Muses of mundane world breathe life into inspired work

December 30, 2015

Whether for a science experiment, an art project, a literature review or an idea of personal style or philosophy, ideas for what one creates do not have to be drawn entirely from the chasms of one’s mind or built entirely on outside sources. Any student picked at random can attest to being inundated with the idea of a false dichotomy between the original and the cited work. However, this shallow view of what one creates dismisses the vast and beautiful gray area of the inspired work.
The complex nuances that come from outside of one’s own imagination are what breathe life into work, and what make the finished product stand out. The sources of inspiration are infinite, eclectic, and generous; a dessert can be inspired by a flower. A photograph can be inspired by a poem. An outfit can be inspired by a word. Hell, a college essay can be inspired by a television show deliciously devoid of any plot. The more seemingly incongruous, the better.

“Inspired writers are more efficient and productive, and spend less time Pausing and more time writing.””

— Harvard Business Review

Turning to sources of inspiration is not a sign of intellectual or creative weakness; on the contrary, the ability to manifest these abstract and varied muses into one’s work is a mark of genius— quite literally, in accordance with the idea of neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ever-adapting ability to form connections between two ideas.
Exercising this connection between the inspiration and the inspired work helps nourish our brains and make us, in a way, smarter, by creating aforementioned neuropathways. This happens in the gray matter of the brain, which houses the creation of connections. Viewing oneself as inspired also makes one more independently creative over time, according to The Harvard Business Review, which claims that “being in a state of inspiration also predicts the creativity of writing samples across scientific writing, poetry, and fiction…independent of SAT verbal scores…Inspired writers are more efficient and productive, and spend less time pausing and more time writing.”
Of course, inspiration alone can only guide ideas that are already there or provide an invisible outline for something that needs to be realized. For that reason, inspiration is not unethical.
Inspiration is not always tangible; it may be as elusive as thoughts or emotions. One can be inspired by hate or love; by despair or euphoria.
As it happens, inspiration occurs in three stages— the spontaneous evocation of inspiration, transcendence, or the visualization of possibilities or connections, and approach motivation, or the process of actualizing what was visualized during transcendence. This process is not deliberate and has no time limitations— it could take seconds or weeks, but it happens nonetheless.
Every lab report writer, student artist, literature reviewer, or independent personality should look for inspiration in the most mundane aspects of life. Perhaps it will become a subconscious process. Not only will it spice up a paper or painting, but it will make one smarter, more creative, increase one’s well-being, and stimulate progress towards goals.

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