I’m feeling a little bit aimless and hopeless in life. I’m stuck in my career. I need a breakthrough. My life feels too boring. Something in my life needs to change! I need some creativity in my life. How do I get inspired with a creative idea? If you’ve said any of those things to yourself in the past week, you’re in the right place. Here are some tips for how to your next creative idea.
I Need Inspiration – How to Change My Life
The first step to getting inspired is to be in the right environment.
Find a favorite place, something that’s different from the normal. Maybe it’s time to redecorate your office, or maybe you’ll find a spot at the local coffee shop (where I’m writing from right now!). A good environment involves your five senses, so see what you can do to put on some inspiring music, find a good view, a comfortable chair, and an aromatic and flavorful cup of coffee. For more ideas on how to adjust your environment, read “What Makes Someone Creative?”
Changing your lifestyle is as important as changing your environment.
You won’t be inspired if you experience the same exact thing every day. Instead of simply going to work every day and then coming home, eating dinner, and watching television, try to switch it up every now and again. Could you go on a walk after work? Sometimes a long drive is enough to do the trick. One of my favorite ways to get inspired is to sit in a hammock. That’s right – just sit! You’ll be surprised at what will come to you.
Eat well and stay hydrated
Along with changing your habits, make sure you’re setting yourself up for success with what you consume. This includes food, water, community, and entertainment. If your diet could use a pick-me-up, try eating healthy, whole foods and watch what happens to your brainpower. Sugar is one of creativity’s worst enemies; it slows cognitive function dramatically. Water is also vital fuel for your mind – make sure you’re getting enough of it daily. These are physical things we can do to foster creativity, but we also need to pay attention to the ideas we consume.
Keep the right people – inspiring, encouraging people – by your side.
This practice will do miracles for your creative life. The same goes for our entertainment.
One of the best things you can do for your creativity is to quit social media and streaming services for a time.
Yeah, I said it! It’s a lot easier said than done – you might not be able to quit cold turkey, but start by reducing your time spent in front of a screen, and you’ll be glad you did.
Finding Inspiration – How to Change My Mindset
The goal with all of these crazy life changes is to change your mindset. Sitting in a hammock or quitting social media might be uncomfortable, but you’re doing this to train yourself how to think differently. When you’re out on a walk, for example, you’re not immediately accomplishing something you can see in front of you. You might not get your brilliant idea on your first walk – or your third or fourth. But instant gratification smothers creativity. Creativity requires investment – it requires time and space to grow. You must allow yourself to do things that don’t immediately bear results.
There’s a reason why creativity is so elusive – why some people seemingly pull their groundbreaking ideas out of thin air. Ideas do often simply arrive to me, instead of me chasing them down. But in my experience, that only happens when I’ve crafted an environment and a lifestyle conducive to new ideas.
Maybe you’ve already done all of these things and you’re still waiting on your breakthrough. In that case, let’s look at the anatomy of a creative idea.
Developing Creativity – How to Get Creative Juices Flowing
Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the most creative figures in the Renaissance era. Everyone knows his Mona Lisa and Last Supper, but he is also credited with colossal inventions and findings in civil engineering, chemistry, geology, geometry, hydrodynamics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, optics, physics, pyrotechnics, and zoology. He is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant minds that has ever walked this earth. But his creative process is marked primarily by observation.
Da Vinci had journals upon journals filled with sketches and notes. He would spend several pages experimenting with an idea. His sketches show multiple versions of a concept, each more refined than the last. In the world of music, we call these variations on a theme. Imagine taking a concept in the palm of your hand and looking at it from every angle. That’s what Da Vinci did. He would take a seemingly insignificant idea inspired by his observations, and he would dissect it and reconstruct it until he had something truly brilliant. Da Vinci invented the very first helicopter, but he started by observing the flight patterns of birds (1).
How to Get Inspired
So what does this look like practically? How do you develop a brilliant idea? The short answer is, take lots of notes. When you’re in your creative space, observe what you see and even what your brain sees. Maybe you’re less interested in the birds in the sky, and more interested in the circus of goldfish going on in your mind’s eye. Write it down! Write everything down. I have several whiteboards up on my walls. Whether it’s a journal, a sketchbook, or even an audio recorder, make sure you preserve your thoughts. You’ll eventually stumble across one that takes your breath away.
I’m Bored – How to Make My Life More Interesting
You can have an exciting life again! If you’re bored with life, try the steps above to get your next creative idea. Start by changing your environment and lifestyle, then jot down your observations while you’re in the abnormal. Your brain was designed for creativity, and it’s easier than you may think. If you’re stuck in a rut, feeling like your life is too repetitive or monotonous, then a creative idea might be all you need to change that.