Find your spark

What inspires you? Have you ever been asked that question?

For those of us who have never (consciously) felt inspired by anything, that is a very difficult question to answer.

But perhaps you need to ask yourself a different question or, rather, a different set of questions. You don’t need to think of everything on such a grandiose, philosophical and singular scale. Try asking yourself the two following questions:-

1) What do I spend any given day doing?

2) What do I spend any given day thinking about?

I answered these two questions and came up with: working, food shopping, watching TV, eating, texting and cleaning. I think about money, I worry about money and my thoughts are consumed with self-doubt and questioning my future – on a daily basis!

Your answers may have been similar; they may have been completely different. Either way, take a moment to reflect on the answers you have given.

We sink into the monotony of daily pattern and basic function as if it is our only option. Here is where negative thoughts fester and breed. You need to snap yourself awake and begin to take an active role within your life.

How can you do that?

You need to inspire yourself. Be your own muse. Be your own mood board filled with ideas, activities and skills to choose from.

I have often read the piece of advice ‘Try something new.’ You can’t argue with that. But I often find myself staring out over the grey and gloomy skyline of Manchester wondering, ‘What is out there for me, within my budget?’ There’s only a limited number of free art galleries and museums in Manchester and I’ve seen them all!

What if you don’t have the money to pursue new interests and activities?

Again, scale it back (you don’t have to learn to scuba-dive or join the local equestrian club). What about the vast amount of information you have access to right now, at your finger tips?!?

Type ‘guitar lessons for beginners’ into Youtube (or anything for beginners for that matter) and there is no end to the streams of tutorials – some of them are even delivered by experts and professionals!. Now I appreciate that learning the guitar is only truly free if you already have the guitar (luckily my partner does). But the harmonica and ukelele are relatively cheap instruments. Get creative, scale back and trust that you will still gain just as much.

Go and develop some skills for yourself!

I recently read a blog by Ramit Sethi, author of ‘I will teach you to be rich.’

Josh Kaufman guests with a bitesize version of his book –  ‘The first 20 hours. How to learn anything…fast.’

I won’t try and paraphrase or explain. You just need to read it. It inspired me and I hope it sparks something within you too.

I now have a list of about 10 skills that I plan to learn over the next 18 months. I can already play 4 chords on the guitar and a few basic songs – and I’m only 3 days in!

Persistence and commitment are key. Now my daily life involves focused guitar practice, regular blogging, NO TV (although I do allow myself the odd ‘House of Cards’ episode on Netflix) and whole lot of value for my time. And this is just the beginning!

You owe it to yourself! Go and be fulfilled!


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