“How you’ve been GRINCHED”. Ungrinched. Part 7. Inspired.
Dear reader, this article is Part 7 in a series of 10 articles titled: “How you’ve been GRINCHED and you didn’t even know it”. You can read the previous articles here: Read “Grinched” Part 1, Read “Grinched” Part 2, Read “Grinched” Part 3, Read “Grinched” Part 4, Read “Grinched” Part 5, Read “Grinched” Part 6.
Let’s take a closer look at the third component of the new GRINCH (Inspired) personality.
I – Inspired [definition]: aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence.
Inspiration. So much power is stored in this magical word. When we experience inspiration, things just happen naturally, unforced, unconstrained. Any obstacles disappear, rejection and failure no longer matter. We don’t think about all the HOWTOs, WHATIFs, and WHYs. We just get stuff done, we become unstoppable, relentless, ultra patient and determined – all because we are inspired. Think of the times when you were a child and the moments when you were discovering new things for yourself. That feeling of “WOWness” when you learned to ride a bicycle for the first time. Butterflies in your stomach and adrenaline rush when you had your first kiss. Looking up into the sky at night and gazing at the stars. Seeing the rainbow for the first time. Experiencing snow for the first time. Flying for the first time. Playing a musical instrument. Playing your favorite sport and hitting that shot that gave your team a victory in the last seconds of the match. What was that experience like? Pretty inspiring I bet, wasn’t it? So how come you’re not going about your life in a similar way, being inspired about your job, business, school, family, friends, life in general?
The issue here is that most people seek inspiration as if it only comes externally, from someone or something else. It’s not like we don’t want to be inspired, I think most of you will agree with that. But there is a flaw in looking for inspiration externally: it’s like waiting for a prince on a white horse or hoping to win a lottery. Chances are the prince will never come and you’ll never win that lottery. The odds are clearly against you. This brings me to my point: you are fully capable of being the source, the generator of inspiration for yourself and consequently for others. When you are truly inspired, the glow around you, that vivid energy that flows from within is contagious. People notice it and want more of it just like you want more inspiration to come from elsewhere. So how do you become the source of inspiration?
What if I told you that inspiration is available on demand? It’s just been dormant in you for a long time, so you have to rediscover it. You may ask, but where do I look for it, how do I find it? Look inside/within, start with asking yourself the following questions [and many more]. What do I really love to do? What am I passionate about? What makes me experience joy and fulfillment? When do I experience happiness the most? What makes me smile and laugh? Who else is typically involved in such experiences? Recall the times when you achieved something big (like winning a game, tournament or competition; closing a deal; getting accepted to college and graduating; proposing and getting married; having your first child; winning a prize or lottery; etc.) and the experience of that. What I’m pointing you to is to identify experiences when you were inspired in order to replicate that state of being. Generate the feelings, visual images, sounds, moods, details from when you were inspired; fill your mind with inspirational thoughts.
Let me ask you a question: are you happy because you’re smiling or are you smiling because you’re happy? Read that again and think. Confused? Chicken and an egg like? The truth is, the answer is not even important here. Why? Because as long as you’re smiling in both cases, it means that you’re being happy, you’re experiencing a state of happiness [which is the foundation of inspiration]. So all you have to do is smile and you’ll be causing happiness without any external influence.
For those of you who still need a reason or external factor in order to smile, here is a practical advice. Follow it and you will have a powerful tool on how to tune your mind into happiness. It’s called a pencil bite technique [kudos to my brother for introducing it to me many years ago – it really does work]. Take a regular pencil and bite it without your lips touching it as wide as you can [the objective is NOT biting hard, so save your teeth; refer to the image above on how to do it properly]. Hold it just like that for at least 30 seconds, preferably for 60 seconds. What this exercise does, it activates your “smiling” muscles in your face. Before you know it, you’ll have a wide smile on your face. Look yourself in the mirror while doing it, I bet you’ll crack up even more. Do this early in the morning, I promise that it will put you in a much better mood for the rest of the day. How come? Let’s turn to science to get a proper explanation. Neurotransmitters called endorphins are released in your brain when you smile. These are triggered by the movements of the muscles in your face, which is interpreted by your brain, which in turn releases these chemicals. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy and they also help lower stress levels. Pretty cool, huh? Later on you can do this exercise without the pencil, as long as you hold a wide, “raging” smile for 60 seconds. It’s best to look at yourself in the mirror when you do that too [or your front camera on a smartphone]. The visual feedback magnifies the effect and tells your brain that you are indeed happy, causing to release even more endorphins. The point of all of this is that you don’t need an external force to make you happy and inspired. The moment you actually GET GET that you’re in control of your emotions, mindset, and actions, your life will never be the same.
Your inspiration indeed can and does come from within. Stop waiting for it to come to you. Cause it! Discover your own “formula” for it, how it gets triggered in your mind and replicate it, add new “features” to it, expand it by including new people in it, share it with others. Stop wasting your time by looking elsewhere and waiting for inspiration to fall in your lap. Think about how many things you didn’t do because the time wasn’t right, circumstances weren’t perfect, the risks were too high, the uncertainty was unbearable. If you could only tap into your inspiration in those moments!!! None of those excuses would have mattered and results would have been achieved.
Hopefully by now you can see that the best place to look for inspiration is within. It requires no one else, just you with your own thoughts, uninterrupted by your phone, tablet, TV, other people, and noises. Just take some time and sit down in your room or lay on a couch or bed, put your favourite music on if you wish and reflect on those experiences I discussed above and anything else that you can think of. I bet you won’t be able to wipe a smile off your face by the time you’re done. Take a pen and write your thoughts down, read what you wrote. Think about it more, visualize. Repeat this process frequently until your inspirational memories become vivid and clear. Another way is to take your family album and look through your childhood pictures. We forget how many happy moments we once had through the course of our daily, weekly and monthly routines. Reliving inspiring moments will help you develop a habit of reaching within to generate inspiration. You’ll eventually be able to get inspired on demand simply by generating a state of mind or tuning your mind into inspiration of your own past experiences.
One may say, I’ve never been inspired. Really??? That’s virtually impossible. You may not remember those moments well and that’s a different story… Still, if you are going to stand your ground and claim that you have never been inspired, then consider that you have been SUPER GRINCHED. In such case, you’ve got some work to do my friend [contact me and I’ll help you]. The GRINCH concept I’ve gone through in parts 1 through 5 can help you recognize some areas of your life that are stopping you from being inspired. Once you realize what’s holding you back and clear the obstacles from your path, you’ll find your way to inspiration. It’s a beautiful state of mind to be in because anything becomes possible…
Ⓒ 2018, Sergey Kiklevich, CEO of Gambit Solutions Inc.