Content | Business | Design

Personal Development Tip: The Inspiration Pyramid

In Personal Development on May 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I recently explored strategies to combat writer’s block, a form of stasis that addresses overcoming the blank slate. I hope those tips nailed a cease and desist letter into WB’s front door. If they didn’t, the symptoms of writer’s block might be due to a lack of inspiration. I’d like to visit a similar point here: developing a lifestyle design that garners inspiration.

You don’t have to be a writer to make use of the following strategies, but this will be my focus because this is my area of expertise. Writing, like any passion, requires a balanced diet of inspirational sources. Think of inspiration as a food pyramid. There is a recommended daily value of parts to consume, to address the needs of the host. And each host requires different DVs. This means the source of inspiration comes from many groups. It’s important to eat the fats, proteins, fruits, vegetables, etc. in the inspiration pyramid. Here are some tips to help you stay lean and inspired:

Avoid carbo-loading. It’s easy to pick on the base of the pyramid, as we do with our actual diets. If carbohydrates are the only source of inspiration, you may begin to feel sluggish. An example of inspirational carbs could be a significant other or dream job–the rocks that you rely on to give you joy every day. They are a very important part of your daily value, but this category really begins to flourishes when supported by other forms of inspiration. The smaller inspiration groups, such as a hobby or interest, generally give the inspirational carbs their diamond status.

Say your dream job growing up was to be an actor. Assume that you are an actor, today. And you do all of the things actors do. If you studied combinatorial mathematics and analyzed stock trends, instead of voice, art history, and stand-up comedy along the way, your construction of “dream job” would probably be a little different.

Go shopping for new groceries. In my experience one of the best ways to break an inpirational dryspell is to experience something new, that’s raw. Growing your experience base, means you are seeking new knowledge. You don’t need to taste the forbidden fruit nor does it even have to be something you like or an experience that costs money. Just find something to shake-up your current perspective that’s momentarily holding you back.

While you’re out, stop in at the nostalgia shoppe. There’s always a juicy sleeper here. The goal is to rekindle the flame in your writing. There are times I have looked back on my writing and laughed, or even better: being proud of a piece. It’s fascinating how a few turns of the page can loosen the valves and pour on the inspiration.

Did you notice anything new in town? My favorite strategy is to seek environments–old or new. People naturally leave a footprint in their travels which means environments are always changing. Think: a flux pavilion of culture. If you think you know everything about an environment, take a second look. There’s an infinite number of perspectives. Consider these parent categories: people, objects, nature, location/vantage point, geography, and history. (Break them down from there.)

The inspiration pyramid is a frame to foster your own inspiration. Use this as a guideline to identify and interpret unique points of inspiration. What inspires you on a daily basis? Have you tried the inspiration pyramid? Share your thoughts below.

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