Inspiration vs Grind…What Wins?

A question was posed to me recently – “Where do you get inspiration from?”

I thought about it for a second, and was going to answer the usual stuff like; from comics books, movies, art, science, math, etc, etc.

But then I stopped and realized, I actually don’t think like that anymore. I don’t even work like that anymore.

Getting inspiration from music and movies does help, however there’s always been problems with this approach in that has never yielded spectacular results.

Inspiration Drought

Perhaps the biggest problem with relying on external factors to give you inspiration is the inspiration drought.

You’re always waiting for something to inspire you. You’re always waiting for something to happen. If something doesn’t come along then you’re not compelled to do anything.

This is a HUGE problem. It’s a massive problem because you’ve wasted time.

You could have been doing something meaningful, but instead you did nothing and this is a sledgehammer to achieving your goals. Wasting time is dangerous because you can never ever get that time back.

The Inspiration Drought is a risk you should never take. Waiting for something to inspire you will only bring regret.

The Study

There was a really interesting psychology study that was done a while ago. Two groups of students were asked to produce art over the course of six months.

One group were told to go ahead and create a masterpiece – they could do whatever they wanted, look for inspiration, take take their time and really think about it. But they had to produce one single masterpiece at the end of the six months. They eagerly jumped into it. It sounded Fantastic!

The other group of students were told to produce one thousand drawings over the course of six months. They moaned and they groaned but they all did it. They drew one thousand drawings each over the course of six months.

The result was that the second group obviously produced more work – but they also produced significantly better work.

As it turns out, that’s what the study was testing for. Does quantity over quantity make you better? It turns out does. There’s a caveat to this, but I’ll keep it for another time.

Producing copious amounts of work actually makes you better. Sitting around waiting for inspiration gets you nowhere.

Note : I was looking for the actual study but I can’t seem to find it. If you got the details of it please let me know.

The Skill

Producing tons of work is how skill is developed. And that is more important than inspiration.

Here’s why. Have you ever been inspired to do something but you realize your talents are lacking? It’s a problem.

Inspiration is never going to help you if you’ve got no skills.

Put in the grind. Put in the work. Your skills will develop.

Then when inspiration does hit you can act on it easily. You can produce whatever you see in your head.

The Art of the Blog

Check out this excellent blog called “The Art of the Blog“. He talks a lot about “punching those damn keys” i.e. he talks about putting in the work. Really good stuff this.

Results of  Grind

These are the results of my grind on Instagram

2015 February

2019 December


The Grind wins over inspiration every day.

The grind is you taking control. Inspiration is hoping things will happen.

Do the work. Punch those damn keys. Put in the Grind.

You will get those results.

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash






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