Getting on an airplane always seems to spark my imagination. Because of my career choice, I fly frequently. Without fail, the change of scenery brings a burst of inspiration. I’ve learned that I respond positively to the stimulation my senses and imagination receive through the people I encounter, the dialogue and experiences I share with those people, as well as the new sights, sounds, etc. that I enjoy whenever I travel. I contend that you too can use a change of scenery to spark your imagination!
When traveling, your attitude is critical. Air travel today can be a pain with long-lines, TSA requirements, crowded spaces, impatient and frustrated fellow travelers, and surly or indifferent attitudes of service staff. Knowing that some discomfort will be part of the process and managing my own expectations usually produces a pleasant experience for me. More often than not, I’m pleasantly surprised by the patience of my fellow travelers and the professionalism of the TSA and airline staff.
So with that frame-of-mind, I use my travel as a regular way to spark my imagination. How do you regularly spark your imagination? If you don’t regularly travel by air, I’ve listed three other ideas that you can use to spark your imagination.
Before proceeding with my suggestions, lets stipulate that a spark in your imagination is a good thing. It can provide a fresh perspective for an existing problem, or potentially a break-through moment in an area of life where you’ve previously been stuck. The spark may simply be a way of recharging your batteries. What I’m really talking about here is a means or method to look at life anew. The day-to-day realities of our jobs, family and living life have a way of grinding us down. We can all benefit from a shot-in-the-arm type of pick me up, or simply a fresh start.
Here are 3 simple ways to re-charge your batteries and hopefully spark your imagination:
- Take a walk. In the middle of the day, you’d probably benefit from a brisk walk. The aerobic activity will get your blood pumping and provide needed oxygen to the brain. Visually you’ll see things (e.g. people, cars, architecture) that can spark new ideas and a fresh perspective to the challenges you’re currently engaged in.
- Drive home taking a different road. Again, the change of scenery will startle the pre-programmed expectations we all tend to develop. Maybe the travel time will be a few minutes longer but the benefit of new stimuli will more than make up for the additional time spent traveling. Imagine what could happen as the change of scenery sets your thought patterns down a different path, or a scent in the air with your windows rolled down reminds you of a solution you once knew … That simple choice to “take the long way home” could provide a break-through moment in an area where you’ve been stuck.
- Say “Yes” to something you usually say, “No!” Shock your system by saying yes when you typically say no. Maybe it’s an invitation to lunch by a colleague? Or maybe it’s permitting your son or daughter to participate in an activity you typically don’t permit? Think about the possibility of learning something new when you speak one-on-one with that colleague or the excitement of your child telling you about their new experience and relating to you in a new way. These small encounters can bring you the same burst of inspiration that I receive when I set off to a new city!
For me, traveling provides the necessary jolt to my psyche that I know I regularly need to spark my creativity and imagination. It tends to break me free of the ruts that develop from living a normal life. Despite travel’s inconveniences, I look forward to my trips and view them as adventures, and I always get the added benefit of being grateful to arrive home.
What do you do to regularly jolt your psyche so you can break free of the grind of living? Are you taking a walk? Or driving a different route? Or maybe just saying yes to an invitation or request that you typically say no? If you try one of those things, it may just spark your imagination in an unpredictable yet beneficial manner. Try it!
Next Blog Title: Forrest Gump and Integrity!
Next Blog Date: Thursday, February 25, 2010