The day before yesterday I got married! After the wedding ceremony and partying all night I was dead tired. All of Sunday was spent eating leftovers and resting. Visiting party guests came over for brunch while waiting for buses and trains back home. Later I took a long nap and all in all it was a lazy day. I had no plans to complete my daily run – I was simply not in the mood for any physical activity at all.

Later that evening I completed my daily reflection in my project The Daily Empathizer. Before going to bed I wanted to play some computer games while listening to random Youtube clips. I have a weakness for listening to motivational speeches and suddenly I hear an energetic voice in my headphones: “Every single day you have to train yourself to focus and to commit to your business and follow through! And don’t you quit! It doesn’t matter if you feel like doing it or not! You do your work every single day!”

It was half an hour before midnight and even though I felt tired and without much energy I couldn’t stay in the chair anymore. I just put on my running clothes, sneaked down the stairs and headed out into the dark rainy night to complete my daily run.

The source of inspiration

This time I was inspired by a video on YouTube that many people might consider superficial. Other times I’m inspired by friends or people who achieve seemingly impossible goals. Sometimes my inspiration is fueled by a ray of sunshine playing between the leaves in a tree. The sources of inspiration in my life vary, as do the activities I am inspired to do.

Earlier today I thought about the need for inspiration and what distinguishes it from other needs such as creativity, challenge and learning. During this year of needs, my mind has returned many times to the fact that the labels we use to name our needs are like road signs. The words of needs are our map. A map that tries to describe the landscape of our inner life. But what we experience within us, the flow of our life energy, is a manifestation of our needs that words cannot fully describe.

Despite these limitations of the labels we use to describe our needs, they are useful agreements of meaning  between people. By naming our needs, we gain an understanding of what is going on within ourselves and in others. Together we build a container within which it becomes easier for us to contribute to each other and meet each other’s needs.

Is inspiration a need?

In this case, I tried to define what separates inspiration from other needs. I was wondering if it’s really a need at all. Do we need inspiration to survive and flourish as humans? Is it really necessary for our well-being? Perhaps inspiration is the spark that makes the fire start burning? Maybe the fire is creativity, challenge or learning?

The inspirational advantage

During our evolutionary development as hunters and gatherers, periodically we might have lived with an abundance of resources. During such circumstances, inspiration wasn’t so necessary for our survival. At other times we found ourselves in environments with competition for limited resources. Then inspiration and innovation were certainly a clear advantage. Those of our ancestors who were inspired to meet their needs in new ways were able to spread their genes further – and thus the need for inspiration developed among us.

Inspiration as work

A characteristic of inspiration I’ve often come across, is that it’s something we develop ourselves – it’s in our own hands. We can’t just hang around waiting to be hit by inspirational thoughts and ideas. We need to get started and work and then inspiration will hopefully come while we work to create what we want. And if not, maybe the next time we engage in the work we want to do.

One example of this is The Needs’ Year and the blog posts I write. If I were to wait for inspiration, I would have completed only a fraction of the blog posts I have written. What I do is to sit down and start writing, regardless if I’m inspired or not. Sometimes I have an idea of how the blog post should be designed, but mostly the layout is part of the process. I write and as the text manifests in front of me. I get inspiring thoughts that I put together into a whole.

Where do you get inspiration from?

Leave a comment below or, if you are a Premium subscriber of “The Needs’ Year”, at the online platform: 


Joachim Berggren (CNVC Certified Trainer)

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On 13 September at 19:00-19:45 CEST, you can participate in a Zoom Talk with me and Dmitriy Kopina. We will talk about the need for inspiration.

Sign up for the Needs’ Year and you will receive a link to Zoom.

If you read this afterwards, you can watch the recording when you become a premium subscriber. Check the details HERE.

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