Happiness Is A Fleeting State
“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” ― Vincent van Gogh
Consider the following narrative depicting how inspiration presents itself in a person’s life. Crafting a new life script means connecting with inspiration at a deeper level, like the following fictional character. Every morning after a cup of coffee while catching up on the daily news, John retreats to his studio, a small space situated at the rear of his house. This has been John’s ritual for as long as he can remember. As the hours pass, he is completely consumed by painting. It is not until evening draws near he realises he has been painting for ten hours with only a break here and there. Now in his late fifties, John has been painting since his early twenties and has managed to carve out a successful career. His artwork is regularly featured in corporate foyers across the country, not to mention at regular art exhibits and private buyers who flock to his work. John represents one of many artists who are inspired and, more importantly, not afraid to put in the dedicated hours to create masterpieces.
Inspiration is a call from the soul to express itself through us. Inspiration is not only confined to the arts, it may express itself in various forms. You may be inspired if you are a stay-at-home mother tending to your family. Inspiration is not defined by WHAT you do, rather it is defined by the state of being one experiences when in this state. Inspiration is the expression of the creative mind flowing through you — and it is not exclusive to artists. If you yearn for direction, inspiration may be beckoning. How can you tell the difference between inspiration and happiness, since they often share similarities? Inspiration is characterised by a deep sense of joy and fulfilment. When we are inspired and pursuing our passion, time stands still and we are oblivious to our surroundings. Those who are inspired find meaning and purpose in their work, which are key attributes. They view their purpose as a calling rather than a job or career. They function from a higher frequency, allowing the source of their inspiration to flow unimpeded through every cell of their body.
Happiness on the other hand is a fleeting experience. We may be happy one moment but not the next — happiness is a short lived state. We might conclude that happiness is ephemeral, bound by the constraints of one’s inner well-being and external reality. Consider the following points to cultivate inspiration in your daily life. It is worth reiterating that you need not be an artist, musician, dancer, etc. to connect with inspiration. Cooking and sharing a delicious meal with your loved one at the end of a long day may be regarded as an act of inspiration, since it is a calling from the heart.
“You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration nor its master, but something far more interesting — its partner — and that the two of you are working together toward something intriguing and worthwhile.” — Elizabeth Gilbert,Big Magic
1. Discover Your Passion And Connect With Purpose
What are you most passionate about? What stirs your soul and leaves you daydreaming throughout the day? Those who find passion and purpose report an overwhelming sense of satisfaction, joy and bliss throughout their life. Their spirit is alive. Not only does time stand still, one feels the expression of their soul come alive. Happiness becomes an extension of universal intelligence, which serves as the conduit of this life-force flowing through you.
2. Identify With Thoughts That Foster Inspiration
It seems nowadays, life has become a constant battle for survival. Amid the backdrop, inspiration takes a backseat as the mind is caught up in survival mode, rather than being inspired. Weed out thoughts which do not resonate with your deepest self or allows inspiration to make its way into your life. Let go of disempowering thoughts of lack or limitation since they can stifle inspiration. As you distance yourself from such thoughts, you create a space around them rather than becoming invested in every thought. Drop those thoughts which no longer hold a place in your mind and replace them with empowering ones.
3. Develop A Purposeful Vision
A purposeful vision is one that is connected to your WHY. Why do you want what you want? What is your underlying motivation in all your actions? A purposeful vision is the pursuit of that which resonates with your deepest self. To others it may seem trivial or a waste of time. To you, it is an opportunity to connect with your purposeful self — pursue it with determination. Your determination to succeed will be governed by how strong your why is. If you have a strong enough why, success becomes an extension of your efforts. Your why is your call to action. It is your internal reference and guidepost leading you towards your purpose-filled vision. In the film The Lord of The Rings, Gandalf reminds us to connect with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose by posing one simple question: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us.”
“Best of all, though, by saying that you delight in your work, you will draw inspiration near. Inspiration will be grateful to hear those words coming out of your mouth, because inspiration — like all of us — appreciates being appreciated.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
4. Inspired People Can’t Wait To Wake Up In The Morning
Inspired people rarely sleep in. You might be surprised to learn that inspired people are often insomniacs. Many of them ruminate in a positive way about their passion, even while asleep. They live in the present moment. They practice infinite patience, since they are not bound by the constraints of tomorrow or yesterday. Inspired people do things which buck the trends considered normal by society. A number of inspired people harness inspiration by making time for brief power naps throughout their day in which to recharge. Not only does a twenty to thirty minute nap serve to lower stress, it improves cognitive function and stimulates right brain neural activity. They constantly nurture and feed their emotional life by creating opportunities to express their inspiration.
5. Inspiration Is An Act Of Flow
The concept of Flow known as Optimal Experience, is a way to connect deeply with a pursuit or passion and was developed by the Hungarian psychology professor, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. Flow is the inner state one experiences when consumed by passion. Therefore, a violinist may be said to be in Flow during a live performance on stage. Inspiration is heightened when one is in Flow since they are connected with higher brain regions, notably the right hemisphere. The good news is that inspiration crosses over into other areas of your life as you become open to it. Inspiration loves to be called upon, so the more space you make for it, the more readily it is available.
So what ignites your passion? What allows you to feel completely engaged in the moment? Being absorbed in your favourite hobby, sport or past-time naturally comes to mind. You might recite the countless hours spent in pursuit of that interest and the feelings associated with it. In his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, the late Steve Jobs imparted to graduates the following wisdom, “…and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” Whilst he was alluding to one’s career, we can adapt this statement to reflect other aspects of our lives where our passions run deep. Do not limit yourself when exploring ways to connect with inspiration. In order to create an inspired life, be willing to live your life from a higher perspective. This perspective encapsulates your new thoughts, ideas, emotions and level of consciousness. Therefore, inspiration is one such area which invites higher levels of consciousness to permeate throughout your life.