How to find inspiration when you’re just not getting it

It’s not just creatives who need inspiration – we all need it. It’s the lifeblood of our imagination, our excitement. It’s what gets us up in the morning. If you’re inspired, you’re happy – and if you’ve lost it, here are some tips that may help you get it back.

1. Look around you

Stop staring at your screen, stop scrolling through Instagram, stop plugging your ears for a second and just observe. What’s outside your window? What does your morning commute look like? What’s new in your neighbourhood – or, what’s always been there and you never noticed? We’re always so focused on ourselves that we forget everyone else. We forget the world is changing just like us, and we fail to notice it. So open your eyes and look.

2. Talk to people

We’ve all heard that being in a globally connected era has made us distant to those around us – yes, it’s ironic. But it’s also not hard to correct if we just have the guts to speak. Yes, it’s difficult – yes, the person may ignore you or choose to cut off the conversation. But they may also be willing to carry it on – it’s a 50/50 chance. In talking to people, you get a different perspective. Try it – you never know where you’ll make an unexpected friend. 

3. Read read read

Okay so, it’s almost impossible to say ‘stop looking at your phone’ – but how about if you were able to read while still being on your phone? And I’m not just talking about Instagram captions – download the Overdrive or BorrowBox apps, depending on which one your city library is connected to, to start borrowing ebooks and audiobooks just like you would any other library. Now you don’t have to worry about carrying a book around, yet you still get the benefits!

4. Attend events

Local classes, workshops, even Toastmasters groups (where you’ll find extremely inspirational speeches). Trying something new, or even going back to pick up something old may spark a source of creativity somewhere. You can check Facebook for events near you, or simply go to local attractions and find out what’s on.

5. Use the internet as a last resort

When we create and post on social media, we have to think – would we still have created this thing if social media didn’t exist? Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks about this in his TED talk, about how we need to shift our creative mindset from craving attention to paying attention. Creating simply for the sake of others viewing it might actually just be stripping ourselves of creativity. So try stepping away from social media – whether that’s uninstalling the app, or deactivating. See how much better you’ll feel, and how much more present you’ll be.

Noor M

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