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50 Ways to Find Inspiration: Create, Explore, Expand

“If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us.” ~Daisaku Ikeda

I have always loved that scene in American Beauty when Ricky Fitts shows his video of a plastic bag blowing in the wind.

He’s the complete opposite of his neighbor Lester Burnham, who seems to have decided long ago to live life in a comatose state of submission, completely disconnected from authentic joy.

Ricky seems inspired by everything that most people simply overlook. He explains of his bag video:

“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes.

“And that’s the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and… this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember—and I need to remember. Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.”

Though it can look different for all of us, I suspect this is the feeling we wait for in life: a sense that there’s boundless beauty out there, and we have the capacity to feel, channel, explore, and express it.

We all want to feel moved, and then to use that to create love, joy, passion, and purpose.

If you’ve been feeling stuck or uninspired, these ideas may help you find inspiration:

Find Inspiration in Nature

1. Go for a walk in nature, practice mindfulness, and lose track of time for a while.

2. Meditate or practice yoga in a nearby park.

3. Watch children playing at the park then make a point to carry their spirit with you throughout the day.

4. Watch your cat or dog in nature and try to emulate your pet’s mindfulness and playfulness.

5. Take a camera outside and photograph everything that looks beautiful to you.

6. Practice deep breathing while listening to nature sounds.

7. Draw or paint a scene outside your window.

8. Watch Planet Earth DVDs to experience beauty of the oceans, forests, jungles, Great Plains, and caves.

9. Get lost in nature photos online.

10. Spend some time contemplating nature-based art.

Find Inspiration on the Web

11. Watch a TED video to learn about inspiring ideas.

12. Search for tweets with the hashtag #inspiration using the Twitter search functionality.

13. Post an inspiring video, like Validation or The Tutu Project. Then be an active part of the conversation in the comments.

14. Read blogs written by people who have overcome adversity.

15. Join a forum of people who can relate to your challenges.

16. Browse through inspirational quotes on Tiny Buddha.

17. Share yourself vulnerably and authentically in a blog post—give inspiration to receive it.

18. Learn about ways to change the world through social media.

19. Watch 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes.

20. Search Facebook for new inspirational pages to follow.

Find Inspiration in Possibilities

21. Try something you’ve always assumed you can’t do but secretly wanted to try.

22. Teach someone to do something and tap into your potential as a leader.

23. Immerse yourself in learning something new and allow yourself to forget about the limitations of time.

24. Write a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do in your lifetime.

25. Create a vision board with pictures of all of those things.

26. Brainstorm for ideas for a new project.

27. Think about the challenges you face and identify possibly solutions.

28. Submit your resume for a dream job instead of assuming you can’t get it.

29. Attend a conference or retreat to connect with likeminded people. (The Wisdom 2.0 Conference recently inspired me!)

30. Read 50 Ways to Open Your World to New Possibilities and pick one to try today.

Find Inspiration in People

31. Ask someone you love what they consider to be the most important thing they’ve ever learned.

32. Ask everyone you see today what they’re grateful for.

33. Ask someone to tell you about the thing they love the most in life, and watch how they light up sharing their passion.

34. Ask your parents to tell you what you were like as a child, and remember what mattered to you then.

35. Notice what matters to someone and focus solely on how they experience it.

36. Join an organization of people making a positive difference in the world.

37. Read an autobiography by someone who has marched to the beat of their own drummer.

38. Listen to music that moves you and think about what the songwriter felt when s/he wrote it.

39. Make a list of all the ways your friends and family members are your heroes. Odds are, there’s a lot of inspiration around you already.

40. Spend time with children and see the world through their eyes.

Find Inspiration in Yourself

41. Disconnect for a while and write in a journal.

42. Make today the day you embrace a new healthy habit that can change your life for the better.

43. Give yourself a pressure-free day with nothing to do except the things you enjoy.

44. Try something new and revel in the sensation of stretching beyond your comfort zone.

45. Express yourself creatively in a way you never have before, by sculpting, for example, and see what comes in your mind and heart.

46. Enjoy something you created in the past—a blog post, a video, a drawing, or a project.

47. Sing in the shower. Put your heart into and release your feelings through music.

48. Recognize in yourself the strengths you see in other people.

49. Make a conscious decision to let go of something that doesn’t serve you.

50. Reflect on everything you’ve learned and accomplished and how you’ve made a positive difference in the world.

What inspired you today?

Photo here

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • http://www.lauramusgrave.co.uk/blog Laura

    Just what I needed to read today, Lori, thank you! My favourite parts were the “Find inspiration in other people” and “Find inspiration in yourself”… Those are the two areas I will focus on today :)

  • Anonymous

    Hey Lori!

    Each and every one of these ideas are fantastic suggestions to find inspiration! I think the overall general tone of these suggestions, is to reflect, look inside and to the ones you love, and take time to allow the energy to flow. It seems that Inspiration is like a locked door inside you, that only when your minds perception is right, will the door swing wide open and floods the heart and mind with ideas and energy!

    You gave me a lot to think about! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    What a wonderful way to start the day, finding inspiration in anything and everything! Thank you Lori!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/shrijitn Shrijit Nair

    Thank you for sharing such a great post! its really a superb list to find inspiration! :)

  • Anonymous

    Inspirational post Lori – as ever :)

    What inspired me today? It’s as simple as it being light this morning on my walk to work (it gets dark here in the Winter – lighter mornings are the first real sign of Spring) and listening to the birds singing. Set me up beautifully for the day.

  • http://inspiredtype.wordpress.com/ Sue Alexander

    Hi Lori ~ I love this inspiring list! So many great ways to take action and embrace the possibilities. And this in your title — create, explore, expand — really captures the spirit. My favorite words for creativity are investigate, experiment, expand, express, inspire. Your post really resonates. Thank you and happy day!

  • Michael

    I had to stop reading after numbers 24, 25, 26 and 28 as those are things I was already doing today or wished I was doing today. Thank you universe for reminding me once again to listen with my heart instead of planning with my head. Humbled once again…

  • Rachel Avers

    This is awesome. Made me feel really good today and as always, inspiring.

    ~Love this site

  • http://www.facebook.com/hiaphua Hia Phua

    Is it possible to be over-inspired?? :) I too had to stop and scan after about #25, but only because I think I was going to explode. Definitely a list to revisit regularly. Thanks, Lori!

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  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks for reading and commenting everyone! I am on vacation this week, so I hope you will forgive the bulk response. I hope you all had an inspired day =)

  • http://www.zenbuzz.com Lee Miller

    Fantastic article. So many wonderful ideas that you are sharing with us. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Barba/31509144 Chris Barba

    Lori – what an amazing list! Definitely holding onto this one for inspiration. Great ideas!

    Cheers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1425901378 Mary B. Martin

    Thank you Lori – you never cease to fill my heart.

  • Ashawhan

    Thank you, I love and appreciate what you have done here. You have made my day and this is going viral. May your efforts open a lot of hearts. Blessings abundant, Ann

  • Erin Lanahan

    Love it Lori…hope you’re enjoying the vacation. Thanks for all you do :-)

  • http://big-zen.blogspot.com/ Big Zen

    I bookmarked this post – say no more :)

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  • julesie

    this is a fabulous post with so many great ideas! i live with chronic pain and my camera is a lifesaver (just at $100, casio exilim not to advertise, but it was a CR best buy). i carry it everywhere to take shots of whatever beauty i see. it takes my mind off my body and onto the world around me even if i can only walk a couple of blocks. there are many other helpful ideas here to make up for doing more physical things that are now out of my range. i really appreciate your blog and the spirit it embodies!

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  • rlhoyt

    This blog post inspired me actually.  I’m going to try a few of these things, if not many of them.  Not all at once or all in one day of course.

  • http://inspiringshortstories.org/ Amit Sharma

    Thanks for sharing the some inspirational ways to convert, explore, create and expand life in a mindfulness manner. Will inculcate these ways in my life. 

    Have a nice time, dear :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Amit. I’m glad you enjoyed this post! =)

  • Philippe

    Love the post thanks for sharing

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Star

    Today I took my camera and went out shooting random things . Trees animals people. I feel much better!

  • http://twitter.com/SamuelCastil555 Samuel Castil

    Nice reading your article.

    A Buddhist priest in Japan is breaking the mould by offering
    cocktails alongside prayers and sermons. Here I found this rather interesting article: http://www.espenvogel.com/2013/04/05/tokyo-bar-is-run-by-buddhist-priest-video/

  • Stacey

    Thanks for the tips, simple brilliance! My all time favorite approach was an accidental find a website called FreeThinkingRenegades.com. They are a coaching (individual or group) site and ohhhh my gosh, did they ever point out my ‘externally driven’ values versus internally. I lost my authenticity and it was great to have someone (lovingly!) show me the way to my own ‘yellow brick road’. Can’t tell you how much of love this site, and the post. Great info!! God bless :)

  • Florin

    Excellent quotes, love them & there are some I didn’t hear about. I also recommend for inspiration quotes The Reader Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/The.Reader.Page.

  • http://lucychenfineart.com/ Lucy Chen

    TEDTalks are the best! Happy New Year, Lori!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Happy New Year to you as well! =)

  • Talya Price

    These are very great ways to get inspired, sometimes we lose our inspiration and look to the wrong things for inspiration and escape.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad you enjoyed this Tayla! =)

  • K3vbot

    Probably not a great idea to watch kids in the park, regardless of having good intentions or not

  • Jeremy

    I really enjoyed this and have been thinking about trying some of these before I even read it! Fate I guess.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    It never occurred to me that this might not be a good idea because I worked with kids for a decade–and they inspired me so! But I can see how this could be construed as a creepy thing, depending on how obviously one watches!

  • Sarah Woolley

    Happy New Year and thank you, Lori, for your inspiration today! This article is one I will refer to regularly, with it’s wonderful variety of suggestions! We are blessed to have you on the planet. May your life be filled with blessings and dreams come true.

  • MaryDunlop

    Happy New Year Lori! This is wonderful! Thank you so much. Connecting with you has been a true blessing.

  • Ali Na

    Thank you so much for this Inspirational post; I Really Hope it will help Me! ;)

  • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

    Happy new year Lori. Your blog is the most inspirational place I visit on the web!

    Love the 40 inspirational speeches which I just saw for the first time.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much, Vishnu, and Happy New Year! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much, Mary, and likewise. Happy New Year! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, Jeremy!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you so much Sarah–and Happy New Year!

  • Noonie

    I have a 5 years old step son and we are going to grow our relationship, it is tough but I love when we went to walk in the wood together …thank you for a wonderful article.

  • lv2terp

    Wonderful post!!!! This list is truly inspiring, I felt the most excitement and energy when reading the section on Find inspiration in people! Thanks Lori!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome, and thanks so much! =)

  • http://www.forestofhealing.com/ Stephanie Dyke | Forest of Hea

    This is a wonderful list, Lori! Thank you for sharing it again!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks Stephanie, and you’re most welcome! =)

  • Lynn Fux

    The quote for this article is from my Mentor Sesie Daisaku Ikeda. He is the head of an organization of sgi ,Nichiren Buddhists. A form of common sense Buddhism for every day life. We are in 192 countries and our life is dedicated to helping everyone become happier by first helping ourselves to become happier and then sharing that with sincere dialogue with everyone. I urge anyone who feels a need to contribute to the world to Googlle sgi .org for an eye opening gift. This is Buddhism that involves no priests,momks,nuns,temples or odd statues,by the people and for the people.

  • Liz Roberts

    Happy New Year Lori! Love this article and thanks for the links too!! So many things resonate with me, and I find myself smiling brightly after reading the list. Wishing you love, light and many joyful moments for 2014. Cheers, Liz

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Liz. Happy New Year to you as well! Wishing you a healthy, happy, love-filled year. =)

  • Yawlie

    Love yourself then others. I’m thinking about the “Find Inspiration in yourself”, would give me a lot of ways to cope it up with my own and practice to.. Thank you to still inspiring ages and teens though.. by still pushing this site to be active.

  • http://sabinekvenberg.com/ Sabine Kvenberg

    Thank you for sharing. It is always a great reminder that simple things can be so powerful.

  • Esther

    I have been inspired

  • C. Schuyler

    What I really love about everything here that is suggested to gain inspiration; none of it involves material things! Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome! =)