Should we wait for inspiration to arrive before we do work that matters most to us?
Actually, I waited for inspiration to start this article but unfortunately, I was waiting for a long time.
Allowing ourselves to receive inspiration can be valuable because it can:
- Guide us to take the right actions at the right time.
- Accelerate our progress towards what we want.
- Generate consistent momentum.
- Keep us aligned to what’s in our highest good.
- Give us the clarity we need to make good decisions.
The danger is, unless we have intentionally cultivated practices that can put us in a state to receive inspiration, those flashes of inspiration may not arrive consistently.
If we have the mindset we can do our best only after we’re inspired to act, we won’t maintain any consistent momentum in our pursuit of what we want.
Personally, there have been many things which have taken longer than they needed to because I was waiting for inspiration to arrive before taking action. Many projects were delayed because I didn’t “feel” inspired to make forward progress.
I remember when I had launched my Building High Performing Teams book, which became a #1 best-seller on Amazon, a follow-up product I wanted to create was a facilitator kit, which would help team leaders or managers transform their teams into high-performing teams. With my other commitments, it should have taken me no more than 90 days to get the first version done.
But because I was waiting to be inspired before creating the material for the kit, I kept putting it off, and it eventually took over three years to get it done. That not only caused me a lot of mental anguish, it also prevented me from providing a greater level of service to those who wanted to create better teams.
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait For Inspiration
There is a cost for waiting for inspiration to arrive before taking action. Here are five reasons why relying solely on being inspired before we do work that matters can be risky and slow our progress in life.
- Waiting for inspiration can be an excuse to procrastinate. If we’re not careful, we can easily confuse waiting for inspiration as a reason to delay and procrastinate. This is common with creators like artists, musicians, writers, to name a few. What’s more valuable is to acknowledge we’re delaying taking action and to be prepared to look at why that’s the case for us, then implement strategies to overcome it.
- Creativity or inspiration has to be generated. While there is undeniable evidence we can receive insights or flashes of inspiration out of nowhere, most times, it’s something that has to be cultivated. We can build in specific rituals or practices daily to put ourselves into a creative state. This is why practices like meditation, deep breathing and reflection are extremely valuable for generating inspiration.
- Lack of inspiration is valuable feedback. If we’re not feeling inspired, it may mean we’re not aware of what actions to take next. That’s feedback we have to learn new things, acquire new knowledge and expand our overall level of awareness. Sometimes for our intuition to be at its best, it has to be “informed,” which means the more aware we are, the more likely we’ll receive flashes of inspiration.
- Inspiration comes after taking action. The saying, “Energy flows where attention goes” suggests that inspiration, which is a form of energy, will only show up in proportion to the energy already generated. If we’re not actively pursuing what matters to us, the chances of receiving any new brilliant insight is greatly reduced. But if we’re putting a lot of focus and energy into what’s important to us, we increase our chances of receiving additional insights, which sometimes can come from other people or via new ideas.
- Lack of inspiration equates to playing it safe. Not being willing to step out of our comfort zone is often a symptom of lack of self-confidence and internal fears. When we’re in that frame of mind, we shunt or stifle our creativity, which makes it even more difficult for inspiration to flow though us. When we’re willing to take risks aligned to our highest visions in life, magical things happen as we’ll be inspired to do what’s necessary to get the outcomes we want.
The greatest creators and achievers in the world haven’t just relied solely on being inspired first before taking action. Inspiration and action compliment each other. The more we act, the more inspired we’ll be to continue taking action. The best part is, inspiration can be cultivated. If we create practices that put us in a creative and inspired state, we’ll transform how we live our lives.
Action Step: Recall the last time you felt really inspired to do something. Capture what caused you to feel inspired. What happened leading up to you being inspired to act? These are all valuable information which you can use to start cultivating inspiration on a more consistent basis.
Question: What could be another reason why waiting for inspiration can be risky before we start something?