Let’s face it, we all hit the creative wall and feel uninspired. Whether you’re a writer, a designer, or a thinker, finding inspiration doesn’t always come naturally.
But the funny thing about inspiration? It can be found anywhere, usually in the places, people, and things you wouldn’t expect.
Here are a few ways we continue to find inspiration, simply by opening our eyes and being open to new opportunities and experiences.
1. Talk to strangers. We get so caught up with ourselves that we tend to think we’re the only person with a story. Spark a conversation with the person next to you on the plane, shake hands with your barista, invite over the person eating alone at a restaurant. Chances are that they have a story, too.
2. Buy a book or magazine you wouldn’t normally read. If you’re into marketing books, read some fiction. Switch up the genre and the ideas will flow.
3. Go to a conference. For whatever you’re interested in, there’s probably a conference. Listen to the stories of speakers who have succeeded at what you want to do.
4. Visit a new city. The world is enormously bigger than what you’ve experienced. A new city is a reminder that different cultures, different ideas, and different people define the world.
5. Spend an hour in silence. It’s hard to find inspiration when there’s always something else to steal your attention. Spend some time alone with your thoughts and come back with a clear head.
6. Read bios of people your age that you admire. These folks have had the same amount of time as you have. They aren’t superhuman – but simply driven and determined to make the most of their time. What are you waiting for?
7. Watch a documentary. It’s real life.
8. Exercise. As you get more exhausted, your barriers come down a little bit and you’ll be more willing to accept a different perspective.
9. Write down your dreams. What would you do if you had the time and resources? What would you do if there were no limits?
10. Be optimistic. Negativity kills potential.
11. Write down everything. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your mind tells you why you can’t do something. Write it down anyway.
12. Wake up early. There’s something beautiful about getting started while everyone else is in bed. We guarantee that some of your best hours will be before the sun comes up.
13. Do something nice for someone. Researchers at York University in Great Britain found that people who spent 15 minutes acting with kindness toward someone else every day for a week saw increases in their own happiness and self-esteem. AND those benefits lasted for six months after their one selfless week. Do good, feel good. Simple.
14. Take pictures. You don’t have to be a pro, but looking at the world through a lens will certainly help change your perspective on everyday things.
15. Look to the past. What inspired you before? What have you done that you’ve loved? What’s the best thing you’ve ever created? When looking ahead, don’t be afraid to remember the past and how it’s helped get you to where you are today.
16. Collaborate with other people. Sharing spurs conversation. And conversation spurs ideas.
17. Be spontaneous. …even if it gives you a panic attack.
18. Listen. Have you ever been working so hard to come up with your next statement that you don’t hear what the other person is saying? Sometimes, saying nothing speaks volumes.
19. Read quotes. People have said some pretty smart things.
20. Listen to music. Music isn’t written by accident. The words, the sounds, all come together in one well-crafted story. Turn off the TV and queue up the tunes.