15 ways to find inspiration

At one time, inspiration was the influence of divine beings, whispering in our ear. Today, psychologist define inspiration as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something. In particular to do something creative.

“Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities.” ~ Scott Barry Kaufman, Why Inspiration Matters

In their paper, Inspiration as a Psychological Construct, University of Rochester researchers, Todd Thrash and Andrew Elliot, provide three major characteristics of inspiration.


  • implies motivation
  • is evoked
  • involves the transcendence of everyday limitations and boundaries.

Inspiration contributes to well-being, goal progression, creativity, and a drive for mastery.

Being inspired in under your control

We often sit around waiting for the Muse to whisper in our ear. We use the excuse that we need to be “inspired” to create.

But research shows us that the state of inspiration is completely within our control.

“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9:00 every morning.” Peter De Vries

Take a few moments to reflect on the times you feel inspired. For myself, it is a walk in the woods, an exceptional podcast during my commute, a look at my “Words to Remember” Pinterest board.

I know that if I engage in these activities, I will feel inspired. If I want to feel inspired, these activities must be a regular part of my life.

My modes of inspiration are characteristic of who I am as an individual. What works for me will not necessarily work for you. You will need experiment to find your own modes of inspiration, but I’ll give you a few suggestions.

15 ways to find inspiration

  1. Meditate

  2. Take photos of unexpected objects

  3. Watch a TED Talk video

  4. Read blogs

  5. Watch a documentary

  6. Take a class

  7. Doodle

  8. “Steal” from others as a springboard

  9. Join an organization or club

  10. Create a collage from images that capture your attention

  11. Go for a bike ride

  12. Go birding

  13. Play with your kids

  14. Break out the Legos

  15. Jump in the shower

Waiting for inspiration is no longer an excuse

Why wait for the Muse? Take 15 minutes today to test out one o the activities above. Get out there and get inspired.

InspirationJacki Hayes