Get Creative! 3 Ways for Student Leaders to Find Inspiration

Nick Palkowski WI Youth Leadership Speaker

Have you ever struggled with what to write on a paper?

Ever unsure how to solve a problem?

Ever heard someone say they were waiting for some inspiration?

As a speaker and blogger I understand the pain of trying to be creative on cue. For a student leader, you need to be able to get those creative juices flowing. From creating newspaper and media materials, to event planning, to writing speeches, you need to exercise your creative muscles. It’s not easy, but here are three ways to give you a leg up the next time you are looking for a creative spark.

Grease the Wheels

Prepare ahead of time. There are several ways to do this and your approach will probably be different than mine based on your type of creative work but I Grease the Wheels by:

Reading: a very, very under valued activity. Leaders are readers and by reading you are literally feeding your mind. Giving it the opportunity to make connections that you couldn’t otherwise think of. (listening to podcasts, lectures, and videos fill this same category of info gathering.)

– Discussions with Others: Every person brings their own unique perspectives and experiences to their ideas. Talk to other people about their thoughts on the area you need inspiration on. They are guaranteed to have a perspective you haven’t thought of which could be a springboard for your inspiration.

Keep a List of Ideas: I already have a list of over 50 blog posts ideas. Some are just three key words, others are mostly written draft posts. Inspiration can be unpredictable but when it does strike be sure to capture it as completely as possible. Personally, I use Evernote for this. (Highly recommend this book if you want to take your Evernote experience to a whole ‘nother level!)

Quit Waiting

“I’m waiting for inspiration.” These words are the kiss of death when you are trying to be creative. If you spend your time waiting for inspiration you will push deadlines, produce sub par work, or simply never get started. Start creating. You can always revise or start over but the key is to start. Inspiration will follow.

Set the Stage

Inspiration needs to be seeked. That can mean finding an environment that inspires you. Often something out of the ordinary. The walls of your room that you see everyday won’t do the trick.

I’ve noticed I get my best ideas when around people, music, and when I’m relaxed. Living in the beautiful city of Madison I am lucky to have plenty of both on a regular basis.

Here is a quick video of one Thursday night:

Finding inspiration is not easy but with these three tips your light bulb of creativity will be much more likely to switch on.

Question: How do you find inspiration?

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