How to Find Inspiration in Anything
I have no idea what I’m about to write.
What I do know is this:
I get asked – often – how to always be “on”.
What it’s like to be in a position of constantly having to create; i.e. emails, blog posts, podcasts, etc. It’s natural to be overwhelmed by the idea of creating something every day.
And no, I’m not “on” every day. There are definitely days that my writing, podcasting, or whatever else I’m creating just isn’t there (here’s hoping this email ain’t one of those).
So how do you always be on?
You spin anything into a story that you can. This becomes considerably easier once you break out of a dull 9-5 job. Until you do, your brain is honestly…kinda mushy. Things become full-color once you’re free.
(And, to be frank, popping a Modafinil will give you a significant boost when it comes to creative juice…)
I’m sitting in a Starbucks right now. Let’s think about how many things in my direct eyesight I could use to spin a story.
They have a brand of Brazilian coffee on offer right now. I could tell the story about my friend who got stabbed on the beach in Rio last year, and how life’s short.
Again, it would be an intro for Pro Niche Site – “life’s short, make the most of it”.
#2: There is a cute girl sitting right next to me, playing on her iPhone.
These are the opportunities that seem so simple on paper, but do require some balls to make the initial interaction.
I could talk about how when you’re already dating a girl or two, it’s much easier to summon the courage to do so.
It’d be the perfect segue into my book.
#3: I could use Starbucks itself as an example of how the West is taking over the East…
…and use that as a way of talking about The Dating Abroad Podcast and getting abroad before it gets worse.
(I realize this is hypocritical considering I’m supporting Starbucks right now…but they’re the only coffee shop with consistently good internet, so sue me.)
#4: Or, I could look outside at the metro station and talk about how easy it is to get into debt in America between car, gas, insurance, etc…
…and talk about how simple and easy public transit is in many other countries ($12/month for unlimited bus/tram/metro pass here).
See how easy that was?
Also, make sure you listen to this podcast with Maverick Traveler. You’ll learn a lot:
Sometimes you just have to think about how the little things relate to YOUR life, and then the sky is the limit to what you can make of it.
Speaking of, I’d like to share this story a reader send me a while back:
“Like we’re in a special realm of the internet, where we really like to look deep at reading in between the lines. Game, Business, philosophy, all that shit. They are about what’s below the surface. So when copy gets written, all beginners latch on to the top level “x years of experience” or “money back guarantee.” And these aren’t bad things to have.
But the guys who’ve been around the block are gonna look past all that. And I think those guys. Well, they just want a reminder. They want to see a normal guy working on a few of his flaws. He might fall. Get scared. Lash out. Or even worse. But all those things are universal when attacking a goal. For example, a while back you wrote a newsletter about your favorite part of your old Corporate job. It was basically playing Paul Walker with your Mustang on the drive in.
At the time you wrote that, I was miserable, making great money at the Patent Office. A job I thought I always wanted, since I first heard about it in 8th grade. But as you can see where this is going, this shit wasn’t for me. The favorite part of my day was the 15 minutes spent at a coffee shop before before work. A few weeks later, I left.
Now, I’m not gonna stroke your ego and say “It was all Kyle! Buy his shit RIGHT NOW! It was the ONLY reason I got out” haha.
Obviously, there was a lot of other factors and voices involved.
But I will say, about a year later, I still remember that story.
I still remember reading it in the bathroom on my phone.
I still remember how it felt that someone’s voice completely understood everything I was going through.
The reasons why I want to stay. The reasons why I want to leave. What the daily numbness felt like. And the worst feeling, all the burning capability, just fucking sitting inside me. Desperately wanting to explode out but instead eating from the inside. All that kinda shit right there. To me, that is what makes people relate to you. And I think it’s one thing you tend to do better than everyone else.”
[So, the newsletter he’s talking about said this:]
“I stomped on the gas pedal as the light turned green. Clutch out. The tires peeled and I smelt a faint whiff of burnt rubber and smoke. The throaty roar of the Mustang took over the cockpit. Clutch in. Second gear. 45 mph. As I exited the corner and turned on to my office street the back end came around. I jabbed the throttle harder and flicked the wheel back to the right. Clutch in, third gear. 60 mph. Fourth gear.
My office was coming up. Fast. Right foot to the brake, push hard. Clutch in. Rotate right heel to the gas; executing a perfect heel-toe downshift. Tap the throttle. Grab third gear. Another flick of the heel. Second gear.
I brought the car to a near stop as I pushed the clutch in and grabbed first gear. I rolled lightly over the curb so as not to scratch the body of my beautiful, sleek, grey Mustang. I pulled into my parking spot. Clutch in. Motor off.
Just like that the best part of my day was over.”
And really, I don’t know how much better to describe how trapped and helpless I felt when I was working with someone else. That’s still one of my favorite pieces I’ve written — ever.
You can probably relate to it.
I get emails like this often, and they kind of make me chuckle, because I really do think of myself as a relatively normal guy for the most part. I’m a hard worker, and I was born with some good brainpower, but I certainly wasn’t born with anything all that extra.
I’ve just grinded away, I’ve had a few breaks go my way (and a few not), and here we are.
In any case.
If you’re tired of the best part of your day being the time you leave the office, you owe it to yourself to at least TRY to get free.
Otherwise you just have the faint smell of burning rubber and a life of regret.