Challenge in life is inevitable. Despair is optional. However rock-solid confidence is possible, even in times of great difficulty.
Inspiration connects us to what’s most important in life. Like an anchor in stormy harbours and rudder in rough seas, inspiration anchors, grounds, comforts and encourages us. It creates more positive-feeling states even in difficulty. Inspiration is not Pollyanna magical thinking… it contains the grit equal to challenge; it’s the force inside that compels us to take action, to drop irrational fears and be strong in our resolve.
I call inspiration the “fire of desire” that business guru Napoleon Hill talked spoke of when he said: “Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” It’s the “transcends everything” part that Hill experienced in his own life and inspired in others: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” That’s what I call true power – looking for the seed of equal or greater benefit, even in difficulty. It’s the turn-around, the fork in the road, the re-frame that turns panic into power, and chaos into order.
10 ways to foster inspiration so it’s there when you really need it:
Memorize the Napoleon Hill quotes above (or something similar like a meaningful poem, sacred text, etc.)… choose something that makes an impact, that really gets your enthusiasm going! Start each morning contemplating that favourite quote or spiritual principle. As you do, you’ll be engaging your connection to the infinite, creative imagination and intuition so they can deliver “aha gems” when you least expect them.
2. Be Vigilant! Decide!
It’s impossible to be upset when you’re inspired. The truth is, stress can become a habit. If you are putting your focus on the difficulty rather than its seed of equal or greater benefit, then decide to shift your focus. Kill the ANTS! (Acronym for Negative Thought System defined by brain health doctor Daniel Amen). Use visualization; imagine seeing negative thoughts hitting a teflon coating around your mind, that they can’t stick to… it’s a way of “deciding” ahead of time, what’s allowed to stay. Vigilance in watching our thoughts ensures access to accurate intuition, not corrupted by fear or negative thinking.
3. Reflect, Re-frame and Rehearse
Go deep. Why is the particular quote or sacred text that you memorized so important to you? (Aside from a quote, it could be a value, song, a piece of art, a person you admire, etc.) Think. Go deep. Then write about it. Why is this meaningful to you? How will you use it to meet difficulty? Invite a friend to do the same exercise and verbalize your findings with each other. Sharing reinforces the new options available to you. Go one step further… draw two columns on a piece of paper…under one, write the word “problem” and list all of the difficulties. Then cross the word “problem” out and start a new column with the word “project.” You’ll be amazed at the re-frame! Rehearse the new opportunities… visualization supports action!
To counter-act the physiology of fight or flight, yawning immediately signals the body that it is safe. Forced yawns might feel silly but they work! Try at least 6-10 in a row. Besides, your brain always benefits from extra oxygen. Recall a favorite memory or pastime… take time out to enjoy, reflect, relax!
5. Use the Mindful Minute
Take plenty of “brain breaks” throughout the day – time yourself for a minute and go into stillness or pure imagination. You’ll be rejuvenated and create more focus. It’s been scientifically proven that even a 10-second break every 20 minutes can dramatically improve performance.
Inspiration is like….
A tasty treat for the mind and spirit.
Being equipped with an emergency preparedness kit when you really need it.
Having candles and matches when the power goes out.
The extra energy boost that helps you take action when you know you should, but don’t want to.
About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc: I am a Transformational Speaker, Coach and Life Celebrant. Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is helping my clients, whether individuals or organizations to resolve conflict, improve communication, and increase better health, finances, relationships, connection, enjoyment and peace of mind.