I started to open the pages of this crisp new book realizing this was a first time experience for me. Was I supposed to have read this classic during high school or college? I cannot remember. Did I feel a little embarrassed for never having read it? Yes.
I thumbed through the first two pages, ready to skim through the foreword as I bet most people do. But the book name dropped on me. I saw “Foreward by Oprah Winfrey” and allowed my eyes and brain to start doing their jobs.
I was touched. I was excited. I couldn’t wait to get to the first sentence of the book. Her words – so descriptive, poetic, and real – forced me into an imaginative state.
A few pages in I heard leaves on the driveway scatter across the pavement as the gentle wind blew them to a new resting place. I looked to my left. I saw a bird fly past. I noticed a black ant climbing up the wall, its mountain. I saw the shadows from the sun peeking through my canopy of trees overhead.
Is productivity king? I used to think so. I thought that tackling my way through my to-do lists, getting x, y, and z done before lunchtime was most important. But as I’m juggling multiple balls in my work life, side project life, and personal life, I’m beginning to think that something is missing.
As you may know, I have my normal “9-5” job at Dagger, a digital agency made up of some of the most badass and fierce people I’ve ever met. On the side, I’m trying to get Steeple up and off the ground. (Progress is slowly but surely being made!) And on the other side, I’m 1/3 of an acoustic bluegrass/americana band, Crooked Wits, quickly booking gigs and gaining popularity in my hometown of Roswell, GA.
This is all really good stuff – stuff that brings me joy and fulfillment and excitement. But because it’s just a lot of stuff, I’ve noticed that my productivity is becoming a mindless action. I’m still checking things off my to-do lists, don’t get me wrong. What’s changed, however, is that I’ve turned into a mechanical robot that just gets sh*t done.
So while making lists and checking items off said lists is still a part of my daily operations, an addition to my daily operations is seeking out inspiration. The truth of the matter, which has taken me some time to decode, is that those magical unicorn moments of inspiration aren’t served to me on a silver platter. Rather, I must make the choice to beinspired and to find inspiration.