The blinking black line is mocking you as you realize you've accomplished nothing today. Hours after you'd intended to complete your blog, song, story, etc. you're still staring at a blank page. Then Snow Patrol comes on your iTunes radio and you're about ready to "just forget the world." You think back to 2006 when life was so much simpler. It seems inspiration has been lost, and you're thinking about quitting for the day. I have some advice for you- quit.
"What did he say? Quit?!" I know- what a crazy idea! I don't mean quitting at life, or quitting your job. According to dictionary.com a definition of quit is "to depart from; leave (a place)." Do you see where I am going here? We often try to force inspiration, but stories don't come from pressure or need. Stories are experiences. Why do the songs flow after a break up, or journals fill up during an extended trip? Inspiration is alive, and inspiration comes from living.
My best friend, Tim, and I coined a simple phrase, "Do more things". This phrase is responsible for most of the stories we tell. Some stories have happy endings while others turn in to big mistakes (i.e. Tim almost getting kicked in the head by a horse in El Salvador). We have learned that by "doing more things" we have more stories to share than we could have ever imagined. Rather than trying to write the best story, the most unique blog, or the next hit song, just get out and do more things. Something I've learned about creative people is that they are unstoppable when inspiration strikes them, but are the easiest at being stopped when their passion runs out. Instead of mustering up the passion, go out there and find the inspiration that you won't find behind your desk.
A mentor of mine told me that the wealthiest person in the room is the one with the best story. Nobody wants to hear about what you didn't do. They want to hear about what you thought you could never do. The best entrepreneurs have made the most mistakes and the best artists hear “no” the most. The best stories don't come from writing; the best stories come from living.
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