A key part of getting yourself inspired is noticing when something is dragging you down.

Reading a creative journal (such as a design annual) can spark ideas, but not always. Sometimes it can be a weighty tome of trendiness, or worse – mediocrity. Bottom line: Hold to what you know inspiration feels like, and keep up the search until you get that feeling.

To paraphrase the provocative (read: can of worms) definitions over at Dictionary.com, to be inspired means to be brought to the state where we can and will bring something into being. (It also means to inhale – to breathe. Is that why a simple walk outdoors can get the proper juices flowing?)

So check in with yourself. If what you’re doing to seek inspiration is not getting you moving (and breathing), do something else.

Very important: I didn’t say resist. If your day presents you with an uninspiring situation, deal with it. Example: I just found out my son’s swim class wasn’t canceled due to rain. Bye-bye $25. I was stuck in Grinch-mode until I remembered to just be ticked off: From there, it took another minute or two to admit it was my own fault for not reading this week’s class email. Again. That made the blame bit an easier bridge to cross, back over to curiosity, a sense of humor… and look! I’m thinking about inspiration again.

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