Working as a trainee staff member in a new learning school I face this dilemma: What do I feel inspired to do? If I am not inspired, should I wait for inspiration? This gives rise to the next set of questions: Why am I sometimes inspired and then another day not at all? What initiatives can I take to find the inspiration? Can I speed up the process?
Children seem to have inspiration to do things, adults loose that. Why is that? How can I reach the child-woman that is living inside of me?
I found a TED-video by Sugata Mitra called “Can kids teach themselves?”
He does an experiment called ‘a hole in the wall’. In this hole he places a PC and leaves it online if possible 24/7. Within minutes Indian kids find out how the mouse and the PC work and begin browsing! I quote:
The experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other, if they’re motivated by curiosity…
This word triggers me. Curiosity. That is a key element to inspiration. Kids are by nature curious, things are happening in their life for the first time. They want to know more and in this way they learn. I used to do that, and sure, I can go back to that place and re-invent my curiosity.
I can remain alert when I do not feel inspired. When I feel empty, distracted, uninspired, bored or plain negative, that is a red flag. To look at the world with a fresh newborn look. To invite my child-woman back into my life. I can ask myself anytime: What is it that the child inside of me feels like doing? Just asking that question is enough. It is already one step further then complaining that I am uninspired.
Another video caught my eye as well. This time by Stuart Brown who says that play is vital, no matter your age. He works at the National Institute for Play. Can I work there please? How inspiring!
So yes, that is another word that speaks to me: play. Just doing something for its own sake. Without purpose or reason, and that is what is so particular about play. It is fun. It is no longer about purpose. It is even without purpose. He talks about body-play, object-play, curiosity, rough-and-tumble-play, imaginative play and the brain. The opposite to play is depression!
Play is the second key to inspiration. When adults forget to play and take things too serious, life becomes dry and we are feeling uninspired. Play, and forget the purpose that things are supposed to have. Do something for the fun of doing it.
More keys are of course somewhere waiting for me to find them. All in due time, of course. The child-woman inside of me will come to life anytime now. I am pregnant. With myself.
As a note to myself, a list of things to remind myself of when feeling uninspired.
- do something new, that I never tried before. As in cycle to town using another bicycle path
- do not let fear stop me from doing/trying something new
- ask my children to do something with me
- lie down on the floor and look at the situation from that perspective
- have courage and be silent, the uninspired moment will pass
- It is ok to not have a life purpose for the rest of my life. It is ok to change life purpose every day.
- out of being bored and uninspired can only come something new and exciting. It might take a while, it will pass.
- consider taking a subscription to philosophers notes.
- listen to the ebooks that I put in my inspirational bookmarks in Firefox
- call the friend that makes me laugh
- buy flowers and look at them