Is Inspiration A Circumstance or a Choice?


Most of the people I associate with are creating something out of nothing. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, commission based professionals and people who are self employed. They have intentions and goals and they go out and make it happen. They’re visionaries. They’re artists.

Doing this kind of work takes inspiration and commitment. The purpose of this article is to give my two cents on whether inspiration is something we generate ourselves, or if it’s something that happens to us.

The direct answer to this question is that it’s actually both. Sometimes something happens, we see something, we hear something, we have a thought, and we get inspired to take some kind of action. My assertion is that most of the time this is not the case. That most of the time, if we wait for inspiration to strike, we’re going to be waiting for a long time.

People who are extraordinarily successful aren’t waiting around for anyone or anything to happen to them. These folks are make it happen type of people. When someone says no, they go find someone who will say yes. When this pond dries up, they go find another pond to fish in. If there’s an obstacle in the way, they find a way over it, around it, under it, or straight through it.

I’ve been staring at the cursor here for literally an hour trying to figure out what to write about today. I know, I know. I should have a content schedule so I don’t have to create something on the spot. Whatever. I don’t have that right now.

I was very close to giving up on this for the day. I’m exhausted and hungry. It’s 6pm on Friday afternoon and I’ve been up since 5am. I busted my ass at the gym this morning, I”ve had 4 client meetings, a couple other phone conversations, sent some emails, and did some other admin work. So many good reasons to not do this right now.

This is when inspiration needs to be generated by none other than me. And why?  Because I want to. Because I choose to. That’s it. No other reason.

At the beginning of the year I made a commitment to myself that I’d write an article every week this year. And just to make extra sure that I’d actually do it, I told several of my accountability buddies. Yes, I have several.

So I’m sitting here and I was actually about to give in and give up. For the third time. Right. In service of full disclosure, I’ve let circumstances get the best of me twice so far. I really didn’t want to have this be the third notch of failure in my belt. So I self-generated me some inspiration.

How did I do it?  Here’s how simple it is. Again, simple, not easy. For those who have never read any of my stuff: I say again because I write about a lot of simple concepts that are some of the hardest things you’ll ever do 🙂  So….do them if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd. I digress.

It’s as simple as choosing to reach within and generate you some inspiration. Why would I sit here and write this article?  Because I said I would. Maybe that’s not enough for some people. It’s enough for me. My integrity is everything to me. My word is my bond. And when that gets mucked up, I’m not a happy camper.

My definition of integrity is when my intention, my words and my actions are all in alignment. I intend to become a master at writing content that makes a difference for my audience. That takes practice. I said I’d practice every week by writing an article and posting it on LinkedIn and my blog. I said I’d do it on Friday afternoons. Here we are. It’s Friday afternoon so I want to do the thing.

But I don’t feel like it!  Doesn’t matter. Yup. You’re feelings don’t matter when it comes down to brass tacks. Tired, hungry, angry, sad, anxiety, frustration, resignation….FEAR. Doesn’t matter.

You’re definitely allowed to feel your feelings. We need to in order to be healthy, well rounded, functional human beings. But if/when we allow our feelings to get in the way of what we said we want and that we’re committed to, we need to take a serious look at working that out.

This is why I personally surround myself with a team of mentors, coaches, friends, family, and peers so I have unreasonable support when it comes to working myself out in order to be and do what I said I would.

This time I chose my wife, Tara the great. I asked her to come upstairs because I needed some help. I proceeded to complain to her about how I didn’t feel like doing this right now. She tried to give me some ideas and I complained about them too. I knew I wouldn’t want to cop out in front of my lady….and it worked.

I chose to write about what was going on for me in this moment. And what a relevant concept it is. All my peeps are trying to create something out of nothing. We all play in the unknown every day. I chose to feel happy and inspired about using this little piece of my life experience as a life lesson for us all.

Our job is to feel the feelings and then take action in spite of them. Scared?  Do it anyway. Don’t feel like it for whatever reason?  Do it anyway. Or else you’re doomed to a state of mediocrity. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s worse than death itself.

So I’m not concerned about correct grammar, correct punctuation, political correctness or whether or not anyone even cares about this article. I’m writing it anyway. Because that’s what I said and that’s what I choose. Because that’s what leaders do.

If you are interested in the concept of self-generating inspiration and doing what you said regardless of whatever gets in the way, I highly recommend a book by Steven Pressfield called – The War of Art. It contains the most eloquent words I’ve ever read about the enemy of all creation: Resistance.

I’d love to hear your story of conquering resistance and generating your own inspiration. I think these anecdotes make the world a better place. This isn’t something only superheros and special people can do. This is a superpower we all possess. Your story could make a difference and change someone’s world for the better. Thanks.