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10 Ways to Stay Inspired for Life

Inspiration is the antidote for the grind of building a business and the foundation of a healthy work-life balance.
10 Ways to Stay Inspired for Life
Image credit: Tara Moore | Getty Images

Entrepreneurs are a unique group of people. Many attributes set them apart from others -- their deep levels of desire, independence, needs for freedom, levels of dedication and a willingness to take risks.

However, many entrepreneurs suffer from creative blocks due to being so wrapped up in tasks. To a large extent, we all have to let the processes of creativity and inspiration come to us from the outside because it is not always an internal process we can count on. Inspiration waxes and wanes along any person’s journey to success. Yet, there are many ways to stay inspired through outside sources to keep our engines of motivation and excitement roaring.

1. Read.             

Keep one or more motivational books or readings with you at all times. The Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard is a great book to keep on hand for inspiration. Sometimes it only takes one sentence to get your mind in gear on what you want to achieve in your day, your business and the bigger picture of your life. Reading something that hits home reminds you that your path to success is worth the hard work. Having a book on hand is like having a pocket coach. When you need it you can reach for it at a moment’s notice.

Related: 10 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal the Books That Changed Their Lives

2. Time alone.

The majority of time in your life will be spent in the consistent company of other people on a regular basis. Even when the connections you have are positive, it is still taxing on your energy to be constantly giving out. It is vital to the human spirit to have a certain amount of time alone to detox and re-energize. Inspiration cannot come from a dry well of energy resources. It is important to refuel and take time for yourself.

3. Money.

Money is a great motivator; not the root of all evil. Money is a tool and resource which can be used for so much good. Money is also one of the greatest rewards acknowledging your hard work. It is not wrong to work for money, or to have making more money as a priority and important goal in your life. You should always strive to make more money. Increases in money often come hand-in-hand with increases in status and position; all which build confidence. With money comes the freedom to do more things. Having this type of freedom brings more happiness. You are never more inspired than when you are happy.

4. Music.

Music can be one of the most direct ways to find inspiration. Inspiration is a drive, but as much as it is a drive, is also an emotion. You either feel inspired or not. Emotions, the full range of them, make up inspiration. If you’re hurt or angry, the right song can inspire you to succeed. If you have a creative block the right music can open your mind. It has been proven that music is in sync with our brain waves, and when people listen to Mozart before taking intelligence tests they score up to 10 points higher. So if you want to find some inspiration, listen to some great music.

5. Exercise.

Getting outside, moving your body, getting fresh air and working up a sweat are highly creative ways to find inspiration. When you are at work, your mind is only focused on the task at hand, which leaves very little room for your right brained activities such as inspiration to come forth. When you exercise, the left brain is distracted by the task of exercising, allowing the more right brained emotions and ideas to come through. Further, when you push yourself physically you learn how strong you are emotionally, and this helps to keep you inspired and believing in your capacities to continue pressing forward. I can say that when I run, the most creative ideas I have for my business come to mind, so much so, that I bring an audio recorder with me to document them.

Related: Richard Branson: The Key to Success Is Intention

6. Gratitude.

Wherever there is gratitude there is a spark of life, wherever there is a spark of life there is inspiration. The more grateful you are for what you have the more motivated it makes you to want to sustain and elevate above your current level of success. Abundance is a beautiful thing. A great way to practice gratitude is to write thank you on every check and every receipt as a way to remind yourself of how blessed you are to have the abundance to spend the money you spend. When you are grateful you become plentiful. The feeling of being abundance is inspiring because it is not a feeling you want to lose. You become more deeply committed to all you do when you treasure what you have. There is no room for complacency when you are grateful.

7. Vision.

If you lose inspiration, go back to the drawing board and either create the vision of what it is that you want, or be brave and flexible enough in your mindset to reinvent the vision you currently work from to more effectively move forward. Having a vision is a way of creating a future benchmark of achievement that sits out luminously in front of you; you knowing you won’t be satisfied until you achieve it. A vision inspires the willingness to strive for what you want. It inspires you to live your dream.

Related: How I Decreased My Weekly Office Hours From 40-plus to Less Than 8

8. Competition.

Whether you’re competing with yourself, a score, a dollar amount, another person, for a raise, a bonus etc. competition breeds inspiration. Competition inspires you to get to that next level. It motivates you to prove yourself to yourself and to those others who matter when pushing yourself forward. Getting to that next level will require hard, work, training, and motivation. There is nothing more inspiring than wanting to win. You will naturally do nearly anything to feel that sense of accomplishment.

9. Other people’s stories.

A great way to find inspiration is to study other inspirational people. Read their biographies, watch movies which touch you. I have always been inspired by Rudy, Jerry McGuire, Gladiator and the Rocky Movies among others. There is something so intoxicatingly inspiring about the underdog having a major comeback or victory. If you feel low on inspiration take a day to read, watch a film, or otherwise study others who others have made it against all odds. Emulate in your life, what inspires you about these people and these stories.

10. Give.

When you give and you see the fruits of your labor. Seeing the significance of your impact on the world is so moving it inspires you to work more, and make more in order to give more. Giving is the greatest gift that gives back. To see that what you contribute to the world makes a huge difference in the lives of others. It is what inspiration is all about.

Part of the problem with inspiration for entrepreneurs is creating a healthier work-life balance. Many entrepreneurs often don’t give enough attention to their physical, mental, or emotional well-being. They work at all hours, eat whatever is closest to them, and blindly finish tasks under taxing conditions. This type of lifestyle is a recipe for burnout. The state of mind which allows them to find inspiration becomes more elusive if they aren’t addressing their own needs along the way.