Get Inspired By Your City!

Why your city is a Mecca for inspiration

Some inspiration from Amsterdam.

We all want to produce better work. We want to create something meaningful that makes a difference. And we want to do it in our ways and in our style. For this we need creativity. And for that we need inspiration. And good quality inspiration. But too often we go after convenient inspiration, rather than effective inspiration.

Creativity works best when it has things to work with. It combines one thing (normally something you’re working on) with a bunch of other things, that are continually shaken and stirred together, to produce something new and different. I call the place where we keep all these other things “the well of inspiration.”

What’s important is that we intentionally fill our wells up with a variety of high quality inspiration. If we’re not intentional about this, we tend to fill our wells up with generic inspiration. Or worse, we fill it up with garbage. If you want to be more creative, fill your inspiration well up with better stuff. Good stuff in good stuff out.

Why cities then?

Cities are real-world experiences. Immersive. Rich. Authentic. They’re not only audio and visual—they’re multi-sensory experiences. And this real-world type of inspiration hands-down beats the majority of inspiration found on our screens. So, get out there! Explore the real world! Explore your city. Get inspired.

Another reason I recommend exploring cities is not only because they’re highly inspiring. Exploring your city is also restful—you’re telling your mind and body that you have the time to spend doing something ‘unproductive’. In my experience, my whole being responds very well to this.

Exploring a city is a combination of being outside, people, movement, exercise, and stimulation. And it makes my brain come alive. So, whether you step out your front door into your city or need to travel by car, bus, or train, intentionally getting out into your city will inspire you.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

– Abraham Lincoln

I love this quote. Because getting outside, exploring my city, and absorbing inspiration is what sharpening my axe looks like to me. And I’m pretty sure it will have the same effect on you.

Tried sardines for the first time. Much preferred the tin to the taste.

Want to know more about exploring your city and getting inspired? Take the online class.

You may be convinced that it’s time explore your city. To absorb inspiration. To refuel your creative well. To relax. That’s the point of this post. If you want a guide on how to best make that happen, then take my online class Get Inspired: Explore Your City. The class is about getting inspired by the city you live in, or nearby. You’ll learn why getting away from your desk and devices, and planning a day exploring your city, will inspire you in a deeper, truer, and more authentic way. The class covers where to go, what to bring, how to explore, and a bunch of other tips.

Be the first to know when it launches—sign up below.

Class resources

If you’re looking class PDFs, here they are! The class, however, is currently in production.

Posted on 12 Nov 2020 in Inspiration and Creativity #cities #irl


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