Authors are known to find a place where the environment around them inspires them to craft magical words together. That place may be in the mountains somewhere, by the beach, in the woods, by a lake or someplace similar. Other artists who want their work to be great do the same. I know professional coaches and athletes who often try to pick places in their off season or pre-season that inspire them to the new season of performance. At work, executives and teams on occasion will go offsite for a retreat to achieve similar inspiration.
Inspiration is an emotional state like motivation, and as such, it is impossible to be in a constant state of inspiration. The workplace is a place of constant performance however. Our employers, bosses, and co-workers are expecting us to do inspiring work every day. Yet we all pay so little attention to the environment that surrounds us. It most cases, we work in some of the most uninspiring places – bland cubes, boring office walls, and the like.
At my last office, all my walls, from ceiling to floor were covered with personal and other mementos. If someone sent me a ‘thank you’ card or letter, I would stick it up. I had stuff from my past accomplishments, personal and professional, that gave me confidence that I was capable to doing amazing things if I could transform myself to an emotional state of inspiration, void of fears and self doubt. At a minimum, it was great conversation for anyone that visited.
This week, take inventory of your office space – both your personal space as well as the general office. Look at them. Is there anything on them that would inspire you or anyone visiting you to do great work? What can you put up there? Challenge your team to creating inspiring places and change them every 6 months or so. Give awards for the best ones. Notice the change. You’ll be inspired too!