Monday, May 25, 2015

8 Ways to Find Inspiration

Seek and you shall find

Ask any creative, in any field, how they find their inspiration and they're bound to give you an answer by way of one of these 8 solutions. 

Up the road, around the corner, to the next city or state, country or continent, it doesn't matter where you start - so long as you understand that until you start seeing new places, you will always think the same way you've always thought. Get out there, get going, and explore the world around you.


New avenues, new streets, new neighbourhood, whichever way you want to call it, make a move and get out there. This has become a personal favourite of mine, and it all started with renting a bike and going to the overlooked areas of Dubai that are far beyond more interesting than the "prestigious" Dubai Marina, Downtown and other areas that expats flock to.

How can you ever know where you're going if you don't know where you come from? One of my favourite questions by far is my reasoning behind this stop along the way to finding inspiration. Step foot into any museum of your choice and soak in the education that is there in front of you in the form of art, architecture, atmosphere and ambiance. Not to mention the stillness, calm and quiet of the place (for the less frequented museums around the world).

Pick a book, any book, and read it. Start with something fluffy and light, and then make your way to the heavier, meatier books that mean something to you - be it your hobby, career path or simply something that makes you smile from ear to ear. By switching off the television, mobile devices and tablets and turning to a book, you are already freeing your mind from the fuzz of the fast world that we live in where information is fed to us at a faster-than-light speed. Get lost in a book and let your imagination run wild. You will be surprised with what you find.

So, you want to be amazing? Find out who the people are that came before you and learn about their secrets to success. Study the way they stepped up the ladder, what sort of roles they took on, how they adapted to the zeitgeist, how they broke away from their predecessor's prior rules and regulations and paved the way for themselves or their company. This is one of your top tools to making a better future for yourself, and with the internet today, you can find out just about anything - so start looking!

Here's another chance for you to step away from the technological devices and take some time for yourself to explore the new artists and artistic styles of today. Challenge your thoughts and the way you interpret information by visiting an art gallery either by yourself or with a friend and talk about what you see, what you like, and what you don't like. The idea of art is that it is open to interpretation - not everyone will see the same thing or think the same thing when they view a piece of art, and that is the most amazing thing after all. So why not use this opportunity to open up discussion with a friend and talk about what you've seen in a gallery... rather than on your Instagram feed five seconds before? #breakawayfromyourphone

 Step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in another culture; Culture, by definition, is a particular form or stage of civilisation, as that of a certain nation or period. But it is so much more than this. A single person's beliefs can inspire you, can lead you to look at a subject in a different way or approach a situation from a more informed view. Companies have cultures, cities have cultures, you have cultures, and I have cultures. Lead and learn from those around you in every single possible way and you will find that the inspiration you were seeking may have been beside you all along.

Finally, we come to lucky number 8 on the list of ways to find inspiration: Seeking superior advice. It is of no coincidence that any successful person you speak to will tell you to surround yourself with people who are more intelligent than you, more advanced than you, and more successful than you. By doing this, you put yourself in a situation where your opportunity to grow is doubled, maybe even tripled. Starting from your inner circle of friends and working outwards to the colleagues you mingle with, the connections you keep, and the mentors you choose, each person who comes along on your path will have something to contribute and it is important that you listen with eyes and ears wide open. Seeking superior advice doesn't just mean sending an email or making a phone call, but keeping on your toes at all times and listening to those around you as they will help you come to the conclusion you are looking for, whether they know it or not. 

Alternatively, should you be interested in seeking the expert advice of an industry insider (one in which you may feel is too far out of reach) my advice to you is: you have nothing to lose. The worst that could happen is that they say no and decline your request to answer your questions. If that is the worst that could happen, can you imagine the best?
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working" 
Pablo Picasso
In conclusion, the key thing to remember when you are in search of inspiration is to "Always come open" - a word of advice that I was once given and will never forget, which means come to every situation with an open mind. Do not allow yourself to block out new ideas or new perspectives. Instead, always come open to every situation you face and you will find that there is always something to learn. You will never know everything - and this is another key to success. Understand that every day is a learning day, and if you keep your eyes and ears open you may find that the inspiration you have been seeking exists around you every single day.