Lacking motivation or drive or that vitality and energy to pursue a dream, a goal, or just to tackle the laundry? We all need inspiration to succeed at something, especially over the long-term when the initial euphoria fades and good intentions meet reality. Here are 5 ways to inspire yourself today to accomplish what you’ve set out for yourself.
#1 – Find Inspiring Stories That Support Your Dream
One of the best methods to stay engaged and energized is by watching, reading or listening to stories about people achieving or living the goal you have. Videos, podcasts, books, movies – all of these are great sources of media and inspiration.
What’s so great about them?
Firstly, when you see other people accomplishing your own goal, it makes it real and doable. If other people can do it, so can you. That’s the key takeaway. It’s no longer impossible. It’s achievable. The idea that something is impossible is probably the biggest hurdle to achieving any goal. Knock that roadblock down by hearing how others did what you’re wanting to do.
Secondly, hearing inspirational stories condensed years of experience into manageable chunks of information. You learn the tips, tricks and solutions in a very short time that took others perhaps a lifetime to discover – letting you avoid those same pitfalls or learn how to navigate them should they arise. This way you also don’t become bogged down in what otherwise might have seemed like an “impossible” problem that shipwrecks your dream.
Thirdly, you can revisit these inspirational stories again and again or find new tales. One story or a one-time listening is never enough, especially over the long-term. By constantly or intermittently visiting these tales, we boost our morale, reaffirm our passion and commitment, and usually regain energy and traction, as well as focus and drive on our journey.
#2 – Find Inspiring Peers
Let’s face it, sometimes our friends, family and colleagues are not the most supportive of our dreams and goals. Sometimes they are quite critical. It’s worthwhile to find peers trying to accomplish what you’re undertaking. This can yield moral support, much needed encouragement, and lead to shared ideas that motivate and energize you.
You don’t have to form new friendships only with people doing what you’re doing. One of my most inspirational peers was a colleague at my law firm. We were both trying to actively escape our current careers but had vastly different goals. While she wanted to stay in the rat race and I wanted out of it, we both had large, life changing goals no one else around us understood or were interested in. They were just there for the paycheck. So she and I bonded and inspired one another about our dream lifestyles. We encouraged each other but also discussed steps forward, how to design our income streams and other real world practicalities. Working insane hours at the firm, we were lifelines for each other and would chat in the break room or in the hallway or even in the bathroom about our goals, visions and what we were doing to make them happen.
You really need just one cheerleader. Find them, celebrate them and cheer them on as well. The synergy will build you both stronger.
#3 – Knock Out Distractions
Inspiration is energy that leads to fruitful action we feel good about. Most of the time our energy is drained, depleted and scattered across dozens of activities, people and commitments. To regain energy and focus, we often need to winnow down or at least better prioritize our commitments and distractions. They’re draining our energy and if we’re too drained, it will be hard to maintain focus and drive to pursue our goals. We’ll simply be too tired – emotionally, mentally and physically – or never have the time.
Easy places to start are time wasters like TV, random internet surfing, games and playing on our smartphones. While we all need downtime, using most of our downtime on these pursuits will demotivate us, divert energy and time from our goals, and require more time for us to get done what needs doing, which often demoralizes us on top of things.
Ditch the time wasters. Your clarity and energy will improve. After all, do you ever come away feeling more energized after those pursuits than when you started? I’ve never seen someone pop up off the couch full of energy and motivation after binging on a crime drama. They’re just drained and ready for bed.
Inspiration needs fertile soil in order to take root. If your life is crowded with distractions, too many commitments, and a life of busy-ness, inspiration will have a difficult time sprouting. You simply won’t have the energy or concentration it requires to flourish.
#4 – Energizing Food
Most people fail to realize how key our food is to our energy levels and emotions – including motivation and vitality. If we’re eating junk, our bodies and minds suffer. Our moods suffer. If you ever watch Supersize Me, you’ll see the very real impact eating fast food for a month has on one man’s energy, emotional stability, motivation and vitality. It sucks the life right out of him, putting him in funks, leaving him tired, and starts to negatively impact his health.
Food is one of the most important regulators of not just our overall health but our vitality and energy. If most of your food is processed – and 62% of the average American diet is – then you’re probably tired, anxious and not that healthy. You’re also probably NOT energetic and buzzing with energy most days.
When you eat real foods – unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains and tubers – you are feeding your body clean fuel to function not minimally but optimally. Your energy levels start to reset higher, then higher still. Brain fog goes away, as does fatigue and problems sleeping. Health issues generally ease or disappear. That all means more energy and focus you can devote to your goal. When you feel vital, you feel empowered and unstoppable.
Look at your food. Are you eating to live or just stuffing convenience foods and drinks into your mouth, stuff that can sit on shelves and won’t rot or wilt or go bad? That’s not food. That’s junk – no matter what the marketing claims. Eat real, fresh foods. Your body, mind and energy levels will thank you.
#5 – Inner Inspiration
Few dreams or goals will happen without inspiration. But inspiration is built upon a desire for something. If we don’t know why we’re doing something or what we’re hoping to achieve, it will be hard to move forward. We’ll lack energy and drive to commit to something nebulous, especially if the effort is perceived as high.
Inspire yourself by thinking about your goal or dream. Pay special attention to why you’re wanting this to happen. What’s driving you? How does it make you feel? Sit and think about it. Devote time to nursing it because energy goes where we put our attention. We can’t just dream up a goal, then set it aside and hope to achieve it. We need to let it inspire us. After all, we’re doing it for a reason.
Many times this process of reflection has unexpected benefits. We get insights into next steps or how to solve a short-term setback or problem. I’m often motivated with answers, solutions or new methods by just sitting and taking half an hour to brainstorm a goal or dream.
Sometimes when we sit with our goal or dream and really delve into what we’re hoping to gain from it that we learn that we don’t necessarily need to pursue that particular goal to achieve that feeling of accomplishment, meaning or happiness. We may already possess the ability to feel that way without the goal or that an easier goal would accomplish the same result.
We pursue goals for inner reasons. When we explore them, we are really opening a dialogue few of us have with our real selves. That conversation is often life-changing. Sit with your goal or dream. It will motivate you forward or point out what it is you are truly seeking. Either way, you’ll move forward and the energy to pursue action will be there.
5 Ways to Action
Inspiration is energy that leads to fruitful action we feel good about. To maintain that energy and drive, it’s important to find ways to tap into a variety of energy sources. Those can be internal or external. Usually it’s helpful to have a number of sources to stay charged and ready to go. If you’re looking for immediate boosts, try:
- Explore stories that speak to your dreams and goals
- Find inspiring peers
- Cut off energy sucks like time wasters and extraneous commitments
- Eat real food for energy and vitality
- Look within for driving forces behind what you’re doing
When you do this, you are charging yourself with energy, focus and motivation. These are the key ingredients of inspiration and they are endless currents when tapped. Get inspired today and keep returning to the taps for a steady stream of inspiration.
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