Picture this: you’re bored, staring off into space and have no idea how you got that way. Does that sound familiar? Do you feel like you should be doing something, you just don’t know what it is? Or you do know, but lack motivation or inspiration for new ideas? We’ve all been there before, and some of us get that lightbulb over our heads, while others keep wondering. Well, it’s time to stop wondering. For the people out there in search of ways to get your ideas flowing, here are some ways to help you do you!
I like music as much as the next person, but know how to use it to my advantage. While listening to Beyonce or Bebe Rexha is fun, sometimes a catchy tune isn’t the answer to all of our problems. When I need inspiration or want to focus on something, I give myself three options to listen to continuously: indie music, orchestral songs or pure silence. Sound helps motivate thinking and form ideas based on the mood of the beat. Even silence has a sound if you listen closely. Another option is listening to Ted Talks or YouTubers. There are Ted Talks on so many topics that you’re bound to find one that aligns with what you want to do. YouTubers, on the other hand, can give advice with personal experience to boot!
Here at ING, we always recommend not getting too sucked into social media and comparing yourself to others. With that said, don’t be afraid to look at others for inspiration. I like art and want to improve my artistic skills. So, I follow my favorite digital artist on social media and even reach out to them for tips and advice. This can apply to other mediums as well, even relationships or just feeling better about yourself. Twitter, Instagram, even Tumblr are filled with communities of people that are awesome and willing to help people out. I mean, haven’t you seen the Twitter threads about skin care routines or other life advice?
Get out of the house and talk to strangers. Personally, I like starting conversations in odd places like bus stops, a grocery aisle or even an elevator. It could be just random small talk with a stranger. Either way, you’re gaining something from them, whether it be from their appearance, the sound of their voice or even their opinion of something. Engaging with others is one of the best ways to get ideas. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers, try looking at some old photos of relatives to help gain some inspiration.
One of my favorite activities is reading! Books, magazines, quotes, plays; it doesn’t matter, they’re all wonderful. Sometimes when I feel down and don’t know how to make myself productive again, I think about powerful things I’ve read. One of my favorite quotes is by Hayao Miyazaki, “Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.” I think about those words often and immediately feel better; ideas start rushing through my head and I feel empowered to do something great!
So, the next time you find yourself unsure of what to do, look at the world around you. Go out, engage and clasp inspiration in your hands.
Desharra Alexander-Self is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and minoring in Japanese. Some of the things she enjoys are Tumblr, Japanese/Korean media, video games, DIY beauty videos, free food and finding random things to be excited about (like sheep, mythology and Italian literature). You can follow her on social media under @Queen_Aelise.