When Inspiration Is Not Enough


by Brent Haydey




You know the excitement you feel when you experience a moment of inspiration or motivation. It has you totally pumped up and ready to go forth and act upon that inspiration in a way like never before. You feel like you’re on top of the world and ready to take on anything!

The insight is amazing, the possibilities you see are endless, and you can hardly wait to put it all into action in your world!

I just participated in a global conference on business and networking and there were countless moments of inspiration. I thoroughly enjoyed soaking up what many presenters had to offer. I was writing notes, taking screenshots, and am already committing to going back and re-watching some of the presentations again for what I may have missed.

By the exploding chats during the presentations I can see the inspiration that people the world over seem to be feeling as well. For many that inspiration seems to be exponentially greater than mine.

Caught up in the excitement

When caught up in the excitement of learning and being in the presence of some world class presenters, it’s easy to feel the inspiration and be motivated by what you learn. It happens in every day things too.

Just think of the last book you read, podcast you listened to, or even social media post you saw that really wowed you. That last mind blown experience. Perhaps you thought it had some great ideas, strategies, or tips that you felt you could apply to make a huge change in your world right now.  Maybe you were inspired to start a podcast of your own, redesign and renovate your kitchen, run a marathon, or something else equally as exciting.

You can soak up learning in so many ways nowadays but it doesn’t matter how you do it. When the outcome of attending the conference or reading the book is inspiration then the question is what comes next?

Ideally you have a way to be able to actually apply what you learned and what inspired you into an actionable step so that you can actually benefit from it and actually see results. 

Notice that I said ideally. 

Unfortunately that has not always been my experience and it generally isn’t for many others too, perhaps including you.

Once that high level of excitement and inspiration comes back to reality, like diving back into an overwhelmingly busy work schedule, do you tend to slide back into the same old ways? Does that big change get bumped or put on hold until it disappears from your focus?

The inspiration of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Years ago I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey for the first time. It was amazing and so full of powerful life changing ideas. With each chapter was like a new mind blowing flash bulb that grew brighter and brighter and brighter. I couldn’t wait to see how it all would change my business and my life.

I finished the book and put it back on the bookshelf. I didn’t take any notes or even fold back and key pages for reference. I just read it. For a few days the big picture concepts stayed front and centre in my mind and my excitement continued. My inspiration for change carried forth. Then work took over while appointments and urgencies filled my thoughts and my days. Gradually the concepts of the book slid from my focus and slipped away.

Opportunity lost.

A few years later my business partner at the time and I got to talking about that very same book. He was originally inspired by it and motivated to change too but, like me, got caught up in business and life and saw it slip away. We decided to re-read the book and then to talk with each other about the concepts and how we could integrate them into our business and our lives.

Just re-reading the book brought back the excitement about the powerful messages in it. But this time it was different. I took another step and partnered with someone equally engaged in it.  By taking this next step and continuing the learning, and more importantly the application of that learning, the results I was actually looking for actually happened!

So what does that all mean?

Continual learning is wonderful. It’s important. It’s something that I feel everyone can benefit from and continue to grow from. 

But it’s a wasted opportunity unless you effectively integrate that learning in some way into your world moving forward. Especially when you experience the inspiration for change to better yourself, your business or career, or your world.

Don’t waste the opportunity

Here are 3 ways to prevent wasting the opportunity that comes through the inspiration of learning.

Do it yourself

When inspired in the midst of some form of learning, take great notes or at least have the ability to rewatch a presentation or go back and re-read or re-listen to something. That way you can take the next step and apply your learning. 

To begin to do it yourself, within a couple of days of the event or completion of the book or content, create the time and space to plan out how you will integrate the learning in a way meaningful to you. 

These steps will help.

  • Connect with why this inspired you and why you want to make a change
  • Become clear about the outcome you want to achieve
  • Break it down into reasonable action steps that will work in your already busy world
  • Identify the first step coming out of the gate
  • Schedule it or the block of time to work on it
  • Devise a way of staying on track and being accountable
  • Acknowledge and celebrate milestone wins

Do each of these steps and you will have a great chance of experiencing the change you are looking for.

Get an accountability buddy

If your tendency in trying to do it yourself is to slide off track until it’s gone from your focus then you need support. Finding an accountability buddy can help.

This is someone who has the same goal as you. They are equally motivated by the learning and are fully engaged in creating change. They are willing to push you to stay aligned and on track with your plan and need you to do the same for them.

They are also ready, willing, and excited to celebrate as you both achieve your goals.

Hire a coach

There are many additional benefits of hiring a coach over the first two ways.

First of all with a coach you have their undivided attention. It’s all about you and your vision, your inspiration, and your goals. A coach can see the blind spots that you cannot and therefore be able to help you move forward further, faster.

One of the risks of an accountability buddy is that when both of you hit some challenging spots you can fast become enablers of each others not very accountable behaviours. That won’t happen with a coach. In fact, just the opposite as they will help create and celebrate your wins and your progress while holding you accountable when necessary.

If you’ve had that experience of feeling great inspiration by some form of learning but never seem to get the long term benefit from it then hire a coach. 

Turning inspiration into action into experiencing the results you really want is what a big part of what a coach can do with you!


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About the Author

Brent Haydey Profile PhotoBeginning with a degree in exercise science and kinesiology, Brent Haydey has evolved over thirty years as an entrepreneur; building four businesses, and as a health, executive, and life coach.
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