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┬áseem 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?

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