111: Unlikely Sources of Inspiration

There are days when I don’t feel inspired—at all. Some days I don’t want to write, and other days I feel completely empty without anything to give. Finding inspiration during these moments can be hard to come by.

111: Unlikely Sources of Inspiration

Over the years, I’ve learned that inspiration isn’t something you wait for. Inspiration is something you have to fight for.

Though you will experience moments of creative bliss, many times you will have to push through the resistance life throws your way. At other times, your life will force you to stop and replenish yourself before you can move forward.

Regardless of what has led you to feel uninspired, it’s important to know where you can go to replenish your creative wells.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss creativity and unlikely sources of inspiration. We also talk about what you need to do to come up with compelling ideas, the best places to find inspiration, and the importance of just getting started.

Since fighting for inspiration comes with every type of creative work, I encourage you to listen in to discover new and unlikely sources of inspiration.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights

In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

  • Unlikely places I find inspiration.
  • Why I don’t tend to read blogs or listen to podcasts.
  • My greatest grammar faux pas.
  • What I’m looking for when I’m researching for blogs, books, and podcasts.
  • What it takes to create something that motivates someone.
  • Combining ideas from other fields to get new insights.
  • Why reading deep and wide is essential to finding inspiration.
  • The need for deadlines, processes, and feedback.
  • How just getting started on something will help you gain clarity.

Quotes and takeaways

  • You have to dig deeper than others to create interesting ideas that are going to move, motivate, and connect with others.
  • “What is obvious to you is amazing to others.” -Derek Sivers.
  • Don’t settle on your idea until you have time to explore it.
  • “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” -Michelangelo


What are your sources of unlikely inspiration? Share in the comments.

11 thoughts on “111: Unlikely Sources of Inspiration

  1. Tangents can be overdone in podcasts, but I appreciated the grammar sidebar in this episode. It’s good to be reminded that there’s a person behind the “thought leader.” I think most people who deal with words for a living have their own pet peeves. The grammar mistake that makes me twitch is replacing “have” with “of,” as in “should of,” etc.

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  3. One of my faves, maybe because a) I, too, am a verbal processor and don’t know what I think until I hear/read what I’ve said/written. In nearly 60 years, I’ve not heard another who is either aware of it or willing to articulate it. Thank you!! b) Love the visual of “all those leftover rocks” from M’s statues. Minimizes the painful depreciation of precious freewrite and draft content. c) You have expanded the definition of generosity by sharing your processes with such transparency; technical, of course, but not withholding your internal. That uniquely sets you apart in this marketplace of ideas. d) The exploration into the importance of placing oneself in an environment of deadlines, feedback, etc. is liberating. In this entrepreneurial jungle it can seem that to suggest that if you find you self most successful with those parameters, yet struggle to create them sans the presence of another, you are hopelessly deficient. Perhaps not. So much encouragement here today. (Missed you on FB Live, though. Hope all is well )

  4. Today was one of those days I felt absolutely uninspired. I was tired, and I gave myself permission to pull back. I find that sometimes I need to take the break, and then the creativity will flow. We all need a little recess now and then. 🙂

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  6. Over the years, I’ve learned that inspiration isn’t something you wait for. Inspiration is something you have to fight for. Yes, when you fight for something, for your life, your family, your love, your success … you will know why. Thank for sharing. vong tay thach anh toc vang

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