How to Get Inspired: 75 Simple Things You Can Do
If you’re looking for fresh inspiration then you’ve come to the right place.
I’m all out of doom and gloom.
All I have to offer you today are life-changing, amazing, stupendous, brilliant, mind-blowing things you can do to get inspired.
Sometimes when you’re in a rut for long enough it starts to look like home.
But it’s not.
You have great things in store for you and many journeys yet to come.
You are made for greatness, joy, and connection. The loneliness, boredom, pain and struggle and grief are stepping stones, not final destinations.
The hard times are also fertile soil that can grow something amazing.
I spent years trapped in my own head, wondering when life would change or get “better.” It never did until I stopped thinking and started doing.
So let’s do some stuff!
Here are 75 simple things you can do to get inspired. I’ve divided them into three categories:
Body, mind, and soul.
Let’s start with the body because grounding is important and your link with your body is crucial before all else.
1) Dance the night away
Van Halen already told you the best way to get inspired in 1979.
When you jive, boogie, and shake those bones around you loosen something up and feel joy.
It’s the joy we were all born to feel and once you join the dance you’ll never be the same again.
Another super thing about dancing is that it can be a religious experience. Seriously.
Many world religions include dance as part of their worship and rituals, from Hinduism and Sufi Islam to Hasidic Judaism and First Nations indigenous medicine dances.
When you get into the rhythm and the spirit of the music with your whole body and soul, you work through all sorts of inner energy blockages and reservations.
Putting your best foot forward isn’t always about the mind, in fact in many cases, moving forward happens deep in the body and the respiratory system.
So dance the night away and embrace the new you.
2) Learn to love the dawn
One of the simplest things you can do to get inspired is to learn to love the dawn.
Set your alarm early and rise with the sun, rubbing your eyes to greet a new day with a giant yawn and epic stretch.
There are so many proven health benefits to getting up early that it’s crazy to realize.
- Better sleep
- More energy
- Physical wellbeing
- Increased mental clarity
- Improved mental health and stability
- Time to get more done during busy days
- And of course, beating the traffic to get to work…
How you sleep is also important, but it’s key that no matter what else you do during your inspiring and activity-filled day, you also get up nice and early.
Sleeping in can be one of the best things in life, I get that.
But try getting up nice and early and tackling your day head-on for a few weeks.
Let me know how it goes.
3) Sweat it out
Next up is working out.
Whether it’s a home gym or heading to your local fitness center, sweating is very good for you.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, tone, gain muscle or just develop better discipline and commitment, working out is incredibly valuable and inspiring.
Personally, I actually credit working out with saving my life.
During the darkest times when I had zero inspiration or hope in life, I headed to the gym instead of deeper down into the black hole I was in.
And it pulled me back from the brink, teaching me resilience, discipline, and dedication that I was sorely lacking in other areas of my life.
I was then able to apply the physical commitment to other areas of my life and begin to see major all-around improvements.
Here’s a video about the best way to start working out for beginners.
4) Walk on
Walking is great for you and it’s also inspiring.
In fact, research out of Standard University shows that walking significantly improves creativity.
“The study found that walking indoors or outdoors similarly boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. Across the board, creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting.”
Personally, I don’t walk as much as I should but I plan to start.
Walking gets the creative juices flowing and while you’re at it you get to look at some beautiful nature and enjoy the rhythm of your own two feet.
So walk on my friend, walk on.
5) Volunteer your time
One of the best experiences of my life was volunteering to teach English in a small village elementary school in the Republic of Georgia east of Turkey in 2012.
I met some of the best people I ever have and felt a sense of belonging and tradition I’d been badly missing back in Canada.
I even made a documentary about my time there called This is Georgia.
My volunteering helped inspire me to figure out my career direction and gain a lot of confidence and maturity in life.
The good news is you don’t need to commit a year of your life to volunteering.
Even an hour or two per week can get you off the couch and feeling inspired.
Whether it’s helping the elderly, mentoring a kid, or assisting at your local library to boost a literacy project, volunteering is one of those activities that’s good for your physical and mental health.
It gets you moving and involved. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
Here’s a helpful article about how to decide where to volunteer.
6) Hang out with kids
Another big benefit of my time in Georgia was that I got to spend a lot of time with kids.
I taught them, organized after-school activities with them, and ran around playing games with them when I went to dinner at friends’ families around our town.
The curiosity and innocence of the kids as well as their enormous potential gave me a real sense of hope.
They also gave me a workout, because running around playing tag or soccer for hours isn’t easy! That’s why I put this item under the Body category.
When you spend enough time around younger kids, you’ll find that some of your cynicism starts to wear away and you see the brighter side of life.
They gently remind you that the world isn’t such a bad place after all and that you have a lot to teach and give.
Even if you don’t have kids of your own or nieces and nephews, I encourage you to seek out opportunities like Big Brother Big Sister or other opportunities to mentor and spend time around kids.
You’ll start getting inspired once again and walking on the bright side of the road.
7) Make a diet deal
Dieting is hard but it really pays off.
For this reason, I recommend making a diet deal with yourself.
Tell yourself you will stick to a diet for a certain time period such as one month. If you aren’t feeling more inspired, energized, and fit after that time then you can eat all the junk food you want.
See what happens.
But be honest. You know you’re going to feel great.
And don’t worry, even if you diet like a superstar, you can still have the occasional treat day.
After all, breaking the rules now and then is crucial if you want to stay inspired.
Check out this guide on how to start eating healthy.
8) Give a massage
Massages are one of the healthiest things you can do.
Giving a massage isn’t always as nice as getting one but it’s a great workout and it makes you feel good to know you’ve improved someone else’s day.
The other good news is that you don’t need to be an expert or take a course to give a massage that’s enjoyable and works out someone’s knots.
Giving a massage can help inspire you and at the very least, it will give you a good night’s sleep since giving a thorough massage is exhausting.
Here’s a guide to giving a nice massage.
9) Get a massage
Another highly inspiring thing you can do is get a massage.
Whether it’s a professionally trained massage therapist at your local health clinic or someone off the yellow pages, try out a few places until you find the one that’s best for you.
Getting rubbed down with oil and working out all the kinks can be just the rejuvenation you need to kickstart the creative process and find the joy in life once again.
It’s important to read reviews and make sure that the practitioner you’re visiting has positive feedback from clients.
You should also never be afraid to communicate clearly and let them know what you like or don’t like as the massage is taking place.
Here’s how to choose the best massage therapist for your needs.
10) Climb, swim, run, bike, hike
Find a physical activity you love to do and then do the hell out of it.
Whether it’s climbing, swimming, running, biking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, playing football or hockey, snowshoeing, blazing a trail, picking wildflowers, jogging with wild goats, or caving, get out there and bask in the fresh air.
If you tend to be a more indoorsy person, it’s also possible to find a lot of great indoor physical activities, from karate, dance, and fitness to using a climbing wall to going bowling (yes, bowling counts — just go easy on the nachos).
When you get active your body starts humming like a fine-tuned machine. You start feeling like you can take on the world.
And you can.
Here’s a list of 10 of the best physical activities you can do.
11) Build something
It could be a birdhouse or a human house, but building something is sure to get you inspired.
Drafting up plans and getting down to work is also a wonderful physical activity that keeps you moving and will improve your hand-eye coordination and ability to focus.
Keeping your attention on your objective and focusing completely on the task at hand brings a special kind of joy that’s rarely found.
And at the end, you get to enjoy your creation (or laugh at the project you just flubbed).
Here’s a guide to getting started in woodworking.
12) Dress differently
Another thing you can do to get inspired is dress differently. When I say that I mean it in two ways.
Dress differently than you normally do and dress differently than the majority of people around you.
Find your own unique sartorial expression.
Maybe it’s colorful floral dresses or black blazers that make you look like a 19th Century missionary.
Maybe you want to go for a Humphrey Bogart 1950s vibe or try to dress like Marie Antoinette (good luck with the skirt).
Either way, dressing differently can be an inspiring experience! People’s reactions alone will be worth the price.
Here’s a guide to dressing uniquely.
13) Change your habits
Let’s face it:
If you’re reading this online, there’s a good chance that I don’t personally know you.
You may have perfect habits that put me to shame and make organizing consultant Marie Kondo look like a slob.
But chances are that even if you have good habits in one area, you have bad habits in another area.
Maybe you have excellent habits of a healthy fitness routine, but terrible habits around eating junk food.
Maybe you have great habits built up around meditating to reduce stress, but awful habits around drug or alcohol use.
You tell me. Either way, it’s in your power to turn things around by building better habits.
14) Pick up a new skill
I love learning new skills because you never know when they will come in handy.
In my life, I love to talk to people and learn about their skills.
Just in the last week, I have met a Swiss man who teaches corporate leadership based on his decades of experience with martial arts and Korean sword fighting (haidong gumdo), a man who’s a talented Mexican poet, a woman who loves to dive and knows all about it and a new Brazilian friend who is an extremely talented water polo player attending university in the US on a scholarship.
Even when I don’t learn how to do their skills, I love to hear about them and find out new things.
I also like to learn new skills. In the past year some new skills I’ve picked up are:
- Seducing women (just joking)
- Eating nachos
- Lying in a hammock with 100% relaxation
No, but seriously. Pick up some new skills and you’ll be happy you did.
Here is a list of 125 awesome new skills to learn in 2021.
Pick one (I choose to learn how to cut an onion without crying…It’s been a lifelong challenge).
15) Don’t be a tool
Tools have been around since the earliest caveman days. They’re useful, fun and get you thinking and acting in all sorts of new ways.
Whether you’re using a miner’s pick to dig for gold in your backyard (not recommended), or learning your way around a buzzsaw, tools let you do all sorts of new things that you otherwise might not do.
Even vehicles are a kind of tool. They get you from Point A to Point B.
More useful tools that can be used for activities?
Mechanical tools, gardening tools, sports equipment, your own two hands (if you work out), construction tools, and even dental tools like floss and a toothbrush.
Learn your way around new tools and get active in new ways.
16) Buy land
Buying land deserves to be treated as its own activity because if done properly it’s going to involve walking, conversation, and even some amateur land surveying.
When you drive around looking for a pretty little parcel, you’ve got to investigate and look around.
Talk to the locals, test the soil, check out the view, walk the perimeter.
You’ve got some exploring on your hands to find the best land of all at the best price.
Driving around, talking, and getting involved in the search for land is great for the body and mind.
Here’s a guide on how to find premium land without paying a premium price.
17) Grow crops
Another amazing activity you can do that’s also good for your body is to grow crops.
Corn, wheat, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes: the sky’s the limit!
Even if it’s just a small community garden that you go to a few times per week or it’s a larger plot of land in your backyard, growing your own crops is a very exciting experience and gives you a decent workout as you dig and fertilize and stoop over to water the plants.
Plus you get the joy of eating all the delicious results.
Here are a couple of farm jokes:
What do you call it when you harvest beets? “A beet-down.”
What does the kale say when you’re juicing it? “You’re kale-ing me!”
I apologize if I have offended any vegans.
Here’s a starter guide to growing your own crops.
18) Soak up the sun
Sun is full of Vitamin D and it’s really good for you.
It also makes your skin look great and leaves you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
Just make sure you apply appropriate sunscreen if you’re going to be spending a little while out in the sun.
Whether you’re tanning out on a deckchair having a brew or just soaking up the rays through your kitchen window, spending a few minutes more getting some sunshine is going to make you feel physically better and leave you feeling more inspired.
As John Denver sang, “sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.”
19) Look after someone
For many of us, looking after ourselves or our partner or kids is more than enough of a responsibility.
But if you have a chance, look after someone else. It could be a relative or an old friend who needs a helping hand.
This could be as simple as bringing meals by the house of someone who’s suffered a loss or is sick.
Or it could be something more intense such as teaching new skills to your mom on the computer so that she can navigate her way around this wild web world of ours.
As Caregiver Stress writes:
“Taking care of someone else presents unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. Dealing with the difficult scenarios caregiving presents can be stressful, but working through the tough times can be very rewarding. No one ever thinks of helping others and bringing joy to their lives as a waste of time.”
20) Say yo to yoga
Yoga is gaining in popularity all the time because it’s a physically and emotionally revitalizing activity.
Emerging from the ancient wisdom of India and the Hindu faith, yoga works with your breath and life force to do stretches and feel levels of energy you never thought were possible.
Our modern lives leave us cooped up for hours on end.
Yoga is a release, and there are many great varieties from hatha yoga to hot yoga.
Let’s head to the studio together and get our mat on. What do you say?
Here’s a beginner’s guide to yoga.
21) Cook and bake
Cooking and baking are both great ways to heat things up and get into the joy of being in your body.
There’s nothing more inspiring than a freshly-cooked plate of lasagna that you spent the afternoon preparing — especially if it’s accompanied by a mouthwatering glass of Merlot.
Learning some new recipes is genuinely inspiring.
You learn all sorts of new skills and start popping tasty cookies and meals out of your kitchen like Martha Stewart (minus the shoplifting conviction).
You’ll have new friends appearing all over the place and inviting themselves over.
Here are some great recipes for those starting out in cooking.
22) Care for yourself
This step is key if you want to get inspired and enjoy being you.
You have to care for yourself.
That means looking after your hygiene, body and also setting your personal boundaries.
It’s good to be helpful and care for others, going out of your way to lend a helping hand. But you should never extend yourself so far that you lose all energy and focus yourself.
Remember your goals, your health and your limitations, and live within that to ensure that your health stays optimal.
As author and consultant Tchiki Davis writes:
“Whether you decide you want to go for a long walk, take a hot bath, or enjoy a good movie with friends, taking self-care time is imperative. Look for small ways you can incorporate it into everyday life; for example, you might wake up 15 minutes earlier to sit with a cup of tea and practice deep breathing before the chaos of the day begins, or you might take a walk around the block on your lunch break.”
23) Hurry up and try a new hobby
New hobbies are a super way to spend your free time and they keep you healthy and active.
Whether you want to try birdwatching or designing a board game and launching a campaign on Kickstarter, hobbies can be an endless source of pleasure and accomplishment.
Growing up my main hobbies were collecting stamps and hockey cards. Now my main hobbies are rated X and are classified. I joke, I joke.
But seriously, try out something new whether it’s surfing or riding horses.
You’re going to have a great time and find all sorts of new ways to enjoy life and get inspired.
Here are 40 ideas for a new hobby. What’s your choice?
24) Have a ‘grit’ day
The secret ingredient of success is grit.
Some people are born with amazing intelligence and talents but they give up too quickly.
When I learned piano as a kid I wanted to play the hardest Mozart song immediately and got annoyed at having to put in the steps along the way.
I became lazy and eventually quit.
What I needed was a strong dose of grit. But how can you learn grit and determination?
Here’s an inspiring speech from Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson about how to stay strong even through the roughest disappointments of life and come out as a winner. (Warning: contains graphic language).
Remember, as Genefe Navilon writes:
“Grit is more important than intelligence when it comes to success.”
25) Immunize yourself
I don’t mean to literally give yourself a vaccine. Save that for the professionals.
I mean immunize your body by eating healthy, getting exercise, and taking natural remedies like echinacea, calendula, propolis, oil of oregano, and healthy teas for sleep such as chamomile.
Mother Nature is a storehouse of healthy things that can help you but beware because not everything is your friend.
Blue: good for you
Red: you’re dead
White: don’t bite
Is a general rhyme I learned as a kid, but it’s not always correct so always be careful if you’re out picking herbs and berries in the wild.
26) Learn how to listen
Slowing down and listening is great for your physical health. It decreases your stress and decreases the chances of having an argument or a fistfight.
Sounds like a win-win to me.
Listening also builds up your patience and discipline, which are incredibly valuable qualities for success in life.
As someone who has generally talked as much and as fast as possible, learning to listen has been a real ear-opener.
I’ve heard from so many fascinating people and learned about things I never would have thought of before.
My journalistic career has also exposed me to so many amazing, disturbing, interesting, inspiring, and various cultures and people, that I feel lucky for all the things I’ve heard.
I’m even grateful for (some) of the stuff I hear on Twitter.
Learn how to listen.
27) Paint and draw
Drawing and painting are both excellent skills that are great for your mind.
You stimulate the most creative parts of yourself, expressing long-submerged emotions and exploring new worlds of curiosity, beauty, and observation.
According to Tessera Brandon assisted living, painting has immense benefits for brain health as well, especially as you age and start losing some faculties.
“Painting sharpens the mind through conceptual visualization and implementation, plus, boosts memory skills. People using creative outlets such as writing, painting and drawing have less chance of developing memory loss illnesses when they get older.”
Here’s what you need to get started with painting.
28) Be great, meditate
Meditation is one of those things that’s really got no downside.
You don’t have to be in the lotus position or inside, you can meditate almost anywhere.
On a mountain peak or beside the lake.
In a little cabin in the Rockies or on a beach in Thailand.
Just do your thing and get in the zone. You’ll find amazing increases in your mental clarity, mood, patience, and sense of calm.
Some kinds of meditation are more effective than others, in my opinion, but almost any kind I’ve heard about has definite mental and physical benefits.
Check out this great meditation for finding inner peace right now (even if you feel stressed, anxious, and insecure) from Justin Brown.
29) Laugh in the face of chaos
As the shaman, Rudá Iandê teaches, sometimes the best thing you can do is laugh in the face of chaos.
Let’s face it: none of us are getting out of here alive.
And life’s going to hit all of us pretty hard and throw some sidewinders that knock us to the curb.
We can scream and shout about how we’ve been victimized and sometimes it’s true. But we can also learn to laugh.
Right in the face of the maelstrom.
Right in the middle of all the constructed systems and programming.
Right in the materialist mashup that’s got us trapped on its hamster wheel.
Laugh in the face of chaos. Just try it, I dare you.
30) Read at your own speed
These days everything seems to be about bigger, faster, better. More things, more money, quicker speed, and so on.
The same is true when it comes to reading.
Many of us feel pushed to speed read, to learn to scan emails like a cyborg that operates at lightning speed.
Wouldn’t it be nice to slow down and turn the pages slowly and savor what you’re reading?
To get lost in a great novel or autobiography and even forget where you are for a moment?
There’s actually a way to read that’s much more enjoyable and satisfying than the way many of us read and it’s much better for our mind as well.
Andres Marinkovic has this excellent guide for how to actually enjoy reading again.
31) Remember the good times
One of the most valuable skills our mind has is memory.
Once it starts to fade away you begin to lose something incalculably precious. That’s why strengthening our memory is such an important thing.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective memory-boosting exercises.
There are also many foods and nutrients that improve your long-term memory including fish, coffee, and blueberries.
So try out some of the exercises and eat up. This way, you’ll always remember the good times.
32) Envision a fulfilling future
I’m not personally a believer in the Secret or that “thinking positive” leads to the “Universe” or God manifesting what you want.
It sounds nice, but it’s just not true.
What is true is that focusing on a growth mentality and the positive can help you perceive opportunities where you formerly just saw disappointment.
It can lead to a much better can-do attitude when before you would have just hung up the gloves. That’s why I’m also a very big fan of envisioning a positive future.
I recommend trying out Mindvalley’s Life Visioning Mastery course with Michael Beckwith. It’s amazing and really helps you envision a meaningful future.
(If you want to learn more about Mindvalley itself, we have a pretty comprehensive review here).
Also, here are some good tips for keeping a vision board.
33) Embrace the ‘dark side’
Did you know that there’s a popular fan theory that the Dark Side and Darth Vader are actually the good guys in Star Wars?
As Rhiannon-Skye Boden writes:
“The Jedi are such sticklers for the rules that many talented and force-sensitive people never got the opportunity to become Jedi, or were kept from becoming masters if they were allowed to train. Either they are too old or too emotional, or too willing to question tradition and authority when they grow up. This stops so many Jedi from ever reaching their potential, and the galaxy is no doubt less safe because of it.”
My point here is that it’s not good to be a total stickler.
Have your boundaries, absolutely, and stick to your principles. But allow yourself to grow, even through the negative experiences.
You should not repress negative emotions or let yourself be overcome by what psychologist and Buddhist meditation teacher Tara Brach calls “the trance of unworthiness.”
As Brach writes:
“Carl Jung describes a paradigm shift in understanding the spiritual path: Rather than climbing up a ladder seeking perfection, we are unfolding into wholeness. We are not trying to transcend or vanquish the difficult energies that we consider wrong — the fear, shame, jealousy, anger. This only creates a shadow that fuels our sense of deficiency. Rather, we are learning to turn around and embrace life in all its realness—broken, messy, vivid, alive.”
Embrace the Dark Side, my son.
34) Prepare for prosperity
As the shaman Rudá Iandê advises in his free masterclass on prosperity, many of us need to let go of negative beliefs about money which we were raised with.
We believe money is “scarce,” corrupt, or even “the root of all evil.”
These deep-set beliefs can sabotage us when we go out into the world and lead to us undervaluing our own labor and work in the world.
We take less than we’re worth and grab for scraps as we are exploited and given the run-around.
The thing is, as Rudá teaches, money isn’t “good” or “bad.”
Money is just energy and a means of exchange. And there are ways to develop much more optimistic and bountiful attitudes about it that really do make a difference.
Learn how to cultivate a positive money mindset.
35) Foster an action-oriented mindset
Another thing that’s really important to do is to learn to connect your mind to your actions.
Like I said, I spent years locked in my own head.
I’d live out entire scenarios (scary and wonderful) and then when reality hit it was…very anticlimactic.
Once I finally developed an action-oriented mindset then things began to change and I saw positive developments and movement around me.
Begin to think of your mind as a drawing board, like what an architect uses.
You use it to plan and set things up, but then you also pass along those instructions and actually do things, too.
36) Make an inspiration station
This is sort of like a vision board, but the audio version.
It’s what I call an “inspiration station.”
You record a few files on your computer or phone and then keep a copy of them with you at all times.
I recommend three categories:
Love, mission, and talents.
Love is where you put everything good about those you love from your family to any partner or friends and mention all the hard times you’ve overcome in the past.
Mission is where you talk about what you want to bring to this world and contribute including in your career and personal life.
Talent is the section where you talk about what you’re good at and what others appreciate you for.
Replay as often as necessary!
This is your inspiration station: a radio station just for you, full of life-affirming and can-do statements that you will use the next time you want to give up on life.
Never underestimate the power of positive self-talk.
37) Write a revamped resume
There’s nothing that soothes and reassures the mind like knowing you have the resources to get the career you want.
And the key here — apart from training and skills — is your resume.
How do you present yourself to the work world?
Chances are there are many ways your resume could be improved, made more concise, and boosted to get you the job of your dreams.
Try out this simple guide to upgrading your CV.
38) Get into flow?
The problem is that it’s not explained well. If you “go with the flow” and just let life slide by you aren’t really getting into the flow.
You’re just letting things slide.
Truly getting into flow is about pursuing your passion and becoming so wrapped up in what you do that you lose track of time and everything else.
If it’s a musical instrument, mathematics, or picking apples, the point is to actually do it.
Truly going with the flow is less about letting go of everything and more about holding on to only one thing.
To do this you need to find your intuitive expertise and then capitalize on it.
Learn how to do that here.
39) Have a big brainstorm
Your brain is a powerful tool.
After all, you’re part of the human race, which means you’re related to Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Aquinas, and whoever invented the pyramids.
See my logic there?
I know, impressive.
So the thing you want to do is to use that powerful brain of yours to become like Bradley Cooper’s character Eddie Morra in the 2011 film Limitless.
Morra takes a pill and suddenly everything makes sense. He has insights and life-saving observations that would have been way over his head before.
I’m not pushing a pill at you but I will tell you that with some focus and study your brain can become incredibly effective.
Do Sudoku and crosswords, read articles every day, talk to friends about complicated topics.
40) Watch things that challenge you
I have a confession to make.
I like stupid movies. Especially ones about teenagers fighting for some reason: 1992’s Gladiator is a classic and so is 1985’s Vision Quest and 2008’s Never Back Down.
No matter how many movies come out with the same formula about angsty teens fighting I keep watching and loving it.
But I also like to watch things that challenge me:
Documentaries about economics and culture.
Films about tough subjects like human trafficking and environmental devastation.
Yes, I also own several large mahogany bookcases and smell subtly of sophistication.
But seriously…in between the latest gossip show try watching something that challenges you and makes your brain (or heart) hurt a bit.
It might expand your horizons.
And if you just want to get super-smart here’s a list of the 20 best puzzle movies ever made that will wrangle your mind into a meat pretzel with their diabolical cleverness.
41) Study ideas that interest you
Related to the last point, the more you learn the more your mind becomes a remarkable resource to draw upon.
Forget about Google, you have Yougle (no that joke is not copyrighted yet, but please ask me for permission before you steal it).
With all the ideas you’ve been studying and things, you’ve been learning you may actually start intimidating people with your incredible breadth of knowledge and genius.
You won’t even go on dates anymore, you’ll go on intimi-dates.
As Lonely Island sings in their 2016 song “Incredible Thoughts”:
“And to a dog, dog food is just food
And to a sock, a mansion’s just a big shoe
A Milk Dud, sitting in the acid rain
A housecat addicted to the cocaine
No teeth, unlimited floss
These are just a few of our incredible thoughts
It’s a miracle my head can contain them
My spectacular brain
For all humankind
Changing how we think about space and time…
I’m so overwhelmed
How did my brain conceive them?”
42) Learn to disagree
As I said, it’s important to learn to listen.
But it’s equally important to learn to disagree with someone without taking what they’re saying personally or becoming hurt by a difference of opinion.
Especially these days with all the political division and rhetoric it’s easy to get into existential and heated discussions and feel unheard, judged, or misunderstood.
It’s also all too easy to disagree with someone and decide that their perspective or beliefs make them a bad person.
And honestly, maybe you are right, or maybe they’re right and you’re a bad person.
But you’re never going to get anywhere except a stressful standoff and waste of energy by taking disagreement personally.
Sometimes a debate is worth having, other times you’re better off knowing when to walk away.
Here’s a guide on how to disagree respectfully.
43) Explore your own mind
In the old days, brave men and women explored uncharted territory and started new industries and technologies.
Today the bravest are exploring their own minds.
As we increasingly enter a knowledge-based economy of high-tech machines and devices, your own mind is a wellspring of potential and power to not only have a great career but also to develop your own individual potential.
Explore your fears and hopes, your earliest memories, the passions and disappointments that bring you to laughter and tears.
When you begin to understand yourself more you are able to gain inner stability and direction that no longer depends on outside validation.
This makes you much more empowered and formidable (and happy).
Nobody else can do it for you.
44) Write a journal
Journals are cool. I used to keep one and I plan to again in the future.
Even if it’s just a brief entry each day, you’ll be surprised how mentally cleansing it feels to get a few thoughts and observations down on paper.
It’s up to you what you want to do with your journal.
Maybe you just want to write how you feel every day, or what your main goals are for the day.
Maybe you want to write down an interesting person you meet each day so you’ll remember those weirdo years from now when you think back.
Journaling is great and quite useful. The actor Matthew McConaughey just wrote his new book Greenlights based on his old journals.
Here’s a quick guide to journaling.
45) Become an expert
There’s nothing your mind loves more than having a specific focus and task.
Your mind exists, biologically, to keep you alive. It’s a survival system.
When you give it a specific task or subject to learn it thrives and sends you all sorts of goodies like dopamine and other cool-sounding chemicals (I learned about “cool-sounding chemicals” from Yougle).
Anyway, feed your mind…
Become an expert in something other than your work.
Maybe it’s the history of your country, dressmaking, environmental issues, or making kombucha, but tackle it with your whole mental energy.
You’ll get better results than you think and you’ll begin to feel that deep sense of satisfaction that you’ve been craving.
The patience, efforts, and dedication you learn on the path to becoming an expert will also help you in every avenue of your life including relationships and career.
Here’s what it takes to become an expert.
46) Get down to business
Another superb skill you can do to sharpen your mind is to think of a business idea and make a basic business plan for it.
Even if you already have a job, try out this exercise.
Think of it as a fallback plan. With the economy the way it is these days you just never know, after all.
When choosing a business idea think about what you love to do and also what you’re talented at.
You should also consider what’s “in demand,” but don’t make that the final benchmark of whether you decide on a certain concept or not.
Here’s a video about how to come up with winning business ideas.
47) Learn a language
This is where I brag:
Yes I speak five languages.
But here’s the truth, I learned almost all of them by default because of living in different countries and getting the chance to speak them.
And several I picked up as university courses. So I’m fairly lazy.
I love learning languages though. It opens whole new worlds of communication, movies, music and new friends.
It’s also just fascinating to see common roots through different languages and links to history, culture, religion and more.
One really interesting example (of thousands) is the Portuguese word oxalá (oshallah), which means “hopefully” or “let’s hope.” It comes from the Arabic word inshallah, meaning “if God wills it.” It was brought over from Arabic inhabitants of Portugal – especially during the African slave trade – and is a common word in Brazil.
Afro-Brazilians who are part of the candomblé religion also know Oxalá or Obatalá as the primary Nigerian god orixá who made the world and human beings.
So back to languages. You should learn one! Even if you just get the basics you will have so much fun and once you’re able to travel again you’ll be able to use them as well.
Here are resources to learn 48 languages online for free.
48) Flip the script
Many of us grow up with issues around self-image and self-worth. I know I did.
There’s some part of us deep inside that wants to be seen as “good enough” and recognized and validated.
But we struggle to truly believe it even when someone gives us positive attention, and often find a way to sabotage it or to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
That’s why it’s important to begin shifting your mindset. The body and breathwork are very important to change but it’s also crucial to truly shift your perspective.
Pursue your mission and stop looking for validation. Don’t look for a prize, be the prize.
While you’re at it, find out how to live an uncompromised life.
49) Join a group
There are all sorts of things you can do on your own, but sometimes the key missing ingredient is joining a group.
Under the physical category this could be something like a hiking group, kayak or climbing club.
Under the Mind category, groups could include things like a chess club, meditation group, reading club or even trivia night group.
I recently went to a trivia night event and it was a lot of fun.
Read this useful guide to finding local clubs and activities to join.
50) Take a course
Another excellent thing you can do to get inspired with your mind is to take a course online.
I especially have enjoyed Mindvalley’s Superbrain course taught by Jim Kwik and Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass on writing.
Want a summary of all your options? Check out our top 10 online education platforms here.
51) Try breathwork
Breathwork is an ancient technique that controls and works with your breath to improve your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
As the bridge that connects our conscious and unconscious, breath has enormous power and healing potential that many of us are not aware of in our busy modern world.
Breathwork is the most natural remedy of all, and the power to do it is right in your own two lungs.
Here’s an excellent guide to breathwork.
52) Get creative
Whether it’s wood carving or learning how to make mandalas, getting creative is one of the best things you can do for your soul.
You can also design a graphic novel, paint a mural or try writing a novel.
Getting creative is so much fun because there are so many possibilities of what you can create and do.
53) Make music
One very creative thing you can do is make music.
Maybe it’s a symphony or just you sitting down with your ukelele.
Maybe it’s you tapping out a rhythm with your fingers on the desk. Consider it all music.
And it’s all good for your soul, even black metal. After all, anger can be part of spiritual growth too.
If you want to learn music from the best out there, consider Masterclass which has lessons taught by Timbaland, Christina Aguilera and Carlos Santana.
54) Spend time in nature
There’s nothing quite so healing and spiritually revivifying as spending time in the great outdoors.
Listening to the loons out on the lake and contemplating the horizon or walking a quiet forest trail as shafts of sunlight danced between the trees has a kind of magic that nothing else can match.
Nature has been linked with the divine and with spiritual regeneration since the earliest days of humankind and it’s still a place of refuge and peace every day for people all across the world.
As Taoism founder Lao Tzu put it:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
An amazing insight for all of us to ponder.
55) Heal unresolved trauma
As Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Farewell to Arms:
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills.”
Facing unhealed trauma can be a milestone on our spiritual journey.
It’s important to love yourself after trauma as you process the unresolved grief and blocked energy and work to regain your power.
Sometimes the biggest part of healing unresolved trauma is simply giving yourself time and fully accepting the validity of what you are experiencing.
You don’t “need” to be or feel any way other than what you are and what you feel right at this moment.
Here’s Eckhart Tolle speaking about how to heal from unresolved trauma.
56) Sing out
Our voice is a deep source of power and connection.
We use it to connect and communicate with others, but we also use it to express what’s in our soul.
Through singing we can reach out to whatever higher power we believe in or find a cleansing way to let out what’s inside us.
As Theresa Rodriguez notes:
“Every religion or spiritual practice (with the exception of some studied movements, such as the Quakers or certain cloistered clerics) use singing in worship. If the eyes are the window to the soul, the voice is its incarnation, the soul made flesh in sound.”
Here’s a great video from Eric Arseneuax on finding your voice.
57) Learn to hear your soul speak
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could hear the messages your true self and soul is trying to send you?
Well, there are.
These include signs from your dreams, animal omens and symbols in your life that you come across frequently, strong intuitions and gut feelings you get about what you should or should not do, and visions or strong “soul images” that stick with you.
Learning the language of your soul lets you speak a whole new language and have amazing guidance.
58) Own your soul-sperience
There are many times in life when we wish we were someone else or didn’t experience what we experience.
The thing is that life has this incredible and sometimes really frustrating way of bringing us right back to the same patterns, lessons, and challenges again and again.
We win victories that mean everything to us, but nothing to someone else.
And we lose losses that crush us which would be a mere gadfly to another person on a different journey.
The point is that it’s crucial for spiritual growth that you own your own “soul-sperience.”
For better and worse: it’s yours. And it’s going to lead somewhere incredible if you’ll let it.
59) Work with a shaman
Shamanism is an ancient tradition and path that has a lot of value for modern life, too.
Shamans work with ancient wisdom around nature and the human soul to help you reach your full potential and live in harmony.
If you are seeking soul growth it can be worth considering working with a shaman.
Here is an introduction to shamanism and how working with the shaman Rudá Iande helped Ideapod founder Justin Brown.
60) Find your happy place
Do you have a happy place?
I think mine is my grandparent’s house by the lake when I was growing up. Sunshine on the water looks so amazing…
It’s important to have a happy place because when the world comes crashing down around you it’s very crucial to remember just how good it can be.
Having a happy place isn’t about escapism. It’s more like keeping a refuge of spiritual inspiration that you can always return to now and then.
Here’s a roadmap to finding your happy place.
61) Forgive your own faults
All of us have fallen short in some ways. Even if you’re an outstanding person I can guarantee there’s someone who feels you treated them unfairly or acted poorly in a given situation.
In my own case, there are ways I’ve acted and decisions I’ve made which were just plain bad.
I’ve underappreciated people, gotten angry at people for things that weren’t their fault, and made reckless decisions that were stupid about taking jobs and moving.
But you need to forgive your faults and work to better them. Because living in the past won’t help anyone.
62) Forgive others (in the right way)
People can be real dicks.
I’ve dealt with bullying and stuff that made forgiveness hard.
But while I will say that forgiveness is important, it needs to be done the right way.
Forgiveness isn’t about saying “ah, everything is fine no worries.” Sorry, but that’s just plain weak.
Forgiveness is more about letting go of the angry, blocked energy inside yourself. You don’t need to forget or be best friends, but you can appreciate that holding onto the resentment is only going to cause you pain and suffering.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said:
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Here’s a helpful guide on how to forgive others.
63) Make new furry friends
Pets are good for the soul.
I still remember my dog Sparky growing up. He was a good boy.
If you want a four-legged friend or even a porcupine, snake, or rabbit then I recommend really looking into it.
The benefits of taking responsibility for a furry little guy or gal along with the joy they will bring you are a great life experience that will enrich your soul and inspire you.
Plus think of all the cute pics you’ll get to take.
Here’s a guide to buying a new puppy.
64) Find your way to feng shui
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system of organizing your room and surroundings that optimizes good fortune, positive energy, and blessings.
There are a number of consultants who work nowadays to help you get your feng shui just right.
But you can also watch and learn on your own to make sure your bed is never in the worst feng shui position and that your kitchen layout is optimized for good health and happiness.
If you’re looking for more on feng shui, I tried Mindvalley’s Feng Shui course with Marie Diamond and it’s incredibly helpful.
I recommend checking it out!
65) Try out tea time
Does tea time really belong under the Soul category?
I would say yes, yes it does. (Are all the Brits with me on this?)
Once you try making some turmeric golden milk tea you’ll all be onboard the HMCS Teatime.
From ancient Chinese Chan monks and the Chajing by Lu Yu to the Buddhist Zen tea ceremonies of Japan and the fermented tea leaf delicacy of Myanmar, tea is a special thing.
Tea is also deeply important to the culture of many other countries such as the UK, Egypt, Iran, Somalia, and the Middle East. It brings families together and is part of hospitality traditions that stretch back generations.
66) Inhale some aromatherapy
Another thing which smells great and warms your soul is aromatherapy.
This is the use of aromas and products such as essential oils to bring about mental, physical, and spiritual healing.
I have friends who swear by it and many indigenous cultures also use herbs like sage for cleansing, so I think that many of us underestimate the importance and spiritual power of smell.
If you’re intrigued and want to start cleansing your soul with the sweet smells of aromatherapy here’s a guide all about it.
67) Seek the sacred
These days of screens and scrolling can be a real wasteland.
You talk to hundreds of friends a day online but don’t have one normal, spoken conversation in weeks.
You eat food that you have no connection to in terms of its source of growing.
You live in cities next to people you might rarely interact with in any way.
It’s a surreal new world order, and the best antidote is to seek the sacred.
It could be stopping into a church to pray for a moment before work, visiting a meditation center for a lunchtime session, or going to the masjid to do maghrib prayers before dinner.
In a mainstream society that seems determined to undermine faith and attack religion at every corner, I believe it’s more important than ever to seek the sacred where we can.
68) Book a craniosacral therapy appointment
If you haven’t heard of craniosacral therapy I can’t recommend it highly enough.
As the Cranio-Sacral Center of Toronto notes:
“You might think of it as a gentle massage technique, or a cross between chiropractic or osteopathic maneuvers and hands-on healing. Quiet and relaxing, inducing restful sleep, it’s been labeled mysterious. In reality, craniosacral therapy addresses a rhythmic system at the core of our physiology – the pulse of energy that flows between our head and pelvic area.”
I’ve gone to a number of craniosacral practitioners over the years and had really positive experiences. It can get a bit pricey but it’s been more than worth it to work through certain emotional and psychological challenges I was having.
Here’s a guide to craniosacral therapy.
69) Get esoteric
Esoteric explorations and communities can be a wonderful experience and bring you in touch with people and ideas that resonate with who you are and the soul journey that you’re on.
Esoteric ideas and studies can uncover deeper layers of your own soul and the collective consciousness that move you forward in the way you see existence, other people, and yourself.
Which is pretty revolutionary, really, if you think about it.
Here’s a good video series called Esoteric Saturdays. This one is on the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life.
70) Do a relationship checkup
Romantic relationships can form a core part of our life and be a place of some of our deepest soul experiences and the process of individuation.
Do a relationship checkup that’s based on one key principle: brutal, 100% honesty for better or for worse.
Are you happy? Are you feeling bored? Are you overly or underly invested?
Is everything the best you could possibly imagine?
Are you worried about the future or feel there is a clash of values?
Do you feel a deep personality connection but less physical attraction than you would like…
Be honest with yourself about it and then communicate with your partner.
Here are 10 tips to make a relationship work.
71) Heal family rifts
Family is important. Your ancestors are a big part of what made you who you are, and your parents, relatives, and siblings growing up shaped your earliest experiences and emotions.
The unfortunate thing about family is that it can also include a lot of difficult experiences and emotional transference.
You pick up other people’s energy and problems and make them into your own.
You form anxious attachments and avoidances.
You feel a lack of love, jealousy, or anger.
That’s why part of healing our soul is deeply involved in working through family trauma and even unresolved generational trauma.
Here’s a guide on how to heal generational trauma.
72) Leave a legacy
One of the greatest spiritual gifts you can receive is to leave a legacy.
Your legacy can still be created while you’re alive, whether it’s a beautiful flower garden that you invite visitors to walk around and bask in or a program to feed the hungry in your city, or funding you give to the local arts and theater community.
Leaving a legacy doesn’t have to be something big and dramatic.
But it’s part of a key shift in your way of seeing yourself and your world that will bring deep meaning and power to your life.
As the shaman says:
“You don’t need to change the world. You just need to shift your perspective, from ‘what you can take from life today’ to ‘how you can contribute to life today.’
73) Practice what Polonius said
The play Hamlet is a classic of Western literature.
It’s all about existential torment and what’s the point of life and justice and injustice. Good stuff like that.
But it has a specific line that I think is really key to having a healthy soul. My friend actually has it tattooed on his back.
The character Polonius tells his son Laertes to be a good boy at college and tells him how to maintain his honor and future success.
“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
It’s ironic that Polonius is a major snake and a lying fraud and he’s the one giving the advice.
But what matters are the words themselves.
It means to practice self-honesty.
Dig down into your subconscious and uncover your real motivations, deficiencies and values.
Then be true to them, and be honest to what you need to improve.
Here’s how to practice radical self-honesty.
74) Listen to spiritual audiobooks
Audiobooks are a great resource and I recommend listening to something enriching and spiritually helpful.
This is especially effective before bed since the words enter your subconscious as you drift off to sleep.
Here’s a list of the best spiritual audiobooks from Audible.
75) Fall in love
Want to get inspired? Fall in love!
But that’s not in our control, right? True, for sure…
But there are things you can do to be ready for love when it comes and there’s already somebody you can fall in love with right now.
Somebody very close to you who you probably know pretty well:
Ah, too corny?
I don’t mean in a narcissistic or egotistical way. I mean falling in love as in valuing and validating yourself on a deep level.
Think about it.
By truly owning and embracing all the parts of yourself and your struggles you will feel so much more incredible.
You will be facing life without dodging your own shadow and going forward with a clear set of values and experiences about what you’re looking for and why.
Are you inspired yet?
I hope this article has left you inspired.
Actually, I hope you stood up halfway through and started doing some of the things listed and forgot to even read the rest until later.
But if you’re still reading – or you’ve returned here after some exploration – then thank you for joining me for this inspiring guide.
The perfection of life lies in its imperfection.
Your journey has power, beauty, and validity in it.
Your existence has deep wildness at its heart.
You are linked to the verdant forests and rushing crystalline, aquamarine waterfalls; rugged mountains, and shimmering golden deserts.
You were born to be wild.
You were born to be inspired.