Dec 112010
Inspired by Chris O’Neill

Inspiration is a wondrous thing. On days when I am uninspired, I feel lethargic and I simply cannot come up with any idea to save my life. But on days when I am inspired, my energy levels are high and ideas just flow without effort. I believe that inspiration is all around us. We can be inspired from a variety of sources if we look for it. The more sources we have, the more we will be inspired. They key to inspiration is diversification. This way, if one source fails, we have others to back it up. And so, without further ado, here are my nine sources of inspiration.

Collect Inspirational Quotes

Quotes are a great way to gain inspiration. Whenever I come across a quote that inspires me, I make sure to take it down for future reference. I am sure you have your own quotes that inspire you, but since we are on this point, let me share some of mine.

Here is the secret of inspiration: Tell yourself that thousands and tens of thousands of people, not very intelligent and certainly no more intelligent than the rest of us, have mastered problems as difficult as those that now baffle you.
-William Feather

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
-Pablo Picasso

Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
-Henry David Thoreau

Place Inspirational Reminders Strategically

Another way to find inspiration is to have reminders around you. For instance, I always make sure that my desktop wallpaper inspires me. If I find myself no longer inspired by it, I will replace it with a new one. I also enjoy having little figurines that inspire me on my desk. Right now, they are Yoda, Darth Vader and Bender from Futurama. Whatever it is that inspires you, place them near you to stay inspired.

Read Widely

Reading is one of my favourite ways to get inspired. Take biographies for example. They are full of ideas, lessons and inspiration from the lives of others. Read the biography of someone you admire and you are likely to gain much inspiration from the book. Apart from biographies, I love to read history, self-help, fiction and comics. I specifically like to read epic stories. Books or comics that tell stories about epic struggles always inspire me. The great odds that the heroes have to overcome help to lift my spirits. When it comes to reading, it is best to try the new, rather than sticking to the tried and true. Branch out into new territories to gain new insights and inspirations.

Find Inspiring Role Models

Role models or heroes have always been a part of my life. I always had great fun picking and choosing role models who could inspire me to be more than I am. As I got older, I began choosing role models for the qualities that I felt I lacked. By doing so, I slowly acquired those qualities by following the example of my role models.

You can choose any role model you desire. They could be real or fictional, historical or living. It is up to you. The important thing is that the role model you choose should inspire you. It is ok to have more than one role model. That way, each one may embody different qualities that you like. I have many role models but I shall just list a few.

Historical: Emperor John II Komnenos, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Saladin, Tamar of Georgia

Living: Queen Rania of Jordan

Water Park Fun by Andreas

Let Children Inspire You

Have you ever watched children at play? Do you remember what it was like to play without a care in the world when you were a child? Let children inspire you with their play. Whether you like or dislike kids, whether you have or do not have kids, you were once a kid yourself. You once had a childhood and moments where you viewed the world with innocence. Let go of the burdens you carry for a moment as an adult. Relive that innocence through the eyes of children playing and be inspired.

Nurture Inspirational Company

The company you keep in life is very important. People with a positive worldview can lift your spirits with their energy and ideas. Meanwhile negative people may drain you of your very life. Therefore, it is vital to surround yourself with people who inspire you. Nurture and mingle with good company. You are likelier to find inspiration this way.

Learn Something New

Pick up a new skill or hobby. Whenever you learn something new, you open up new vistas and horizons for yourself. You unleash a part of your potential that you never used before. Never again will you see the world in the same way again. With your new skills and talents, you will appreciate the world from a different point of view and be inspired. It also helps if it is something you always wanted to do so you have fun in the process. Have fun to have inspiration!

Keep Up With Ideas

Inspiration cannot exist in a vacuum. If you read or see the same thing repeatedly, very soon it will not even register for you because your mind becomes bored. We need to feed our minds with new ideas and perspectives to stay inspired. One way to do this is to stay up to date with the ideas of others. Here are some of the sites I visit to get ideas and inspiration.

-Daily Brainstorm

Watch Inspirational Videos

You Tube is a great place to find inspirational videos to watch. The following are just some of the videos that have inspired me.

Taking Action

We all have our own unique ways of being inspired. What do you do to get inspiration? What other sources of inspiration do you have that I have missed out? Do share your thoughts and comments below so that we can all be inspired together.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my RSS feed and spread the word below. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

  16 Responses to “The Vizier’s 9 Sources of Inspiration”

  1. Hi Irving,
    Wow these videos were spectacular. Thanks so much for all the links! I’m feeling the love!

    Dandy recently posted..Deep breathing techniqes for well beingMy Profile

  2. Wow, this is a whole day’s worth of inspirational reading and watching. Thank you!

    It’s always interesting to see who is inspiring to whom. Some of my role models would be Eleanor of Aquitaine, Bruce Lee, and Pema Chodron. And, now that I think about it, Duan Huynh, the uncle of my foster son. Duan led a life of quiet heroism. When I think about Duan, I realize that there are probably all sorts of heroes moving through our lives incognito.

    As for inspirational company, I would certainly include you in that group!
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Blog Plans for 2011My Profile

    • Hi Galen,

      I am glad you like my article on inspiration. :)

      You are right, we can tell a lot about a person by their role models. I also admire Eleanor of Aquitaine and Bruce Lee as well. I have never heard of Pema Chodron before, thank you for bringing her to my attention.

      I agree that there are all sorts of heroes in the guise of common people. You don’t need to save the world to be a hero. There are many heroes who live ordinary lives out there. We just have to keep our eyes open for them.

      Thank you so much for regarding me as inspirational company. You have already inspired me with your thoughtful and lovely comments that has added richly to my article. :)

  3. I’ll have to check some of these videos out later. Thanks for posting them.

    You write:

    “Right now, they are Yoda, Darth Vader and Bender from Futurama.”

    This is actually a great, great idea. To put very inspirational things by your work area!

    • Hi Bamboo Forest,

      I enjoy collecting figures of characters that I like. It kind of brings the stories where I read about them to life for me. The added benefit is when they can also serve as sources of inspiration.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  4. Hi Irving,

    Nice collection of inspirational bits and pieces.

    Lacking inspiration is like being in a dark tunnel when you’re searching for sunshine. You can look and look again for that spark but, if you can’t find it, everything seems dull.

    I’ve learned that the harder I try to find inspiration, the more difficult it is to come about. Often, I just relax, go for a walk, and let inspiration come about at its own pace. It usually comes from somewhere, but it can definitely take its time!
    Scott McIntyre recently posted..The Cautious Person’s Guide to Risk TakingMy Profile

    • Hi Scott,

      It’s good to see you again! :)

      I love your wisdom when you say that the harder you try to find inspiration, the more difficult it is to do so. This is very true. You simply cannot force things to happen. You have to go with the flow. Relaxing and going for a walk is a great way to gain inspiration. When you relax and do not try to force things, the very thing you seek comes to you naturally.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  5. Hi Irving

    First time on your blog. Read your comment over on Steve’s site and thought I would come see what your post was about. Don’t you love commentluv for that :-)

    I like where you get some of your inspiration from. Some of these I use myself. Hadn’t thought of using quotes. Will have to look at that one and see what fits in with my small niche blog. Thanks for sharing these with us. Much appreciated.

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia@lavenderuses recently posted..Are You a Tweetheart-Commenter…or both!My Profile

    • Hi Patricia,

      Welcome to Han of Harmony! It is so nice of you to stop by. :)

      Haha, commentluv has many great benefits for both me and my readers. That is the reason I installed the plugin. I am glad you love commentluv too!

      It is good to know that you gained something from my article on inspiration. Quotes are helpful sources of inspiration especially if you select those you like.

      Thank you for your comments and do stop by again! :)

  6. Hi Vizier
    Nice site, great post.

    Guess we all need inspiration and it can be so hard to find.

    At Christmas time a great way to get inspired is by watching children open their presents.
    It’s a long time since I got that excited but I have my memories

    BTW – love the water park photo – it certainly inspired me.
    Keith Davis recently posted..Look for the Shining EyesMy Profile

    • Hi Keith,

      I love your suggestion about watching children open their presents during Christmas time! :D It is really inspiring to see their joy and happiness. I am glad the water park photo inspired you. :)

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  7. My dear Vizier, you left no ideas for me to add to this perfect post! And you and me both for Yoda :)!
    This is seriously an issue I used to struggle with – just like you, when my inspiration was on high, my mind was filled with insane possibilities and a source that seemed unquenchable. But on days when I felt low on motivation, nothing seem to lift me up. It’s a process, we grow, we learn and our sources of inspiration can change not just with phases in our life but also at different times, different things inspire us. The same thing may not work all the time….hence your suggestion for having back-ups. Thank you for all these great ideas!!!
    Farnoosh recently posted..A Manifesto for MeditationMy Profile

    • Hi Farnoosh,

      It has been a long time since you appeared on my blog! It’s good to have you anyway. :)

      I think you have added perfectly to my article even though you said you had no ideas.

      I know what you mean about your struggles with inspirations. Everyone has their ups and downs. It is a matter of preparing to take advantage of the times when we have our ups and to know how to regain that spark when we are down.

      Thank you for your comments and come back often! :)

      • It so has not been a long time, Irving – you are one of my top reads. And now I have made a second appearance just to get more credit :)! Seriously though, inspiration is so fleeting sometimes….And I do hope meditation is coming along well for you – I have not yet missed a day…!!
        Farnoosh recently posted..The Importance of Practice- Use it or Lose itMy Profile

        • Haha Farnoosh,

          I love your sense of humour! ;)

          Inspiration is fleeting, that is why we should always be on the lookout to pounce on the slippery devil.

          Don’t worry, meditation is coming along fine for me. Meditating for 10 mins is much easier, produces less resistance in me and because it is so short, I make sure to focus during those 10 mins. I dare not miss a day knowing that you won’t. :D

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