Over on Fast Company, Jane Porter looks to the work of Harvard professor John Stilgoe and his book Outside Lies Magic to tackle the daunting topic of how to be inspired by everyday life:

His answer: Go outside. Look around. Walk. Notice. “Exploration encourages creativity, serendipity, invention….The explorer owns all the insights, all the magic that comes from looking.”

Stilgoe elaborates by offering five elegant ways to turn the mundane of everyday into creative inspiration, including:

3. Start to un-program your thinking. We tend to follow a regimented schedule, even when we are taking time away from work to exercise. Yoga at six. The treadmill for half-an-hour. Kickboxing every Tuesday night. What if, on occasion, you allowed that time of exercise to be unregimented? According to Stilgoe: “Unprogrammed exercise and a rediscovery of what schools and employers and television and computers suffocate blend into some larger whole that reorients the mind, that offers a reward greater than any posted by pure physical exercise.”

Among the other tips Stilgoe offers for being inspired by your life: learning to manage risk in order to find a balance, feeling free to feed your curiosity, and scrutinizing the unfamiliar. Explore all of the ways you can turn your routine life into one of creative insight right here on Fast Company.

  • Greg Barber

    I love the idea of un-scheduling ourselves. Allowing opportunities to live in the moment.

    • tannerc

      It sounds promising, now to try it out. Thanks for commenting Greg.

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