Many of us want to be recognized as true experts in our field. We want to become thought leaders and influencers who change the way people think and do things.
However, in order to be impactful, our expertise has to be highly specialized. When our ideas and insights are broad, we are unable to deliver practical solutions that respond to specific problems. It’s also a lot harder to convey and monetize our value when we sell ourselves as the jack-of-all-trades who can master it all. It just isn’t believable.
When we aren’t aligned with the exact thing that makes us unique on this planet, we don’t stand out in the crowd. We end up sounding like everyone else. This leaves us feeling bored, unfulfilled, and probably underpaid.
Marketing experts tell us that in order to find our expertise, we need to start with finding our niche—a specialized segment of the market. While finding your niche is a critical step to claiming your expertise, it is only...
Now more than ever we change jobs, leap into new careers, and launch new businesses. We often undergo these professional makeovers just to reconnect with passion.
Passion gives us thrilling glimpses into our hidden potential and makes us realize that we are capable of achieving more. It ignites our will to take new risks and push our boundaries. It infuses our work with higher levels of creativity, brilliance, and imagination.
Passion doesn’t carry intelligence or wisdom. Its nature is wild. It is no coincidence that passion is likened to fire, which as we know ignites whatever it touches, whether it be a candle or a forest.
How we use passion determines whether we will be creative or destructive with it. It starts with becoming aware of how much passion we actually need in order to feel invigorated.
I rarely meet people who have mastered the art of working with passion. More often than not, they fall into one of three categories: those who believe that feeling...
We talk about the art of leadership, the art of making money, and the art of decision-making. Most of the time, however, art is left out of the equation. We flirt with the concept and quickly revert to frameworks, guidelines, and templates.
That’s because many of us in the business world have been programmed to think linearly. We don’t see ourselves as artists and spend most of our time working with the rational mind.
Our rational mind is designed to make decisions based on past events. It uses data points from previous experiences and predicts from there what could happen. However, the mind keeps us in somewhat of a loop; it limits possibility by sourcing ideas from what is already known.
If we want to escape old patterns and dated solutions, we have to birth our ideas in an open space called the zone of infinite possibility. Playing with art is a great way to stop boxing in our ideas because it overrides the left brain’s tendency to make sense.
It seems that any time we start on a new career path, we are filled with the excitement of possibility. It’s sort of like being an artist and standing in front of our blank canvas while enjoying the feeling of pure potential ahead of us.
Eventually, however, our sense of freedom disappears. All too quickly we find ourselves in an inspirational rut. Before we know it, our work life has become dull and dissatisfying.
Here are three reasons why we fall off our inspirational axis and what we can do to get back on it.
Often, we go about selecting our career path reactively, forgetting to consciously track the source of our inspiration. Without this awareness, we can’t discern whether we’ve chosen a path that genuinely aligns with our passion or if our honest motive is to seek some type of validation from the external world.
When we fuel our careers with ideas about how we are supposed to be rather than how we want to be, we end up...
I believe that our world is ready for a new paradigm on work and productivity—one that will nourish our most profound creative abilities. If we as business leaders accept that rigidity is the antithesis of creativity and innovation, then recognizing where rigidity exists in our current conceptualizations of work and productivity begins to set us free.
It helps to explore some of the social and organizational norms regarding work and productivity and further, to understand how these norms might be undermining and suppressing our creative genius.
Traditionally, most of us work from 9-5, which sets up the expectation that our creative impulses will manifest in that window. However, creativity doesn’t mind the clock; it prefers to show up when we are relaxed and open.
Given that many of us work in chaotic environments filled with constant chatter, meetings, and social distractions, our creative flow tends to kick in outside those hours once we have...
Creativity eludes most of us. It shows up unannounced, and its presence is fleeting. We often think that big creative breakthroughs are haphazard and reserved for a few lucky individuals who have the perfect idea at the perfect time. We feel somewhat helpless with the creative process.
Businesses are increasingly looking for ways to boost the creative capabilities of their workforce. They also recognize that a social climate with a higher tolerance for error provides employees with more latitude and emotional safety to play with radical ideas. Innovation-oriented companies sometimes design quirky and playful external environments that are conducive to thinking outside the box.
However, the source of our creativity lies deep within us. Creativity is largely a subconscious and intuitive experience, which means that our internal environment ultimately determines our creative potential. We may call it our inner workspace. It’s the place within each of us that houses our...