One of the most wonderful and unplanned results of the summer holidays is that, come the fall, I am inspired to do and try new things. Maybe it is the change of pace and influences that come from having time away from work and regular routines. Maybe it’s the excitement that the Back-to-School feeling always brings for me. Probably it is the combination, and more!
For me, September is the most inspiring and motivated month of the year. And I love that!!
So I thought it would be fun to share a few thoughts and things that have got me feeling motivated lately! 😊
THE INFINITE GAME…
I’m a huge fan of both Simon Sinek and Adam Grant (who, fascinatingly, Sinek refers to as his Worthy Rival). I think they both speak a language of Leadership Common Sense that I continually learn from, appreciate, and find applicable to real life.
Sinek’s The Infinite Game was such an inspiring read. In it, Sinek talks about how business – and consequently leadership – has become about winning, and that winning is a finite game. By restricting business to the finite, we are eroding trust, creativity, and potential. It’s a real mindset shift to consider business as an infinite game.
I found this thought to be particularly inspiring:
“Infinite-minded leaders understand that ‘best’ is not a permanent state. Instead, they strive to be ‘better’. ‘Better’ suggests a journey of constant improvement and makes us feel like we are being invited to contribute our talents and energies to make progress in that journey. ‘Better’, in the Infinite Game, is better than ‘best’.
As someone who both personally and professionally strives to make progress on the journey of constant improvement, I love the idea that I am playing the Infinite Game!
THE DAILY DEBRIEF…
In that spirit of continuous improvement, I am a passionate list maker and journaller. I have multiple journals on the go at any one time. Currently, I am keeping:
1. A Gratitude Journal
2. A Coaching Journal – where I describe one thing that went well and one thing I could improve after each coaching session.
3. A Free Journal – in which I just write stream of consciousness
4. A Change Journal – a new addition to my repertoire, that has several journalling styles in one. You try out a different style each week.
When I heard this podcast episode on “The Daily Debrief“, I was really inspired to try these journal prompts too! The podcast host, Eleanor Beaton, is a very successful Canadian entrepreneur and her Daily Debrief consists of journalling around the following at the end of every day:
- Gently review your day
- How do I feel about the day? Did I accomplish what I wanted to accomplish? Did I show up the way I wanted to show up?
- Did I do everything I could to be prepared?
These are such powerful thought impulses! Her suggestion is that we need to focus more on ourselves and our own needs and habits, as that has such an impact on our mental and physical health. I am definitely adding this to my day!! Maybe you will too?
BEING A THOUGHT DETECTIVE…
The whole concept of ‘better’ being better than ‘best’ is so inspiring, don’t you think? Personal and professional growth is all about making a series of small steps towards more self-awareness, better habits, more effective leadership.
Listening to Dr. Chatterjee interview Dr. Caroline Leaf about ‘mind management’ was all about those small steps. Their podcast on Five Simple Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress and Toxic Thinking was all about becoming a Thought Detective: learning to recognize and investigate the following signals:
3. Bodily Sensations
4. Your Perspective
Another inspiring mindset shift!
WHAT I’M READING…
One of my favourite “genres” is not actually a genre at all: that category of book that you must read for some reason (book club etc) that you would not choose to read, but then absolutely love! This has happened to me a number of times in my life, and is one of the reason I love getting book recommendations!! There are so many fabulous stories out there whose book jacket blurbs just don’t do them justice. (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – one of my all-time favourites – definitely falls into this category.)
So if you, like me, actually DO judge a book by its cover – do NOT walk away from Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Hands down the best book I’ve read this year so far. I *devoured* it. I couldn’t put it down. I want Bonnie Garmus scripting everything I say from now on. She is a genius with female dialogue!!
The story is about a 1950s female scientist who ends up doing a cooking show on TV. Now is that a catchy premise?? To me, no. [I happen to be a very reluctant cook. I want my family to eat healthy, and I do cook, but I do not enjoy it.] But Elizabeth Zott, the protagonist, is a fantastically intelligent feminist whose self-confidence and belief in herself and her abilities is absolutely dynamite. Her retorts are legendary.
Lessons in Chemistry had me gripped from page 1 to the end. I think I read it in 24 hours. It was that good! I literally cried when I turned the page and realized I’d gotten to the end of the story.
Absolutely brilliantly written, and such a powerful story about women. One thousand percent recommend!!
I hope the fall starts with lots of inspiration, motivation, and the energy to put new mindset shifts and ideas into action!! 😉
What’s on your list of new things to try out this September? Please do reach out and share them!! (Just hit reply on this mail!)
Hope everyone in North America enjoyed a wonderful Labour Day weekend this weekend! And for everyone, enjoy the Back-to-School inspirational feeling in the air!!