When asked how many “reps” he did of a certain exercise, Muhammad Ali famously said, “I don’t know. I only start counting once it starts burning.”
That’s not inspiration. That’s grit.
That’s struggle and urgency.
The cold reality is that sometimes, it’s a real struggle to get your best work into the world.
That’s why so many of us admire great creators, artists and thinkers but so few of us will ever become one.
If you wait to be inspired to do your best work, you’ll be waiting a long time.
Waiting for inspiration is an amateur move. It’s not coming today. It may never. And that means absolutely nothing.
It’s not coming to you. But you can seek it out.
The solution: start the work now.
Do it on the sunny days and the rainy days. Stop giving yourself a “pass” to leave your gifts on the table unopened. Stop allowing yourself the excuse not to create.
The ironic part is, as you push through the uncomfortable stage (as all students on the road to mastery must) you’ll find that the struggle actually leads to more inspiration — despite the fact that there was none there to begin with.
It’s a feedback system.
You don’t get inspired, then do great work.
You do great work, then get inspired.