The Inspired Life

As is my annual custom and routine, every year, around this time, from Thanksgiving to New Year, I begin to draft a loose editorial calendar, outlining, to the best of my ability, all the topics, tales, and themes, I want to write about and produce, for the upcoming year.

So I thought, I might first send out a questionnaire, to my tribe, mostly made up of iPhone photographers types, to see what subject matter they were most struggling with within their own iPhone photographer journeys.

Then I would use that information to influence my own content choices for the upcoming year.

Want to know what they listed as their number one struggle? Inspiration and motivation!

Not camera features and functions. Not what camera model to buy. No hidden secrets and shortcuts for better iPhone photography and filmmaking. Not composition guidelines. Not insider tips and tricks on light, color, design. Not what gear to purchase and use? Not what apps to buy and edit with. Not what mistakes to avoid. Not what workflow to set up.

Just plain old fashion….inspiration and motivation.

This got my mind spinning about just how inspiration-starved we really and truly are all of us.

Most of us don’t live inspired lives. We don’t enjoy inspired loves. And we don’t luxuriate in inspired careers and hobbies.

We settle. We compromise. We concede. We opt for the middle ground-influenced and governed by uninspired variables and varieties. It’s sad but true.

The word inspiration comes from the Latin inspiratus (past participle of inspirare) and literally means to “breathe into”. Synonyms could mean to blow in to or inflame-as if you are blowing air over a low flame to make it glow and grow. You are breathing life into the fire.

Living an inspired life means breathing newness, intensity, surprise, energy into all the attitudes and actions you take, throughout the day, wherever you go, and whatever you do.

I have always preferred this simple definition of inspiration-“something that makes someone want to do something”.

Inspiration isn’t always something we plan for and will into existence. It is, more often than not, transcendent, and takes place outside our normal, everyday routines, rituals, and rhythms.

Most importantly, inspiration has an active, not a passive, voice. When we are truly inspired, we want to try harder, live better, reach further, be stronger, leap higher, do more.

Inspired people believe in themselves and believe, equally, in others.

They believe in the grand possibilities and opportunities of this mortal existence.

As a photographer, my inspiration seems to most often come through ideas, instinct, impulse, intuition.

These experiences seem to happen most often through quietness, time in nature, reading, experimenting, connecting, contemplating.

Here’s a nugget of wisdom that, at least for me, always nets some type and form of tangible inspiration. And it’s this-take a series of photos, of anything, not to see, or for anyone to see, the finished product, per se, but just enjoy and celebrate the creative process of creation.

Are you a luminary? Does your star shine bright in the galaxy of stars?

According to many neuroscientists, inspiration is actually nothing more than your brain, feverishly and frantically, connecting ideas, you already know, to form new ideas, that await your luminance and discovery.



Jack Hollingsworth