Coursing a Path to Inspiration
Inspiration is a powerful positive agent when it comes to effective work practices. Global Creatives know this but can be challenged to tap inspiration on a regular basis. Accessing inspiration can be a struggle because inspiration lives within the boundary of important and not urgent work. This is Covey's Quadrant II, a space of creative work that has flummoxed the most persistent and clever Global Creatives over the centuries. For Global Creatives, Quadrant II can be a secret garden behind a high wall with no recognizable entrance point. Furthermore, inspiration is the rich soil in this garden that produces a wealth of flora and fruit - the meaningful completions of creative and imaginative work that lead to fulfillment and, you guessed it, more inspiration.
Global Creatives have tried all kinds of innovative ways to penetrate this arena of important work yet they succeed only when they set aside their primary motivator for completion - adrenaline. Adrenaline is our own secret weapon that is released when we feel a sense of urgency. So here is a basic truth that I am learning. Urgency and inspiration can not exist together. This is because urgency and inspiration live in different parts of the brain and more important, when the urgency center is activated (amygdala) and starts producing adrenaline all other areas of the brain take their cues from the amygdala.
You mean I have to give up one motivator (urgency) to access another motivator (inspiration) and I can't use the first to reach the second?
Yes. This catch-22 situation is the challenge but it is also the opportunity.
Imagine a day when you have 3 powerful motivators available to you. You get to keep the adrenaline for quick bursts, add inspiration for sustaining creative effort and interest and add a third to round out the trifecta - curiosity. Curiosity can play the role of a transitional motivator between adrenaline and inspiration.
Where to Begin
To bring in more curiosity and inspiration we need to diminish the adrenaline dependency. Adrenaline alone is not the culprit. The true culprit is when we come to rely only on adrenaline and urgency to get things done and we fall into a behavior characterized by what I call ARC or the Adrenaline Response Cycle. Start by bringing curiosity to this phenomenon - not shame, judgement or humiliation. Practice grace.
Coursing a Path
Get curious about essential elements and related behaviors that cultivate inspiration. Here are 4 areas of interest to practice and pay attention to:
Refueling in your own sanctuaries
Connecting with positive and supportive relations
Articulating your own vision through your own voice
Practicing your craft to a level of mastery
What do each of these mean to you? How does inspiration show up for you? Where is inspiration cultivated? Do you have practices in each of these areas? If you did what can that look like?
Pick one or two to explore and engage and you will find the hidden doorways to your own secret garden.