So I finally broke down, succumbed to the marketing blitz, and tried a bottle of “5 Hour Energy” the other day when I was feeling a wee bit sluggish. You know what I’m talking about. Those tiny bottles of mysterious pink liquid that claim to supercharge your energy level without using caffeine, sugar, or any other recognized stimulant known to man. And while I suppose different people could experience different results with this product, I’ll confess, I got pretty much exactly what I was expecting — a $3 placebo.
Fortunately, aside from this one lapse, I haven’t needed a big boost in energy lately. Lots of exciting developments seem to be taking place in the market. The enthusiasm level has picked up. People seem more hopeful. And the creative juices appear to be flowing freely in various circles. Over the past two weeks alone, in fact, I’ve been tremendously “buoyed” in spirit by a steady stream of inspirational meetings, connections with neat people, encouraging client career developments, and the like. I’ve seen a strong current of creative energy running around our town these days, for whatever reason, and I’m hoping most of you are seeing a similar pattern of this kind in your own worlds, as well. Who knows? Perhaps it’s the nervous energy of the election season. Or maybe our imaginations are solar-powered and these months of steady sunshine are paying off…
At any rate, I won’t bore you dozens of different anecdotes I could cite, but here’s a quick sampling of the types of uplifting things I’ve experienced:
— Had coffee with a guy who is disturbed by the high levels of “employee disengagement” out there and launching a new initiative to address this issue
— Met at least three entrepreneurs who have decided to completely retool/reinvent their businesses based on a burst of creative inspiration
— Chatted with an expert on “self-starter” behaviors who is launching a book and series of seminars to inspire more of this behavior among individuals
— Seen at least four clients land jobs after lengthy (year-plus) stretches of unemployment
— Received a big pickup in comments to my blog articles (especially my Seattle Times pieces) from very articulate and thoughtful people, seeking ways to change things for the better
And perhaps the most inspirational thing of all I did lately:
— Attended the TEDx Bellevue event this past Sunday, encompassing six hours of terrific speakers on the subject of “sustainable happiness” who shared advice on how our society might better help people live more satisfying and fulfilled lives. The speakers ranged from a woman who specializes in “appreciative journalism” (writing stories on the uplifting and positive things in the world, not just the bad stuff) to several powerful videos that were shared on how we can learn to live more simply, pursue greater work/life balance, or find the courage to address some of the major injustices of the world. Be apprised, though, that this last video features the author of the Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler, who kicks the talk off by sharing about 50 synonyms for female anatomy before moving on to the broader topic of happiness and some of the amazing things she’s witnessed in the world. Just don’t want you to think you accidentally clicked on the wrong link…
Now granted, I’m usually pretty stoic about this stuff. I’ll admit, though, these speakers have gotten me really fired up about some new possibilities. And these inputs have fueled a big burst of creativity in my own daily life and business practice. For example, I normally go to bed like clockwork around 10pm or so, but recently on a few nights I’ve found myself up until the wee hours of the morning, sketching out some new unorthodox new ideas, thoughts, and projects I want to implement in the months ahead. The creative fuse, once lit, really seems to feed on itself.
So the takeaway of all this, to me, is the thought that many of us may need to do a better job of fueling our creative energies. Or at least I know I do. That’s become pretty clear to me in recent weeks. Rather than allowing ourselves to get stuck in the same tired groove of the record, we should experiment with new things and seek out opportunities to infuse our lives with a higher ratio of inspiring ideas, people, and media — rather than get dragged down by the phenonenon that’s become known as mean world syndrome. And if you’re a job hunter, especially one starting to deal with significant issues of discouragement, I’d suggest you even try to kick each morning off with a short block of inspirational reading — or perhaps by watching one of the thousands of inspirational videos on the TED website — simply to fire up your energy level, elevate your perspective, and stimulate some fresh and creative thinking about possibilities.
Your thoughts? Anybody else seeing some positive developments taking place out there? Or think that a steady diet of inspirational reading, music, and media consumption might make a noticeable difference in the attitude and success rate of the typical job seeker?