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Finding Inspiration | April 2006

I want to live with greater inspiration. Any ideas?

Wayne Dyer calls it your ultimate calling. I call it your birthright. But no matter who you talk to about the subject who has given it considerable thought: One thing’s for sure. Anyone can live with more inspiration.

I’m not sure anyone really knows when inspiration will show up in his or her life—I certainly don’t. However, when it does, it’s an unstoppable force. It’s something that happens within us that is so exciting that we couldn’t stop it, even if we wanted to.

For many years, I was very inspired in my writing. Virtually every day, seven days a week, it was as if thoughts would come to me—I never had to go to them. It was inspiration in action. Then, for a few years it stopped. I still enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t quite the same.

About a year ago, I had a blast of inspiration that I couldn’t let go of—it came over me as light dominates the day hours. It appeared, as if out of the blue.

As I paid attention to my new inspiration, it was telling me what to write about. If you check out my Web site, you’ll see what I’ve been working on and what will be available to you in October, if you so choose.

At any rate, the way to tell if you are working or playing with inspiration is that there is essentially no effort involved. It’s something you feel you must do—you are being called to do it. It’s fun, rewarding, relaxing, and enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like “work” even though from a technical sense, it could be.

You can think of others who you may think of as sources of inspiration—those who work for fun and love their life. Money may come easily to these folks, but it is never their primary motivation. They are generally childlike (not childish), they love to play, are content being an expert or a beginner, and love to share their gifts with others—although they have no attachment to the same. In short, they are virtually ego-less, and fun to be around. They radiate joy and happiness, and virtually never gripe about their life—they are too busy enjoying it. If you know people like this, spend as much time as you can being around them and learning from them.

The trick, I believe to tapping into your own inspiration, is to first understand that it exists. Be certain!

See if you can think about times when you worked or played from a space of inspiration. I’ll bet you have. Like the time you were building something and it seemed to build itself, or the time you were working on a project and it seemed like it finished without you. You were involved, of course, but almost as an observer rather than a participant. It was essentially effortless. Then, once you are convinced you have it in you, you simply have to have the faith that it will show up, or emerge in your life, and sure enough, it will.

Sometimes, your inspiration will show up almost immediately, as if it follows your commands. Other times, you must wait until the inspiration, which almost has a mind of its own, decides to take over—as was the case with my writing career. It doesn’t really matter, however, as once you are engaged, you will realize you are in perfect harmony with what you are here to do.

There appear to be four very simple steps to take in order to connect with your own source of inspiration. First, know that it exists. Look for evidence in yourself and in others. When you find it, marvel at its beauty and simplicity. Second, want it. Say to yourself and even out loud, “I want to be more inspired.” Third, see the connections around you. When a certain person shows up in your life, or some strong potential signal, pay attention.

It is likely a clue that will lead you to inspiration. Fourth and finally, when it shows up, go with it, even if it doesn’t make sense in a logical way. You may be inspired to write—even thought you’re not a writer. So what, write anyway. Or, you may feel inspired to read certain kinds of books or paint pictures, make a new friend, or whatever. Whatever it is, listen to the clues and take a chance. Chances are, you’re engaging in inspiration and what a joy it will be!

The best book I’ve ever read on inspiration is Wayne Dyer’s book called Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling. It’s also featured on my Web site for more information. I wish for you an inspired life. See you next time!

Richard Carlson, Ph.D., author of the runaway bestseller Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, died December 13, 2006, at age 45. Like the message in his books, the focus of Dr. Carlson’s life was on gratitude, generosity, and kindness. He embodied those traits in everything he did, becoming a dear friend to everyone who knew and worked with him.

Reprinted with permission.