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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

My 4 Favorite Sources of Inspiration

During my workshops and speeches over the years, one of the most asked questions revolves around how much content we produce and how we come up with the material to help our clients, readers, viewers, and listeners. It's usually something like "how do you stay inspired?" It's true that from time to time, it gets more difficult to pull your thoughts together for a common topic or to generate new ideas.

My observation is that my brain is usually constantly churning out new ideas, sometimes good and sometimes not so good. One of the rules I strongly live by is to not lose any of those ideas, good or bad. I keep a notepad by the bed with a pen handy, jot them quickly into the notes program, or record them by voicing into a voice recording app on my phone. I also keep my hard copy journal handy to put them into an "ideas" section I've set aside room for in my journal.

But if I am stuck or bored with the ideas I have; I do have four favorite sources I go to get inspired and generate ideas.


I have always been a music person. My brain responds to it in very pleasurable ways. Everything from pop hits from decades ago to classic jazz to country music most people have never heard. If I am really trying to jolt myself out of a bad frame of mind or when things aren't going especially well, I like to lose myself in a great, recorded live concert for an hour or so. I usually come out of it mentally refreshed with ideas flowing like water.


Regardless if you desire to be a thought leader in your industry or if you want to be at a superior performance level of management and leadership in your organization, nothing can take the place of reading. It doesn't matter if it's non-fiction, business-oriented material, or a really good work of fiction, there's no shortage of literature which can inspire you.


I probably should have called this heading "video" because I have used TED talks, interviews, and speeches to inspire myself as well. There are a set of movies I have in my library that never fail to inspire me. From Patton, about Gen George S. Patton's WW2 experiences to Miracle, about the 1980 US Hockey Team winning the gold in the Olympics, that particular set of movies never let me down. After watching one of these gems, I can go straight to the keyboard and crank out a good inspired stream of consciousness.


Bar conversations, coffee engagement, or mostly this year, Zoom meetings always crank up good thought for me. Specific groups of folks that really light me up include veterans (their sacrifice and service is amazing), the elderly (no end to their experiences), and kids (great imaginations!). No matter the demographic or psychographic of people, I love those conversations. It's good to get out of your own head and receive thoughts and feelings of others.

This is just a shortlist of my favorite sources of inspiration. I would love it if you would leave yours in the comments section and give me a chance to get inspired by you today!

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