Why Inspiration Matters

Published on October 24, 2014

In ” Why Inspiration Matters” ( Psychology Today, 2011) , Scott Kaufman discusses the power of inspiration as a real driving force towards helping us achieve the goals we want in life. Not only does it boost dopamine levels in the brain, which explain the increase in motivation and positive feelings ,  Kaufman says “Inspiration allows us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations and is a strong driver of the attainment of our goals, productivity, creativity, and well-being.”. This has huge implications for how we could be learning to approach not only our professional work, but also the jobs that we do at home and in other areas of our personal lives. Imagine being able to harness the power of Inspiration to propel you with positivity through a long day in the office – and towards goals that you previously felt were beyond your reach.

Interestingly, the article also discusses research findings which suggest that we ourselves can’t necessarily WILL for inspiration to happen in any given moment, but that inspiration seems to be something that finds us instead. However, it does report that we can set up conditions in our lives in order to encourage inspiration to seek us out – “The research shows quite clearly that preparation (“work mastery”) is a key ingredient, as is Openness to Experience and positive affect. Exposure to inspiring role models also counts a lot, as do small accomplishments, which can boost inspiration, setting off a beautiful cycle.” ( Kaufman, 2011) .

Work Mastery as a foundation for inspiration, is also strongly advocated by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best seller “Eat, Pray Love” in her inspirational TED talk “Your Elusive Creative Genius” (2009). In it, she discusses how inspiration itself is something that we cannot always lasso and pin down in our lives – but that we can create a context which increases the opportunity for it to arise by cultivating an attitude of openness , staying connected with the things that impassion us and also through simple, consistent hard work at whatever it is that we are tasked with.  She says:

“Don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed for just one moment through your efforts, then ole. And if not, do your dance anyhow. And ole to you nonetheless– I believe this and I feel like we must teach it. Ole to you nonetheless for just having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.”

In a world which is shifting more towards collaboration and creativity rather than competition, I think now, more than ever should we be looking towards the the power of Inspiration to drive growth and development. And while it clearly remains important to show up and actually do the work, that old adage of only being able to achieve through constant struggle and heavy lifting is perhaps also falling away. So my tip for today would be- that whatever it is you are doing – for you to continue to practice and sharpen your tool, but to do so not from a place of dread and heaviness, but rather with an attitude of openness towards Inspiration – which could whip through the front door at any moment, powering up your batteries and charging you full speed ahead towards creating the life you want today.  For more on how to cultivate and use inspiration to power up your dreams in life, contact Anoushka at anoushka@abehpsych.com.


http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201110/why-inspiration-matters, Scott Kaufman, Why Inspiration Matters, Psychology Today (2011) .

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius?language=en, a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, Your Elusive Creative Genius, 2009.

Category(s):Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology, Workplace Issues

Written by:

Anoushka Beh

Anoushka Beh, MSc (MFT), BSc Hons)(UK), is a Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach.

In an integrated approach, she combines her clinical expertise with various techniques including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), IFS (Internal Family Systems) techniques , Guided Visualization, EET (Emotional Empowerment Technique) and Mindfulness-based techniques.

With over a decade of experience, Anoushka's current work with clients is informed by a number of fields, including marriage and family therapy, developmental psychology, brain-based approaches and energy psychology. She aims to help clients transform times of crisis and challenge into an opportunities for self growth and true empowerment. She believes in providing clients with effective healing, enduring change and in the importance of not just responding to symptoms, but treating the root cause.

Anoushka Beh belongs to Abehpsych Counselling Services in Singapore