Ap Dijksterhuis is a Social Psychologist at Radboud University Nijmegen and he wrote “The smart unconscious”, awarded by the American Psychology Association (APA).

quick & compact

Inspiration is key to any leader. It is what drives employees to follow a vision and is the creative power and starting point behind any output. Dijksterhuis outlines how it works, how we can cultivate an inspirational mindset and how to nurture it.

1 Big Idea

Inspiration is not something magical that just happens to you. Inspiration is a product of setting yourself up for success, achieved by staying curious, having good habits, taking care of your mental health, and working hard. 

2 inspiring quotes

“Inspiration is not an exclusive trait reserved for special people. It is an achievement of our brain, just like the ability to learn a language.”

“Inspiration is transpiration.”

3 actionable takeaways

Work hard.

When inspiration strikes, you will have to work hard. Results do not come from inspiration alone, but usually from working hard to make these ideas reality-proof, and working to make them a reality.

Allow yourself to think creatively.

Inspiration usually does not come from staying in the mental corner, you have to allow yourself to think freely. This allows your brain to come up with new and fun ideas, which then can be molded using hard work.

Do not be frustrated when you don’t reach your goals.

Inspiration alone is not a guarantee for success. It can be that a good idea does not stand the test of reality. This does not mean that you’re not looking in the right direction, so keep going and do not be discouraged.