Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
- Helen Keller

Five Steps to Finding Inspiration

Finding Inspiration Man in Space

JFK put a man on the moon. Martin Luther King Jr said “I have a dream...” he didn’t say “I have a plan...” Inspiration creates the momentum that makes action possible.

Whether we are thinking about our country, our organisation, our team, our family, our communities or ourselves we can do more, be more and have more if we take the time to “imagine if...”

Five Steps to Finding Inspiration

1. Decide to “do something”

  • The vast majority of people are more motivated by avoiding pain than by moving towards pleasure. As an illustration consider whether the threat of redundancy would get you to take action more quickly than an opening for a promotion.
  • Given a choice most people would maintain the status quo but standing still in business these days is going backwards. Putting some facts and figures around the current situation, the price of “do nothing” and the size of the prize changes the conversation from “we should do something” to “we must do something”. Turning up the pain helps you to protect the time to find inspiration
  • Steve Jobs “If today was your last day...” (video 2 mins)

2. Build or borrow great ideas that resonate

  • Look for ideas outside of your team, organisation, outside your industry, outside your country. What new applications of existing ideas are there? How could you recombine ideas in novel ways?
  • Who is doing the job you want to do? What do you want your legacy to be? Who are the thought leaders in your profession (linkedin etc)? Who are your heroes? Who is well-known for a personal or professional quality you are looking to develop for yourself (e.g. Olympic gold medalists for determination)?
  • Sign up for inspirational web content e.g. TED Talks or newsletters of publications and organisations that interest you. Watch movies, listen to song lyrics, search on YouTube
  • Reconnect with previous dreams and choices. What did you want to be as a child? What drove the decision to do what you do now?
  • Do you dare to dream? (video 7 mins)

3. Think Big... Really BIG!

  • Bold ideas provide the urgency and momentum to get the thing started at all
  • Bold ideas continue to inspire & motivate throughout the time it takes to achieve them
  • Bold ideas capture the imagination of others who can offer resources to support you
  • If you fall short you will still have achieved more than if you pursued an average idea.

4. Co-create the Vision ( i.e. end-point £ revenue, lives saved, promotion)

  • Organise or attend demonstrations, events, conferences, presentations, networking opportunities, crowdsourcing, webinars – tell others about what inspires you and share ideas.
  • Get the right people in the room and ask someone to facilitate a vision workshop. For the divergent phase it’s about quantity of ideas not quality, pictures really help to stay away from details, this phase is all about building on each others’ ideas. The second phase prunes the ideas and formulates “the art of the possible”.
  • A workable vision is one that reflects your values and is inspiring, compelling, challenging, clear and concise. (e.g. Barack Obama “If you work hard and meet your responsibilities you can get ahead no matter where you come from, what you look like or who you love”)

5. Daily Reminders

  • Create a daily reminder for your bold vision for example an image, a quote or a statement to stay focused on the end result.
  • When you regularly focus on your vision it is more likely that you’ll pay attention to opportunities that arise and act on them.

During December I’ll be blogging about turning bold ideas into action.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the blog or your ideas for future blogs email me:


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