How to Rediscover Your Inspiration at Work

By Kristi Hedges

When we’re inspired, our work hums. We have a sense of purpose, buoyed by the feeling that our talents are being put to good use. We’re doing what we should be doing. And then, just like that, inspiration evaporates. Perhaps a negative comment from your boss deflated you or you’re not excited about a particular assignment. Inspiration can be frustratingly fleeting and difficult to recover when lost. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job you love, it’s common to go through lengthy periods where you need to dig deep to feel excited about your work.

I’ve coached many executives in the thick of this morass and they often struggle to understand the cause: is it the company? Or a particular set of circumstances? Or is it them?

Psychologists Todd Thrash and Andrew Elliot have been studying inspiration for decades. They’ve identified three elements that occur when we’re inspired: we see new possibilities, we’re receptive to an outside influence, and we feel energized and motivated. Fortunately, inspiration is not a static state of mind but a process that we can cultivate. While we can’t force ourselves to be inspired, we can create an environment that’s conducive to inspiration. Here’s what I’ve seen work for my clients.

Read the full article on the Harvard Business Review website.