Looking for a font of daily inspiration? Don’t look out – turn your gaze inward.
Inspiration is often found in the least likely places, including in your own ability to motivate yourself. While it’s tempting to see other people’s success as “goals,” there’s no one more in touch with your ambition than you. So, who better to turn to for inspiration than yourself?
You may scoff at the idea of yourself as a source of inspiration. After all, you’re not the one who produces all those inspirational sayings that send our hearts and minds aflutter. But there are ways to transform your life from a winding path lacking motivation into a well you can draw upon for the rest of your life.
Are you ready to become your own inspiration?
Follow our guide to becoming the best possible you and inspire yourself to reach your goals.
1. Set the Foundation
Sometimes we confuse a lack of inspiration or motivation for lack of will, but in reality, we simply haven’t found the right direction yet.
Finding your purpose is the key to enjoying lifelong inspiration. And only you can find what you’re truly meant to do.
While finding meaning in life is a practice that takes many their entire lives to achieve, there are little things that set the stage for finding motivation and meaning in life.
Start by making a promise to do things – anything – that further your agenda.
Write Down Your Dreams
One way to keep it moving is to write down the top three things you hope to achieve.
Start with the three things you want to achieve in the long-term. Whether it’s making it through medical school, furthering your yoga practice, or finding peace in the turmoil of your life, be sure to physical write them down.
Writing down your goals is critical. Not only does it provide an opportunity to stare them in the face, but the list serves as a reminder of where you’ve been and where you want to go.
How Will You Get There?
Don’t focus solely on outlining your lifelong dreams. Write down three things you can do every day to help you get there.
Be sure to include exactly three, and make sure these steps remain tangible and measurable so you can see how well you’re doing.
2. Take a Break
We’ve just talked about taking active steps to work towards your goals and inspire yourself every single day.
So, it may come as a surprise that the next step is related to rest.
The truth is that sometimes you simply need to take a break, and when that time comes, you need to listen to your mind and body.
Even when you’re motivated to work towards a goal, whether a daily goal or your lifelong ambition, you may find the work is turning you into a shell of your former self. Here are some signs that you need to take time off:
- You’re busy for the sake of being busy
- You don’t like being alone
- You’re bored with your life’s work or another area
- You’re struggling to cope with change
If you’re experiencing these things, don’t keep pushing through. Take some active time off to reset and renew your sense of inspiration.
A break may mean rest, but it may also mean switching gears briefly to look at life from a new angle or perspective. It may even be simply to enjoy the bliss of doing something different.
Remember, being bored or afraid doesn’t necessarily mean you’re heading in the wrong direction. Sometimes you simply need to recharge, reset, and renew yourself.
3. Emphasize Accountability Along with Happiness
Who doesn’t want to be happy? For Americans, it’s not only engrained in our culture but in nation’s founding – the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
What’s more, happiness boosts our mental and physical health, so it’s clearly important.
While happiness has many benefits, 24/7 happiness may not suit lifelong inspiration.
In fact, the pursuit of happiness isn’t a broad human trait because other cultures don’t list personal happiness on their top list of priorities.
We agree with this idea in the context of personal inspiration and motivation. Instead of focusing on doing what makes you happy, consider changing your focus slightly towards personal accountability, the idea that everyone is responsible for their choices and happiness.
When you shift your priorities from happiness to accountability, you’re able to take charge of your own life including your own happiness. By acknowledging the role you play in your own life, you’ll feel more like an agent of change. You’ll recognize that each decision you make plays a role in your ability to accomplish goals and motivate yourself to keep pushing forward.
4. Focus on Your Health
Your health is the foundation upon which your entire life is built. It allows you to reach your goals and presents severe distractions that may keep you from taking the steps you need to reach them.
Health is the greatest wealth, so it makes sense to protect it every single day.
In addition to working towards your goals, take the steps required to keep yourself happy and healthy. Follow a balanced diet that works for you, prioritize exercise, and get enough sleep. Don’t forget to include self-care in your routine for a well-rounded sense of well-being.
Focusing on your health seems like it would fall outside the realm of inspiration, but one begets the other. Without a healthy mind and body, you’ll find it difficult to find inspiration at all, much less in yourself.
5. Compare Yourself – to Yourself
One of the greatest pitfalls in finding a long-term sense of motivation is using others to find it.
It seems like a good idea at the time After all, who doesn’t know someone who seems to have everything you want?
Unfortunately, comparing yourself to someone else isn’t a good way to find sustained inspiration. You’re two different people on two different journeys. To compare yourself to someone else is to compare an apple and an orange. Both are nutritious, but they’re vitally different.
No one is saying you can’t enjoy someone else’s success and find inspiration in the way they have overcome obstacles. But there’s a difference in being happy for someone else and using their life as your sole source of inspiration.
In one of his own inspirational quotes, Mark Twain said that “comparison is the death of joy.” And it’s not because looking at others is inherently bad, but because comparing yourself to them damages your sense of self.
Whether it’s because you find yourself with feelings of envy or low self-esteem or because you deny yourself the value of your journey, you’ll end up feeling inadequate – and that’s the last thing you want or need.
So, instead of comparing yourself to others, recognize that you’re on your unique path, so the only person to compare yourself to is…yourself.
6. Embrace Failure
There is a sort of irony in failure. Our failures are what lead us to seek out others as a source of inspiration. But in reality, it is your failure that can and should inspire you most.
Failure is inevitable. You will experience it whether you take big risks or play it safe. What is important about failure isn’t what you fail at but how you use it.
Did you know that Nobel Laureate and all-around-music legend Bob Dylan lost his high school talent show prize to a group of tap dancers?
While we don’t know what went through the musician’s head at 16, we do know that he clearly learned something from the experience, even if the only thing he learned was simply not to give up.
Ultimately, every new failure is an opportunity to dig deeper and do better. Not only can it strike inspiration, but your ability to move through failure may inspire your future self to keep pushing.
7. Never Stop Learning
One of the best ways to find inspiration in your own life is to continue learning.
By indulging in lifelong learning, you’ll continually broaden your mind to find new corners that you’ve never found before. These corners could be the key to unlocking your potential, overcoming a problem, or finding a way to inner peace.
Remember, learning doesn’t only happen in school. You can learn from new books, new people, new experiences, and even new inspirational quotes for kids. Whatever you do, keep looking for something new to expand your boundaries and broaden your work.
Inspire Yourself Everyday – Starting Today
The best thing about becoming your own source of inspiration isn’t because it’s easy or inexpensive – it’s because you can start today. In fact, you can start right this minute.
When you embrace the fact that you’re on your own journey and you do what it takes to support yourself, you’ll be able to find inspiration in yourself – and that inspiration can last a lifetime.
How have you found inspiration? Share your stories in the comments below.