It's easy to think of inspiration as something that "strikes" me in a specific, given moment. The clouds part, the birds sing, the light bulb goes off. EUREKA!
It seems like there is an attitude that inspiration and purpose is a magical feeling like "falling in love". You'll "just know" what you're supposed to do with all your time, energy and resources when it hits you. Perhaps are still waiting for a moment of epiphany, captured in time transcending everything all at once and putting you on a forever purposeful path.
There is absoultely something to be said for rare and inspired "ah-ha" moments that speak to us and tell us something about our guiding values, But generally, it's easy to romanticize the Muse myth and await a bolt out of the blue to strike and move us to action.
It occurs to me now that inspiration actually happens when we just get up and go to work.
This means making the decision to work when no one else is watching, when there is no instant gratification, when you could fail big time, when you really don't feel like working, or when the path ahead looks extermely uncomfortable.
Often our circumstances and emotions will tell us to quit because we are reaching perceived limits and uncharted even scary territoy. But the real moments of inspiration are when fatigue and discouragement is upon us but resolve doesn't waiver and rather increases.
Inspiration starts when you start.
Inspiration isn't just signs and omens and all the good feelings.
Inspiation is when purpose, path, vision, capacity and opportunity align in a way where you can see a way create something with your work.