Inspiration Is Not Talent, It's Discipline

As I find myself winding down for the day at just over 19,000 words, I can’t help but to think about the highs and lows of my journey thus far. Thirty-seven pages into my book “Think Bigger: The Power of You” and I’m still only a fraction of the way done with what will (hopefully) be the final product. Looking ahead to the future, the hurdles I’ve cleared up to this point seem only to give me motivation and a feeling of forward momentum.

Some days I can’t write at all, staring at a blank page and some scattered notes on what I thought I wanted to talk about. Other days my thoughts rush through my fingertips and onto my canvas like a raging river forcing the surrounding terrain to submit under its supreme power. There is no “writing paradise”, only faith and the hope that you will reach a state of equilibrium and flow through the process seamlessly.

“If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.”

– Steve Jobs

Social beyond even my own liking, I find myself talking to just about anyone regarding thoughts currently buzzing through my mind. When I ask people what inspires them, you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t know or find no inspiration at all. After talking to fellow associates and friends alike, I realized that regardless of age or background there is an extreme lack of passion and inspiration in today’s society. Perhaps only local to my town, I strayed from the idea that people lack inspiration and began to ponder where and what inspiration truly comes from. I recorded my process, watched handfuls of YouTube gurus, and read every book I could on motivation and successful thinking. In my findings, there were only two contributing factors linked to successfully inspiring oneself.

Creativity — and discipline.

I noticed that people who were able to wake up every day and achieve anything they put their minds too all seemed inspired by something. I realized more and more that inspiration was no more creativity than it was discipline.

“You’re crazy if you think I can just do something and hope it turns out well.”

You’re absolutely correct that I’m crazy, but I’m not saying you can simply do something over and over, expecting to be good at it. I am saying that if you pair it with creativity you just might find what you’re looking for.

“I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”

Wrong, my dear Watson!

Creativity is not some innate ability to play the cello blindfolded and in perfect synchronization with the worlds most talented orchestra. It’s also not the basis for perfect color combinations and a palette that both pleases and catches the eye. You don’t have to understand art history or music theory to hold and utilize creativity. In this case, creativity is almost synonymous with inquisition. It is ones ability to question every new event and ask “Is there a better way I can process this information? Am I acting the most effectively and efficiently I can in order to respond properly to all pertaining stimuli?”

Creativity is not knowing how to place a line perfectly, but finding a way to do it in a manner that pleases you and is easily recreated. Discipline is the ability to do it over and over until you’ve mastered every simple line segment. Whether you’re writing a book, painting a masterpiece, or composing the next Moonlight Sonata, creative repetition is the key to achieving any goal you seek.

Only through writing thousands of words, strings, and sentences can we truly learn how to appeal to a readers senses. Only through thousands of practiced and repeated line segments can we capture the beauty of a sky blue iris.

Next time you feel that you can’t pull inspiration from anywhere, remember that you aren’t supposed to find a magical moment to ignite your drive and push you forward. You’re simply supposed to apply a brush stroke or write a word, and then another, and another, and another. Eventually you will come up with something, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s good enough for your standards. Only through frustrating hours and patient breaks will you find the altruistic nature of whichever canvas you seek to master and create upon.

Beyond that, allow the wise words of Walt Disney to resonate in your mind and carry you through the next step in whatever endeavor you may be working on.

“The Way Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing.”

– Walt Disney