This post was supposed to be about colour trends in interiors but to be completely frank, for the past two weeks I just couldn’t find the inspiration to talk about brown making a comeback (it’s true, I’m afraid) or all the fantastic shades of marshmallow pink (boys, be warned).
I consult with a number of young ambitious teams, and I see the reality daily of pressure and stress, and how it affects our motivation and quality of work. I have felt it too, in fact, far too many times over the course of my career. When I worked corporate it was immense pressure of targets and a need to succeed and trade. Whilst the mentorship and infrastructure was there, you need to have the will to want to do it, and not burn out somewhere along the path.
Working for a start-up is different (you’ve seen “The Intern”?) and whilst it’s not all fixies, beards and sriracha on your lunch, it was a different kind of pressure with a series of highs and lows. The highs were amazing, but the lows were hard and relentless. With one constantly carving out a path, and the other fighting off the naysayers on the outside.
Now I work for myself, and whilst it’s where I always wanted to be, with the pros far outweighing the cons, the down days are lonely with no team to lift you up and drag you along. YOU have to find that inner strength, that drive, that energy, and make it through the day, week, and month to reach your goals.
Life is designed (I believe) to be truly exciting with so many opportunities and options available to us. So let’s enjoy the process, take the risks, feel stimulated, and drive forward. This is not a love campaign, but the more we can feel motivated and inspired, the more we can make positive change to our own environments. Then those around us and so forth and so on.
So, let’s not say this is a definitive guide by any means, but I hope how I find my motivation and inner inspiration will provide some insight to you finding yours.
- Making it happen
Whoa, thought I would ease you in? No, doesn’t work like that I’m afraid, jump onto that bandwagon and roll with it. By making it happen, I mean have a plan, a structure that you can work within.
What’s often the most overwhelming is the quantity of work that needs to get done, or lack of expertise (trying to code my own site comes to mind!) making a simple task seem insurmountable. Write a list of what needs to happen to the best of your ability and then START SMALL. I mean, minuscule, like colour coordinating your post-its and pens.
On a bad day, make your goal for the day as simple and achievable as possible so that you can actually get ONE thing done. On good days, have higher goals and hit maybe 10 things off your list, but literally take it one small step at a time.
- Be positive
Negativity breeds contempt right? Right! So focus on everything and anything positive…write it down if you have to. If you can’t be positive then find those that can. Surround yourself with people that have great energy and attitude and try get it to rub off. Pinterest positive inspirational quotes all over your Facebook page if you have to, who cares, just find the happy sunny outlook. Switch off from news, and negative social media for a while…I promise it will still all be there when you come back again. Watch an inspiring TedX talk rather than crime investigation.
You have to invest in yourself and understand your own wiring so that you can give yourself the right fuel. Being positive saps a lot less energy than being negative does.
- Walk away
On the days when you are rolling that boulder uphill, sometimes it’s best to take a break.
No, I am not condoning a life of mediocrity and of giving in, I’m saying on days where the energy is off, go get it back. Go for a run, go for surf, go watch a movie, go have a laugh for goodness sake, and then tomorrow hit it hard.
- Seek solace
Not the crying yourself to sleep kind. Seek support. Build a strong foundation of support around you. Find individuals who can offer expertise, kind words, guidance or perhaps a shoulder to cry on. Do not surround yourself with those that want to find the easy path, pass the buck, seek blame or have a moan…remember negativity breeds contempt! Surround yourself with those that are solution driven, power houses and clever sausages.
Learn, teach, share.
Start with knowing what actually gets you inspired. I get excited over beautifully packaged olive oils for example, but then that’s me. My more intellectual friends get inspired by reading Business Insider, others by music, some by nature and so forth and so on.
Just to be clear, your actual work might not inspire you on a daily level (oh, shock horror) so make sure your inspiration comes elsewhere so that you can be better, and do better.
Fill the gaps in your day with more things that puts you on a high and reduce those that shut you down.
Business “self-help” books often use the mantra of “you can do hard things” and you can, but sometimes you need a little compassion.
Don’t be so hard on yourself…it’s a killer. Don’t rely on others to constantly be giving you reassurances or praise.
On down days be kind to yourself.
Make some coffee and take a breath, then walk over to that record player, throwback to the 80s on full volume and sing with me…..” you are GOOOOOLD, GOLD, always believe in your soooooul, you have the power to know, you’re indestructible, aaaaalwways believe innnnnnnn (thanks Spandau Ballet) …..and well, you know the rest!