I recently heard an interview with Dr. Joe Vitale, contemporary spiritual and self-growth guide to the masses. (Did you know that he was homeless [but not lost] for a while and completely destitute for a decade before realizing his full potential?)
Vitale spoke about intention, the act of consciously, purposefully directing your will and attention toward something you are trying to accomplish or see expressed in your life. Intention, as we are discussing it here, also involves some “fierce self-love” dialectical properties of gentle but firm, open yet resolute.
So he was talking about how he always looks to the act of intentionality to help himself and others create the life they truly want.
But he said something else that was equally as poignant and powerful.
He spoke about inspiration.
I don’t think we, as human beings, like to hover our attention on inspiration too often.
Truly being inspired, if we linger on those feelings for a while, is then quickly dismissed as a fleeting phenomenon. We move on to the daily grind, and the automatic pilot mode of life usually takes over.
But Vitale is a big fan of inspiration, but not just to be inspired for the sake of it (even though the hedonic positive feelings we might feel actually feel good for a little while).
He is a big supporter of inspiration because it can motivate the soul. Yes, a clinical psychologist just said “motivate the soul.” 🙂
When we get inspiration from various sources (our own emotional and motivational depths, repeatedly strong feelings about something, a mentor, watching a good deed, experiencing beauty or love, etc.), we can (re)awaken a dormant aspiration to act in certain ways, to be a better person, or to contribute to the world with love, integrity, and purpose.
Vitale argues that the art of intention can then be invoked to harness the inspiration we might feel. We look to intentionality to…well…intentionally bring about our inspirations.
So how do we use this information in practical ways?
1. Actually look for inspiration in your life
Instead of constantly looking for what’s going wrong and what needs to be “fixed”, we can orient toward what can fuel us or bring about a neglected vitality and ignite our passions.
Q: But you might ask “where do I find this inspiration?”
A: Anywhere and everywhere. It could be in two puppies playfully jumping up to get a treat from their “owner”. This is currently happening as I write this post. 🙂 It could be watching a YouTube video clip with your child about the most Brilliant Kid Inventions. When you are in awe of these things, you naturally ignite passions for other things you want from life
2. Don’t ignore the feelings of inspiration
Often times we let these feelings pass over us or pass by us. Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist, Buddhist practitioner, and positive psych guru calls this “Taking in the Good.” We have to let ourselves linger in these feelings. Let them wash over us and see what they bring about in us. But watch out for the overly cynical voice in your head that says, “This is just childish or stupid.”
3. Bring intention to your inspiration
See if you can harness this newly found inspiration with an intention to act in a different way, see things differently, set yourself on a different course for your life (or some small but significant aspect of your life). It doesn’t have to be big at all. It just has to be done.
Good luck turning your inspirations into intention for some potentially life changing stuff!
Drop a comment below to let the DrMattHersh.com community know what inspires you and how you intend to manifest that in your life.
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