We need emotion based inspiration, not emotion based work.

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Artists often attribute their work to inner emotions, passions, pain, the human soul, the splendor of nature, travel, pieces of art, and the mind (What inspires, 2018). When we think of being creative, or creating an environment at home that inspires us we may think of elements that need to be in place to create the right mood. A musician may need a studio, an intellectual may need books, a writer may need the right office, a cook may need the right kitchen, and the craftsmen may need the right tools.


When we think of true artists, artsy people, we may think of the need to create an almost mystical environment to create in. We envision incense and a 60’s type drug induced hey man experience. Where we try to escape reality and be in some plane of consciousness that lets us tap into our inner artist. I kind of feel motion sick thinking about it. Somehow entering into this alternate state frees us from the very heavy world we are in and allows us to create freely.

Raw and very real emotions can inspire us as we seek an outlet. Art can provide an outlet for emotions and communicate things that we can’t express in words. Major life change can inspire people to pick up a pad of paper and start drawing, paint, fabricate with metal, carve wood, write, take pictures, and cook. When life gives us more than we can handle we may pour the confusion, anger, grief, sadness, and anxiety into art. When people create art that expresses deep emotion they in turn evoke strong emotions in others.

Our very raw and real emotions can be used to inspire new ideas, formulate new goals, and create beautiful pieces of art and while they are hot and steamy we may produce many great works. Emotions stimulate, but they also prevent. Anyone who has worked a 9-5 job for very long can attest to that. How often do we feel positive emotions about going to work, doing household chores and a million other boring tasks? We create inspirational moments in our lives, but we are generally ineffective in transitioning those into successful ventures.


Work is work. We make a decision to do things. People who get things done don’t rely on a feeling they make a choice. Emotions may inspire us, but they can’t be relied on to accomplish things. Ask fitness trainers. What sounds better? A chocolate doughnut, or a 5-mile run? If we want our ideas to take off we have to transition our feelings into choices and be consistent. We have to show up and do the work until the goal has been accomplished. We will not feel like it most of the time. Perhaps we need to take a break in the middle of our journey and remind ourselves why this all started. Perhaps we need to re-experience the feelings, or our inspirational environment from time to time to recapture what made us fall in love with our idea.

Clear goals.

Clear goals can provide motivation in the absence of feelings. Clear goals are the bull’s eye of our efforts and can help us show up and do the work when we don’t feel like it. Accomplishing key tasks to achieving goals can inject positive feelings that can inspire us to move forward. They are that little oomph our efforts need for success.

In 2015, I was stuck in a life and career induced coma of emotional pain, grief, confusion, anger, depression, sadness, and anxiety. Everything that was familiar to me was gone. My identity was wrapped up in a job that I no longer held and I was a basket case of emotion. I began to write. It helped to pour my emotions into a creative outlet. I was inspired to start a blog, but when the heated emotions began to run out my blogs and ideas suffered. I did not transition my ideas into everyday hard work. At the end of 2017 I made a choice however. I made some clear goals and a choice to show up every day to put in the hard work needed to succeed.

Emotions are real and can be used to inspire us, but we cannot rely on them to motivate us to consistently work on our goals. That is a choice. I hope that you will make that choice and give your ideas and goals the effort they deserve.

Marcy Pedersen


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