February 28, 2024

INSPIRED OR EXPIRED

THE UNWAVERING PATH TO ETERNAL EVOLUTION

By Carmen Greger

In the abundantly bustling landscape of life, where trends ebb and flow and knowledge continually expands, it’s tempting to rest on laurels, to become complacent in the niches we carve for ourselves. But to truly thrive—both personally and professionally—it’s essential to stay vibrant, agile, and ardently involved in the ever-changing terrain around us. You deserve to grow and thrive in all ways possible, and also remember, a stationary object is easier to bypass, so yes, stay rooted in your truth, but always remain proactively inspired, and be willing and eager to expand exponentially.

“If we stop learning today, we stop leading tomorrow.”

Regardless of our achievements, our position, or the respect we’ve garnered, learning never ceases, as time never does. It’s a humbling reality check—leadership and growth are interwoven. If one stalls, so does the other.

The Never-Ending Climb: Embracing Change

Think of the world’s changemakers, those powered by passion and purpose. They weren’t just aware of trends—they were often ahead of them, crafting the future with vision and audacity. These are people like Elon Musk, who, despite his success with PayPal, ventured into entirely new territories with Tesla and SpaceX (we won’t discuss the Twitter scenario here). Or Oprah Winfrey, who evolved from talk show host to philanthropist, actress, and media mogul.

But what binds such innovators? A growth mindset.

Carol Dweck, in her research, postulated that this mindset is key to success and adaptability. Those with a fixed mindset see their abilities as immutable, while those with a growth mindset see challenges as opportunities.

The Spark of Revolution

In the words of William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” A single idea, a chance meeting, or a new experience can trigger immense change, both within an individual and in the world at large. Think of Rosa Parks, whose simple and courageous act of defiance sparked a monumental civil rights movement.

Rising From Ashes

Feeling stuck is natural; it’s a part of the human experience. But like the mythical Phoenix, you have the power to rise from your stagnation, reborn and revitalized. The key lies both in the willingness to grow in, through and beyond transformations, and to surrounding yourself with inspiration.

Strengthening Bonds: The Mentor-Mentee Dynamic

The professional realm thrives on relationships—mentors guiding protégés, fostering growth and shared knowledge. The mutual benefits are evident. Mentors gain fresh perspectives, while mentees benefit from seasoned experience. Current trends show a healthy leveling of these relationships where both parties are respected equally for all they bring to the table, and the dynamic proves healthy and appreciated by all involved.

Age: A Number, Not a Verdict

Experience marries time, producing the beautiful offspring we call wisdom. Being ‘older and wiser’ isn’t synonymous with being out-of-touch. It’s an invitation—reach out to the younger generation, share your insights, and let their fresh perspectives invigorate you.

10 Tips to Stay Inspired:

  1. Be Curious: Always ask questions.
  2. Read Widely: From biographies to science journals, expand your knowledge.
  3. Network Actively: Connect with people from different walks of life.
  4. Challenge Yourself: Step out of your comfort zone.
  5. Attend Workshops: Continual learning is vital.
  6. Meditate: A calm mind is a receptive mind.
  7. Travel: New places bring new insights.
  8. Engage in Creative Activities: Paint, write, craft.
  9. Limit Negative Intake: Surround yourself with positivity.
  10. Reflect: Take regular stock of your journey, goals, and aspirations.

DIVE DEEPER:

Leaders to Follow:

  1. Jay Shetty
  2. Marianne Williamson
  3. Tara Mohr
  4. The Dalai Lama
  5. Deepak Chopra
  6. Oprah Winfrey
  7. Mel Robbins
  8. Malala Yousafzai
  9. Arianna Huffngton
  10. J.K. Rowling
  11. Brene’ Brown
  12. Blake Mycoskie
  13. Andrew Weil
  14. Jack Canfield
  15. Sheryl Sandberg
  16. Jon Kabat Zinn
  17. Esther Perel
  18. Maria Eitel
  19. Lewis Howes
  20. Anshu Gupta
  21. Ali Brown
  22. Jane Goodall
  23. Melanie Perkins
  24. Ramit Sethi
  25. Shannon Watts
  26. Seth Godin
  27. Taylor Swift
  28. Sam Altman
  29. Jimmy Donaldson
  30. Greta Thunberg

(This list is just the beginning of an extensive selection of pioneers, motivators and changemakers. Stay tuned for our upcoming column Leaders To Follow for more in depth coverage.)

Books:

  1. “Mindset” by Carol Dweck
  2. “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
  3. “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown
  4. “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek
  6. “The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma
  7. “The More Method” by Jen Groover
  8. “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero
  9. “Playing Big” by Tara Mohr
  10. “The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates

Podcasts:

  1. “The Tim Ferriss Show”
  2. “How I Built This”
  3. “The School of Greatness”
  4. “The Ed Mylett Show”
  5. “Glambition Radio” (no longer producing podcasts but a great log still accessible)

TedX Talks:

  1. “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brené Brown
  2. “The Art of Being Yourself” by Caroline McHugh
  3. “What Makes a Good Life?” by Robert Waldinger
  4. “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek
  5. “The Hidden Influence of Social Networks” by Nicholas Christakis

Websites:

  1. Masterclass.com
  2. HuffPost.com
  3. GretchenRubin.com
  4. Ted.com
  5. LifeHack.org
  6. Malala.org
  7. KrisCarr.com
  8. MarieForleo.com
  9. GabbyBernstein.com
  10. SuperSoul.tv
  11. ElizabethGilbert.com
  12. ElephantJournal.com
  13. GuyRaz.com
  14. DowJanes.com
  15. JenGroover.com
  16. Success.com
  17. HealYourLife.com
  18. UpliftConnect.org
  19. TinyBuddha.com
  20. TheCEOMagazine.com

Staying inspired isn’t just about personal growth. It’s about enriching the world, ensuring that your light never dims. As you navigate life’s intricate pathways, remember: age might give you wisdom, but your mindset determines if you’re inspired or expired.

Navigating the Dance of Life: Staying Tuned-In

Many have described life as a dance—a series of steps, turns, and occasional stumbles. Staying ‘inspired’ during this dance means being in sync with the music, adapting to its changes, and enjoying every beat. Conversely, feeling ‘expired’ is like missing the rhythm, being a step behind, or dancing to a tune that ended long ago.

The Spectrum of Experience: Life’s Great Teacher

“Experience is the teacher of all things,” Julius Caesar proclaimed. But what does experience entail? It’s not just the sum of our years but the quality and diversity of those years. Varied experiences foster adaptability, making us better equipped to face uncertainties.

Every trip, every new person we meet, every book we read contributes to our mental and emotional reservoir. The broader and deeper our experiences, the more tools we have to face challenges. It’s like equipping ourselves with an expansive toolkit, ensuring we’re prepared for any job.

Modern Day Renaissance: Embracing Multiplicity

The Renaissance period heralded polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci, who weren’t confined to one specialty but thrived in multiple arenas. Today, the world craves such multifaceted individuals. You might be an engineer by training but have a passion for painting or a penchant for philosophy. These varied interests not only enhance personal growth but make professional endeavors richer and more nuanced.

The Wisdom of the Ages vs. The Zeal of Youth

While age offers the gift of wisdom, youth brings the zest of exploration. Neither is superior; both have their strengths. The true magic happens when these two forces unite. A business leader with decades of experience can bring steadiness and strategy, while a young entrepreneur might offer innovative ideas and risk-taking zeal. Together, they form a potent mix.

Consider tech giants like Apple. Steve Jobs brought vision and experience, while Jonathan Ive, a younger designer, introduced fresh, iconic designs. Their collaboration transformed the tech industry.

The Wheel of Inspiration: Continual Renewal

The wheel of inspiration constantly turns, shifting from one source to another. For some, nature is a muse. For others, bustling urban landscapes or human narratives offer sparks. The key is to be receptive, to allow different inspirations to fuel different phases of life.

When feeling jaded or stuck, change your environment—even if momentarily. A walk in the park, a weekend getaway, or just rearranging your workspace can offer a fresh perspective.

Embracing the Uncomfortable: The Crucible of Growth

Being comfortable is reassuring, but growth often demands discomfort. It’s in moments of uncertainty and challenge that we stretch our boundaries. Remember, diamonds form under pressure.

This idea resonates deeply in professional settings, where adapting to new technologies or methodologies might feel daunting. Yet, those who embrace these shifts, turning apprehension into curiosity, often emerge as frontrunners.

Mastermind Groups: Collective Brilliance

Napoleon Hill, in his seminal book “Think and Grow Rich,” introduced the concept of Mastermind groups. These are alliances of individuals who collaborate, offering each other diverse perspectives and mutual support. Such groups are invaluable in the modern age. They offer a platform for shared learning, accountability, and innovation.

More Ways to Stay Inspired:

  • Stay Curious: It’s often said that children are the most creative because they’re incessantly curious. Cultivate that childlike wonder.
  • Journaling: Put your thoughts on paper. It’s therapeutic and offers clarity.
  • Physical Activity: Whether it’s yoga, hiking, or dancing, moving your body releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
  • Art & Culture: Engage with the arts. Attend plays, visit galleries, or just listen to music. Art has a unique way of speaking to the soul.
  • Gratitude: Cultivate a daily gratitude practice. It’s a surefire way to keep the spirit uplifted.

Staying inspired in an ever-changing world is a conscious choice. It demands effort, adaptability, and an insatiable hunger for growth, expansion and positive evolution. Whether you’re leading a corporation, a household, or simply navigating the intricate dance of life, remember: every moment is an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to shine brighter.

Stay inspired, and ensure that your life is a vibrant, evolving, exciting, adventurous, meaningful and enchanting experience, personally and professionally, for you and for all to embrace and enjoy.