There’s an ancient proverb that says, “Dig your wells before you ‘re thirsty.” It’s profound advice. And one of the most powerful ways of applying it is to know, in advance, where to find inspiration when you need it.
The simple list below is not meant to be exhaustive. It’s only meant to be directional, like a map that shows you where to find water on a long hike. I hope you enjoy it.
#1 - The people who matter – if you think back to the most meaningful moments of your life, it’s likely they will always be moments you shared. The birth of a child, care during an illness, celebrating an accomplishment, support in a crisis, or a moment of feeling truly loved are all richer because they are shared with people who matter. Keep these relationships strong and they will be a constant source of inspiration.
#2 - Your Faith – for many, this is the deepest well, but remember faith comes in many forms and need not always involve religion. Whatever spiritual path you follow, make sure that it is one where you believe in something larger than yourself, that it gives you a sense of purpose, and that it guides you as you grow. Perspective, purpose, and progress are all sources of constant inspiration.
#3 - Beauty – one of the most enduring sources of inspiration is to see the beauty that is all around us. Many people find beauty in music, art, or poetry, and that beauty transports them to an inspired state of being. Whichever forms of beauty move you, keep them close at hand. A screensaver of your favorite painting, music on your phone, or a card with your favorite poem carried in your wallet can be instant sources of inspiration in a difficult moment.
#4 - Nature – it’s been said that no one who enters the wilderness leaves unchanged. It’s been true for me in a lifetime of backpacking, rafting, and hiking. Even a 10-minute walk through a garden makes my breathing slow and my heart expand. Be intentional about leaving the office, or car, or your home. Feel the sun and the wind, smell the forest and the flowers. I promise, you will leave inspired.
#5 - Stillness – in our modern world, we are almost never still. And even if our bodies are resting, our minds usually aren’t. As a result, we can lose our inspiration under a mountain of mind-induced fear and worry. The antidote to this dilemma is simple, and it’s free. Sit quietly for a few moments and just breathe. That’s it. Just allow you mind to follow your breath as it moves slowly in and out. As your mind becomes quiet, you will hear the voice of your heart, and with it, you will find your inspiration.
#6 - Stories – I’m always drawn to stories that inspire me, especially the ones where the main character rises triumphant despite their challenges. Even though I know how the story ends, I’m caught up in the moment, and somehow, it feels like I’m the one who rises to become more than I knew I could be. Whether its book you reread every year or a movie that you keep on your phone, there’s a reason these stories inspire you. Go back to this well as often as needed and one day, the story really will be yours.
#7 - Kindness – every act of kindness inspires me, no matter how small. The teenager who helps an older person across the street, the organizations that feed those who are hungry, the generosity of those who have much sharing with those who have less – all these examples move me and make me want to live with kindness in every moment. When we are kind to others, we create a ripple effect that returns to us many times over. The result is a source of inspiration that never runs dry.
I hope that your days are filled with inspiration and that you are never thirsty, but instead refreshed, by wells that never run dry.