What Is Inspiration and How Does It Work?


What is the key to inspired working? Why are some people more inspired and others less? Most importantly – What is inspiration exactly?

These are all questions that I have encountered before in many discussions before. I came to realise that this is often a rather nebulous term, as usually the term is not perceived the same and sometimes we have a definition in our mind that does not always match the Wikipedia article’s content about a topic.

Often it is the case that terms such as inspiration and creativity are only considered to find application in an artistic surrounding – where an underfed individual (usually wearing a beret) stands in front easel and canvas and is wildly applying paint on it.


If you are going to continue reading this article, however we will now need to free you from that definition and I ask you to allow this term into your private and professional life, where it always was even before you saw it there. In my understanding there are three basic factors that are related to each other in this context which are:

  1. Inspiration – a burst of creativity related to (time and) emotion
  2. Creativity – the ability to produce something of value (while “value” is a relative term here)
  3. Emotion (or sometimes motivation) – process that elicits an action or behaviour

I refer to this as the ICE triangle allegory: Very similar to Ohm’s law of  electricity – where voltage, current and resistance factors are brought into relation, a similar equation can be set up for the three ICE values (even though they can not be measured and calculated in numbers).

Inspiration Creativity  Emotion ICE triangle allegory Ohm law of electricity

So returning to the first of the initial questions above – What is the key now to inspired working? As mentioned above the inspiration of a person is relative to the ability and skill to produce something and relative to the emotion/motivation of that person. Therefore it is imperative in order to be inspired, to understand what is aspired, understand the goal or objective of your work and tasks and if you are missing the bigger picture for whatever reason you should never hesitate to ask for more information.

It is very rare that the task-giver would be unhappy about you asking for details and purpose, as this is her or his sphere of work and enjoy such un-directive conversations as well. If that person will ask you “Why are you asking?” you can be honest now and reply with something as “In order to be working on this inspired and enthusiastic it is important for me to understand the purpose of my task entirely and ensoul it.” and you can be certain to harvest a smile.


If you understood the mechanics of inspiration by now and you look left and right and see only people, which you do not consider strongly inspired by what they do or how they do it, you might be wondering – Why are some people more inspired and others less? The answer to this is rather difficult as this is entirely your personal perception now and others might be thinking exactly the same thing about you. However what can be said is that the ICE values do change throughout the day depending on personal surroundings and experiences as well as other individuals will have different base values to start with.

Now facing the final question – What is inspiration exactly? The word “inspiration” is derived from the latin word “inspiratio” which means ensouled or something that we tried to fill with our spirit in order to increase its value. So trying to re-phrase this we would get a definition like this:

Inspiration is what enables us to put higher value into a created product based on our own ability to create in direct relation to our motivation.
– Christopher Isak


What do you think about that definition? I would be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments below. This article was first published on my WordPress blog “Radical Logic” in March 2012 and has now moved to its new home here as the old space is no longer maintained.

Let’s ensoul our products!

Photo credit: Designs by Kari / Celestine Chua / Gilles Chiroleu

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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