They say as we grow older, we can lose the ability to see the world through fresh, curious eyes; Eyes that seek out and harness the world around us as fuel for inspiration. Here at Romilly Wilde we think now more than ever, truly understanding the power of inspiration and tuning our minds to find it in all its incredible forms is vital. Furthermore, research studies have shown that inspiration is not just for the magical or creatively minded; inspiration in itself contains a power that can help us bring about change, increase dopamine levels in the brain, delve deeper cognitively and can have a major, positive impact on our life’s choices.
So why does inspiration truly matter? For starters, inspiration, as many have discovered, is a springboard for creativity as well as increases well-being and our ability to seek out the minutiae of life and turn it into the magical fuel that drives us. Inspiration comes in many forms and is definitely not one size fits all – it is often unique to us and what drives us in our pursuits. Research has also shown that inspiration at its core, results in those truly challenging their limitations and recognising that one’s capabilities can be immense. U.S based Psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot developed the inspiration scale which explores the measurement of how often one is “inspired” in their daily lives. What they discovered was that those that sought out or experienced inspiration were far more open to new experiences, more intrinsically motivated and (as a result, less competitive) and had higher levels of self-esteem and optimism.
However, world renowned author Elisabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) stresses that inspiration cannot be pushed or manufactured, on the contrary she views it as more of a divine, spontaneous partnership between you and the world. “You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration nor its master, but something far more interesting – its partner – and that the two of you are working together towards something intriguing and worthwhile.” Gilbert stresses the importance of whatever your job or creative endeavour is, inspiration will come if you put fear aside and keep showing up and being open to the process.
Scott Barry Kaufman, scientific director of the Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania supports Gilbert’s mindset and views inspiration as a surprising interaction between your current knowledge base and the information you receive from the world. He emphasizes
that there are things you can do to increase the opportunity of inspiration and create open channels between you and the world. Similarly to Gilbert, he attests that preparation, or has he calls it, “work mastery” is a definitive ingredient in cultivating inspiration. In essence, preparing the mind for inspiration and honing your curiosity and openness to what is happening around you is key. He also emphasizes that mentors and “inspirational” leaders can be great motivators for inspiration and springing us into action, emphasizing that inspiration can actually be infectious; if someone we look up to shows us a level to aspire to, the inspiration to reach that goal will be that much more likely.
So be it a stunning view, a book, a piece of music, or surrounding yourself with nature, inspiration is positively everywhere. Opening your mind and allowing it to enter is now more important than ever. As our founder Susie Willis attests, inspiration is truly a positive force that encourages your mind to expand and allows you to see what is truly possible – that we can be more, do more, imagine more, and that in its very essence is a beautiful thing.
Image: “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”, John Singer Sargent