to be and what we want to do in our career.
What’s key to defining our own inspiration?
Embrace your own uniqueness:
A few years ago my football team compiled a team CD. It contained songs that we each listened to for motivation. What struck me was the variation between the songs that achieved the same thing for each individual. From Liquido’s stirring “Narcotic” to Hard-Fi’s party anthem “Living for the Weekend”.
It highlights the uniqueness of where we each go to seek self-motivation. And the same, I believe, rings true for inspiration. We have to define our own inspiration. No one else can.
One thing I believe is safe to assert at this point. We spend more time listening to music than we do understanding how what inspires us.
But that changes from here.
Find accessible role-models:
The future vision of ourselves that Torrance describes can be difficult to picture with clarity. Identifying and meeting people who we feel represent what we aspire to be helps define our vision. I’ve had meetings with great people like Paula Mullin and Ian Kingston, meetings which have really helped me to define my own vision and have inspired me to go after what I want to be.
Your job now, if not already complete, is to draw out a rough sketch of that future vision of yourself. And then, it’s to go meet and draw inspiration from those who best represent what it is you want to achieve. These will help you get clarity on your vision.
And give you the inspiration to kick on.