Thursday, September 27, 2012

Laugh at the Rain and Get Inspired

Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

Two things that have always inspired me are laughs and the rain. Those are two rather disparate things don’t you think? You see the way I feel about inspiration, it doesn’t matter where it comes from, just as long as you feel something that moves you. Involving yourself in an activity that fuels your creative energies is a positive thing that can really make the difference in achieving your mission in life. Surrounding yourself with things that make you think or feel powerful emotions stirs up the will and drive to create. Some people might call that karma, some might call it setting the mood; whatever you choose to call it, take advantage of the power it can create.

Now I know that some people get a motivational kick from negative emotions too, and there’s nothing wrong with that either. I would caution, however, that dwelling too much in the negative can drag you down mentally, make you just a bit too pessimistic about things and darken your outlook on life and what it has to offer. Remember, the world can be a depressing place if you let it. Focusing on negativity, no matter how beneficial it can be for your motivation and inspiration can only get you so far. Embrace the positives and more positive things will occur.

Laughter is inspiring for a very simple and obvious reason. It’s fun to laugh. But how can the rain instill a feeling of inspiration? Well, I’ll tell you.

I love the rain. I live in San Diego. Naturally, I don’t get to enjoy the rain too often. I do remember listening to the rain when I was younger, living in rural Pennsylvania. I would sit at my desk, right next to my open window, and listen to the rain as it fell. And in Pennsylvania, the rain can fall for a very long time. Have you ever listened to the rain? Some say the rain is drab and dreary. That may be true if you only looked at the grey clouds from which the rain came. I listen to the sounds the rain makes falling on leaves, the ground, into puddles, on the pavement, the window. I smell the air and how clean and refreshing it feels. There’s something very cleansing and revitalizing about a good rain fall. I would listen to that rain and always feel compelled to write. To this day, when I hear the rain, I am instantly transported, with my imagination, to a place of creativity. Pavlov might say I’m conditioned to want to write because of that, but I won’t argue. Either way, writing is what I do, what I want to do, what I need to do.

If you have a passion, find a way to incorporate it into your life so that it becomes part of you. Find a way to make it naturally flow with the rest of your life so you can enjoy its positive power. It will be worth it. Give it a shot.

Thanks for reading. Comments and questions are always welcome

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Sum Total of Your Life Should Not Reflect the Negative

Have you ever wondered why it seems so easy to lose motivation, get discouraged, become downtrodden and unhappy? At first glance it might appear that life is mostly negative, full of unpleasantness and grief; what with all the suffering and unhappiness in the world, the idea is easy to believe. But it’s not true. You might wonder though, why does the negative seem to get more attention? I would say it’s force of habit. Really! Think about your day-to-day life. Does your car break down every day? Does your cat run away all the time? Does your girlfriend break up with you repeatedly and often? Well, unless something is seriously wrong in your life, none of those things happen with enough frequency to truly be a daily event. The emotional impact, however, is significant, and that is why you dwell on it.

This morning, for no reason at all (actually there is a mechanical reason), my car decided to not start. What a pain in the ass, right? My daughter had to get to school, I had to get to work, and we both didn’t have time for this kind of inconvenience. Fortunately, we only live seven blocks from school, so I walked her there and we were only about five minutes late. I’m pretty mechanical minded and I figured my car battery was dying, so I got a jump start and the car was off to the races, sort of speak. Actually I was right off to the auto repair shop. While driving, I realized that even though this whole scenario was a royal pain, it wasn’t the norm in my life.  That’s why it was so bothersome, because it was so outside the norm. Now, my car requires maintenance and repair on occasion, some planned, some obviously not so planned. So I just have to deal with it. For the majority of the time, I get in, turn the key and drive away. So why don’t I get a giant euphoric feeling of joy every day the care works properly? Well, it’s because I expect the car to function properly.

You see, events in our lives that are unexpected, emotionally jarring, either positively or negatively make an impression. They have meaning because they wake us up from our malaise, that fog we hypnotize ourselves with. In a way that dazed phase of distraction is a good thing. It allows us to follow a routine we need to cope. But, and it’s a big but, that distraction can also make it harder to deal with the negative when it comes along, give it false power and significance. Don’t let that happen. 

Remind yourself that for every time your car breaks down, or your dog runs away, there are days, weeks, even months in a row where good, positive things happen, because you planned for them, make the right decisions and stuck with it. Life’s curving and winding roads are a test. Don’t let them distract you and become negative. Each bump in the road is a chance to regain focus. Remember, staying focused will help direct you on your life’s mission. So, keep your eyes on the road!

Thanks for reading. Comments and questions are welcome.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Be a Positive Influence

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. 
George Eliot

One person CAN make a difference. I was recently reminded that sometimes I can be a bit overly pessimistic. I won’t refute that claim because sometimes it’s very true. I’d be willing to admit that I need motivation and inspiration just as much, if not more, than most people. But it is possible to be a positive influence; a positive force for good in life, and not just your own. Everyone has influences. It is unavoidable to be uninfluenced by something around you. What we can focus on here is the degree to which something affects you, both positively and negatively.

Sometimes we can choose the company we keep; sometimes we are forced to be associated unfavorable people. The key to surviving and prospering in various environments and situations is to recognize the positive from the negative and then separate yourself from things that detract from your life. Clich├ęd as it seems, that sounds easy doesn’t it? Well, sometimes it’s not. I’ve been in situations where I couldn’t recognize the negative for what it really was and I suffered for it. There were times when I saw the negative forces in my life working directly against me, and still felt powerless to do anything about it. Why? The answer was and is fear.

We all fear the unknown, whether we’d like to admit it or not. Sometimes, we actually rather deal with the terrible thing in front of us than to cut it out of our lives and face the great unknown without that negative. It’s that fear that holds you back, and finding someone that can help you navigate the unknown waters of life is vital. That person can be you; it could be a friend, loved one, or even a stranger in a support group. The point is there is someone out there who has dealt with a situation similar to yours, no matter how outrageous or incredible it may seem. You must be open to the possibility of learning from someone else’s experience to improve your situation.

You can’t change the past. You can change the future. Use the present to move in the right direction.

Thanks for reading, questions and comments are welcome.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Consistency Can Focus Your Passion

“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

It may seem presumptuous to disagree with one of the accepted greats of English literature, but I’m going to do it nonetheless. Sorry Oscar. Now I know that inspiration, creativity, motivation, spontaneity and such are most powerful when they are unhindered by oppressive shackles, laborious responsibilities, and the mind-numbing drudgery of life, but without focus, none of those things can find their highest potential. The way I see it, being consistent helps a person form discipline. It provides structure and a framework to build ever greater things. Finding a proper outlet for creativity and imagination allows them to flow, develop, grow and expand. It’s also worth note to say being consistent with your art form helps build skill, experience and technique.

Consider, what good is it to be a talented painter, writer, composer, sculptor, etc. without contributing to the craft? Having talent and creativity is great, but if you don’t bother to express it on a regular basis, that ability has gone to waste. Being consistent, however distasteful to Oscar as it might be, allows for expression to flow uninterrupted. So think about it, if you have a mindset where you can express yourself (through your art) on a consistent basis, you can focus on what you really want to convey and produce. Repeatedly coming back to your craft, working through the obstacles and barriers, both of the world and the mind, helps you gain valuable experience and develop a personal technique. Your voice, through your art will be that much more powerful because it is all the more refined and focused.

I’ve found that many times, I needed to push through the malaise of the mind, battle against apathy and distraction, literally forcing myself to write even when I didn’t want to do so. Some might say that isn’t creativity, or inspiration, and perhaps they are right. But I always looked at it as restructuring my mindset. It’s so easy to get distracted and say something else is more important because it needs to be tended to ‘right now’. If you let it, everything in life will distract you from your passions. Being consistent in refocusing your mind on your passions is the only way to make sure life doesn’t run rough shod over you your entire life. Remember, it’s not so much if you’ve done something, it’s how many times you’ve gone back to it after distractions pull you away that makes the difference.

Thanks for reading. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...