“Everyday” and “commonplace” have come to mean that which is unextraordinary, but I challenge the concept, because thanks to modern innovations, humankind has access to exponentially more information, stories, and people than ever before. We need only click a few links and we can read or witness countless inspiring narratives or incredible feats at any moment. Sit with that fact a minute. Imagine how a Jefferson or Edison would have felt having that power? The technology has granted us much, but with it comes a LOT of noise – and the human brain is easily overloaded. We have become necessarily adept at tuning out – so what is it that perks our ear or catches our eye? The sad news is that a large majority of us has reacted to the sensory overload by only tuning IN on what we already know, or worse, what we already believe. The irony of all this mass access to information is that we are more polarized than ever, because we prefer to fill our heads with the familiar. We have been terrible curators for our own lives.
The volume of animosity out there is deafening; the problems of this vast number of people on a planet which is increasingly small. The politics, the philosophies, the cultures … colliding… I have no big solution. [Gosh, Susan, really? With your extensive knowledge of tap-dancing, you don’t know how to fix this?] But in the last few weeks, I find myself looking at the world a bit differently, and amidst the polarization, I’m actually, increasingly optimistic. Why? I’ve decided to curate differently. I’m taking a break from the forums and fights and have begun to look at all those articles, sites, programs that previously I’d glance over in order to get to my informational “fix.” Over the last few weeks, I decided to linger a little longer in new places. If my brain habitually says, “move on” I decide to stay and read a whole story. One whole story, rather than twenty first-paragraph speed reads. I choose the film I’ve not heard about. I take time out in my day for the conversation with a stranger.
I’m loving this for two reasons:
First, this new path is changing the soliloquy in my head. As I move on from the article or interaction, my brain stays on this new topic, breaking the cycle of my previous obsessions.
I’ve also been finding so much inspiration in these previously unexplored arenas! Here are a few from yesterday:
Stuck on a plane, I read Delta Sky Magazine cover to cover. Sounds mundane, but I decided not to skip the articles I would have in the past. As a result, I’m thinking about General Motors, their female (!) CEO, Mary Barra (what a great story she has), the new Bolt, and the impending self-driving car. Will my girls even need Driver’s Ed? I’m thinking about Andrew Zimmer and his definition of traveler vs. tourist – GREAT article – will I ever travel the same way again? No. Not to Costa Rica and not to my grocery store.
Read both and more here: http://msp.imirus.com/Mpowered/index.html?volume=ds2017&issue=1&page=1#0
My inner world is different, and it is affecting my outer world: how I respond to others and situations, my creativity, my energy.
Yesterday (a long travel day) I also opted to watch a film I’d not heard about: “Dancer” – the mind-blowing story of Sergei Polunin. The combination of his personal journey and the footage of him dancing – this will stay with me for a long time to come. So much could be said about to this, but I’d rather you simply watched the film – let it speak to you directly. Then be inspired over and over again here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-tW0CkvdDI.
#EverydayInspiration is around us ALL THE TIME. It is accessible if we chose (as Andrew Zimmer suggests) to take an unfamiliar path. I am astounded by the simple but profound shift in my life as a result of skipping the articles I used to read and committing to reading the one next to it, no matter what it is. I’m moved by the stories, the people, the incredible achievements or heartbreak. I think about them throughout my day. I feel better nourished and more prepared to make a difference in my own little world.