As women in business, we have to be all things to all people, all of the time! Exhausting in the extreme. So, as we inspire others around us to be the best they can be, who is inspiring us? Are we so bogged down with ‘life’ that we sometimes forget to stop and listen to our unconscious mind?
We have all the answers we need, we simply don’t sit still long enough to hear! Here’s what I do when I need a little inspiration for my business and/or my life.
I pretend to be six years old! I have a ‘play box’ at my office that is filled with all sorts of random items – a heart-shaped small cushion, cufflinks, a woolly hat, a leaf, dried flowers, coloured pens and crayons, anything that catches my eye as I’m out and about walking or in novelty shops. When I’m stuck and need inspiration I close my eyes and rummage around in the box and pull something out. I then look at the item and allow my conscious brain to be still and quiet so that my unconscious, creative brain can bubble up with an idea or thought.
Daydreaming is essential, for our emotional and creative health. Einstein credited daydreaming for all his genius; as adults we should allow ourselves legitimate daydreaming time every day. That could be sitting at our desks and just looking out of the window or going for a walk.
I’m lucky enough to live by the sea and try to walk every day looking at the waves, whatever the weather. The sea is especially brilliant when I feel stuck for ideas or inspiration. I just stand by the water’s edge and when the waves come in I imagine my ‘stuck-ness’ being picked up by the water and washed out to sea and taken away from me. When I feel that enough has been washed away, I then look at the waves coming in and imagine new ideas and creative thoughts being held in the water and I visualise those ideas washing over me as the waves break on the shore. If you don’t live by water, you could do this by simply walking in nature – a park in a busy city will do too. The trees could do the same for you – imagine your ‘stuck-ness’ being sucked in by the roots of the trees and dispersed underground and then imagine the branches and leaves full of creative ideas and inspiration and shaking them out to fall all over you.
I also find random TV programmes give me huge inspiration too. I wrote a couple of blogs last year based on TV programmes. One was Master Chef, I entitled the blog “Is Master Chef the new style of leadership?” The other was Amazon with Bruce Perry. That blog was about our view and treatment of young male adults and their initiation into manhood and how we may have got that wrong in the West. Something someone says in a TV programme, just a random sentence, can spark all kinds of inspiration and creative ideas.
People watching can be hugely inspiring. If I feel really caught up in my own thoughts going round and round in my head, I’ll take myself off to a café for a coffee and just people watch. The dynamics of human interactions can be incredibly inspiring, we just need to allow our own imaginations to have free reign without judgement or censor. We can imagine all kinds of scenarios for the people we are watching and observing. I have found this can suddenly spark an idea for a training course about leadership or communication.
I live my life like a triple A battery, I try to always be: Alert – Awake – Aware.
So, go back to the carefree days of childhood, where everything was possible and creative inspiration surrounded us in its wonderful randomness.
As Goethe said, Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.
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