Finding inspiration

By Alex M. Eduque

Inspiration. What is it to you? Who is it to you? Where is it to you? It is everywhere, among everyone, and in everything, if we indeed open our eyes, hearts, and minds to the idea of it. The smallest thing, most random act of kindness, or most unexpected of places can in fact yield the biggest bouts of inspiration – it just remains a matter of how we choose to perceive matters. It is true too though that on some days it is much easier to be inspired than it is on others, and on the days we must try a bit harder, I have come to learn that a lot of it in fact, stems from inside of us. That is, if we choose to see the universe as overcast by rain clouds, then that is how our world will turn out to be. But, if we choose to seek out the sunshine hiding behind the storm, a rainbow will eventually appear.

Inspiration is a state of mind. And although there are definitely times when it presents itself in a much bolder manner than it does on other days, I really do feel that if we try hard enough, we will always manage to find it – or at least, a slight bit of it. Some places, for example, automatically bring out the best in us, and therefore, we are inspired just by being there. We may find inspiration in an object simply because of the story behind it, or we may find a person to be inspiring because of how he/she may choose to live his/her life, or simply because we aspire to emulate that individual. Whatever the case may be, inspiration is brought about by the feeling of resonating strongly in a positive way with somewhere, someone, or even something. And whatever it is that gives you that enlightened feeling of excitement, what is great about inspiration is that it is unique and individualized – there is no right or wrong, nor is there any rhyme or reason behind what inspires us. Truth is, what you find inspiring is in fact your very own. Something you can take ownership, and keep returning back to.

When in the African bush (definitely one of my most inspiring places in this world for me) a couple weeks back, our ranger who took us around the safari told us as we were snapping away photos of the sunset one night that no two sunsets are ever alike, and that your sunset will always be just yours – your very own. While the sun sets (and rises) every single day, something about it is bound to change – whether it be the way the clouds are formed, where you are, or what time of day you capture it. In short, today’s sunset shot can never be replicated tomorrow, or by anyone else, even if they stood only several steps away from you. I choose to see inspiration in the same light – what you may find inspiring, in the way that you do, is truly your own. Someone may question it, but it doesn’t matter. Someone else may find inspiration in it as well, but it will never be in the exact same way that you do, nor will he/she ever see it from the same lens that you do.

Inspiration can sometimes be rooted and found in the most mundane of things because I really do believe that inspiration is a state of mind that is conditioned by, and comes from within. It is a lot about perspective, and simply being open-minded even to the unconventional – whether that be a person, place, or thing. It is healthy to try and find something inspiring on a regular basis, every day even, if we can. Do a little introspection, and reflection at the end of every day. Don’t let anyone dim your light and your inspiration – don’t ever let it escape you. Keep it shining bright, and on darker days, just keep seeking the bright. You’ll be surprised to see how mindful you can become, and how far chasing the positive can lead you, your thoughts, and your actions.