Updated: Apr 25
“Finding Inspiration” is the first of a two-part series focused on understanding the important role that inspiration can play in workplace success. See the second installment here: Inspiring Others.
Inspiration is a sweet, fleeting thing, isn’t it? That feeling when you’re driven, creative, and yes, inspired, all at once.
Inspiration isn’t just for writers and artists: inspiration can be a huge boon in any field or pursuit.
While we all certainly like to feel inspired, today let’s talk about why inspiration is important.
Let’s start with exploring a little about what inspiration actually is. According to Harvard Business Review, psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot define inspiration as having three key components. First, it is spontaneous, not deliberate; they call this evocation. Secondly, inspiration has a quality they call transcendence: bringing forth clarity and purpose beyond our normal instincts. And third, it brings with it a desire or drive to share this vision, which they call approach motivation. Spontaneous clarity, drive, and the desire to share it? Now that’s something that can benefit any career or pursuit.
One of the great benefits of feeling inspired is the satisfaction it brings.
When we’re inspired, we’re in our flow: progress is made more easily, and solutions more readily found.
This can be a huge morale booster, especially when it can be maintained. Easier, quicker progress means that we can get through things faster and more efficiently, giving us more time for ourselves, whether we use it to recharge or even seek additional challenges and learning. This can also result in employees having a higher level of loyalty and happiness with their employer. An inspired employee who gets more done and feels better about it, is far more likely to be satisfied with their job than one who struggles to be inspired.
Another powerful benefit of inspiration is the ability to push past tough blockers. No matter the field or pursuit, sooner or later we run into obstacles. These can range from very simple to all-encompassing; from tasks as creative as choosing what style to use for a webpage to as technical as developing a new algorithm to solve a problem. When we’re stuck, it’s easy to start feeling frustrated and disillusioned. Not making progress feels terrible! But then, if we’re lucky, that's when inspiration hits.
A new perspective, or an overlooked one as well as the energy to push through to achieve and complete the task is essential to moving forward.
Nothing is better for overcoming obstacles than inspiration, and little feels better than making a breakthrough that has had you stumped!
Speaking of being stumped, I think most of us are familiar with being less than inspired. The page before you is as blank as when you started the essay, or drawing, or project.
Being inspired is, in a way, a state of greater innovation that allows us to see problems and projects from new perspectives.
Inspiration is the beating heart of progress in many ways and can help you find a unique voice, or a different perspective, and make progress from an angle few, if any, have tried before. As such, everyone can benefit from letting some inspiration into their life.
While inspiration is inherently fickle and can hardly be planned, it’s important to open yourself up to the concept so that you don’t miss it when it comes. It will come, after all. Speaking of a little help getting inspired, join us next time as we talk about how to inspire and motivate others around you!