I know Shia Labeouf already has legendary internet claim to the the above phrase, but I just saw a T-Rex run the American Ninja Warrior course and I’m feeling somewhat inspired by the extinct animal’s agility and perseverance.
It’s silly, of course, but no matter if the sentiment is overly serious or as goofy as grown-ups dressed as dinosaurs, there’s something very real to be pointed out here. If you feel inspired by something you saw, heard or smelled, why waste it?
A potential breakthrough fluttering around your mind, landing for only a few seconds at a time providing flashes of what could be before hovering off again right outside imagination’s reach. That’s how most of my good (and bad) ideas begin. Just a thought. A few words, maybe a mental jpeg. Always an elusive, gentle winged-like being whose feet glide millimeters above the millions of firing neurons en route to their predestined function.
Sometimes she dips her toes just low enough for me to witness a few moments of genius, and it feels amazing. Try as I might, screen-shotting the images in my head does not work as well as it does on my mobile phone. This is truly a depressing thought. Having the answer to any given problem suddenly appear then wash away into oblivion is a feeling I’ll never get used to.
It will return, don’t worry. So long as I don’t delay in my creativity. You see, the elusive inspirational thought needs a welcoming perch to settle down on. A humble home of comfort where she can stretch her legs and tell you all about her travels. Sure, you can put up a few lawn chairs and stick a couple poles in the ground to give the illusion of an inviting mental outpost, but inspiration is smarter than that.
She’ll acknowledge your feeble attempt at entrapment and reward you accordingly – more glimpses of what could have been if only…. And that’s it. That’s all you’ll get out of her with such an elementary approach. If you treat her offerings like some fly-by-night instant idea infomercial then fuzziness and confusion will certainly stain the results of your pondering.
One must put in the long hours to carefully and correctly cultivate the garden of their mind to grow the desired idea. Moreover, it must be suitable enough for regular inclines in surrounding ecosystems, not to mention durable enough to withstand regular brain storms. There’s nothing worse than having your train of thought derailed, everything crashing to a halt while en route to “that thing” you were trying to remember.
“Ahh, I just lost it! I almost had it!” Phrases uttered in response to failed memory recall, but even worse, during moments of deep thought when the sparks of electricity from the near miss reach out to one another, yearning for the connection to be made. You may feel that perhaps if you were “smarter” or “better at this sort of thing” that moments like these would cease to occur.
In fact, that’s the best news of all. It doesn’t take years to master this process. In fact, I doubt there is any true “mastery” to the concept. I’m sure it stands to reason that those with a high level of proficiency in such matters tend to experience varying degrees of success with each encounter.
That is to say, not every connection made is a home run, yet it is a connection nonetheless. These would be “masters” of inspiration are simply the ones who have something to show for all their perceived brilliance, even if its just a few scribbles on a used napkin. /‽/I’m looking at you Miss Rowling/‽/
Those scribbles are a testament to the attention that was given to the thought, intrusive or otherwise. They will serve as a construct whereby future thoughts can have a place to hang their hat and rest their head for the evening. If all goes well, it will shed its initial form and take shape as the founding inspiration for the next big idea.
Or it could remain a scribbled bit of nonsense that only you can decipher. Either way, don’t trash it. Could be that staring at it long enough will lead to the beginning of that murder/mystery novel you’ve always wanted to pen…
That’s what I have learned, anyways. To put it simply, think of inspiration as house guests you wouldn’t mind should they overstay their welcome. The experience should be pleasant enough that you both come away with a broader, enhanced point of view.
Remember, True mastery lies in the understanding of one’s self, and that is a journey that lasts a lifetime.