Words To Live By: How To Get Inspiration
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In the musical Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda, Miranda writes how protagonist Alexander Hamilton writes like he's running out of time. Hamilton becomes seemingly possessed by an otherworldly entity as he writes his Constitutional pamphlets and treasure treatises. Consequently, Hamilton shaped the definition of a constitutional republic and the American treasury system. When I saw the show on Broadway during my sophomore year of college, I was in awe by this wave of inspiration. From that night onward, I wondered how and why does inspiration strike?
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A lot has changed since I saw Hamilton. I graduated from the University of Central Florida, moved to North Carolina, and even got a dog. But, it wasn't until this semester, my final semester of graduate school, I began to realize how Alexander Hamilton found inspiration. Here are some insights I found to be true about finding inspiration.
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1. Recognize The Nature Of Inspiration
My grandma lives on the South Florida intercostal. Whenever a person visits the backside of the house, a person can see the brackish canals. I loved to watch how high tide would bring boaters to the area, and low tide would enable you to see marine life. Inspiration is similar to the South Florida intercostal. When one feels inspiration bursting through them, one can get a steady stream of ideas. Just as boaters blast Hall& Oates or Duran Duran, you feel euphoric as you come up with possible solutions to various problems. When inspiration is at a low tide, you can see what makes an idea powerful. Just as you can see the iguanas (an invasive species) or barracudas, you can visualize what characteristics you want your idea to have. As you boat on the South Florida intercostal of ideas, remember that high and low tide have their purposes
(Image courtesy of Jim Olive. Image found on https://texashighways.com/things-to-do/on-the-water/intracoastal-waterway-connects-texas-florida/ )
2. Take A Walk
I was a teenager in the early 2010s. As such, I always have a special place for alternative pop music. The band Passion Pit sang the song Take A Walk. When I was fourteen, I thought the song described how one needs to remove themselves from a situation to see it with more clarity. Recently, I learned that the song is about the consequences of a businessman's poor financial planning. For this article, I will refer to my fourteen-year-old mindset. You're stuck in a Dante-like dark forest when you can not see the forest from the trees. You need to take a deep breath and do another activity, so your mind can absorb new information. Upon returning to the task, you can have an easier time navigating the problem at hand and creating new ideas for solutions.
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3. The Beatles Were Right
In 1967, The Beatles sang how they get by With a Little Help from My Friends. I am lucky to have great friends from different chapters of my life. I have a solid group of friends from Florida and North Carolina who will always be my advocates, focus groups, and unofficial siblings. They are my sounding board and offer me insights into everything in my life. When talking over ideas with them, they provide clarity and kindness.
(My friends Diego T., Maddison B. with my dog, Kyler G., Brian B., Janina M., CC and her dog Jersey, and Scott G.)