In this photo, taken on my last trip to Hungary, I am about to sharpen my writing skills by touching the pen of the Anonymous. Standing (or rather sitting) two meters tall, in a park tucked away in the heart of Budapest, this statue is a monument to a faceless writer and notary of the 12th-13th century, who documented the life of the Hungarians during the time of King Bela. The chronicler apparently did not like to have a spotlight on him so he preferred to go by a monogram “P” which may have been the first letter of his name. He became known as the Anonymous Notary of King Bela for writing the first Hungarian history book called “The Deeds of the Hungarians”.
Since the time it was built in the early 1900’s the statue of the Master P has been believed to bring good luck and inspiration to many – whether it was random travelers, fortune seekers or most importantly, writers looking to beat the infamous writer’s block. All they had to do, according to the legend, is to touch his pen. People still come to the Anonymous in a sort of pilgrimage to stand next to the prominent figure and to wait for their turn to try their luck. I found the tip of his pen polished to shine from all the rubbing it got over the course of the century.
Why should you believe in good luck?
You may or may not believe in good luck, especially the type transpired through ages and via physical objects. Even I put my hand on the coveted item more for fun and for the bragging rights, rather than out of a sincere conviction that somehow, the magical writing powers or other good fortunes of the medieval character will rub off on me. At the same time, there are studies that show a clear connection between believing in good luck and actually getting it.
Here is one study I would like to point out. A team of researchers from UCLA and Columbia University showed how people’s beliefs about luck affect their drive for success. According to a Psychology Today article, people who consider themselves to be consistently lucky show much higher drive for success than those who believe their luck is transitory. The first group feels more in control and are more motivated to put more effort towards achieving their goals. On the other hand, those who believe luck to be a fleeting, completely random concept, often feel skeptical and get discouraged to pursue their dreams. That’s why each group gets a different result in terms of how much success they actually have in life.
Why is Inspiration important?
Inspiration is not just for artists. It’s not only for creating a Picasso-like painting or authoring a literary masterpiece. We need inspiration in so many areas of our daily life, at times, even to get out of bed. We need the inspiration to come up with innovative ways to remain relevant, to get ahead of the game in our workplaces, and with the professional knowledge in our chosen field. Because while we just stick with our familiar methods, more inspired professionals will be making their mark through their creative approach and enlightened actions. Businesses need the inspiration to keep that competitive edge in the highly dynamic marketplace of today, where our competition is already focusing on the customers’ needs of the future. We need the inspiration to break out of the routine that’s holding us back and need the belief that we can do it. We even need the inspiration to cook a truly excellent meal. Without inspiration everything has a bland taste.
Sources of inspiration
People find their muse in all kinds of places – we just need to look around more closely. Some get toughened by the hardships they experience, others get motivated by their prior accomplishments, while some others find inspiration in other highly successful people. Richard Branson, for example, shared in his Linked in article that he found inspiration in Steve Job’s words “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
As for me, I find the biggest
inspiration for my endeavors in breaking out of the routine, visiting new places, culturally enriching myself, meeting new people and hearing about their perspectives on life. But one thing I learned is that we cannot always rely strictly on external sources to give us inspiration. Internal sources of inspiration are always closer to home, more reliable and more readily available. Once you realize what motivates you intrinsically, everywhere you go you will start seeing and hearing things that feed your curiosity and fuel your creativity.
What Inspires You?
Have you thought of your sources of inspiration lately? Is it a particular moment in the history of our people that you find truly moving or a specific point in time in the future that you are visualizing yourself in? Maybe, it’s certain point in space that brings out the best in you and gets your creative juices flowing? It could be a remote exotic destination that is calling you, or it could be a cozy little corner in your own neck of the woods. If you are inspired by other people, it does not necessarily have to be someone massively successful or famous either. It could be an everyday person you like to talk to and to bounce off your ideas because something in their words encourages you to conquer higher highs and makes it all worth pursuing.
Have I become a better writer for touching the pen of the Anonymous Chronicler or maybe, simply for pursuing things I find inspiring in my life? You are a better judge of that if you have been following the stories on this blog for the past year or for any length of time. But next time you are in Budapest and happened to be at the City Park near the Heroes’ Square, do stop by this mysterious hooded figure and don’t skip on touching the shiny tip of his pen even if it means you have to wait out for your turn among the other adventurers and muse hunters.