Your thesis should inspire you. After all, you are embarking on one of the most significant things you will do in your life, barring of course your family life. This is not just an ordinary job, a 9 to 5 that pays the bills. You should be inspired before you start working, but what if you can’t find any inspiration?
Some people seek outside sources to get inspired – that elated feeling that motivates you into being productive. Many watch TED talks, where famous personalities share their worldviews, and obstacles they have overcome to achieve their goals. Others check blogs and news sites diligently, hoping for something that ignites a spark. If you haven’t done these things yet, give them a try. You can watch hundreds of TED talk compilations on Youtube, and find plenty of blogs written by those in the same position as you, sharing their experiences and struggles.
But sometimes you have already visited your common sources of inspiration, but are still not feeling inspired enough. In such cases you can try to look for inspiration internally. Spend some time alone and give priority to introspection. Reflect on how far you’ve come, why you originally made the decision to start your PhD. Try and apply all the different philosophies and advice you have gotten to real life – actually apply it to your own work. In many cases your work itself is the main inspiration, but you may have forgotten to come back to it.
You may hear something or see something that gives you a new idea. But only when you stop and think of your work through this new perspective will the idea come springing to life. People think that if they keep reading articles, browsing books, listening to talks, or meeting people, that they’re going to suddenly get inspired.
The inspiration is not the receiving of information. The inspiration is applying what you’ve received.