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Seeking Inspiration?



Seeking inspiration?

A Guest Post by Derek Sivers

The word “inspiration” usually means something that mentally stimulates you.

But “inspiration” also means to breathe in.


The meanings poetically combine when you think of yourself breathing in thoughts, filling your body with ideas.


But don’t forget to breathe out.


Some people watch hundreds of TED talks, looking for inspiration.


Tech entrepreneurs visit Hacker News every few hours, looking for new inspiration.


Musicians, writers, artists, and everyone else, all scouring the world for inspiration.


Breathing in, and in, and in, and in.


Yet most of them aren’t feeling inspired enough. They’re looking for more, thinking something else out there will truly inspire them.


Want to know why?


Because nothing is truly inspiring unless you apply it to your work.(“work” meaning your life’s output, whether creative, business, or personal.)


In other words, your work, itself, is the inspiration.


You may hear something or see something that gives you a new idea.


But it’s only when you stop and think of your work through this new perspective, that you actually jump up and go turn the idea into reality.


That’s the real inspiration that everyone is looking for!


The inspiration is not the receiving of information. The inspiration isapplying what you’ve received.


People think that if they keep reading articles, browsing books, listening to talks, or meeting people, that they’re going to suddenly get inspired.


But constantly seeking inspiration is anti-inspiring.


You have to pause the input, and focus on your output.


For every bit of inspiration, use it and amplify it by applying it to your work.


Then you’ll finally feel the inspiration you’ve been looking for.


Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

(photo by bethan)


© 2013 Derek Sivers




Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998.


It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians.


In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.


He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with over 5 million views of his talks.


In 2011, he published a book which shot to #1 on all of its Amazon categories.


Derek Sivers lives in Singapore, where he is creating his next company.



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Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998.

It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians.

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.

He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with over 5 million views of his talks.

In 2011, he published a book which shot to #1 on all of its Amazon categories.

Derek Sivers lives in Singapore, where he is creating his next company.



Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998.

It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians.

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.

He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with over 5 million views of his talks.

In 2011, he published a book which shot to #1 on all of its Amazon categories.

Derek Sivers lives in Singapore, where he is creating his next company.

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