Beyond the hustle and bustle of the holidays and busy work schedules this time of year presents many of us with the opportunity to think of the different things and people that we appreciate and are thankful for. This is great, as it helps to close out the year on a high note and can help to inspire us. Sometimes, it’s not even the big things that people do, but the small things that can truly inspire us and encourage us to be our best selves. We just have to be open to these experiences and allow them to stimulate our actions.

Take a moment to look around and to think about, the things or people that inspire you. Can you think of a few? It is important to understand what these things are and to not confuse them with what motivates you. The difference is, inspiration is internal, whereas motivation is external. Think of it as guidance versus being pushed, when doing something. If you understand what you really want and surround yourself with the things that interest, stimulate, and encourage you; inspiration, that internal compelling desire to do something, may arise.

With the end of the year approaching and the holidays very near, use this time to open yourself to inspiration so that you can take on the challenges of the upcoming year with an inspired approach to life and your career.

Identify what inspires you and how it inspires you.

  • Inspiration can come from anything and it can come in a big wave or in small amounts. Whatever way it comes, it is an experience that you have to be open to. By making the effort to surround yourself with the things you like/love/have interest in, you increase your chances of being inspired.
  • Experiences can inspire you in different ways. Keep in mind that not all experiences will directly affect YOU. There are the events that happen to other people, places and things that we have an emotional draw to (that peak our interest in some way) that can inspire you as well. Think about the things that have been the cause of some inspiration for you in the past. What is the common theme among them? This theme can help you to define what may inspire you.
  • Note that not all inspirational moments come from your best emotional experiences, but it is the experience, nonetheless, that create emotional response and guides your actions if you let it.

Allowing inspiration to affect your self-improvement.

  • Being open to inspiration and learning from your experiences is one thing, but application of what you have learned and positive internal influence from an experience is when you are truly inspired.
  • Failure is a part of our lives. We all experience it at some point or another; hopefully we use it to grow. We just need to stay inspired, get back up and improve. The openness that was brought up earlier is exactly what we need to allow ourselves to be inspired; we can’t force it to happen.

Applying your inspiration toward your personal life and your career.

  • Things that make you think and things that make you feel are going to encourage inspiration. However, without the openness to them and then the initiative to apply them to your goals, inspiration isn’t truly happening.
  • Set your goals, be aware of the actions you need to take to achieve those goals, then apply your inspirations to achieve those goals.
  • The actions (creations) stimulated on by your desires are the true inspiration.

Inspiration may come when it is least expected so be ready to take advantage of those moments when it does happen and keep them in mind for ways to apply them to your everyday life!