3 Problems with Waiting for Inspiration

For the lazy. The uninspired. But mostly, for the bullshitters.

By Emon Johnson

In this life, we are all seeking passion. Something that inspires us to do more. Be more. Give and want more. We don’t, however, always discover just what this something is. 

Oftentimes we’re looking for that one thing to truly get our fires started. That one job, or person, or opportunity, to make us get our act together so that we can chase our destiny with no distractions. 

In our search for meaning outside of ourselves, we tend to lose track of our personal ambitions and traits. We tend to borrow others’ help to wait for the right stimulus to activate something inside of us that will ignite the inner hero we’ve always known we could be. 

Problem is, while waiting for inspiration, we’re not working. This means our lightwork and daily activities stack, which translates into you surviving for prolonged periods of time. Maintaining, rather than thriving. 

I’ve noticed that in this mindset, you can become very cynical, dispassionate and lazy. 

I’ve been trapped in that mindset for months at a time before. Only able to brainstorm ways to make it out of the maze, but unable to execute any escape plans. I even began devaluing the legitimacy of trying to live a meaningful life in the first place. 

I am aware, however, that I am not the only one who’s experienced this inspiration trap. Through my experience I’ve learned three major life lessons on the dangerousness of simply waiting for the right moment or feeling to chase the life you want. 

First:

Inspiration Isn’t Infinite and Fear can Replace It

Inspiration isn’t an endless reservoir of beautiful thoughts, decisive actions and blueprints to create awesomeness. It’s a limited jewel, at times at the bottom of the ocean in a chest guarded by sharks, poisonous choral, and even other explorers, like ourselves, looking for it. It’s a moment, at its best, and a thought in its purest form. However, if left as is, it will be just that: a moment or thought. And one that others may obtain if you don’t.

 A dream without action is but a hope, a wise man once said.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

Uncapitalized inspiration can lead to much regret and resentment towards ourselves and the thing that once inspired us. If your desires are always rationalized as unobtainable, or undeserving by someone like yourself, that can cause you to ignore the signs of certain INS, thus causing you to settle for a new base of desires and experiences.

 If the fear of rejection or an exertion of effort always causes you to look for OUTS desperately, you’ll certainly come up with ways to find them. And again, find solace in throwing away your shot at prosperity by creating a new meaning of what happiness or living is to you. 

Inspiration Isn’t Always Necessary 

You shouldn’t need inspiration to get out of bed in the morning, shower, eat, look presentable, and take care of basic life necessities. It should not take significant INS to provide you with enough energy to at the very least, maintain. 

Inspiration does well in providing us with the tools we need to transcend basic living and mediocrity. However, if all of its power goes into simply getting you to move limb after limb, struggling to connect one thought chain to another, then by the time you’re ready to act on its presence, you’ll have used up all of its power. 

Instead, well-formed habits should be the ambassador of your mundane activities.  

This way, you don’t waste time or brain cells on unnecessary decision making and debating which tasks you want to complete or avoid. Tasks, often which, if avoided, will lead to a buildup of problems and errands that will take precedence over  inspiration, and eventually cause you to believe your inspiration false, or misguided. 

Once distractions dominate your life, the passionate dreams of another life become simple fantasies, illogical in their naivety. And it’s incredibly disheartening that we let the fire of inspiration burnout,  leaving us cold to passion and often other people, by the whim of thoughts insignificant as whether or not we should get up out of bed and start the day, or go back to sleep.   

This thought comes up even when we get a great idea that we need to get up and grab our notebook, or guitar, or computer, camera, hockey stick, dog, friend, whatever, and, do this great thing with them or that. Yet the idea is often countered with a more cunning and comfortable thought: “I probably should just go back to sleep.” 

We often sweep our times to shine under the rug for things like sleep. And it’s unfortunate that our brain’s shoot us these amazing ideas at the times we’d least like to go through with them. 

However, that depends on the individual. Some, aware of the beauty and scarcity of such a presence, are quick to act on their thoughts or new found inspiration. Lest they forget and suffer the mental scrutiny of their own consciousness at the sheer imbecility of their actions.

To lose a possibly good idea, to simply rejoin the land of dreams that produced the idea in the first place, doesn’t seem logically sound. Yet we do it. To acquire more imagination time, we sacrifice reality, claiming -if we were strong enough to even consider the desire as a vague possibility – that we’ll engage in making it come true later on. 

Later on meaning, when we have work. 

Later on meaning, when we get tired again from all the bullshit. 

Later on meaning, when we’re feigning for inspiration to come and fill us with certainty as we ponder what the hell to do to make us happy. 

That’s when we’ll reconsider this idea. 

Fucking stupid. Nevertheless, there is a third point…

Inspiration CAN INDEED, Be Misleading 

As stated, uncapitalized inspiration often leaves us with a sense of confused-urgency, guilt, resentment, and fear. It makes you think we need something we’ve lost, or makes you seek something you think you  should have or have always had. 

It can make you go crazy. Obsessed with chasing the life you “knew” you could have, while it’s taped to your backs, dangling from a fishing rod hanging right in front of you. “Catch meeeeee.” It’ll whisper. And then you begin to add up all the memories and actions that led you to where we are now: without that life. And you begin to blame those that distracted you from obtaining it. Those that blatantly took it away from you. And of course, yourself. 

You begin to hate the things that stole the dreams of our future away from you. 

And when we do this, we give these things dominion over our brain and happiness. It’s as if, “Without that dream, what is the point of pursuing anything.”

That was my inspiration. That was my reason to get out of bed. 

Things that seem lost to us, especially those that we failed to enjoy while we had them or had the chance to, are often things that plague us the most in their mystery. 

They create dreams and memories vivid enough to appear present.

Like the 45-year-old truck driver you know who always brings up glory days of when he was a high school quarterback. Bragging about his chance to go pro, only to a) miss it because he had to take care of kids, b) miss it because he was injured, c) miss it because he didn’t take care of his grades. This man, like many others with misguided inspiration, becomes forever stuck in the dreams of his past and the future that should have been. 

Or that one friend who is still in love with their ex. Sulking on the time invested and the helpless attempts at new romance because everything reminds them of their ex. Still waiting for the day their ex wakes up and realizes that they had everything they needed. Even though they’re showcasing their new happiness with another person.

 Essentially addicted to fond memories of dreams that never turned real.

Peering into the rabbit hole of woulda-shouldas time again. Hoping, each time, to uncover some mystery to the puzzle of lost inspiration.

And, should the resentment built up inside surpass the mental fortitude of sanity and logic, the dreams lost become obsessions to obtain. Forcefully if necessary. If not by us, by our kids who we make play the sports WE loved. Our possessions and accolades that showcase how great WE were at our prime. Our friends who have to sit and hear our stories of how much WE miss the glory days, or our ex-lover, or just our old life. One we knew. 

And so, inspiration of the past fills us, lustfully, and blinds us, often, to the present.  

In the end,

Inspiration is a powerful tool. Even so, it is not infinite in its resources. It can burn out, and be replaced by a much darker flame. 

Inspiration is also not always necessary. Although awesome when it does appear, it isn’t and shouldn’t be required to perform simple activities. As a limited resource, it is best used on things you’d really like to use it on. Not deciding whether or not to pee in the morning, afraid you won’t be able to get back in bed fast enough, before you realize we actually have to begin our day…so you hold the pee, and forget your pending responsibilities.

Inspiration can also take you down the wrong path. In its beauty, it oftentimes commands our spirit, and appears in the form of righteousness. Yet it can lie. Right to our faces, it can lie. And create dreams, more lucid than reality, projecting you to a haze of vicarious scenarios of other people and forces. Causing you to chase opportunities we missed in your past. Making you miss opportunities happening now.

And finally, it can also be really cool. It can bring life into uncertainty, creating curiosity instead of fear. It can build upon itself, borrowing from other forms of inspiration, snowballing into its own unique flow. If allowed to be properly assessed by having roadblocks to its progress removed, foreseen, or quickly accepted and endured, it can manifest us from our lesser selves. People whom we have come to see in the mirror, yet one’s we desire to be more than. 

Inspiration can bring out our super powers. But, should we ignore it, depend solely on it, or listen when we know it’s the evil side of its face, we will have a world of dangers to fight and conquer. Or lose to. 

Instead of Waiting for Inspiration…

 Here’s a list of things you can do to get the life you want.

  1. Just do it
  2. #1
  3. #2
  4. I think you get the point.

Point is, you know what you want. You know what to chase. It’s what excites you. What frightens you. What you would throw away all the other bullshit for. What you bank on to truly save you from yourself and from complacency. What makes your heart drop and your head race.

 So go get it, before you lose it and go insane trying to obtain it. And if you miss your shot because you didn’t do it, then do it again. And don’t let the simple things you have to do in between, come between you and that dream. They’re just hurdles. So jump, yo. 

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