In Search of Inspiration: An Inspiration Adventure
InspireCorps is in the business of partnering with organizations to grow through sustainable inspiration, which requires that people learn how to ignite it in themselves so that they can scale it across their teams and culture.
Many people think inspiration is something that happens to them, a fleeting moment that leaves just as quickly as it arrives. We beg to differ. In Dare To Inspire, we make the case that inspiration is a muscle that can be strengthened, and when practiced, becomes sustainable. The key to all of this is twofold: first, you need to understand what inspiration is and then uncover what ignites it in you. Just like a fingerprint, each of us has our own inspiration blueprint or a set of conditions that reliably ignite it in us. We call these conditions engines of inspiration.
Traditionally, inspiration is defined as an emotional experience, where a situation, event or person sparks new possibilities, capabilities and action.
We define the initial moment of inspiration – the spark – as the intersection of possibility and invincibility. Possibility expands the boundary of what could be and frees us from our current conceptions of what we think will “work”. It is grounded in hope and introduces new ways of thinking about things and a new capacity to visualize, create, analyze and foresee. Invincibility is the confident energy that complements possibility in the spark of inspiration, and translates it into action. It is a heightened courage and confidence that leads to taking bold action towards the accomplishment of a goal.
The challenge with this definition is that it suggests that inspiration is a momentary thing and fleeting. We believe it isn’t.
The ability to be self-aware and actively engaged in creating inspiration is how we are reinventing inspiration. We do this through intentional practice. In the soon to be released book, Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life (releasing in November, 2019), InspireCorps co-founders Allison Holzer, Jen Grace Baron and Sandy Spataro introduce a blueprint of 18 engines of inspiration, reliable actions that spark feelings of possibility and invincibility, which emerged from their 5 years of research.
So, where does one begin?
The first step is to uncover your own, unique inspiration blueprint.
In our work, we use the engines of inspiration as a launch pad. Most of us already know what gives us the feeling of inspiration, but we don’t take time to reflect on or identify the conditions when it is happening, nor do we practice recreating it in order to sustain its power.
Recently, I, Senior Partner Laura, and Creative Director Serina, decided to go on an inspiration adventure. We wanted to intentionally take a day away from the office and ignite our engines of inspiration; the goal was to refuel and re-spark our creativity.
An important point: you don’t need to be in a rut or have a specific obstacle to overcome to embark on your own inspiration adventure. In fact, it’s really valuable to embed the practice of inspiration in your day-to-day life. As our research finds, the outcomes of consistently igniting inspiration include:
- produces an increase in creative and innovative thinking
- gives our brains new stimuli
- opens us up to new ideas
- shifts our perceptions
- improves relationships, our ability to collaborate and communicate
- improves our problem solving
Sparking inspiration consistently is the key to having your best day more often.
Planning the Adventure
The 18 engines fall into 3 different categories; personal engines (sparked by you), relationship engines (sparked by others) and situation engines (sparked by situations). Both Serina and I love New York City, it excites us. Knowing that we share the engine, seeking environments that move us, we decided to spend the day in the city.
We share another engine, activating body, movement and presence, so we decided to sign up for a dance fitness class at the end of the day before heading home. We did the research together and found a class that we would both like (as she is 23 and I am, well, let’s say I am decades older than she).
Serina and I spent the day working out of a fabulous women’s co-working community, Luminary, ate a delicious lunch from Sweetgreen, and even did a little window shopping as we walked to and from the train station.
In choosing to go on this adventure together, we ignited positive (or lift) emotions in each other, which is another inspiration engine. Lastly, it was a wonderful way to to deepen our friendship and collaborative relationship.
The Inspiration Adventure
Here are a few pictures from our first inspiration adventure:
We loved our day.
We returned home refreshed, excited, full of ideas, and with a renewed commitment to taking regularly scheduled inspiration adventures.
When we know what our inspiration blueprint is and take time to regularly activate our engines, the rest falls into place. A leader’s first job is to inspire self and then create conditions in which it can be scaled across people and teams.
We are so excited to bring the engines and intentional practice of inspiration to you; let us know how we might partner with you to introduce our engines to you and your organization.
Check us out on Instagram where we will be sharing our ongoing adventures using the hashtag #InspirationAdventure.