This is my Inspiration wall. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning, last thing before I go to sleep at night and is right next to my desk. It’s kind of like a 3D vision board. When I am struggling through a 2000 word essay for uni or a project for one of my internships and am losing motivation, I simply look over my shoulder and there it is. My reminder of why I work hard, why I want to succeed. I am a visual person, so having this inspiration wall as a daily reminder keeps me going, keeps me driven, keeps me striving. If you think this could help you, read on fellow human!
To create your own, we first need to work out your ‘why’. Your ‘why’ is really quite simple. It is why you do what you do. I want to work in international development, with a focus on human rights and women. I am hoping to achieve this through my studies and various internships and volunteer positions.
My why? I believe that extreme poverty is one of our planets grossest injustices. I believe that I simply ‘won’ the game of Russian Roulette that is extreme poverty and as one of the lucky ones, I have the means and resources to help the suffering of those in extreme poverty.
Figure out your why. Sit down and picture your ideal career, your dream future. What does it look like? A big family and freshly baked cupcakes? A power suit and heels clanking as you walk to your office suite at the best law firm in town? Why do you work as hard as you do? What do you want out of life?
Once you have that sorted, find pictures, ornaments, phrases, quotes, fabrics, anything that represents your why. If you take a look at mine, you can see it is full of words and quotes that I want to live my life by. “Love what you do”, “Make something special”, “passion” and “mindfulness” are some of them. There is also a big “don’t you deserve a job you love?” reminding me to work hard, to make sure that I love what I am doing, at every stage in my life.
Above my vision board/collage, is a bunch of polaroid photos. These are of friends, pets and from my travels. They again, remind me just how lucky I am to have travelled, to have a life of abundance, of safety, of the means to do what I want.
To the left I have masks from my travels to Africa and a dream catcher. I am an avid traveller. It’s where all my money goes. I think one of the reasons I want to work in international development, rather than local development, is because I have such a curiosity and appreciation of what is unknown to me. Other cultures, languages, foods and religions are what excite me. So I have these here to not only remind me to “not-buy-those-shoes-you-don’t-need-and-instead-put-that-money-towards-a-trip”, it also reminds me that there is an entire world out there full of things I don’t understand. That the people I want to work with in the fight against poverty, they are all unique and full of culture and tradition and it would be a tragedy to lose that.
Your inspiration wall can be anything! So for you fashion students, put a few hooks up and hang your favourite items of clothing, surrounded by pages pulled from the most recent Vogue. The foodies out there, stick up recipes and photos of delicious looking meals. You want to be a mother/teacher/dog walker/accountant/personal trainer/astronaut? Go for it! A few simple pointers to follow to make your inspiration wall super effective:
1. Make sure the theme is clear and present; people should be able to tell you your passions just from looking at it.
2. Keep it updated and relevant. Don’t be afraid of the changes you want to make to it, they are only helping you narrow down your goals!
3. Keep it simple. There is nothing worse than mess- not only does it clutter our physical space, it clutters our minds and emotions as well.
4. Put it somewhere you will see it all the time. It should always be at the forefront of your mind in everything you do.
5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or of what others will think! It’s yours, so own it, make it you!
6. HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Madeleine Whitby officially, is studying international development, interning at a development organisation, volunteering at another and a bartender. Unofficially, she is a traveller, learner, wonderer, dog enthusiast and lover of fresh flowers.