Inspiration Is for Amateurs

“Inspiration is for amateurs.  The rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Artist Chuck Close said that, and I wholeheartedly believe that.

It’s funny, most of us went to school and did what we were told to do when we were told to do.  The key there is that we were told.  If we are the one who’s doing the telling, we may have a different reaction.

If you are waiting to feel inspired, that means you are basing your actions on your feelings.  But emotions are really poor foundation on which to decide anything.  Most of us have huge emotional backlog that tint the way we view the world.  How we react to something emotionally is often not a true gauge of what the event means to you, but more a revelation about what unresolved emotions are making you feel that way.

Emotions are to be felt.  Once they are generated the only desirable thing to do is to feel them.  But paying attention to how you feel isn’t the same thing as making decisions based on how you feel.  That’s a bit like deciding which way to go depending on the direction of the wind.  The point of the sail is to redirect the wind so that you can go in a direction you want to go, instead of drifting you to and fro according to the whim of the wind.

Life is made up of experiences, and the heart of an experience is the feelings you feel.  But the best way to maximize your chances of having as many desirable experiences as possible is through your own willful actions, based on your values.  You don’t let your feelings drive you.  You drive with your intentions to experience feelings.

So you want to feel inspired?  Then you better show up.  Show up and make yourself open to feeling inspired.  I highly recommend listening to inspiring music.  Music is a powerful mood regulator/inducer, a readily available one as well, so there’s no point in takin advantage of it.  The more often you do so, your “inspired feeling” muscle will be flexed and you get better at feeling inspired.  Feelings are like muscles — if you feel bored and uninspired all the time, you’ll get good at feeling that way, too.  You need to practice feeling inspired.  Show up everyday and practice feeling inspired, by engaging in inspiration-inducing activities like listening to fist-pumping stadium rock anthem.  Don’t wait for an inspiration to do it.  Do it to experience inspiration.