Inspiration Beats Procrastination

Inviting a stronger flow of inspiration kicked off by the 365-day creative challenge is helping me get more done than I expected, including completing some stale to-do items that I never felt inspired to do before.

This morning I updated all of my YouTube videos (42 of them) to have end screens that invite people to visit my blog, subscribe to my channel, or check out other videos on my channel. For instance, an abundance-related video will now invite people to watch a Deep Abundance Integration invite video next.

I also set most videos to invite people to watch my latest video, which is currently the Stature invite video.

This small improvement is probably more beneficial for the long-term than giving much of a short-term boost. I expect to publish more videos this year, so I wanted to at least get the older videos encouraging people to watch the most recent videos too. My oldest YouTube videos are from 2009.

This small project has been on my to-do list for at least a year, but I could never make it a high enough priority to get it to the top of the list. Then as a surprise this morning, the inspiration was just there to do it, and I got it done very easily. I even enjoyed doing it.

I think this inspiration partly came about from connecting with people on YouTube last night during the live chat for our Stature video live premiere. By connecting with real people on the site in real-time, I felt a stronger energetic link between my YouTube videos and the real human beings who are watching them. I strongly suspect that the flow of inspiration comes from the collective energy of other people.

Even though I don’t have many videos and haven’t published frequently on YouTube, people are watching my videos there every day. The most popular one is the 40 Days of Water Fasting video from 2017, which currently has about 125K views and keeps going up. That was the video I recorded right at the end of 40 days without food, summarizing what the experience was like.

My second most popular video is the first in the Creating Abundance playlist, which currently has about 82K views. That series is from November 2009, and the view count has been gradually increasing ever since.

Most of my videos have between 2K and 10K views on YouTube. Six are between 10K and 100K. Only the 40-day fasting video has passed 100K views so far. Over time this led to a small subscriber base on YouTube, currently about 5900 people there.

Mentally I see a lot of potential in sharing more videos, especially on YouTube. I’m comfortable on camera, and I have an infinite supply of ideas. People generally like the videos I share (95%+ approval according to YouTube’s stats). But as nice as this looks in terms of the opportunity for more sharing and more ripples, I just didn’t feel any energy wanting to flow in that direction. I’d think about making more YouTube videos, and that’s as far as it would go – just thinking but with no motivation to actually do it just yet.

As I’m exploring the flow of inspiration more intensely this year, I’m seeing some promising shifts happening. I’m getting the “big rocks” handled pretty well, but I’m also in such a nice flow that a lot of small rocks are getting handled too and without delay, some old and some new.

Last night in the Stature launch Facebook group, someone asked if there was an audio version of the Stature invite video. There wasn’t, but I knew it would be a simple matter to export the audio from Final Cut Pro and add it to the Stature page, so I did immediately. It only took a few minutes.

I did this extra task when I was tired, after a long day that started around 6:30am, and I think it was sometime after 1am that I handled this. It wasn’t because I had to do it then or because it was the next logical item on my to-do list. It’s because even at the end of a long day, the flow of inspiration was still strong enough that it was easy to leverage it to get more done.

When I act in alignment with this flow, I’m often able to complete tasks (especially creative ones) 2-3x faster than I would if I was disciplining myself to do it without any strong feelings of inspiration. I think this is because when I use self-discipline to take action, I’m pushing through at least some resistance to overcome inertia, whereas the flow of inspiration deactivates such resistance, so I can go faster because no internal misalignments are slowing me down.

I really don’t have to self-motivate or use self-discipline much at all to get a lot done each day. In fact, it feels counterproductive when I try. It’s so much more effective to listen and to invite inspiration without getting too attached to what shows up.

I know what my plans and goals are for each day. I know I have blog posts to create and Stature lessons to design, record, and publish. And there are plenty of other items to attend to, such as doing coaching calls in Conscious Growth Club and keeping up with various business tasks. I think that the flow of inspiration also understands my to-do list, and it’s actually better at getting things done from that list than I am when I try to use a more “businessy” approach.

I’m now wondering how many of the dull, boring, or tedious items on my Nozbe projects list may get done without actually trying to schedule them. The current flow of inspiration is chipping away at some of these items, even when I don’t expect to get to them for a while. When I feel inspired to work on one of these tasks, it’s easy because the energy moves through me to get it done with much less effort than if I were try to self-power my way through.

The part that requires more trust is that I don’t really get to decide when I’ll do which task. I wake up each morning and listen to what the inspiration channel is currently broadcasting, and then when I’m ready I dive into the flow of action, which feels like surfing waves of energy that drive me forward. I often map out my to-dos for the day, but I can’t predict in which order I’ll do them, and it’s better if I don’t try to predict.

At the end of a long day, I may be physically and mentally tired, but it feels like there’s another channel of energy (spiritual or astral perhaps?) that’s still full. Last night I noticed I was getting pretty sleepy and still worked an extra 3 hours beyond that point, partly because I was enjoying the flow and partly because I still had tasks that I’d committed to for the day, like writing and publishing a new blog post.

Before this year I’d prefer to be in bed at 10pm and get up at 5am. But so far this year, I’m typically going to bed around 1-2am and getting up at 5-6:30am, so I’m sleeping less. I’ll often take a 20-minute nap during the day, or I’ll meditate for 30 minutes, which refreshes me enough to keep going. I keep telling myself that I need to slow down and catch up on sleep, and then I don’t. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 6 hours in a night this year yet.

This flow of action doesn’t feel stressful or pushy. It feels more fun, like an invitation to dance. But it also seems to leverage time pressure a lot, sometimes more than I’d like.

I have some definite to-dos on my plate each day. Logically you’d think it would be best to get those done early in the day. And sometimes that’s where the inspiration flows, like this morning as I’m writing my daily blog post – nice to get this done early.

But sometimes the flow of inspiration does just the opposite. I get inspired to work on non-urgent but still valuable projects during the day, and then it might be 5pm or 8pm when I’m finally getting the nudge to do my must-do items. I’m getting them done, but just in time some days, like getting blog posts published only two minutes before midnight (twice, including last night). I do find this stimulating sometimes, especially challenging myself to write faster, but then of course more typos are going to slip through. It’s still fun and stimulating though. The time pressure helps me focus, and it isn’t too stressful.

I sense that this flow of inspired energy knows me better than I know myself. It sure knows how to drive me into resistance-free action – much better than I’m able to on my own. I wasn’t bad before, but this energy flow is next level. It just demolishes tasks and projects with such ease and rhythm, turning each day into a unique song and dance of creative work.

I could definitely get used to this because I enjoy high-stimulation flow. The main challenge is trusting it. Will it still get the accounting done? Will it eventually flow towards tasks where I think a certain timetable matters? Will it ever let me down? Will it respect the social promises and commitments I’ve made? Honor is a really important value to me, and so is trust. So this energy makes me a bit anxious when I can’t be sure if it cares about such values.

Fortunately I know that if I ever need to pause this energy and do something for less inspired reasons, I still can. For instance, I have a dentist appointment this afternoon, and whether the inspiration is there or not, I’ll show up on time and have a nice chat with the hygienist as usual.

But when I have a more open schedule and some flexibility in deciding what gets done and when, I like inviting this energy to flow through and see where it takes me. It rewards me with delightful motivation, productivity, and energy when I get out of the way and let it decide the what and the when hour by hour. Each day is a fun, stimulating ride. We’re not even 10 full days into the year yet, and I feel like I’ve already completed at least a month of work. This flow is nicely aligned with abundance too – creatively, financially, socially, etc.

This year I want to build even more trust with this flow. We’ve been good friends for many years, and I know we can become closer still. I actually think this inspired energy invited to create a closer relationship with it a few week ago. I’m glad I accepted.

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Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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