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If you know yourself well enough, then you should have a good idea of how your creative mind operates.
If you’re anything like me, then you know that trying to wrestle a creative state of mind into submission can be a tricky thing to do. You understand that inspiration can be fleeting and elusive; something that, if you’ve seen it fly by too quickly to grasp before, you know you have to watch out for and be ready for when it returns.
I’m sure that as the majority of people out there, you think you do your best work when you’re feeling inspired and motivated.
Don’t we all? It always seems like the best course of action to wait until you’re feeling inspired if you want to create anything worth a damn. This can be true, to an extent, but it’s also true that our biggest strides come from persistence and patience during our least inspired moments. The compounding effect of consistency can be a marvel.
This isn’t about talking yourself through times when “you just don’t feel like it,” though.
This is about those better moments, those inspired fiery moments when everything you’re trying to do seems to click just right.
These moments of seemingly divine intuition are never taken to task because we think they speak for themselves. We don’t feel like we need help to get through the easy times because everything feels, well, easy. Why would we need to ruin it by picking it apart?
I’m not ruining anything, don’t worry. I am, however, here to show you how you can be utilizing and prolonging these motivated moments so they don’t only come in spurts.
You have to develop the ability to capitalize on your stride.
It’s okay to wait sometimes. If you need a break, take a break. If every now and then you find yourself waiting around for inspiration, give yourself permission to wait. The important thing is that once you get that spark, once you start to see the flame flickering to life again, you need to make the absolute most of it. Get everything you possibly can out of that energy while you have it.
Instead of using that steam you pick up to get one or two things done and calling it quits, keep yourself in that state of mind as long as possible. The more I’ve done this the more I’ve noticed how that same energy gets carried into the next day. I’m much more able to pick up where I left off and find that same groove I had been in the day before.
I’ve always been the kind of person to wait for that inspiring moment to motivate me enough to get something done, but once I started stretching those moments out, capitalizing on every aspect of that feeling and really making it last as long as I possibly could, the more I’ve noticed that feeling bleeding into the rest of my day and even into the next.
Normally, these creative bursts are short-lived and can be hard to see coming or prepare for.
We appreciate them when they come, but we also know that they don’t last. We’re convincing ourselves that inspiration strikes when it wants to and there’s nothing we can do to predict when it shows up.
If we understand how to control that creative energy, hold onto it, and not use it all up in one quick burst but dole it out over time, we start to see how possible it is to use that energized stride to give us the momentum we need to carry our creativity into the hours normally spent sulking in the waiting room of innovation and imagination.
You shouldn’t sit around waiting to be inspired, but if you do find yourself in that precarious position, make sure that when that moment does come that you don’t burn up that energy too quickly. Use it in smaller increments. You’ll find that you have more insight than you originally thought and that you can make those inspired moments last much longer than they normally might have stuck around.
Make the feeling last by easing off the gas a little bit instead of burning yourself out by red-lining just because you’re excited to feel the rush of overdrive.
You’re in this for the long haul and you can’t sprint the entire way. Goals can be farther away than you think, and to reach them it’s all about distance running. So, train your creative impulses enough to make the cross country trek instead of the 100-yard dash.
Know how to find the sweet spot where you find yourself most efficient as well as most creative and those inspired feelings can stretch much farther than you think.
When you hit your stride, capitalize.