So, how does inspiration work? We must understand that inspiration is hard to find. You may feel inspired today and uninspired the next day.
The brain plays a crucial role in all of this. Scientists believe the brain passes through a process when inspiration strikes. Furthermore, inspiration isn’t something you control. But understanding how it works is essential.
So, in this post, we will discuss how inspiration works and other must-know information on the subject matter. Read on to know more!
How Does Inspiration Work?
Firstly, what’s inspiration? It means discovering new ideas. And it is something you can’t control.
Pinning down inspiration is challenging; however, studies have revealed the connection it has with the human brain. When inspiration strikes, it causes the human brain to pass through a unique process.
Here’s how it works.
Study shows an interplay existing between two brain networks produces inspiration. Now, what are these two brain networks called?
The default network involves the pattern of neurons responsible for activating daydreams. These same neurons also allow the mind to wonder. The second is the executive brain neuron, which governs high-level conscious activities.
These two networks are crucial for creative ideas to flow in one’s brain. But for that to happen, they must interact. In other words, you must be focused and let your imagination run wild for inspiration to strike.
Scientists have tried to understand how inspiration works and what triggers it via diverse research. They have also discovered that inspiration boasts two triggers. This includes intrapsychic and environmental triggers.
What are the intrapsychic triggers that bring about inspiration? These triggers involve a connection between two ideas in one’s head. An example is how the benzene ring was discovered.
Chemist August Kekulé invented the structure in his dream. He dreamt about a snake eating its tail. In this case, August Kekulé was using an intrapsychic trigger. The reason is because the idea was already in his head.
The second trigger that brings about inspiration is called environmental trigger. This involves things you notice around the environment that connect with something that you already know.
Inspiration is a powerful tool we all need. However, finding inspiration isn’t as easy as it is on paper. There is no proven strategy to do so. But you can make headway by looking for triggers (internal and external).
Another crucial step you can take is to balance passive attention with your active noticing. In this case, passive attention is the default network, while active noticing is the brain’s executive network.
Understand that you won’t achieve positive results overnight. It will take time and effort. You must work hard and practice. In no time, it will become a part and parcel of you.
Types of Inspiration
Here are the various types of inspiration and what they represent.
1: Need-based inspiration:
You can develop inspiration courtesy of your needs. For instance, while a cookbook will inspire a cook (chef), it won’t have the same effect on an engineer.
The thing is, when something satisfies one’s needs, the probability that it would inspire the person is high. If the cookbook meets the chef’s expectations, it would bring inspiration.
2: Knowledge-based inspiration:
This type of inspiration is possible via an individual’s knowledge. It is initiated by the knowledge you have acquired or the understanding you have of a specific object or process.
For instance, light shining on shattered pieces of glass would not only create a visual pattern but inspire creativity. It will inspire someone like an artist to draw and the poet to write about the beauty of the visual pattern created. Other professionals may come in, too.
3: Object-based inspiration:
As the name implies, object-based inspiration happens because of the feeling one has about a specific subject or object. For instance, an individual may be inspired to become a footballer because of their love for Lionel Messi or Ronaldo.
4: Internal inspiration:
This inspiration is best described as thought-based. In other words, individuals can get inspiration when a specific scene or object relates to the topic in their thought process.
A good example is the benzene structure. August Kekulé got the inspiration from his dream. He dreamt of a snake biting its tail.
Again, inspiration isn’t something we can control. It is about what the mind wants to see and eyes want to see.
5 Ways You Can Find Inspiration Easily
How can you find inspiration? Firstly, understand that the manner in which you find inspiration may differ from another person. That is what works for you may not work for someone else.
We have read how most famous people got their inspiration. From keeping rotten apples in the drawer to lying in a coffin, people did odd things to get inspiration. But the most important thing is that they discovered how to get inspired.
Below are ways you can get inspiration. You can try each step until you find the one that works for you. Check them out below.
1: Listen to your favorite music:
If you keep thinking of ways to solve a problem and the solution in your head doesn’t seem like a good fit, but you can’t find inspiration to do something different, it’s time to disengage your mind.
An excellent way to disengage your mind is to listen to music. Listen to your favorite song and take your mind off that problem or the solution in your head.
If you’re able to disengage fully, you’ll discover fresh ideas running through your head when you revisit the problem. So, try listening to music.
A Handy Tip: You can try any music. Most people appreciate the richness of classical music. You can try the instrumentals or listen to a wide range of songs to identify the one that works for you.
2: Take a nap:
Sleep doesn’t only relax the body and mind. You can also get inspiration when you sleep. Chemist August Kekulé discovered the benzene structure when sleeping. Another person who showed how sleep can bring inspiration is Dame Hilary Mary Mantel.
Hilary woke up with a couple of words in her head, which became the first few sentences in her award-winning novel, “Wolf Hall.”
Sleep can help to rejuvenate the brain. But keep in mind that REM or rapid eye movement sleep is best when seeking inspiration. You can also reshape your brain’s neural networks by alternating between non-REM and REM sleep. This will help fill your head with ideas when you wake up from your sleep.
A Handy Tip: REM or rapid eye movement sleep is that stage of sleep where an individual experiences most of their dreams. Its name emerges from the eyes’ movement behind the eyelids while dreaming. During REM sleep, brain activity appears similar to when you’re awake.
3: Learn a new thing:
A great way to get inspiration is to learn a new thing. It could be a new way of solving a puzzle, language or fixing something.
You can get inspiration when you challenge the brain. For instance, scientists believe that it’s possible to prompt neuroplasticity in the brain by learning new languages.
Neuroplasticity or neural plasticity involves the nervous system’s ability to change its activity in response to an extrinsic or intrinsic stimulus. It does this by reorganizing its functions, structure, or connections.
You can prompt the brain to develop new connections and grow new neurons by learning a new language or skill. The challenges of learning a new skill pulls you out of your mental comfort space, challenging the brain to discover new ideas.
You can get inspiration from doing things you have never done before. So, challenge the brain and get the inspiration you need to make things happen.
4: Change your location:
Certain persons may follow a routine and get inspiration. Others may get bored and uninspired by following the same routine daily. If you fall into the second category, it’s time to make a few changes.
Change your location, and you may find inspiration. In other words, follow a new route to work, try a different coffee shop, visit a new neighborhood, or talk to strangers. Try something different, and you may find some inspiration.
Visiting a new location can provide a great deal of environmental triggers to get you inspired. So, change your location and see the effect.
Exercise not only improves your health. It can get your creative brain working again. Exercise helps the brain to form new cells. And the good part is you don’t have to hit the gym to get the benefits from exercise.
You can get inspiration by walking. In fact, a study by Stanford University shows that people are 60% more creative when they walk than when sitting in a spot.
How does inspiration work? A study has revealed that the interplay between two special brain networks produces inspiration. This includes the default network and executive brain neurons.
Different types of inspiration also exist. These include need-based, knowledge-based, object-based, and internal inspiration. Furthermore, there are several ways you can get inspiration. These include learning new skills, exercising, sleeping, and changing location.
The most important thing is getting inspired. You can try different means to get inspiration and see what works for you.