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The thrill is gone

The song was a major hit for the recently departed B.B. King, possibly the work that made him a household name. But when we lose our inspiration, it hardly seems like something to sing about.

It happens to everyone at some point or another, regardless of the pursuit. And when it does, it's enough to give us an instant understanding of what is called "the blues.” And it seems like the harder we work to shake it off, the harder it grips.

It's like one of those Chinese finger traps, the small braided tube that you stick the index finger of each hand into. Easy to get into but getting out is a whole different story. The harder you pull, the tighter it grips. The only way to extract yourself is to relax and, counter to instinct, push your fingers into the tube instead of trying mightly to pull them out. So it is when we lose inspiration. When everything suddenly seems pointless and new ideas are nowhere in the horizon. For whatever reason, you got the blues.

There are many ways to reignite the spark but all of them have one thing in common: They take your mind to another place for a while. My favorite technique it to find the biggest, nastiest mess I can and clean it up. If it's a big enough mess that it takes a couple of days or a week to clean up, that's even better. Usually, by the time I am nearing the end, I can already feel the juices flowing again.


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