I used to be an inspirational quote squirrel -
writing quotes down on scraps of paper and backs of envelopes, ripping out magazine pages, filling journals or virtual sticky notes, or sending myself emails full of inspiring words. I’d collect whole caches of inspiration “for later use,” sometimes forgetting entirely where I put them, sometimes stumbling on them in times of need.
Now they’re all organized in one Google doc that’s always at the top of my drive.
So you think I’d be insanely productive all the time, right? Now that I have a dissertation’s worth of curated inspiration at my fingertips?
Nope. Because inspiration is fools gold.
It’s not worthless. It’s shiny and glittery and feel-good pretty.
It’s enjoyable to consume.
Like that endless spin through your Pinterest boards where you zone out and your heart flutters at all the things you could do.
But you can’t take inspiration to the bank.
You have to do something with it. That’s what makes it valuable.
“Doing something” is different from the wash of “awww” or “ahhh” or you feel when you see some inspiration. It’s what comes after that – that’s what counts.
Sure, “doing something” can be as subtle as allowing yourself to mentally break free, forgiving yourself, letting go, seizing courage, or taking some positive emotional step.
“Doing something” can also be finally mixing up that homemade play-doh with your kids, calling a property owner to get permission to shoot at that mysterious location you saw last week, organizing and labeling everything in your freezer, whatever.
“Doing something” is essentially any change, large or small, that comes about from encountering inspiration.
“Doing something” is the opposite of just saving it for a “later” that may or may not come.
At the end of life, it’s not that the person with the biggest inspiration folder wins.
It’s the person with the biggest ‘life’ folder.
When the universe brings you the inspiration you need, don’t just hit the Like button. Say thank you by doing something with it.
YOU are what makes the inspiration valuable.
Today, dig out your inspiration folder. (I know you have one. Don’t even shove your hands in your pockets and whistle at the ceiling like you don’t know what I’m talking about.)
DO something with the things you’ve collected. Make a change.
If it involves posting something, hit me with a link in the comments. We’d love to see.