Friday, January 3, 2014

Inspiration vs. Motivation

There is a new phenomenon that I've been experiencing as of late, especially as focus has turned toward my breakable toy.  Being inspired vs. being motivated.  Let me explain.  

Coming from the generally non-creative world of Finance (well, I suppose there can be some creativity involved, but I always preferred to steer clear of the Bernie Madoff-esq path) I don't recall ever longing for inspiration to move forward with a project.  But there were countless days when I asked (begged!) for motivation. 

And so here I am, with an abundance of motivation, but realizing that you can't control inspiration.  It comes when it is good and ready, and often at the least expected time - which is exactly why I'm at my computer at 3:00 in the morning writing sign-out logic for my breakable toy.  

Luckily, living in the age of the smartphone, it is easier to capture inspiration when it happens and not be bound to a pad and pen.  I make tremendous use of the notepad on my iPhone and have a hodgepodge of ideas and more than a few off-the-wall concepts.  

The common thread to 'divinely inspired' ideas is that they can't be forced.  But I think they can be encouraged.  Mental relaxation is a pre-requisite for inspiration and that relaxation happens at some very interesting times - like driving.  Scary to think that my brain might be 'relaxed' while driving, but that's exactly what it is.  Muscle memory takes over - kind of like internal 'cruise control' - and my mind is freed to ponder more interesting topics.  And all of a sudden, tremendous clarity and inspired ideas.

There are many activities in our lives where we can put our brains on 'cruise control' and encourage the flow of inspiration.  A simple walk is often enough.  How many times have you heard about taking a walk to 'clear your head'?  It works.  And by clearing out that space, you will be amazed what you make room for.

My husband would love for me to take up meditation.  Because, in essence, I am describing the benefits of the practice.  But there is still enough trash in my head to make me uneasy with the idea of meditation.  I'm not a meditative kind of guy!  But who knows.  If I find myself begging for inspiration the way I begged for motivation, perhaps you will find me sitting cross legged, middle-finger and thumb pinched together and chanting.  Anything is possible.  Om. 

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