Nov 30, 2011


In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature. Its history of being treated as supernatural or divine hasn't helped the situation. But as recent research shows, inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.

Inspiration has three main qualities.  evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation. 

First, inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention. Inspiration is also transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. Such transcendence often involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities. "The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities." This moment of clarity is often vivid, and can take the form of a grand vision, or a "seeing" of something one has not seen before (but that was probably always there). Finally, inspiration involves approach motivation, in which the individual strives to transmit, express, or actualize a new idea or vision. 

Inspiration is the springboard for creativity. 

Inspiration facilitates progress toward goals.

How can you create the proper environment?
1. Using strategic vision to motivate and inspire
2. Empowering employees at all levels
3. Accumulating and sharing internal knowledge
4. Gathering and integrating external information
5. Challenging the status quo and enabling creativity

To become personally inspired, the best you can do is set up the optimal circumstances for inspiration. As a society, the best we can do is assist in setting up these important circumstances for everyone. 


  1. Inspiration is the springboard for creativity.

    Inspiration facilitates progress toward goals.
    I like these two statements. They are so true, inspiration has produced great evolutions and art work.

  2. Excellent entry Ken. A lesson here is that inspiration can be available to anyon on any level of activity. The principle is the same.

  3. Inspiration is at the heart of all things. I LOVED this. Well said.


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