Work-Life 2/4/2016

Putting Inspiration To Work: How To Recognize And Consistently Experience It by Leslie Juvin-Acker

Breath in. Now exhale. Good.

As easy as it was to do this exercise, inspiration comes. A great idea, a stroke of genius, divine intervention; whatever you want to call the experience of capturing an actionable idea, inspiration touches us all. How we act on the ideas and ideals we receive is our choice and power and communicates who we are.

What Makes An Inspirational Human

What makes an inspirational person? It’s not someone who sits on or hides great ideas. They’re people who get good ideas, recognize them and - more critically - act on them. We all have differing opinions as to where inspiration comes from, but one thing we can all agree on is that inspirational ideas are only as good as how we act on them.

We can all readily have an answer for the question, “What inspires you?”

Take a moment and list a few answers. Pretty natural, huh?

Now, take a moment and ask yourself, “When was the last time I acted on my inspiration?”

Ah yes. This question takes a minute to answer (for many of us).

We all have ideals as to how our careers should be. If you can think, let alone follow this article, then you’ve had your fair share of good ideas. What separates the leaders from the managers is the ability to recognize and consistently act upon inspiration.

Recognizing Inspiration

Channeling and transforming ideas into action on a consistent basis is a skill. It requires the ability of discerning bad ideas and false motivation from enlightened ideas and genuine acts of service.

Recognizing inspiration usually comes from asking:

-       Does this idea help me feel and do better? Or, does it put me or someone else out in the cold?

-       Am I engaging in this work for solely financial gains or for creating value?

-       Can I act on this idea right now? Is this inspiration positive or does it ask of me to engage in questionable and unethical behavior?

Inspiration aligns with our values, encourages us to do and be better, and is instinctively actionable. Anything else is usually obligation and forces us into making choices that don’t align with our core values.

Consistency: Acting on Inspiration

Recognizing inspiration is Step 1. Action on it is Step 2.

So, you experience good ideas and they align with your values and vision. Are you acting on them in a consistent manner? Meaning no matter where your inspiration originates and no matter how you choose to express and communicate your ideas, will you and others recognize the consistency in the theme and messages of your results? Some call this Personal Branding. I call it consistency.

Evaluate the consistency of true inspiration:

-       Does the inspiration add up?

-       When taking a step back and looking at everything I’ve done, does it make sense?

-       What’s the pattern? Is it recognizable?

Inspiration Is An Experience That Creates Experiences

Inspiration is a very abstract concept and yet it’s footprint on our career is very real. We can see the result of our inspiration in the quality of our corporate culture, the feel and performance of our products and the emotional response to our services.

-       What is my inspiration?

-       Where does it come from?

-       And, what values and ideals do I communicate when I act on it?

Choices and their results, when reversed engineered, always communicate inspiration and its main message. Look at your latest work. Your inspiration should be clearly expressed and understood. Look at your portfolio or resume - inspiration is there, too. What does your body of work consistently say? There, you’ll recognize your inspiration in motion.

Wrapping up inspiration in a neat little package, leave today recognizing that inspiration is as only good as the actions that express them. And, that inspirational humans are those who don’t leave their ideals on the shelf, but use them and put them to work. And finally, true inspiration has a consistent message that creates experiences and emotional responses that are real and measurable. Whatever you call it, catch inspiration for yourself, use it, and create something unique and memorable for yourself and others. Inspiration is best when it’s put to work.