Although I’ve previously written about Intuition and Inspired Action, this post is really about the finer art of acting on inspiration.
Chances are, as a creative or healing entrepreneur, listening to your intuition is like second-nature to you. There’s no need to preach to the choir about the power of intuition.
Acting on Inspiration
Inspiration is defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Some thoughts are inspiring, others not so much and there’s a good reason for that.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: True inspiration comes with the energy to act upon it. In fact, it’s common for inspiration to be so moving, that it propels you forward into action before you’ve even realized it. So many times, I’ve realized I was inspired when the action itself is nearly complete. THAT is the incredible power of inspiration!
If you have a thought that doesn’t feel inspiring or come with the energy to complete the task, that emotional response is a sign for you to STOP.
Does this scenario sound familiar…
► Just as you are winding down for the day, you get this GREAT IDEA that is so exciting you almost do not want to go to sleep…so you write it down to take action first thing in the morning. The next morning, you look at the idea again and it barely warrants a shrug. You wonder: What was I thinking when I bothered to write this down? Your excitement to take the action has transformed into doubt as to why you’d ever want to give that idea your energy.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s not all bad news, either. Great ideas come to entrepreneurs ALL the time. Reminds me of the phrase, “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” But it’s not the idea’s fault or problem that it didn’t stir you the next day. Ideas, themselves, are neutral.
Let’s start with the REALLY GOOD news: Ideas are flowing to you. Celebrate that. Seriously! It’s a very good thing to have a consistent flow of ideas, especially as an entrepreneur.
The most successful entrepreneurs appreciate good ideas, even the ones they won’t be taking action on! James Altucher has written about his practice of generating 10 ideas a day for others, honing his skills for coming up with (hopefully some) good ideas for himself, as well.
However, having a steady flow of ideas doesn’t mean every idea is meant for you or your business. If the idea no longer appeals, it’s meant for someone else to take action. Let it go.
That late-night flash which felt so good at the time is still a great idea…but it’s not the great idea for you to act upon when the positive feeling is gone the next day. Don’t *diss* the idea, itself, just recognize that the lack of juice is showing you it’s not for you to take action upon.
Pet Peeve: Misleading “Massive Action”
There are many motivational speakers insisting everyone take “Massive Action” to attain success. People are told to take action, ANY action, and a LOT of it! This is a very masculine approach to life…Get out there…Assert yourself on everything and everyone…GO, GO, GO!!! If you snooze, you loose…
Even when it’s the wrong action for you or your business. Even if you’re flailing. Even if you’re burning yourself out. Even if you’re miserable and making everyone around you miserable. Even when the results are no where near what you desire. Just keep forcing yourself to do more, do it faster, and never stop.
Let’s not forget all the shaming of those who don’t feel inspired to take action.
By comparison, the intuitive entrepreneur can continue to generate a flow of ideas, while honing their ability to sense which ideas are theirs to act upon. Which ideas feel good and have a positive energy to them? Which ideas do you find yourself acting on with ease and joy? Which tasks have you almost completed while contemplating the idea?
This is a more feminine approach to life, but it also preserves our energy for important things (not just our business), and makes our work more enjoyable. Taking action in this way feels good, productive, positive, and meaningful. No flailing or burning out. Just ease, flow, and a deeper connection with our own sense of purpose which brings more energy back into our experience.
Allowing Inspiration Creates More Ease and Flow
For me, who tends toward overwork when I’m not consciously aware, I have noticed that really feeling into an idea helps me determine if it’s right for me. Blog posts area a great example, and a reason why I don’t post daily.
When the inspiration is real, it’s not just excitement I feel but also the powerful energy that comes with it. I’ve learned to let go of the interesting ideas that didn’t have that underlying positive energy, knowing they are meant for someone else.
For some of you, that underlying positive energy might be anger. When you have felt helpless and depressed for a while, anger is a step up the vibrational scale and feels like relief.
Multimillionaire author, musician, and founder of New World Library, Marc Allen, talks about not working on Sundays or Mondays (Moon Days). At all. Working only after 1pm Pacific Tuesday through Friday, and half-time on Saturday. Allowing himself to relax more, watching clouds go by. Great ideas come to Marc when he’s relaxed. (BTW, this is true for all of us.) Songs compose themselves. Book ideas float to top of mind. When it is time to take action, he feels more in the flow of life. In his Millionaire Course Workshop (3CD set), Marc gives further details on how entrepreneurs can support themselves in the process of growing their businesses.
Inspiration vs. Getting Stuff Done
Sure, Nancy, this all sounds great…but what about the stuff that just has to get done? I’m not inspired to sweep the floor and take the garbage out, but it’s gotta get done!
For the things that just have to get done, all entrepreneurs have the choice to do the work themselves, or hire someone else. Yes, there ARE people who find cleaning inspirational and offer those services. Yes, there are people inspired to do the work that does not inspire you!
When I first started my design business in 1994, I convinced myself I couldn’t afford an accountant. That was, until it took me 20 hrs to calculate my quarterly tax estimate and I still wasn’t sure which of the 3 numbers I came up with was correct! That experience left me stressed, tired, and frustrated.
I then hired an accountant who cost me one billable hour (19 less than I had spent, on my own) to come up with the correct number. That’s when I learned that it’s worth hiring others to get some things done. (She’s still my CPA and I rave about her!) Even if I don’t mind doing the work, like accounting, I’d rather pay my CPA to do it faster and better. Hiring others to complete work that is not inspiring to me frees me to focus on what matters in both my business and life.
There is ample ROI (Return on Investment) for hiring others to take your (uninspired) actions which need to get done so you have time and energy to act on your own inspirations.
What do you think? Share your thoughts, questions, and experiences in the comments below.
Image credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates,
using image from CHOREOGRAPH