It can also be a good time to seek out inspiring content for both personal pleasure, and for professional development. I've taken time to read a few books, including Great by Choice, Legacy, and Man's Search for Meaning (again). I've also discovered interesting blog posts including from Peter Bregman, a bevy of podcasts and Ted talks including Ricardo Semler, and was totally blown away listening to Lazarus by David Bowie in which he obviously faces his own impending death. We can find inspiration from other people in a variety of ways.
As a kid I was an absolute bookworm. I remember devouring my first reading books walking home from primary school. In fact once I stepped into the middle of a pile of broken glass in summer with bare feet because I was totally engrossed in a story. (That was in the old days, before helicopter parenting, when kids walked to the local school, and summer meant bare feet). I did manage to step into the belly of the broken bottle so avoided the worst of it, but decided then and there, in a frozen vivid childhood memory, that I really shouldn't walk-and-read.
A great story is relatable, where we identify with an experience, and get drawn in by the storytelling. All cultures have a long history of storytelling; we relate to and learn from other people we have empathy with. How do we integrate learnings from inspirational content into our lives? How do we incorporate lessons from a book like 'Great by Choice' into 'business as usual' activities?
Finding time to read can be a challenge in itself. We're all busy, and in our culture busy-ness equates with success. However, it can often be more about
creating new habits and being effective with our time. And yes, reading a post from Entrepreneur on your Facebook feed counts, though it's more like
a content snack. I personally love 'how to be more effective' kaizen type content, and making incremental changes in the way we manage our time can
have a big impact.
I also like the analogy of a car. The human body and mind are a bit like the car engine, where the fuel you put in keeps it running well and able to get you from A to B. Good fuel is your input - your nutritious food, what you see and read, all your influences - and has an impact on your output. Inspiring people looking at creative solutions, or providing effective business strategies, or simply reminding us that the world is an amazing place can help us with our aspirations.
Our systems of production and consumption are increasingly based on the knowledge economy. Indeed, a significant part of a company's value can be the intangible assets, including employees intellectual capital. Inspired individuals contribute ideas and approach challenges with creative solutions. Creating a learning culture in the office leads to innovation.
Online connectivity offers unprecedented access to global thought leadership to empower individuals and businesses. However, actioning some of these lessons and stories is not easy. Looking at small ways to add value and meaning to our daily activities can be a great place to begin. Shaking up those 'business as usual' activities with a fresh perspective can be hugely rewarding in a variety of ways. Persevere, and start to shape your vision with inspiration from the very best.
Make it happen
What change is going to be most effective for you on a personal or professional level? Once you've found a few extra minutes each day, just make it happen.