On Finding Inspiration

Have you ever been sitting at your desk, wanting to do your work and fulfill your potential, but you just can’t find the inspiration? Believe me, you aren’t alone. Sometimes inspiration can be elusive, but is there any way to change that?

The reality is that inspiration doesn’t just exist in a vacuum. There are very few people who can suddenly call up inspiration from nowhere and let that fuel their work. For the rest of us, we need to search for our inspiration. It could be anything. It could simply be a memory of your childhood, or a great movie, or even a delicious meal. Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to find it.

I am literally in the business of inspired brilliance. It’s my job to help CEOs, teams, and companies bring out that special something that is already inside of them. So, whenever I am struggling to find inspiration, I have three “go to” methods that almost always lead to the spark I was searching for. They might work for you as well.


Truth be told, reading in general is a great way to find inspiration. It stimulates the mind and imagination, giving your brain a workout. But for me, there are certain kinds of books and articles that I find inspire me whenever I read them.

Articles about personal and business success can often remind you of what you are shooting for in your life and in your business. Forbes.com has quite a selection of well-written and inspiring articles that might light a fire under your inspiration.

Biographies and autobiographies of people who have lived incredible lives are a well-spring of inspiration. Not only can you learn where they came from, you can also learn from their mistakes. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is an incredible portrait of a flawed and brilliant man who literally helped build the world we live in today. If you’ve ever had to read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank in high school, try picking it up again. Reading about her hardships in her own voice is one of the most inspiring things I can think of. Finally, and not just because she has recently passed, Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher is one of the most entertaining, heartfelt, honest, and genuinely funny autobiographies I’ve ever read. I highly recommending giving it a read, you might just find some inspiration from Princess Leia herself.


When was the last time you really played? I don’t just mean as a child, although there is a lot of value in that. I am talking about the last time you went out and had a great time. The last time something or someone caught your breath and pushed you to do something you otherwise would never have done. These kinds of experiences excite us and generate ideas. They can summon joyous inspiration up from our very souls.

Whenever you are feeling low on inspiration, I suggest a period of play. Maybe get dressed up and go out, or cook something delicious. And, since I mentioned it earlier, child play can be some of the most creative and heartening play possible. So, maybe buy some Lego and go build something for fun. Your inspiration just might be hiding in a little spaceship of your own design.


We are always so busy running around that we rarely take the time to look around. Observation can lead you to one of the purest sources of inspiration out there: the whole wide world.

If you feel stuck, maybe try doing something completely different and watch a movie. Getting lost in the plot and characters can relax you and help generate ideas. Many people find their inspiration at the movies, beside a big bag of popcorn. Or perhaps the art gallery is more your taste? You might be able to find inspiration on the internet. For example, here is one of my favorite TED Talks. Maybe give it a view?

People watching can be very rewarding when it comes to finding inspiration. Find a place to sit and watch people walk by. Try to figure out their relationships, where they are coming from and where they are going. Invent their life stories. 

If you are feeling frustrated about work and unable to find the inspiration to push you to greater heights, take a break, go outside for a walk, and maybe take a look up. Spend at least five minutes staring at the clouds and see what funny and interesting shapes are up there. Let your imagination run wild.

If you are still stuck for inspiration, don’t worry. All of us have that spark of inspired brilliance inside, we just need to learn how to get it out. Don’t get frustrated or be hard on yourself, that won’t help. Try instead to be open, to read, to play, and observe. That is the way to Inspired Brilliance.

Contact Kathleen Joy, CEO of Lumiere Work to learn more.

Kathleen Joy

Executive Coach/Ring Leader/Muse The Joy Resolution, Postmaster at The Universe Cares

LumiereWork is the business of inspired brilliance created by founder and CEO Kathleen Joy and her team leverage tested transformational arts and breakthrough methodologies to inspire bold new levels of personal and organizational brilliance to support leaders, teams and companies!