Much of what we strive for in design or business comes from the inspiration that someone else bestowed on us. Dreams are born as a result and dreams need fuel, and that is where inspiration comes into play. Whether it's Superman, some beautiful piece of art or the story of a person triumphing over adversity, we need inspiration. But who is in charge of inspiring you when you run out? Who's in charge of picking you up when you're down? I believe it's ourselves. Why? Because we can count on others inspiring us as much as we can count on wining the lottery. If you have a dream or a goal it's your job to inspire yourself. It's up to you to make the choice to get up. How do you do that?
Here are 3 ways:
1. Read for Inspiration: Yes, read books that are inspirational and that help you clear and organize your thoughts. There is nothing better than hearing the stories of others who have gone through tremendous struggles to achieve the impossible. For designers, I recommend Making Ideas Happen, by Scott Belsky (Founder and CEO of Behance). For a generalized outlook, I recommend Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner. Both these books have clear ideas based on life experience and that is important. An idea is just an idea if it doesn't have miles of life experience on it. Or find a source for what inspires you now and connect to it.
2. Stay Away from Negative Nelly and Debbie Downer: Now more than ever, the world is crawling with those that play the woe-is-me card. Yes, the economy is crummy, but look at what you do have and be thankful. Stay away from people who are constantly saying "I can't" and find people who say "I will" or "I have". Go to meetup.com and find groups of people with similar interests and goals. You are the company you keep.
3. Make the Choice: If you've got a goal you have to work at it and your inspiration will need it as well. So make the choice to do it and stay committed and consistent. The results won't be immediate, and failures will pile up (believe me I know), but dust yourself off and get back to it. It's not a matter of "if" it's a matter of "when" and that's up to you. Failures are just practice runs so don't be discouraged
Sometimes inspiration will find you, like it did me in the form of a cape wearing superhero. I've gone through some tough times and questioned myself and everything I am, but I made the choice to inspire myself and keep going because no one else would do it for me. The illustration you see posted today was made especially for this post. Mike Shelton, The Bolt, is featured here revealing his super persona. I created him 9 years ago and he almost made it to the big time as an animated series, but things went wrong (as they will often do) and it got put on the back burner. It's been 9 years, but there is currently a glimmer of hope. Who knows what life has in store, but I do know, that much like The Bolt, there is more to me (and you) than what you see. Christopher Reeve once said:
“So many of our DREAMS at first seem Impossible, then they seem Improbable, and then when we Summon the Will, they soon become Inevitable.” ~ Christopher Reeve
I hope this helps. :)
*Enjoy the Superman clip, perhaps you'll see why a 5 year old kid started doodling on napkins.