Skip to main content

I Became a Transparent Eye-ball One Morning to Find Inspiration

As I sat atop Stone Mountain watching the sun crest over the horizon, I didn’t really actually have any points of inspiration other than, “this would be a great photo for Instagram”. *sigh* Instead, it would be on the hike down that ideas started to flood me.
Every once in a while, it’s good to disappear for a few hours to find inspiration. Everyday, I’m stretching myself as I teach myself programming, put together recommendations for a client, meet new people, etc. After a while, I’m stretched out and exhausted… consumed by everyday life, I’ve focused on the tactical and left off the strategic.

A month ago, I hiked up Stone Mountain at 6AM on a Saturday to catch the sunrise. This was me being a “transparent eyeball” searching for inspiration -- famous transcendentalist author, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s metaphor for absorbing the world and having a deeper connection with people and nature.

Depiction of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “transparent eyeball” from his composition Nature. Image source: Wikipedia.org.
As I was hiking back down, clear-headed, ideas flooded me. It was like a shot of adrenaline, but for my mind. I came up with several blog posts including The Mountain Biking Lesson That Gets Us Past What Stops Us, subject for my 100th blog post, and this post. I even had startup ideas that I put on my List – ideas to test later.

Otherwise, there was an amazing, rejuvenating feeling not just from the early hike and sense accomplishment, but it was the energy from other hikers. Everyone who passed by smiled and said, “good morning!” There was a sense of connection the community and the goodness in people.

I write this not just as a motivation to find inspiration in simplicity, creativity, and even transcendentalism, but as a realization of the bigger world beyond lines of code and product demos. It’s easy to keep plugged in and plugging away, but it can wear you out. Sometimes, the best inspiration and work you can do is to disappear. You’d be surprised by the results.

How do you find inspiration and motivation? Where do you go when you need to “disappear”?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

You Make Time for What (and Who) Matters

I’ve always been a big proponent that you make time for the things and people that matter. Sounds simple, right? Then, why do so many not implement this better in their lives? Let me take a moment to recognize this more explicitly.
I touched on Laura Vanderkam’s TED Talk “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time” in last week’s post. In it, she shares a story of a woman who had a leak in her home. Coordinating with plumbers, and getting everything resolved, the woman estimated that it probably took seven hours of attention. That’s seven hours of “stuff” the woman hadn’t planned on doing. If you were to ask her (or most anyone) to find seven hours in the week before, she’d have told you, “heck, no, I don’t have seven hours. I’m busy!”
I was thinking of Laura’s talk in conjunction with Jacob Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life. Specifically, I’m aligning “making time” with Christensen’s Resources-Processes-Priorities framework. We make (process) time (resources) for the things th…

Leadership Take-Aways from Two of NCAA’s Most Successful Coaches

On my recent Delta flight, I read an interesting leadership article in Delta’s Sky magazine – the feature piece being an interview of two of the NCAA’s most successful coaches – Coach MikeKrzyzewski (Coach “K”) of Duke’s men’s basketball team and Coach Urban Meyer of Ohio State football with five and three national championships, respectively.
Given these two coaches’ storied careers, their leadership has incredible sustainability. Here are my take-aways from the article: Both coaches took leave of absences in their careers due to medical concerns. Their successes cultivated deeper motivations to win exacting significant physical, mental, social, and emotional tolls. After stepping away, however, each returned to coaching posts to continue winning ways, but implemented mechanisms and understanding to keep themselves in check. Take-away: To operate in peak form like their respective teams, leaders, too, need to ensure self-maintenance.The interviewer asked the coaches about social medi…

My Life-Defining Moment Happened When I Failed to Make Varsity in High School

Ever stop to think about who you are? What makes you tick and tock? How about what you truly enjoy and what you’re good at vs. not good at? Or what/ who has shaped you into the person you are today?
I’m at this stage of figuring out whether to continue independent consulting while iterating on ideas for the next startup or take on some full-time employment (consulting, product management, or otherwise). My recent post about my daily/ weekly schedule was an interesting exercise in stepping back and recognizing what I’m actually doing in a day, and made me really think at the macro level.
In one of my recent reflections, I thought about defining moments in my life. One of those watershed events that truly transformed me was my failure to make the Varsity soccer team in high school. I won’t rehash the whole story here – shared the story almost a year ago in my post titled “Getting Through Dark Moments and the Most Vulnerable Story I've Ever Told Publicly”. It’s this moment that I w…