Forget Inspiration

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readAug 17, 2021

Habit is more dependable.

Photo by Shiromani Kant on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“Forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.” — Octavia Butler

Somebody who I mentor recently put me on the spot with a doozy of a question. “What three habits can transform my life and career completely?”

Wow. What a question. If you ask a hundred professionals this, you might come away with 300 different insights.

I am not pretending my answers were groundbreaking or complex. They could even be considered surprisingly simple. But too many folks dive into complicated methods to find success. Often mastering the basics can yield great results.

Here are three habits that might transform a life or career. These are only a starting point based on my experience. But by taking these on, you will likely discover other behaviors that will help in your metamorphosis along the way.

1. Volunteer for things — sometimes even for tasks you would rather avoid.

If you raise your hand to volunteer, you are almost always asked to do more.

That is a good thing. Doing more is an opportunity to learn, impress, gain skills, and build relationships.

Success is based on action. The more you take on, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to take advantage of opportunities. Extremely successful people sprint toward opportunities.

For example, volunteering to take notes at meetings can be a blah task. But if you get good at taking notes, you might get invited to meetings with higher-ups that you would never have access to. You could develop a positive reputation with those successful people as detail-oriented based on your notes. Or just by having a seat at the table, you may mutter something in passing that could end up being a winning idea. But you will never get there if you do not volunteer.

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com