Turn Your iPhone Into An Inspiration Machine

Smartphones are our inseparable companions. These glass and aluminum boxes are powerful and versatile. But when a world of possibilities is at your fingertips, it’s hard to resist its lure.

It seems inevitable for a smartphone to morph into a distraction black hole. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As Coach Tony (not to be confused with Chef Tony) reminds us, the phone is a tool, not a boss.

With some fine-tuning, our smartphones can go from distraction black hole to inspiration machine.

For the past couple of weeks, my phone showed me an inspirational, thought-provoking quote every time I looked at it.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to configure your iPhone to show you motivational quotes.

  1. Create an album of images that inspire you
  2. Define a shortcut to pick a random image from that album and set it as your lock screen
  3. Configure a personal automation to run the shortcut on a schedule

The process is straightforward on iOS, and I bet you can do something similar on Android.

Step 1: Create an album of images that inspire you

I started with this set of fifty Naval Ravikant quotes visualized with minimalistic illustrations.

You can also find heaps of inspirational wallpapers on Pinterest or, even better, transform your favorite quotes into wallpapers with Canva.

Step 2: Create a shortcut to update your lock screen with a random image

Even better, use an already made shortcut for it!

Hat tip to this OSXDaily guide for recommending AutoWall, which works great. Click here to download and install it.

The shortcut comes with the “Recent” album as the default image source. When I tested the shortcut with that album, it ended up stuck, and I had to force quit the Shortcuts app. That doesn’t matter for our purposes because we want to use the album made in the previous step as the image source.

Step 3: Add Personal Automations that run the shortcut on a schedule

The Shortcuts app has an Automations tab, from where you can configure your device to do stuff (technical term) as a reaction to a change in conditions.

We want to have our phone run the shortcut we created earlier every day at a given hour. For a frictionless experience, disable the “Ask Before Running” and “Notify When Run” options.

Unfortunately, “Daily” is the shortest schedule iOS offers. I created a bunch of automations to change my lock screen several times a day.

Again, thanks to OSXDaily for describing this step.

We pick up our phones many times a day. An inspiring lock screen is a great way to deliver moments of motivation at every glance.

It could be just what you need to interrupt the pattern of distraction, so you can put down the phone and go do something meaningful instead.

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