Listening for Inspiration

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The second step to achieve success with any worthwhile goal you desire is listening for inspiration. This is part of a four part series:

Once you’ve set your goal, you’re ready to start looking for ways to achieve it. Often, when you first set a goal, you won’t know how to achieve it but once you set your sights on your goal, you can then start working towards it.

What should you do after setting your goal? Listen for inspiration on how to achieve it.

Defining Inspiration

Inspiration is the process of being motivated or stimulated to do or feel something.

It often comes in a flash as a sudden moment of clarity. Inspiration can come as a sudden idea that catapults your knowledge giving you the means to do or accomplish something. Driving down the road, you may see a billboard in a different way and get a flash of insight. Listening to someone talking, you may suddenly gain a deeper understanding of a topic that has been elusive. You may get a sudden shift in your perception while reading a book or article.

Great speakers, such as John F. Kennedy often inspire us. In one speech in 1962, he said

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

These words inspired many people within the United States space program and seven years later in 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in Apollo 11.

We are often inspired by other people’s actions. It can be as simple as seeing someone bend down to pick up a piece of paper and throw it away, and become inspired to do something similar, or as grand as seeing someone raise a million dollars for a worthwhile cause and decide to do something similar.

There’s an important point to remember here. After inspiration is action. After you receive the flash, you need to do something with it.

Encouraging Inspiration

If you want to achieve a specific goal, you’ll want the inspiration to achieve it. One of the best things you can do to encourage inspiration related to your goal is to repeat it daily. Write it on 3 X 5 card and repeat it in the morning, or before you go to bed, or whenever works best for you. However, repeat it daily. This keeps your goal at the forefront of your thoughts and helps get your mind working on receiving and recognizing inspiration when it comes.

As an example, imagine your goal is to take and pass the Security+ exam by a certain date. When you remind yourself of this daily, it will be on your mind and you’ll be more likely to think about ways to achieve your goal.

In contrast, imagine someone thought to himself on the first day of last month that he might like to get the Security+ certification. However, he did not set a goal and did not regularly remind himself of this desire. It’s very possible his mind will be occupied with thoughts that have nothing to do with the Security+ exam.

Create a List of Action Steps

One way to get going on a goal is to sit down, think about your goal, and come up with a list of at least ten things you can do to get a step closer. You’ll probably come up with five rather quickly but stick with it until you’ve written at least ten.

If your goal is to earn the Security+ certification by a certain date, your list may start with:

  • Identify the objectives of the exam
  • Identify study resources
  • Purchase study resources
  • Read ____ pages a day
  • Spend ____ minutes daily creating notes

Once you come up with the list, prioritize the action steps. Identify what needs to be done first, second, and so on. This is very useful when you move onto the next step for success: taking action. This list tells you exactly what you need to do. You start with item 1, and when you’re done, you move on to item 2. Keep doing this until you complete the list and achieve your goal.

It’s very possible that the first list you create isn’t the best. No problem. Creating the first of anything is often the hardest but once you’ve created it, improving it is easy.

As you start working on your goal, you will likely get flashes of inspiration to add steps to your list or to do things a little differently. Excellent. Modify your list. But notice that these flashes of inspiration come because you are focused on your goal and how to achieve it.

There’s More

There are certainly many more ways to encourage inspiration. However, the two items I’ve mentioned (repeat your goal daily and create a list of action steps) are enough to get you started.

Also, I want to stress that this can work for any worthwhile goal that you believe in. Imagine Nicole has the following goal:

  • “I am earning more than $5,000 a month providing a worthwhile service to others.”

When she sets the goal, she may not have any idea what worthwhile service she could provide to others that could earn her $5,000 a month. However, there are many people in the world that are doing so, so why not Nicole?

And the number doesn’t need to be $5,000. It can be any number Nicole believes is possible for her. If she sets it at $5,000 and achieves success with her goal in a year, she may choose to set a new goal with a higher number that didn’t seem so believable to her at first.

Your Turn

If you haven’t done so, I strongly encourage you to take the time to write down a goal for yourself and use this information to help you listen for inspiration. Success is within your grasp for any worthwhile goal you desire.

Coming next: Taking Action.

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