Finding Your Consistent Objects of Inspiration

Herman Miller SAYL Chairs - Live Unframed

I’m a bit obsessed with chairs and the science of sitting, if you will – it’s partly why my professional coaching organization is called “ChairCo!” I have found the devices to be infinitely inspiring and creative; there are so many variations, so many distinctions, so many ways to create the same effect and result: A comfortable location for your bum as you work and play.

Chairs are a constant inspiration for me and it only requires a glance to my left or right to find one that can inspire me to think differently about the way I see my blog, my business, and the things that I build. So simple, right?

What I’ve discovered over time is that although many things intrique and many things inspire most of them don’t last beyond the initial “aha!” moment or point of discovery – they get old, or you get used to their existence. What I’ve been doing more lately is attempting to identify the things that always seem to inspire; the things that quite naturally give me energy and a creative burst every time I engage with them.

This is helpful for a number of reasons:

  1. It provides me consistency of thought. I am delighted when I discover something new (like a new application or a new idea) but the interest almost never stays, as well as the source of the inspiration. There will always be a need for things like chairs so I find that oddly comforting.
  2. It challenges me to think beyond the physical. Chairs are much more than just objects to sit on – they have history, culture, and a personality that uniquely sets them a part, even if they are mass produced.
  3. It engages my creative and engineering mind. A chair is a model of superior functionality – it keeps you upright and the best ones do it without compromising comfort! I like to “test” chairs in my mind and estimate how long I could sit there without having to stand up because of discomfort.
  4. It invites me to remember. Chairs are enjoyable and delightful. I think back to the chairs that provided the most comfort. Interestingly enough, they are the ones that I end up napping in at some point. These memories are powerful influencers and energize the present.
  5. It helps me move to action. Ultimately a chair has a purpose, a functional motive. I’m sitting here to do great work. The most creative minds and geniuses of our time (and past and future) will sit in a common (or uncommon) chair. They have done and will do great work. So must I.

It’s strange to think that something that has the potential to be so banal can bring me so much inspiration! But it works and I’ve challenged others to do the same.

So what are some of your consistent objects of inspiration? Have you ever considered deeply why they move you toward action? Have you ever shared them with others?

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com Kari Scare

    Some of my consistent objects of inspiration include coffee and coffee shops and books and bookstores. Love the smell and taste of good coffee. Good memories of friends and family. My comfort “food.” Cozy coffee shops inspire me to think differently. Love the feel, look and smell of books. Don’t even have to read them or want to read them to be inspired by them. Love bookstores, especially used ones. Could spend hours in a bookstore, especially if I have a cup of coffee while I look, and I always come out inspired. One of my favorite pasttimes is to have coffee with those I love. I also enjoy walking through a bookstore with them. My boys love to hang out with me at bookstores, and we talk about the books and laugh… great time. My mom and I do this too. My husband is all about having coffee with me, but he will even hang out in a bookstore with me simply because he knows I enjoy it. I am inspired just thinking about that which inspires me!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ah. i need to go do that again with my wife…! we love hanging out at barnes…! all those magazines!

    • http://dustn.tv Dustin

      I love coffee too! Starbucks is my favorite place to sit and let my creative juices flow. People watching while the sweet scent of caffeine permeates my nostrils and courses through my veins– nothing beats it! lol

    • http://www.michaelnichols.org Michael Nichols

      My wife is the same, Kari. Cool thoughts.

      John, I appreciate your vision for your work. Today is an exciting day for me – I release my new eBook, Creating Your Business Vision. It’s FREE for a limited time at http://michaelnichols.org/business-vision.

      Your regular updates provide motivation and inspiration for the leadership journey. So, in a way, it’s your eBook too! Congratulations! ;)

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com Kari Scare

        Isn’t is cool how so many people are inspired by coffee? The most inspiring Starbucks I’ve been to is the one across the street from Waikiki Beach. I mean, you can’t get much more inspiring that getting a coffee and then sitting on the beach reading a book. Ahh….

        • http://Dustn.tv Dustin W. Stout

          I think I need to add that to my blogging bucket list!

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com Kari Scare

            You won’t regret it. Go early in the morning when the beach isn’t busy yet.

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        love this michael!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joseph Lalonde

    That is awesome John. Loved the picture of the Herman Miller chairs. I drive by one of their manufacturing facilities everyday on my way to work!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      nice! i’ve never owned one myself.

    • http://dustn.tv Dustin

      Can I still be your friend if I don’t know what a Herman Miller chair is?

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joseph Lalonde

        I don’t know Dustin. That’s a horrible thing not to know. They’re one of the best office chair makers in the world.

        But I suppose we can still be friends.

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          #LOL

  • http://dustn.tv Dustin

    All this from the guy who was considering a standing desk… that was an idea doomed to fail! lol

    I still need to find my constant sources of inspiration. I’m on the lookout, but so far all I can think of is Starbucks… maybe that’s it. The stimulation from the surrounding atmosphere partnered with the high levels of caffeine in the air just seems to do it for me. But I think I’d do well to find a less expensive inspiration… lol

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ah. you need better than that!

  • http://HealthNutBlogger.com Jessica Zirbes

    I never looked at a chair the way you do…interesting

    I am inspired by others. My bootcamp trainer inspires me to do one more set of lunges (even after my legs are on fire). My pastor inspires me to reach out and touch more people. Bloggers inspire me to think outside the box, learn more and create. And of course you inspire me to become a better/more authentic blogger.

    • http://www.struggletovictory.com Kari Scare

      Sometimes I forget how much other people inspire me. My pastor inspires me all the time, and so do my husband and two boys. Love to read other blogs for inspiration. Even people I don’t know inspire me. Perfect example is the original audtion of Susan Boyle for Britain’s Got Talent. Makes me realize that anyone can do anything, and looks have nothing to do with it.

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        apparently the world thinks too highly of looks. sad.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      lunges…? ahhh. that hurts my brain.

  • Shan

    When I am free writing and have nothing to write, I write about my present self. Sitting in my comfy bamboo chair, at my custom stain glass table, view of my beautiful indoor huge plant, that leads to my bora bora morning picture on the wall.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      that’s awesome! feels so good.