Its something that must happen more in January and February, the short cold days, the lack of mulled wine and chocolates, but sometimes I find it hard to be inspired and motivated. When I think about what or who motivates me it is usually my surroundings, be that my family or friends or the landscape around me. Sometimes its enough to gaze out the window and see life unfold, or a cup of tea whilst chatting to one of the besties always does the trick. I’d like to talk more about inspiration, because I think positive energy can feed of positivity, some of my nearest and dearest have inspired me to do things I perhaps wouldn’t on my own, be that live in another country, take a course, volunteer or just be a better person. So in the American style of paying it forward I want to share some of their approaches to life. First up is someone who I always find is doing interesting things and has a real love for the great outdoors, he is a Mancunian living “darn sarf”, and a HUGE United fan.
Sometimes it can be hard to get going, I’m in the middle of writing a thesis and have lots of days where it takes a while to find my grove. J is a Software engineer in IBM Emerging Technologies, which he says generally involves staring at a screen and taping on keys. I asked J what he does when he finds he is lacking inspiration. J finds inspiration in the great outdoors, and is a big fan of going on his own adventures. He credits his Father for this passion, “he was an inspiration for my love of the outdoors, I’m thankful for being introduced to hiking, camping, and climbing at a very young age. Hearing my father’s tales of winter mountaineering on his return from adventures is something that was really inspiring. I’m still following in his foot steps, although I’m nowhere near as good!” J suggests that reading about others adventures is a great way to break out of a rut, or even better getting out there and going on an adventure yourself, be that hiking or just trying something different!
J also finds that undertaking daily mindfulness practice helps him to stay motivated, and makes a positive difference in life. I asked him to tell me some more about this, how it works and how someone could incorporate elements of mindfulness into their own life. I have now started using a 5 year diary – it has daily quotes that you can reflect on, and reminds you to take a moment to cherish what you’ve done or achieved today, which helps me to stay in the present and to be more aware.
Have you tried daily mindfulness? Or do you have other techniques to beat the winter blues and to get going? I’d love to hear about them.