“Inspiration is for amateurs”

Chuck Close, Artist

How do you feel about that statement? Close’s point is that we must wake up and do what we are called to do whether we feel like it or not. Whether we are inspired or not. He is speaking to the people who wait around for inspiration or those that feel it is absolutely necessary. Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art” and “Do the Work“, has similar sentiments. His books on this topic center on simply doing the work every day, whether you feel like it or not. It can be painful but you did the work.

Don’t wait for the right time to start. Daniel Coyle, in his book “The Little Book of Talent” says to adopt the blue collar mindset. The top performers practice their craft diligently and with intensity with this type of mindset. They don’t wait for inspiration to strike. This is not to say inspiration is useless; quite the opposite. But using inspiration as something you heavily lean on may not be advantageous. Leaning on your work ethic, blue collar mindset, and mental toughness will lead to getting the work done. It’s eerie how many times we can simply do the work and THEN inspiration hits us. You’ve got to do the work initially. When inspiration does hit, you will be ready and conditioned to do the work. Rely on your mental toughness, consistency, and blue collar mindset to take you places. Let inspiration strike while you are doing the work. You’ll be ready to pounce when it does.

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