“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C S Lewis
It’s true that a top performance is an inspired performance, so where does that leave you if you’re feeling uninspired? Well, if you lack inspiration, you lack motivation, and without motivation, it’s fair to say that anything you do can become a process of going through the motions, right?
Going Through the Motions
Uninspired individuals may appear busy, but they’re often just busy being busy for the sake of it; there’s no real purpose in what they do.
For example, if you’re uninspired in your work, you’re probably focused on just getting through the day rather than achieving something out of your day. Chances are, if you’re uninspired in your work, you’re also devoting a fair bit of energy to doing the bare minimum you can get away with to keep up an appearance of being busy, and you’re no doubt thinking no further than the end of the day, every day.
Of course, if you’re totally uninspired, you may have given up doing anything at all.
You might be spending your days just waiting for inspiration to come your way, and finding “reasons” to blame everything and everyone other than yourself for your lack of action. Your thoughts will revolve around statements such as, “It won’t work… I can’t do that… It’s too hard…” Does this sound familiar?
“What’s Your Why”? or Finding Inspiration
We all have days or moments in time when we feel uninspired, but if you’ve been going through the motions for long enough to recognise yourself in the above, you’re in danger of getting stuck in a rut that becomes increasingly difficult to get out of. Unless you actively seek inspiration, it won’t just magically come your way.
But, if you’re uninspired, how do you find inspiration?
To answer this question, begin by asking yourself a few more:
When was the last time you felt inspired?
Where were you and who were you with when you last felt inspired?
What makes you happy?
What do you live for or look forward to?
What drives you?
You see, to have more, you need to become more. If you continue to just go through the motions, then those motions are all you will have. If you continue to sit and wait for inspiration to land in your lap, you’ll be waiting a long time. To find inspiration, you must get out and actively seek it – and if what you’re doing now is not inspiring you, you must do something different. To be different, you must do different, but the answers you give to the above questions will help to guide you towards the places and/or the people that may help to light a spark.
Of course, while there is no spark, doing nothing can be the default setting. Doing nothing will change nothing – you’re stuck. If a writer chooses to wait until inspiration strikes before putting a word onto paper, nothing gets written.
To achieve something you have to begin, even when you’re lacking inspiration.
For this reason, many writers will tell you that the most important part of writing is to write something every day. What they write may not be what they keep, but the act of writing every day inspires further writing, and out of this process, inspirational ideas can form. Sometimes you just have to turn up and work, and it’s the process of doing that leads you to discovering what you want to do and feel inspired to achieve.
When you find your passion, you find your inspiration, but when you don’t know what you’re passionate about and you feel uninspired, the only way to change things is try new things.
Not everything you try is going to light your fire, but you won’t know until you try it. You need to do more to be more, and when you find what does light your fire, you become inspired to do more of it and become better at it – you’re no longer just going through the motions.
Don MacNaughton is a High Performance Coach working in pro sport and business over the last 17 years