If you are an entrepreneurial dreamer like me, you'll know the familiar struggle of trying to find the drive to fulfill your plans when the world around you seems dry and unwelcoming. One great attribute of being entrepreneurial is thriving through the unknown. Not everyone is entrepreneurial and thats okay! I've learned that inspiration is not only connected to business success or creativity.
Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself an entrepreneurial soul, every day we are inspired to act one way or another. As C.S. Lewis puts it, "“Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.”In order to be inspired towards glory, we must surround ourselves with particularly placed environments and think on them as we go about our daily tasks. Inspiration is what saves us from our daily doldrums and keeps us off the path we may naturally succumb to.
Thus, I'd like to share with you five ways I swear by to renew inspiration in my life- be it inspiration to do your school projects, clean out that fridge you keep putting off, or actually start the company you've been dreaming about for years. Every time I go home to Boise something within me changes and I inadvertently capitalize on the businessy- driven- planner woman that lives inside my head. What exactly is it about this place? Alright then, I'll tell you! So here we go... 3...2...1...
Mentors and Motives
It is said that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Who is it that you go to first when you have exciting news? Is it your best friend? Your parents? Who are the 5 people whose jokes you pick up on and characteristics you know by heart?
When it comes to inspiration, these people will either set you up for success or flop you down to failure. It is important to recognize that these 5 people may not even be people that you have had conversations with. For me, women like Hilary Rushford and Julia Engel are entrepreneurs that I strive to emulate and set me up for success just as much as my parents do. By surrounding myself with people who believe in my dreams and can also lovingly critique me, I've found positive inspiration that I'm only impacts me when I'm around them. Ive also learned that inspirations doesn't just come from myself, like the world might say, but rather from people around me that have tried and true experience.
Take a look at the 5 closest people to you. Are they ones that you want to be just like? Will they prompt you to success?
If you cant find anyone in your 5 that you want to emulate, use your resources! Add to your 5 be it online, a friend of a friend or gain some confidence by talking to a stranger.
Talking to your 5 about your ideas not only creates a diversity of thought but a promotion for you to succeed.
Roots and Wings
I take great encouragement from browsing through old family pictures. My parents took hordes of photos of my brothers and me growing up, and for that I am eternally grateful. Often I peruse them to be reminded of forgotten times or the stage of life we enjoyed back then.
One side effect I didn't expect in curating these pictures is that suddenly I became inspired. By looking at a photograph of myself at age two, I think to myself, "What would that little girl think of me if she saw me now? Have a lived a life worthy of the expectations I had at that age?" I find photographs of my paternal grandfather who passed away two years ago and think, "Would he be proud of me now? What would he think of my choices?" He always loved and supported me, and often the sentiment still shines through those old sepia prints.
Because I've found this key inspiration for me, I plaster pictures anywhere and everywhere I can. Walls in my apartment are covered in black and white images I insist on seeing every day because it encourages me to keep on going.
By scrutinizing these photos often, I not only have become inspired by faces, but taught how to better notice details. Noticing details is also a source of inspiration... so double win right there!
Go find your parents old scrapbook or print out a few of your favorite childhood prints- I promise you it won't disappoint!
The Road Less Inspired
Theres something about driving home the same way every day that gives me the blues. The same bank, mailboxes, trees and telephone poles too often lull me to sleep rather than inspire me. This is because unfortunately, inspiration doesn't lie in the familiar. Rather, it takes a bit of shaking up your life to find inspiration rising forth. This is why I find so much more inspiration from going home to see my parents or traveling the world... it is outside the ordinary and my brain can't process it aside from finding inspiration.
This doesn't mean you must go pour money into traveling the world to find inspiration- although that is one of the most exciting ways. Changing up your surroundings can be small, like rearranging your living space, taking a different route to work, trying new foods, buying yourself flowers, or talking to someone you usually wouldn't.
If you find yourself in a rut, let that be a warning! Change your road home, and maybe you'll find a better one.
Iron by Morning Light
Yes- you've heard it before. Wake up on time and exercise. You've heard it so much because its so true! One of the best ways I feel inspired to conquer the world is by feeling my best self. A state of lethargy is the worst environment for success. I realized this a while back when I consistently started going to the gym. Not only did it get my body in shape, but it got my brain ready to roll as well! Even a light run in the morning got me awake for the day- a very opposite experience from the roll-out-of-bed routine I'd been practicing before.
I switched to working out in the mornings six months ago for scheduling reasons, but its effects were inspirational. By waking up and breaking a sweat, my body wasn't tired from the wear and tear of the day, and my routines became much more effective. I even started getting up even earlier so I would have time to make a healthy breakfast, do a little devotion, and have plenty of time to get ready for my day. Some mornings I even had a little time and energy to work on my projects!
If you feel you are getting no where with inspiration, go to the gym. Of course it sounds cliche, but it works! And you begin to see the physical effects of this life change too. Look at that! You change up your life and get in good shape- double inspirational sources here too.
Finally a Reminder
Too often I've thought that inspiration leads to immediate results, or that I can do more than possible. I am a big picture dreamer, and time and again in my life, friends and mentors have told me I must take my plans step by step. By breaking life down into small sections and really thinking and praying over my now "partial plans", I have found inspiration in the small and even pictured my big plans more clearly.
Recently I was reading Matthew, chapter 6, and at the end it tells us, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
It was a good reminder to me that regardless of any tips or tricks I think have about inspiration, the truest inspiration comes from pursuing the kingdom of God. Nothing falls short of God's plan, and He alone knows what is in store for you and your dreams. So take your plans day by day in the sight of God, and He will give you the best inspiration you could find from any DIY motives.
As always, thank you for exploring elegance with me! Have a wonderful day finding beauty in the world around you.