How can we turn our inspiration into aspiration? This is something that personally I am extremely interested in. Put more simply, how can one go from being inspired to do something, to actually doing it?
Inspiration is defined as, “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something.” Aspiration is, “a hope or ambition of achieving something.” Stimulation versus ambition. Excitement versus action.
We are faced with this dance between inspiration and aspiration daily in two ways. Firstly it occurs personally. Inspiration is a powerful tool and is a result of external stimuli or circumstances. We see a photo, we watch a film, we read a book, we see someone talk, or we have an exchange with someone. Our response to these stimuli is to feel uplifted, like the veil has been drawn from our eyes, we see our lives and the world in a new light.
Or we can in fact be the impetus or the external stimulation for the arising of inspiration in others. You should read this book, watch this film or even we ourselves can be the source of inspiration.
Don’t get me wrong inspiration is powerful and is the seed from which aspiration flourishes. But inspiration without action is nothing.
In fact, feeling inspired can, at times, trick us into believing we have achieved something. It can fuel that feel good part of your brain that responds when action is taken.
The problem with both of these situations is that most of the time, both internally and as a source there is inspiration but that’s where it ends.
An example, you read a book about a marathon runner and upon finishing the book you feel so inspired to run your first marathon. As this high subsides, it reaches a midway or floating point where it will either receive action, turning it into aspiration or it will flutter forgottingly back into the depths of your mind.
Secondly, you have a friend who is looking to eat healthier. They are so inspired by your example, you’ve given them all the books to read, all the movies to watch. Yet astonishingly to you, although they seem so keen and you’ve given them all the resources, no action takes place. Why is this?
Let me say this first. I have come to understand that there is no book you can read, no movies you can watch or people you can meet, or words you can say to someone that will transform inspiration into aspiration.
No matter what, it has to come from within. So I’m not here, and neither is anyone else, to tell you how to make that internal shift but I do believe there are actions, methods or steps if you will, that can catalyze this action.
Now why am I, a young adult, whose written no books, been in no movies, has a tiny blog and a podcast qualified to give advice on this? Well as a matter of fact it is because of those reasons I am qualified.
All these self-help books, popular blogs, people who have achieved incredible feats are incredible. So inspiring. But if you imagine a massive wall, these people are on the other side of the wall telling us how to climb it, each in their own unique way. We look at the wall and think, wow it is so amazing that they could climb it and I’d love to climb it one day but it is just such a tall, scary looking wall, I don’t think I could ever climb it.
So yes we see these people and they are obviously incredible sources of inspiration because we see that the wall can be climbed, but you know that’s them, they’re special, I’m not them.
But you know what I’m right there with you at the base of the wall, just as scared as you are. But I am in the process of or have turned my inspirations into aspirations.
Through my running and by making the jump and starting my own blog and podcast I have learnt how to start turning inspiration into aspirations, why its so hard and most importantly how my position as a person who only has one foot on the wall can be so helpful.
So here are my three points to consider and understand:
Invest in the everyman/women
This basically goes back to what I was saying before. People who have achieved incredible feats whether they be physical, mental or in business, are super inspirational. So inspirational that in fact you tell yourself I’ll never be like them, this stops action dead in its tracks.
So take inspiration from them but take inspirational action from people like me, the mom whose started her own business, the overweight person who has started training for a marathon.
We haven’t achieved anything incredible, but we have started. We have started. That tiny act of starting turns your inspiration into aspiration.
By being inspired to set a massive goal we don’t do it because it seems so out of reach, but by just accepting it will take time and a lot of effort and by just starting we create ambition.
If that everyman/women can do it then so can I. just start.
It’s scary as shit and it’s hard – accept it
Another thing with looking up to these successful inspiring people is that everything seems so easy and perfect for them. Like they didn’t even have to work, like it just fell at their feet. They’re so lucky or so naturally talented etc.
But this is only a snapshot in their journey, you didn’t see them trudging through the steady, slow shitty stream of challenge after challenge, where it feels like you are getting no where, that they had to go through before they got to where they are now.
Let me tell you right now that I am in this phase and that it’s real. Everything takes ages, everything scares me, everything’s hard, I feel like everyone judges me along with judging myself, I’m constantly questioning if this is the right thing to be doing, I feel like giving up everyday etc.
So I’m here to tell you that no matter what you are inspired to do you will experience the same shitty river of self doubt, fear, negativity and feeling like you’re getting no where.
Its part of it, but there is immense power in embracing and accepting this fact, it will set action in place and keep you going when you are fulfilling your aspiration.
And embrace these moments because from the hard experiences, beautiful shining gems of small successes and achievements arise, that will stay with you forever, especially when you reach some level of accomplishment with your aspiration.
Set an intention
The last one is probably the most simple and easiest but by far the most powerful. It’s so simple in fact that you might read this and instantly dismiss it. I ask though, that if you take anything from this article, it is the power of setting intentions.
If it is meant to be it will transform inspiration into aspiration every time.
So how do you do this? Well, simply when you are inspired to do something, whether it be, run a marathon, eat healthier, go vegan, start pottery, start a business, get a new job etc. WRITE IT DOWN, write it down, write it down.
How does this work? Well like I said turning inspiration into aspiration requires action. Writing it down is a super easy simple action that anyone can do that sets the transformation in place.
By writing it down you are making a neurological or unconscious change, that will plant a seed and slowly but surely begin to take root and begin to grow into a tree of aspiration.
If I could explain how it works I would but I think it has to do with the fact that writing it down is a lot easier than thinking about having to actually whatever you may inspired to do. And slowly but surely overtime you begin to believe you can achieve this. Stimulation becomes ambition and excitement becomes action.
If you enjoyed this article or want to discuss this topic, then I would love to hear from you because honestly it is still something I am figuring out. Or if you are in a similar situation as me where you are thinking about or have taken on a big ambition in your life then I would love to share and connect with you to share experiences. Because I know how scary it is.
Leave a comment below or contact me here!