By Sanah Thakur
When someone says the word ‘inspiration’ to me, I immediately recall a quote I once read in a book by Martyn Stewart, which said, ‘Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work’ by Chuck Close. The reality is, inspiration can be so mood enhancing, it’s easy to get consumed into an action paralysis – a phrase I just made up for ‘not taking action’. So why does being inspired feel better than doing something?
The human brain is designed to be lazy; to take short cuts and find the most convenient way to complete a task. Inspiration is a feeling that is biologically triggered from experiencing joy which releases dopamine and oxytocin in the brain. This chemically makes brain happier, creating the breeding ground for motivation and inspiration. Therefore, the brain has to do very little work to experience it. However, even a passive task like watching TV, requires more energy than your brain would like to spend. To understand this very easily, it’s like offering your brain an option between running on a treadmill for 60 mins continuously or taking a nap. You can imagine what the answer would be. You might not be aware, but every time you make an excuse to do something, you’re letting your brain take the easy way out. I realised it was time to change this and start making a difference by living more consciously. Half the time we spend in our day, it’s like we’re sleep walking, subconsciously experiencing everything. So it’s either we live our lives watching other people do something, or get out there to do something and let others watch you.
The reality is, we love watching other people’s lives. It’s cathartic. We intentionally go on social media sites to ‘keep up’ with lives, spending our precious time looking and watching. Let me remind you, this time, the most valuable commodity we all possess, is given away to people so easily because we refuse to challenge our brain. Starting this change begins with something extremely easy – targeting our language. Our mental language is literally the one thing we subconsciously use, as we speak as fast as we think, barely noticing how quickly the transformation happened. Words and phrases such as Inspiration, motivation, dream, planned to, hoping to, wishing for, are so habitual to us that we never question how they can prime our brain to delay action.
So how does one stop dreaming? To act consistently, we need to utilise something known as the flow state. This is the ideal state we want our brains to be at, somewhere between boredom and anxiety. You want to intrigue your brain by giving it something challenging, so it’s not bored but not extremely difficult, as this will overwhelm it, causing anxiety. The problem however is, we all dream, wait, wish on this flow state rather than picking up tools to engineer it ourselves. How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you want to do something but you have no motivation, so you let your excuses push it away? If you could consciously work on building these strategies to start the flow state whenever required, imagine how many things you would be doing? My advice for this week, look to engineer this flow state. Find out how you can convert dreams into reality. You’re always waiting for the flow state, why don’t you do something for once and create it?
The author can be contacted on Instagram @sincerelysanah
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