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A Deep Thought on Inspiration Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

21 October 2019

We played it straight this morning when we published Adobe Launches Inspiration Engine on Alexa. But we had to wait until we had stopped laughing. Particularly that bit about 89 percent of us consistently struggling to find inspiration.

Inspiration. It grows on trees. Really.

The other 11 percent must have given up long ago. Because nobody finds it easy. But some of us do find it more easily than, say, 72 percent.

What's the secret?

It isn't Alexa. It isn't a Hallmark-card quote of the day or a "creative" exercise or a juvenile personality test or even looking at somebody else's work (which can be depressing).

The trouble, really, is tunnel vision.

You'd have just as much luck yelling, "Hey, Google! Make me laugh." Google has a store of corny jokes to serve up in reply that could easily be taken for inspiration. If you're in the right mood.

No, the secret is cross training.

That would be doing anything that is not, in any sense, photographic. There is an endless list of options that meet that criterion:

Do some challenging home improvement project that involves a paint brush. Take a long walk through an unfamiliar neighborhood famous for its dogs. Garden vigorously near bees harvesting nectar. Listen to music not on your playlist. Change a diaper, any diaper. Push some hand weights around like a cheerleader. Read a short story, looking up words you don't know in a paper dictionary. Turn on the radio and dial in a station you've never listened to before. Coach youth volleyball. Cook something and yell out the kitchen window, "Tutti a tavola a mangiare -- e bevere!"

The trouble, really, is tunnel vision. It's looking in the same direction at the same thing for too long and missing everything to the sides and behind you. Not to mention above or below.

That's where the inspiration is. Where you aren't looking.

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