Dig for Inspiration

You can learn a lot about life by spending time in the garden. The dynamics and behaviors that exist within the garden are also present in our lives as well. Plants are not all that dissimilar from us. They want to survive and grow just like us. They attract pollinators with their beauty and smell while also protecting themselves through various methods.

They jostle for positioning and sunlight. Just like us. They evolve to become prettier, taller while some even glom onto their neighbors to get an advantage. Just like us.

Some have better genetics. Some have more desirable colors, smells and aesthetics. Some are even edible. These traits evolve over long periods of time. A natural process.

In our careers, things can get stale. Hell, in our relationships and diet & fitness too. We may lose inspiration and the desire to improve. We can forget the reason(s) we do what we do.

“Why do I trek 45 minutes into work everyday? I don’t like the people. I don’t like the work.”

“Why do am I still following the same fitness instructor? I’m not amped up to do the workouts anymore. I don’t feel as strong.”

“Why am I still dating this guy? He’s so negative. He never makes me feel special.”

We’ve all been there. It’s normal.

Sometimes, we just have to get out of our routine. Spend time with people you haven’t seen in a while. Listen to different music. Try a different restaurant. Try a different cuisine. Cook new meals at home. Watch different movies. Watch good ones and bad ones. Travel to a new country or state. Talk to people there. Open up to someone…even a stranger.

Get in the garden. Grow something and keep it alive. Make it pretty. Learn how to prune and treat living things nicely. Learn how they behave and what makes them die and thrive. Think about how you affect nature and how it affects you.

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We can improve our lives by observing and immersing ourselves in nature, other cultures, businesses and people, in general. They experience the same feelings and tribulations we do. Learn how they address them. Learn why they do the things they do.

To an alien, they’d observe the same patterns in corporate finance in the USA as they would in the souk’s in Morocco. They’d see patterns that attend human nature — uptrends, downtrends and stagnation. You think people in Morocco don’t experience boredom, frustration and impatience? You don’t think it doesn’t affect their work? Of course it does. They, being in a completely different business then say the accounting department at a hedge fund, aren’t always gung-ho to go to work everyday.

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The point is to accept the fact that we won’t always on top of our game or motivated to get through. We can take the “suck it up” approach. In a pinch, I think this works just fine but I don’t think it’s sustainable over the long run. I think a more durable and fun approach is to go live differently, to observe and learn about people different than you and to get into nature.

Inspiration is everywhere. We just have to go find it.

Sometimes we find it in the garden. Sometimes in a souk in Morocco. Sometimes in the park watching a violinist playing unapologetically to thousands of passer-by’s. Sometimes from your grandparents. Like a vine, keep moving and finding new earth and things to grab onto. Learn about them. Appreciate them.

Dig up the dirt. There’s plenty of inspiration there.

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