Weekly Top 5: Ways to Stay Inspired
As someone who currently works in and is trying to grow in the creative field — I’m a photographer — consistently finding and harnessing inspiration can at times be challenging. Sometimes inspiration hits like a stroke of genius when I’m in the shower, but other times it feels like I’m totally drained...empty of good, fresh ideas. And that feeling can be discouraging. But because I know that drained feeling is only temporary, I’ve tapped into these five tips, that help to jolt me out of my uninspirational lull:
1. Read Something Other than Harry Potter
Believe it or not, I am not a fan of fictional books or literature that has characters, and storylines, and all that — actually, I’ve never even read Harry Potter — but I do really like reading about information, facts, and things that I can put to practical use. Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell and The One Thing by Gary Keller are two books that have given me the information and inspiration I needed to finally choose to pursue a career in photography. I love the quote in Invaluable Laws of Growth that states, “You cannot win if you do not begin! The people who get ahead in the world are the ones who look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.” My cousin introduced me to The One Thing at a point in my life when I was in a creative block and was trying to figure out my next move; I like to do so many things and am creative in a lot of ways, so this book kind of guides you to figure out what is the one thing you should focus on. It was super helpful for me and continues to help me whenever I'm feeling less than inspired.
2. Try Something New...Like Jumping Out of An Airplane.
Traveling the country and visiting new, unknown places can be really inspiring and can spark that creative flow I’m always seeking (the first time I went to New York City, I drank in every single second), but I’ve also found that just participating in new, different activities can have a positive effect on my creative juices. I went skydiving once and that was incredible. I blacked out for the first few seconds. But I think that doing something so completely out of the ordinary and then experiencing the adrenaline rush that followed left me charged-up and excited. I also went horseback riding once — even though I hate horses — just because I think it’s important to do and try new things. It triggers this feeling that you can’t really explain until you do it. And that feeling triggers a new sense of energy that acts almost like jumper cables for my creativity.
3. Stay Connected to Those Who Support You
I am a believer that inspiration is all around us and that it can come from really anything, but for me friends and family is one of the biggest sources of what keeps me inspired. In my family we always push and encourage one another to try something new and overall do our best — it was actually my cousin who inspired me to turn my passion for photography into a career. It’s nice because although we all have different talents, we share the same goal: to be successful and to enjoy what we do. Plus, family is both your biggest supporter and strongest critic, so I can always get honest feedback. With them, I’ve got lifetime mentors and a lifelong motivation to be the best version of myself.
4. Get out there!...Electronically and Interpersonally
I know...most people hate networking. But I love it. I get inspired by people being together in a busy environment, working and communicating...I don’t know, it’s exciting to me. I’m part of this community on Facebook called YEP and another one on Instagram called @h_collective. They’re both great online forums where it’s easy to connect with people and discuss ideas. I also like going to MeetUp’s. I was at one a couple weeks ago with a bunch of models and photographers and we all just took photos together, and then got to compare results and give each other tips and stuff. It’s a great way to learn and also meet other creatives that might even become longtime friends!
5. Recognize your Accomplishments, Pat Yourself on the Back, and then Keep Going.
I recently created this Inspiration Board next to my desk at home. It includes past achievements that I’m proud of and also includes ideas and aspirations I have for the future. Seeing reminders of what I’ve done before helps to relive the moment and remember how good it felt at the time to be doing that, and then seeing goals for the future kind of keeps the engine running. I want more of those good, accomplished feelings so having both the reminders and the inspiration up there together pushes me to keep working and trying.
What are some of the ways you keep yourself inspired? Comment below
- Stay Sicc
Kevin Sichoumphonh is a photographer and creative living in Nashville, Tennessee. He is also helps Broad Varieties look more beautiful and professional in his role as Photography Intern.