By Leo Babauta
It’s really amazing how reading, watching and hearing about the stories of others can inspire us to change.
As a writer, there are times when I get discouraged, lose focus, get bored … but reading interviews with other writers, or articles or novels by great writers, can inspire me to start writing immediately. It’s lightning, able to energize you and power your change.
The trick is finding the lightning, and capturing it when you find it.
Inspiration works for any kind of change, by the way — not just writing. I’ve used the inspiration of others to help me lose weight, quit smoking, start (and keep) running, run my first marathon, get out of debt, and more. These days, my trouble is too much inspiration! Sometimes I have to resist doing something just because I’ve read an inspiring account of someone else doing something really amazing.
So use inspiration to keep you motivated throughout whatever change you’re working on.
Where to Find Inspiration
Some good places to look for inspiration:
- Blogs by others going through your change
- Books about or by others who’ve made the same change
- Online forums related to your change
- Social media such as Facebook, Twitter & Google+ … follow others doing the same thing as you, or those who’ve done it
Harnessing the Inspiration Regularly
Once you’ve found places to get your inspiration, you’ll want to incorporate it into your change on a regular basis, to keep yourself motivated and fueled.
- Subscribe to blogs by others who are making the change, and either read them in your email regularly, or get into the habit of using an RSS reader (such as Google Reader) regularly.
- Become an active participant in a forum related to your change. The key is to be regular and active. For example, I use Fitocracy.com for fitness motivation. (Use the invitation code “zenhabits” if you want to join Fitocracy.)
- When you feel yourself slipping, go to a set of bookmarks you’ve created for inspiration.
- Follow people or blogs who inspire you using your favorite social media platform.
- Join (or create) a group of people who motivate and encourage each other. For example, there are runners’ groups in many areas. Form a writers’ group. Get a group of friends together to train for a triathlon or a 5K.