O’s Success Tips: Let Inspiration Find You

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My day started with a trip to the local bookstore. My mission was to write an inspirational newsletter and the bookstore was the perfect location. With its vast variety of books, my minds creative juices were sure to be sparked! I pulled out my laptop, powered it up and placed my fingers delicately on the keyboard waiting for the words to come out…but nothing happened. Instead I starred at a blank screen that aptly reflected the emptiness of my mind at that moment. I tried to type but the only button I could find was the “delete” button, my mind was officially in a state of paralysis. Frustrated and mentally exhausted I headed home, “surely I could find the missing words at home?” I thought to myself. But the only letters that came out of my head were zzzzzzzzzzzzz…as I fell asleep.

My dreams were interrupted by my very own thoughts, reminding me that I had an important dinner party to attend. I jumped straight out of bed and got dressed in a suit before beginning the long arduous journey to my party destination. The venue was resplendent and the atmosphere electric, the last thing on my mind as I entered the grandiose hall was “an unfinished newsletter.” But then a funny thing happened! My mind suddenly became filled with inspirational thoughts; the very same ideas that eluded me at the bookstore now flooded my mind with alarming clarity. The more I tried to distance myself from the sudden onslaught, the more they intensified. I was torn between writing and partying, my greatest fear was that I would lose the inspiration before I could get home. There seemed to be only one alternative and that was to head to the closest starbucks as soon as possible.

At starbucks, I was greeted by the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans that was sure to help keep me awake. Ordering a tall caramel macchiato with a double shot of caffeine, I made my way towards the warmest corner of the store. And like the morning before, I pulled out my laptop and placed my fingertips lightly on the keyboard. This time, my screen was in a steady state of flux, the words bounced effortlessly from my mind unto to my computer screen at breath-taking speed and consistency. I was so engrossed that I forgot when I fell asleep…only to be awakened at 5:00 am in the morning by four stern words “you have to leave.” Right in front of me was a security guard armed with a heavy stick and a stern looking manager armed simply with anger. Apparently my sleeping in the store had upset someone and security had been called to curb the situation. Despite my endless explanations and previous macchiato purchase, I was made to pack up my laptop. Wiping the drool that left streak marks across my cheek, I unwillingly exited the store.

Decades ago, a young man named Paul had his dreams interrupted by a wordless tune that haunted him. Eager to capture the melody floating around in his head, he rushed to a piano to search for the chords. Fortunately he found them! They consisted of a G, an F# minor 7 and a B. That moment of discovery would be the foundation for one of the greatest songs ever composed by a musical artist. “Yesterday”, a soulful melody recorded in 1965 at the Abbey Road studios by the Beatles has transcended several generations and musical genres. It was so popular that it was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the most recorded song” in musical history, with legends such as Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye and even Elvis Presley covering the song. A timeless tune that was formed simply from a melody that wandered fortuitously into the dreams of Sir Paul McCartney.

Between Paul’s mysterious dream and getting kicked out of Starbucks we learn that inspiration can arrive at the moments we least expect. For an entire morning, I struggled to find words to a newsletter piece, but in a starbucks instant I was filled with a plethora of words that plagued me at a party. Unfortunately in life, we often times get frustrated when creativity evades us at the moments we need it the most. Our gut reaction is to try harder and harder, turning our minds into an endless cycle of emptiness. But if we silence our thoughts, we can hear and feel the same inspiration that engulfed Sir Paul McCartney in his dreams. So stop worrying about where to find creativity, instead position yourself so that creativity can find you.

Life Coach and Motivational Speaker
Copyright © 2009 Ofili Speaks, Inc. All rights reserved



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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