I am influenced by many things on a daily basis. Music, international events or news and my own family. Heck – even simple things like a sunny day can change my mood and perspective (especially after this winter here in Canada).
Many of my clients are seeking perspective and sometimes inspiration. Sometimes they need to take a chance on a new career, explore a new venture or to make a decision and move in a different direction in their lives. An exercise that I use to help them move forward in this process is to ask what inspires them. I ask and then ask again in different (and sometimes sneaky) ways to help draw out the elements that may seem so inconsequential and unrelated, but that do really make up a person’s identity.
A tool that I use to support this exercise is to have them keep a trigger log. I am not a person who journals and writes long-winded life experiences and many of my clients aren’t either so we keep this very simple. Create a short concise list of inspirations, handwritten is fine or find a note app on their smartphone (I like Evernote). Take a few days that are normal for them (so not vacation where you are relaxed or over inspired or days of unusual stress like tax season for accountants) and make a quick note each time they get a rush from something, each time they are inspired.
It could be a song on the radio, a conversation, visual, favourite shirt that evokes a reaction, or taste or smell. They collect these simple notes and then we look at them to see what the commonalities may be (and there is always something). It may be their guilty pleasure for pop music and the beat that inspires them or the smell of cookies and the emotions that invokes.
Finding the elements that get you thinking, feeling, moving and/or energized can catapult you to thinking in a more positive space and with a focus on the things that make up the most important thing – YOU! Try it out yourself and I would love to hear what inspires you in your life!