Since you may have noticed: I’ve got a lot of inspiration since my small journey to Berlin. During my way home I wondered what “ingredients” caused that inspiration. This blog is the analysis of this question. It helps you to learn how to design a process that guarantees getting inspiration. The process is divided into four parts: The journey towards, during the stay, the return journey and back home.
The journey towards: The journey towards your destination proves to be very important. You’ll sit in a car for 7 hours doing nothing. Your brain gets time to process what happened the past weeks. A great time for reflection. Write down your insights and maybe some first new ideas might come up. It works especially well if you have been a little bit too busy the past weeks (like me). Once you arrive at your destination, your mind has been freshened up for the most part.
During the stay: Recent behavioural scientific studies show that who you are, what you think and how you act is strongly influenced by your environment: Context determines behaviour. Changing your environment changes your perspective on challenges you face back at home. What really helps is to ask yourself the question during your stay: How do the things I see, the people I meet, the things I learn relate to the challenges I face back at home. It can come through a story your guide told you, through a conversation you had during dinner or just through a piece of art. Write down all the insights you have and talk about them with the people your with or meet. Make photos of the things that surprise you, inspire you, and make you smile or blush.
The return journey: When you’re on your way back, you’ll have to sit in the car again doing nothing. You can’t go anywhere; you’re locked for another 7 hours. Look at all the notes you made. What other thoughts come across your head. Look at all the photos you made: what do they have in common? What patterns can you find? For example: You made a lot of pictures of unusual combinations that work out well. For example a Hamburger shop which is housed in an old public toilet. Write down all the actions you want to take when you back home. Try to make a big list of small things. For example (in my case): Write a blog post on how to design your own inspiration. If you look at this list, what actions are you really longing to do?
Back home: Incorporate time in your schedule to make sure you’ll do these actions; the energy that comes with the inspiration has an expiration date. So use it while it’s there. Create time to plan that meeting, write that blog post, do that experiment etc. Don’t underestimate this. Getting inspiration is easy, but actually doing it (the transpiration) is a lot harder.
Most important insights in designing for inspiration:
- Change your environment
- Go short and go frequent. After 3 days you’ll have enough inspiration for the coming weeks
- Make sure to incorporate doing nothing to clear your mind (like the journey in this blog post)
- Write your insights down and talk about them with other people
What can you add upon these ingredients?