We've all heard Thomas Edison's famous quote: "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." And while it's true that it takes a lot of hard work to bring your dreams to fruition, it's also a reality that the inspiration is sometimes the part that's hard to come by. Since the work is usually dependent on the idea, that means that we can spend a lot of time sitting on our hands, waiting for inspiration to strike.
If you can't get inspired, there is only one way to make sure this will change. You've got to create a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift is a fundamental change in the way you see a particular situation, or even the world in general. Seeing things in a new way is a great way to generate fresh ideas. The rule is simple: change your perspective, and you'll change your mind, too.
This is the best, most reliable way to shake things up in your brain and recharge your creativity. It allows you to step outside the structure that you are used to living in. One of my favorite ways to experience a purposeful paradigm shift is to give myself some parameters for whatever project I'm working on. I'll create a certain number of conditions that must be met for my assignment, which forces me to be creative and helps me look at the task through a new lens. In some ways, restricting myself actually opens up more avenues for my creativity.
There are other ways to create this kind of internal shift, as well. You can go for a walk, sit in a different chair, watch a film in a foreign language, observe a stranger, or drive to a neighborhood you've never visited before. Try participating in a creative activity that's not in your niche - if you're a painter, write a story, or take guitar lessons. You should travel, meditate, and ask questions everywhere you go. Look for new ways to approach every situation, and soon you'll start to see things differently.
Thomas Edison also said "Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits." Although lesser known, these words are no less valuable. While you're waiting for inspiration to strike, don't sit idly by. Chase after it - you've got to hustle if you want results. Sometimes the work is finding the idea, and you won't discover it until you start digging.
Here is one more Edison platitude: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." It's time to suit up and start the work of uncovering your own genius. You're going to have to get out there and feel uncomfortable. You're going to have to spend time entertaining things that won't ultimately pan out. But it will be worth it when that light bulb clicks on in your mind and lights up a whole new room. What ideas can you uncover? Only you can find out.