Defining Inspiration

The following essay was written in response to a short writing prompt on finding inspiration in everyday life for the folks over at Unsplash - check them out if you want some great royalty free photography. Some of these ideas are discussed in greater length in my other work.

Inspiration is recognizing the universe and its infinite complexity as we careen into the unknown. It’s in acknowledging and appreciating that people change, places change, we change. Even our universe is in a state of constant flux, expanding at an increasing rate. At a certain point every star that appears to be a fixture in the night sky will exhaust itself and its energy reallocated. But there’s a rare beauty in impermanence, and it should never leave us void of inspiration.

The reality is that everything in its current state is impermanent. This can either be disheartening or inspiring, depending on how you choose to see the world.

The courageous create and inspire through uncertainty.

It’s impermanence that allows us to appreciate both the fleeting moments of perfection, as well as the moments we’d otherwise consider mundane. There’s inspiration to be found in both the spectacular and the ordinary. It’s in recognizing that the emission and reflection of light makes up every color we’ve ever set eyes on, from the most vibrant ocean blues teeming with life, to the shrouds of somber grays. It’s also in imagining the colors and corners of the vast majority of the universe that remain unobservable.

One day every color will fade from both our vision and minds. But that’s what makes life fascinating, knowing that we’re seeing and experiencing the world in a way that no one has before, or after ever will.

This life is unique to our own eyes and imaginations. Our individual lives are a momentary explosion of brilliance.

Only when we realize this are we able to maximize the number of moments where we feel truly alive and inspired. When we view the world through such a lens, initially it might serve only as a sobering reminder of just how small we are in comparison to the surrounding universe. But once given the consideration it deserves, it’s really a reminder of how precious life is. We are each alive, breathing, and able to form conscious thoughts at this very second. That is to be treasured.

Inspiration is embracing impermanence amidst the infinite universe.