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Inspiration is the life blood of creativity, art, design and all of the other things that make life beautiful and worth living. Those of us who live in an inspired state generally have more ideas than we know what to do with (and give them away as fast as we come up with them), but what if you are just starting down your own creative path and don't know how to tap into this endless source of creative might? This instructable will give you some tips and insights on how to creatively order your brain so that you can live your most inspired life.

Step 1: Watch This Episode of Mr. Rogers

I generally do not advocate watching television to get inspired to do much of anything (for me TV is the perfect sedative - warm blanket, couch, snacks, and I'm asleep in under five minutes) but there are always a few exceptions to that rule. This episode of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (that features a crayon factory) and the program How It's Made provide a lot in terms of makespiration.

Everything in this world is made. Figure out how to do it and get going!

Step 2: Stop Hanging Out With Your Friends So Much

Ok, I know it sounds harsh, but it's true. If you ever want to make anything of deep cultural significance you are going to have to spend a lot of time alone. I'm talking up on the hill, sitting under an olive tree alone, alone. I'm talking Seven Years in Tibet alone.

The world is very loud and noisy and so is your mind. You have to be able to hear that quiet voice and follow it to the source of creativity that lives inside of you. This takes training, young grasshopper.

Step 3: Take a Walk

Walking does wonders to relax and rejuvenate your mind a body, and when you're relaxed ideas flow freely. I like to take pictures of beautiful sights I see along the way. This one is from a spot close to Pier 9!

Step 4: Be in the Presence of Others at Work

I love being in the presence of people who are working when I get stuck. Just watching them helps me immeasurably. Pitching in and helping out can also get your wheels spinning. This has double significance. You are not only volunteering your time to help someone else, which is important because giving without expectation of repayment is nourishing, but you also get to get out of your own head. When you return to yourself you might be able to see things from a new perspective.

If you can't do it in real life, watch a film like this.

See 6:55 to 8:23 for some truly beautiful hands. Swoon!

Step 5: Slow Your Role

If you're having trouble hanging onto or coming up with good ideas, there's a good chance you're moving too fast. Slow down, enjoy the moment, look at cute animals and all of the wonderful things that surround you. You are not here to be perpetually busy. You are here to create wonderful things and enrich the lives of others. You can't do that when you're constantly racing against the clock.

Step 6: KOYAANISQATSI!

Plenty of inspiration to be found in this classic film, featuring time-lapse video and the music of Phillip Glass.

Step 7: Read Art & Fear

I read this really early on while perfecting my art practice and it helped me immeasurably. It's about all the fears and delusions you might have while making art. To sum it up...find your craft, hold onto that thread. Stop thinking so much and just make as much as you possibly can. Stop trying to be perfect, anything you make is perfect as it is. It's better to make a lot of art or objects that are crappy at first but will no doubt get better, than it is to be very meticulous and make very few pieces of art. The more you make the better you get. JUST MAKE THINGS.

Find the PDF here, and banish all art making fears.

Step 8: Make Music a Priority

Two hours of music therapy a day will change your life and the way you experience the world. Guaranteed. You will learn how to listen well, a key component of making sense of the world and of people, and depending on how eclectic your tastes are you'll be able to learn a lot about other cultures.

Step 9: Try Some of These Creativity Techniques

Bisociation - The simultaneous mental association of an idea or object with two fields ordinarily not regarded as related.

Biomimicry - An approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies.

SCAMPER ( Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Reverse). Use this as you see fit.

Step 10: Talk to Strangers

I know, I know. It goes against everything your mother ever told you, but you might be surprised at the wisdom and insights that people who don't know you intimately can provide. Also, talk to people who aren't your age, or who have different interests than you have, or even folks from a different background. Most people get in ruts because they close themselves off to different viewpoints and things that challenge their conception of themselves (pesky ego). Release all attachment to what you are supposed to do and what your life is supposed to look like and get out of your comfort zone.

Step 11: The End

If you follow these 10 steps you will be well on your way to unleashing your full creative potential and living a life that not only inspires you, but all who you come in contact with.

Best wishes for a creative future!

Leslie Marie

Step 12: Calculate the Risks...or Don't.

http://haas.berkeley.edu/faculty/papers/stawnoonecreativity.pdf

<p>Thank you for the beautifully insightful words of wisdom. I know it took me a very long time to stop trying to be perfect, and just to be in the present. Posts like this help to keep me from regressing to a place that stifles creativity. Hope we see more from you!</p>
Thank you so much for the comment! I wasn't sure how a post like this would go over since it's not really about making anything, but I find that so much of what we do as artists and makers (and really anything we participate in as humans) is highly dependent on the state of our minds.
<p>Not really about making anything? On that, I feel you are mistaken. The process of making our minds open to creativity is a fundamental project that should be at the core of our maker creed! Teaching this, makes a wonderful instructable. Thanks again.</p>

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