In search of inspiration

posted by Jeff | Monday, April 16, 2018, 7:55 PM | comments: 0

Today was one of those days at work where I could sign-off for the day and feel pretty good about the work we did. Our net burndown (that's the amount of work we finished for the next release, for y'all non-software makin' folks) was pretty solid, we made some headway on some non-trivial issues, and in the general sense I can see a pretty great future for our product.

I ended the day feeling reasonably inspired. Today the inspiration came from a combination of new things I learned, a great solution from one of the people on my team and some news about a past project I had. Inspiration makes it easier to do the next thing. It also reminds me that, in a leadership position, tone and inspiration is something I'm very much responsible for.

This is an example of workplace inspiration, but I think in the general sense it's important to find inspiration throughout the different aspects of your life. Admittedly, it's not always easy in our culture lately. There are entire subsets of the population who only know how to be victims, who are intent on reinforcing hateful attitudes and thrive off of the fear of others. (And that's just the president. Zing!) But there are people all around you, in your community, that can inspire you every day. They're your neighbors, teachers, volunteers, etc.

In addition to the people around me, I tend to seek out opportunities to learn. History is a great source for understanding the way we operate as humans, and science and technology in many ways helps show a way forward. In my profession there are great resources online to learn, and I'm also really intrigued by some of the expert classes by famous people (like MasterClass).

I can't emphasize enough that any kind of art that makes you feel, like music and movies, is a great place to gain inspiration. A favorite movie or a track from my short list of best songs ever go a long way toward making me feel I can conquer something.

Something that I have to remind myself of all the time is that none of us are endless springs of relentless awesomeness. I mean, we'd like to be, but it's not a character flaw that we're not. It's OK to seek other people and things to light a fire under your Twin Cities.

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