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Making it Rain Inspiration: Take the Test

By Jessica Albon

This post is part of the Making it Rain Inspiration series. You can read all the posts if you’ve missed any.

I did something I’m still regretting, but fortunately it’ll be all over tomorrow: I signed up to take the GRE. What on earth was I thinking? It was a combination of a couple things–I didn’t take the SAT, and am curious about what that sort of test is like; and I’m starting to feel more interested in an item from my someday maybe list (“Get an MFA“)… So, on a whim, I signed up to take the test, paid my money, and promptly put off studying for the darn thing.

Until this weekend. So, here I’ve been, studying like a fiend, and very much needing a break from antonyms and math.

Interestingly enough, among the study breaks, I also managed to sketch out a flash video presentation/cartoon, write a sales letter for a client, entertain a neighbor with my rant about exactly why the GRE is so enormously unfair (it’s been nearly 10 years since I graduated college–do they really think I still remember any of this stuff?!), and jot down article ideas for no fewer than 13 solid Thrive Your Tribe articles. In other words, I’m bursting with business/writing inspiration. All because of a silly test I signed up for on a whim.

You already know that when you’re lacking for inspiration you need to try new things, or get out of your comfort zone, or try something that’s just a little bit scary. But, I bet you didn’t realize that taking a test can also jostle you right into creation.

Part of it is the deadline-orientation–I’ve only got until tomorrow to study those vocabulary words and figure out what on earth that funky flower symbol means in math (seriously, I’ve never seen it before in my life…) which means that my brain is crackling with all the stuff I’d rather be doing, including adding to that list of potential article ideas and outlines.

But there’s more to it than that. From the questions themselves to the looking for relationships between pairs of words to the reminding myself of all the different definitions of any one specific word… My brain’s making connections and firing synapses and doing whatever else it is that brains do and all of that activity and chaos is leading to creation and inspiration.

So, if you need some motivation to get really, really inspired in 2009, dive in and sign up for a big test. It can be related to your profession, or related to a goal you’ve set, or completely and entirely unrelated to anything–all that matters is that you sign up, (study) and take it.

What do you think? Test taking as inspiration–completely bogus? A useful idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts!