What is the invisible driving force fueling books to get published, gold medals to be won and transformational technologies to be born?
Of course, setting a goal is the first step in any creative endeavor. Right?
Yet, we all know symphonies, award winning films, best-selling books, presidential elections, innovative technologies, cures for diseases, child-rearing, building a new home, getting out of debt, companies going public or any other creative endeavor requires something more — long-lasting motivation — or what I call “sustainable inspiration.”
It’s not enough to set the goal.
In today’s economy, I see a lot of people struggling financially. What’s frustrating is the same people who complain about finances being scarce — are the same people who are resting, relaxing or otherwise wasting valuable time. Maybe they’re watching mindless television, spending hours on the computer or staying busy with activities unrelated to their deepest desires.
Granted, I’m a big believer in “inner peace timeouts,” self-care and feeding the soul. But, the last 90+ days has really taught me something about time and “sustainable inspiration.”
24 Hours a Day
PLENTY of TIME
First off, there are indeed 24 hours in a day. Most of us are really only skimming the surface about what’s possible to accomplish in a day or a week. You know that’s true.
Most people work on average 8 hours a day, five days a week (though MANY who are struggling financially or procrastinating on an important project aren’t even dedicating those hours toward something leading to financial success and the realization of their goals).
If we sleep 8 hours a day (an inner peace essential), that leaves another FULL 8 hours for creativity to flow. That’s up to 16 hours a day if you’re working in a business that’s also your passion. If you’re willing to sacrifice sleep, that may even open up a few more hours. If you add weekend time, that’s another 16-32 hours. (Notice, I’m still leaving time for sleep?)
Some may be stomping their feet and saying, “You’ve got to be kidding! You really expect me to work 16 hours a day? Or 112 hours a week!!! I thought we were suppose to ENJOY life?! How can this contribute to my inner peace?”
So I’m not saying you should neglect your spouses, children, laundry or workouts. And, I’m not saying you should work 112 hours a week. But, I’m purposely drawing attention to all the time that is truly available to you.
I don’t know what your individual circumstances are, but there is one thing I know for sure. If you have a compelling enough goal or objective, what naturally emerges is “sustainable inspiration.” You’ll want to get up a little earlier or stay up later. You’ll want to allocate time. You’ll say “no” to activities that distract you from your inspired objective (TV, social media, negative friends). You’ll even say “no” to things that are pleasurable in the moment because you know in the end, your desired outcome is even sweeter.
The Key to Goal Realization
= Sustainable Inspiration
Every time I’ve taken a bold step in my business, launched a new program or published my book – it has required more than my regular 40 hour week. It just seems to take a focused burst of energy to birth “the next big thing.”
But the key to goal realization is not TIME. It’s sustainable inspiration.
Sustainable inspiration is a sense of aliveness and purpose fueling your creativity, attention and focus. It’s deeply fulfilling and joyful.
Sustainable inspiration is the WHY you’re fired up about your project.
Sustainable inspiration occurs when there is a deeper emotional connection to realizing your desired goal.
When you’re tapped into this “sustainable inspiration” it doesn’t seem like work in the same boring old way.
Sustainable inspiration is what inspires authors to burn the midnight oil somewhere along the path of getting their book published.
Sustainable inspiration provided me the oomph to finally get out of debt several years ago.
Sustainable inspiration got my husband out of bed at 2:30am one night (after getting home at 11pm) — to meet a welder who was willing to help them from 3-5am (before he went to his regular day job).
Sustainable inspiration is what gives you an extra boost of energy to work when your mind says it’s time to quit.
Real Life Sustainable Inspiration…
Many know my husband John and his AeroGen team of brainy engineers took on the challenge of creating an innovative new wind turbine on a ridiculously short timeline. Since early December, they’ve worked nearly 7 days a week, from 7am until midnight — most days.
Several of the team members have other full-time jobs, yet their “sustainable inspiration” was so high — it’s kept them going strong, even when faced with impossible challenges.
Finding Sustainable Inspiration?
If you’re not feeling inspired to work on your project, career, business or any important goal — nearly every minute of the day, let’s explore.
What REALLY provides this endless, magical fuel?
1) Identify a compelling vision or goal. The first step is connecting to a desire or vision that sets your heart on fire! When you think about realizing it, a healthy combination of fear and excitement is a good sign.
If you’re not sure what to aim for, reach out to a coach to guide you in finding the clarity you need.
If you have a vision identified, but it’s not THAT compelling, then you’ll need to play with your vision until the excitement factor increases sufficiently. A coach can help you adjust your vision.
A vision that lacks clarity is going to be difficult, if not impossible to realize. It all starts here. Lesson #4 in The Power of Inner Choice can help you with this process.
2) Explore your WHY? Ask yourself, “Why do I really want this? What will realizing this goal give you?”
You want to look at what benefits you’ll receive — mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually — when you reach your objective.
Example #1: After years of lugging around unwanted debt, a conversation with my tax accountant created just the “sustainable inspiration” I needed. I was getting married to John, and my accountant told me he waited 5 years to marry his wife until she got her debt handled. I didn’t want John to have second thoughts about marriage, so I made sure my debt got cleared up. In addition to my passion for providing a way to serve more people, this was the “sustainable inspiration” for creating my “Success and Inner Peace Boot Camps.”
Example #2: John and his AeroGen team were given the opportunity to install an innovative new wind turbine in 60 days. If they did so, the potential for a large order could provide a nice income stream, and help them fund their other passion – Skytran. That was two aspects of their “sustainable inspiration.” The other factor was the deadline imposed by nature. Each year, there is a window of time when the winds stop long enough to install a windmill. Once nature’s deadline closes, the reality of the wind season means foregoing installation for an entire season. And, for each one of John’s team members, they are deeply driven to work on worthwhile projects that can change the world. Good thing they had plenty of “sustainable inspiration!”
3) Get Emotionally Connected. How emotionally connected are you to realizing your outcome?
A lot of people say, “I want a million dollars.” Or, “I want to impact the world.” Or, “I want to write a book.”
BUT, the vast majority of people aren’t really emotionally connected to their WHY, their “sustainable inspiration.”
When you’re really CONNECTED to your outcome it changes everything. John and his team didn’t say, “Let’s see how it goes.” Or, “We’ll try.” They are committed to their outcome in every cell of their being. And even though they’ve experienced several setbacks, reaching the end goal was an absolute MUST in their hearts and minds.
4) Get Uncomfortable. As much as I believe full-heartedly in the perfection of this moment, I also know how complacency and comfort can kill inspiration.
We’ve all seen married couples bask in their comfort zone. Then suddenly the woman is pregnant, and they’re expecting a child. In lots of cases, this provides just enough discomfort and “sustainable inspiration” for the husband to become the sole provider. Or for the new Mom to get more efficient with her time.
If you’re TOO comfortable with the current situation, just know it has the capacity to squash “sustainable inspiration.”
So what is your most important goal for 2010? Do you have the sustainable inspiration to realize it?
Sometimes just focusing on deepening “sustainable inspiration” allows for the connection to happen. If this is something you’re struggling with, reach out to a professional life coach, like me.
I’ll be speaking about “sustainable inspiration” in greater detail in each of the 5 cities on my Awakening Beyond Achievement Tour. Come join me and up the ante on your “sustainable inspiration.”
How can you increase your sustainable inspiration?