When we are inspired and have the ability to inspire others, incredible things happen.
Years ago, someone asked me to describe what I was all about. If you were asked that same question right now, what would you say? I recall at that time I simply stated, “I’m a social activist.” In retrospect, I realize that it was what I aspired to be – NOT what I was. I had yet to accomplish something fabulous, and when I think about social justice, I had done nothing to bring about any sort of equality. Nevertheless, the answer came so quickly — It was what I felt I SHOULD be.
What Inspires You?
Simon Sinek, a nationally recognized author and speaker, talks about the power of inspiration. When we are inspired and have the ability to inspire others, incredible things happen. Some of our favorite historical figures like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, or author Ayn Rand, helped to shape our view of the world when we were young. Their words and actions resonated within us, and brought forth visceral reactions, of us wanting to do something to make this world a better place for all people. But perhaps, similar to me, those dreams tend to fade into the background as we deal with the day to day stuff. However, I believe we all hold that same power of inspiration — we simply haven’t unleashed it.
Unleash the Power of Creativity
Lots of books have been written about creativity and innovation. In almost every field, the race is on to become more adaptive, and to create the next new thing. Regardless of the strategy, the underlying principle is the same, step out of the “box” and start dreaming! Start thinking about the absurd, the impossible, and the unexpected path. Let ideas flow, and build on each person’s crazy thoughts. If we were to make a better world – what would it look like, what would it feel like, what would we be doing?
As senior living providers, we often attend senior living related conferences. We spend most of our time with senior living counterparts, and gain a lot of our ideas from our competitors down the street. We proudly conclude after we’ve implemented something new, that we did it better, and in a slightly different way. Believe me, I have lived this truth too many times!
What if we spent the next year only attending conferences that have NOTHING to do with senior living, or reading industry journals from other fields? What if we researched what unlike organizations in our communities were focused on, and how they were going about solving their issues? Can you image what we’d learn from school districts, faith-organizations, restaurants, hotels, law firms, governmental agencies, philanthropic organizations?
2015: The Year to Dream
As we approach 2015, let’s pledge to do more dreaming, let’s commit to harnessing the collective dreams of those around us. No one has a glass ball to predict the future, however, research and history teaches us that the biggest “winners” are the biggest “dreamers.” We can create Dream Factories in our organizations and invite non-traditional stakeholders to partake in our silly effort. My prediction: those organizations who take on the challenge, they will then need to change their existing missions and visions. The dreams will have burst the “box”!