Tim @ Mini Life Hacks suggested I write a following up article from my guest post about 8 Steps to Inspire Others . Thanks for that suggestion Tim, I’ll first cover the methods to find inspiration in this article and my next one will cover how to take action on that inspiration.

Search Out New Experiences

Inspiration comes about because of change or seeing the possibility of change.  If you always do the same things, this will be either minimal or non-existent.  You must search out and have new experiences in order to find inspiration.  This works by seeing new places or people that can inspire you.  There are many ways to find and the inspiring moments and things will different for everyone.  They might include some of these which I often find inspirational:

These are just a few and everyone will have their own personal favorites that interest and inspire them.  If you don’t go searching for this material to inspire you however, don’t expect it to simply come knocking on your door.  You must search for it!

Keep An Open Mind

Once you do find new experiences, the unknown often drives fear or a defensive attitude towards it.  The change that inspiration is generated from will only be held back by those initial worries or reactions so you must keep an open mind in these situations to see them from new perspectives.  You want to let it shape you thoughts, change your initial response and give yourself some time to ponder the new things before denying any possible acceptance or further exploration of the subject.  You never know what you could be missing if you close your mind to new ideas.

Watch Your Emotions

Emotions are often tied to that initial response but they also relate so closely to your past experiences they are often limiting or blinding what we dare to see or believe. A story that might be inspiring to one person can easily make another upset or angry based on how they relate their own experiences to that.  Pay attention to your emotions, watch them carefully and try to control them.  They can hide many subtle things that lead to inspiration at the wrong time or place.  Keeping them under control and always trying to change the perspective you experience things in can help with getting past a negative emotional response.

Your emotions could just as easily be signals to find inspiration as often you feel deeply connected to something or you care a great deal about specific topics so you naturally gravitate and have interest their.  Use this when it ties in well with the types of inspiration you want in your life.

Share the Experience

Finding inspiration comes a whole lot easier when you are actually talking about it doing that and talking with other people.  This is where inspiration feeds inspiration in many cases as simply sharing one inspiring story with a friend or colleague can spark them to think of their own inspiring messages and it often waterfalls into a deeper relationship as you discuss important things between you.  Each of those items shared also reveals something that has meaning to a person and knowing that thing is meaningful to them will automatically add importance to it in your life, especially if you already valued it.

Sharing stories of meaning and value are also a great way to discover new things and inspiration as well.  The first step about searching for inspiration is made a whole lot simpler when other people bring those stories to you directly in conversation.  Of course you will never feel the same hear about a story then experiencing it directly but often it inspires you enough to go make a similar experience yourself and get over your fears of leaving your comfort zone.  Offering that same to others by sharing your experiences builds a stronger relationship where you can continue to share the inspiration and drive each other to find more of it.

Seek Out Solitude

While sharing your experience with others has it’s set of advantages and methods to find more inspiration, so does solitude at the opposite end of the spectrum.  Solitude offers a way to focus your mind and body, which can allow you to tune in to your surroundings, your thoughts and your life.  It lets you notice some of the things that inspire subtly and that you would have missed if stuck in a hectic noisy environment.

Solitude is also a place where we can find time for reflection and deep thinking.  It helps a person link their actions and experiences to their thoughts, their hopes and their faith.  Spending time in solitude can relax the mind and sharpen your senses which makes the impact of inspiration often more intense and lasting.  Solitude will be different for different people, some may enjoy that time to think and study, others may meditate to relax the mind and body, and some may spend the time connecting spiritually through prayer and their internal connection to God.  All these things help calm the emotions, alert the senses and help to make points of inspiration more obvious in your life, an important way to find more of the inspiration you are looking for.

Keep in Mind Your Role Models

Role models come about because they either inspire a person or make them jealous.  Ask yourself what does your role model do that you like about them.  Don’t look for what they have or can offer you, but only in what they do.  Is it how they handle a situation, the steps they take to overcome hardship, their ability to lead and accomplish great things or perhaps it’s the methods they use to build and encourage strong relationship. Whatever it is, you can draw on that not only for seeing the inspiration but also to seek out more.

Do your role models align with the areas in your life you are passionate about? In other words, are they the source of inspiration that is most important to you?   It’s worth looking at how your role models steer you as often people have role models that steer them away from the important areas of their life and do so more because of social influence than heartfelt inspiration.  I’m not suggesting you carve out your role models only from what is important to you right now, as that would limit finding new inspiration, however, it is important to ensure your role models are truly impacting you with inspiration that matters to you and not just because of social influence.

Align Your Actions

While most of this step will be broken out in my next article about taking action on inspiration, I think some alignment of your actions with what inspires you will also help you find more inspiration.  Taking action towards something reinforces in our minds that action and it can quickly build the neural connections in your brain to learn that new action and associated inspiration that led to it.  This makes inspiration last and grow in value in your mind so putting attention to something that inspires you along with specific actions will only strengthen that.  This stronger connection will drive you to seek out even more, as the value you have towards that grows stronger and stronger.  If you continue to take action on new inspirations, they will develop easier, strengthen themselves and associations with other inspirations and lead to developing new beliefs and passions .

Follow Your Faith

Finding inspiration is not easy, especially in our hectic world with so many false social influences and media bombardment.  Connecting what is really important to you with what you encounter is something that you must learn to do to separate the noise from the inspiration in your life.  This comes as no small tasks and while the steps above might all help in that, it’s going to come down to you trusting yourself and your beliefs to actually recognize what is inspirational to you.  You must learn to trust your own judgment here, no matter the source.  That source of judgment is founded in the faith you have towards knowing what matters, knowing what is right and knowing you will recognize the differences as you encounter them.  This faith, whether you consider it spiritual or not, is one to be followed when seeking out inspiration.

Please add your comments about this article, your inspirations and your own methods of finding them.  I’d love to know what drives you and how you find it!

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