“Deep inside us lies an awareness
of what shape our life is to take.”

- Wayne Dyer, Inspiration

Recently I had a coaching conversation that reminded me of this powerful truth.

A client and I were discussing some of his current challenges when he casually mentioned that he had been thinking a lot about going out west. Something about the deep blue sky and the expansive space of the west was calling to him. My client had been out west to Colorado and Utah years before with a friend and recalled how inspiring it had been and how clearly he had been able to think. “I just keep thinking about going out there,” he said.

“Why don’t you pay attention to this thought and explore it further?” I suggested. “It seems to have a hold on you.” At that point we returned to the discussion we had been engaged in before, identified some ways he could move forward, and then ended our call.

Listening to and acting on the quiet voice
of inspiration had liberated him

The following week my client came to his coaching call excited to share his “win.” It turns out that he had talked to his wife about the strong pull he had been feeling, and together they decided to take action. This October they will be taking two weeks off to explore the wide-open spaces of the west in a rented RV. Going along with them will be their three children, ages 3, 1 1/2 and three months!

My client was the most enthused I had heard him be in weeks. Listening to and acting on the quiet voice of inspiration had liberated him. The trip won’t be easy (traveling with three little children never is) or convenient (the time off from work comes at a price), but he has “breathed new life” into his days with this one inspired act.

Pause for a moment to recall the last time you felt inspired in your work or life. Now consider the various aspects of your life today – the projects you are involved in, the relationships you have, the shape of your career or the various roles you may play as leader, parent or friend. Where do you long for greater inspiration?

Where do you long for greater inspiration?

The awareness of what shape your life should take lies deep within you. So, how can you turn up the volume on this awareness? How can you access it more fully?

Here are a few ideas to consider, all of which you can implement this week. Doing so will “breath new life” into your days:

  1. Engage in at least one “mind-clearing” activity each day. One of the biggest obstacles to hearing the quiet voice of inspiration is a pre-occupied mind filled with mental chatter. Pause for a moment to notice your own thinking right now. Is there a backdrop of noise related to your “to-do” list, your thoughts about recent events and conversations, or concerns you may have about the week ahead? Now ask yourself this question: What helps me to settle and calm my noisy, distracted mind? Is it engaging in some type of repetitive physical activity, like taking a walk, running, or mowing the lawn? Or is it listening to music, engaging in a spiritual discipline like praying. or being outside in nature? Whatever the answer is for you, do it today and then every day this week. In the mental space that is created, new ideas and insights will begin to take shape.

  2. Re-design one aspect of your physical space. Our physical space is often a mirror of our mental state. If our mind is cluttered and uninspired, our physical environment can be as well. Take a minute right now to scan your environment, starting with your work -space. As you look around, do your surroundings leave you feeling energized and inspired or drain and tired? Now scan other environments in which you spend considerable time, like your car and home. Pick one aspect of your environment that drains you, and re-design it today! Clear out a drawer, a closet, a room or a corner that is filled with clutter. Or, add some small touch to your physical space that inspires you each time you look at it. This simple act can give you a burst of energy and clarity, while at the same time creating an environment that supports your desire to feel and be inspired.

  3. Amplify your intuitive hunches. Jot down in a notebook all the insights, hunches or ideas that occur to you this week, including those you have been considering for some time now. They might be ideas for your business, your career, a key relationship, or for your life in general. Include those that seem “irrational” or inconvenient but which have had a hold on you non-the-less. Pick at least one idea to reflect on more deeply. Talk about your idea with a trusted friend, or write about it for a few days to gain greater clarity around what you are being called or inspired to do.

  4. Take action! It’s not enough to hear the voice of inspiration; we must act on it as well. Take some step this week, however big or small, that moves you in the direction of your dreams. Then notice what happens, and learn and adjust accordingly. Each week, make it a habit to identify and take action on your key insights and moments of inspiration. Even if the result you get is less than perfect, celebrate the fact that you are “in the game.” After all, inspired acts take boldness and courage. If they didn’t, everyone would be doing them!

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