Summer is here—it’s time to relax with that novel by the pool (or even better, the sea). When you can’t take that time to away from the pressures of day-to-day, look for inspiration.
Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something. My thesaurus includes the words idea, stimulus, awakening, brainstorm, motivation, vision, enthusiasm in the entry for inspiration.
And how can we go wrong by looking for new ideas we can apply to our lives and businesses.
Inspiration finds me through nature, art and words.
A walk outdoors, trees, even better a trip to the woods helps me clear my mind of the muddle and make space for new ideas, activities and even business opportunities. My vacations frequently are to natural places that inspire, but when I’m home, I enjoy the trails near my house, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve and Erwin Park.
There is something about art that inspires me. I love going to museums and learning how great masters like Matisse, Monet and Seurat experimented with color and shape to create innovations that had never been seen before. I even love getting my crayons or colored pencils out to create my own art, especially when I can detach from the outcome and learn to enjoy the creative experience.
Books, poems, podcasts — depending on the time of day and my mood, I gain a lot of inspiration from reading and listening. There are so many I can share here.
There are so many wonderful podcasts available, I can only share a few that I fund inspirational in a variety of ways. The first is spiritual podcast On Being and Becoming Wise with Krista TIppett that explore big questions of meaning, how we want to live, who we want to be. DEEP and wonderful inspiration here.
For a funny listen that is sometimes filled with barnyard language, I love By the Book. Hosts Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer live by the rules of a self-help book each episode to find the truly life-changing material. Honest, real and funny, this podcast always makes me smile and inspires me to think about things differently, including how I look at myself and the world.
99% Invisible gives you the background on the things we don’t think about in the world - unnoticed architecture and design. Topics range from the sound effects of classic cartoons (think Tom and Jerry or Fred Flintstone), to the tunnel built by drug dealers between Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Mexico. One of my favorite Mini-Stories (especially Volume 3 from 2017) talked about an ice boat the military was working on during WWII. Roman Mars (truly, that’s the host’s name) has a divine voice.
Story Brand will motivate your marketing and give you new perspective on storytelling.
I can’t even start with books—I have such diverse take and find inspiration from both novels, memoirs, how-to books and self help. Although, ironically there is a podcast that you may enjoy to find your next read. What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel will help you find your next favorite book. My nerdy English-major self loves to hear what others are reading and why they love the books they do.
Where else DO I find inspiration?
Inspiration comes in all shapes and formats, depending on who you are and what you care about:
Injustice inspires me to take a stand, make a donation or a phone call.
Friends and colleagues inspire me to do my best, learn new things and have FUN.
My own goals inspire me to keep going and trying new things.
Exercise inspires me because I can clear my mind and let new thoughts and ideas come while moving my body.
Journaling inspires me to stay in touch with my soul and continually look for new inspiration.
Love inspires me.
Inspiration is available nearly everywhere if I remember to recognize it and take action.
Inspiring your action
My goal when I conduct a strategy session with a client is to inspire them with their own wisdom and brilliance. By walking through a process, we create clarity and action steps that translate into inspiration and a plan for moving forward. This summer is a great time for a strategy session. I’d love to schedule one with you today.