Inspiration: Generated by you.

Inspiration! It sounds like... a beautiful scent of lilacs on the air! Or a warm breeze! But it isn't. Don't wait for it. Don't assume it sometimes will just hit you -- even though sometimes it will. Look out for it. When you get a glimmer -- pull on that thread, wind it into a ball of thought, and turn it over in your mind. Let the thought turn into a plan -- even a tiny one! And then put yourself in the right spot to take action. That's what I did today:

Working out is part of my job, but I always have chores or a good book pulling at me with enormous gravity during my free time. If I scold myself when it's time to exercise and I don't want to do it, I try to stop and look around for positive inspiration instead. 

For example, today, I went to my first guitar lesson in nine years. My teacher certainly did inspire me to practice -- but that was bound to happen. The inspiration I really needed came as a surprise. He asked me what I do, and I described personal training with barbells. He said, "Oh, that sounds similar to the Starting Strength method," and I exclaimed, "That's what it is. I'm a Starting Strength coach." Turns out, he trains himself in this method at a local gym. What a fun coincidence. 

We talked about the Starting Strength linear progression for beginners -- add a little weight every time, gradually -- and about how this can apply to guitar practice. (Not with weight, but with metronome speed.)

No problem! Guitar skills will be a gradual acquisition, and I'm patient. What I really latched onto intentionally was the surprise opportunity to talk about lifting. At home, I went out to the garage with the workout I had planned yesterday (and hadn't done). My mind was saying something like, "I just told this guy I lift. So, let's lift." Not that he will ever know. The point is just to grab the momentum of the thought.

I do that all the time. Earlier today I spontaneously had invited a friend over to lift with me. She couldn't come, but just asking her would have made me take action even if I hadn't run into yet another lifter at the guitar lesson.

The conversation with the guitar teacher could have been just a fleeting thought. It could have disappeared, forgotten. I had a sensation of almost flinging out a hand to latch on to it and pull it in. Do you have a favorite way to notice inspiration and hold on to it? Let your enthusiasms weave into each other to build them all.