Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keeping Your Chin Up

Hard work is "hard" because it takes focus, energy, attention and effort.  Seth Godin's book "Linchpin" does a good job of detailing why and how you can fight the lizard brain that wants you to sit down when you should stand up, wants you to be quiet when you should speak up and wants you to quit when you should keep going.

I work at a startup that is trying revolutionize home video monitoring and volunteer my time with a grassroots non-profit that tries to bridge the digital divide with little or no funding. To say that I spend most of time pushing against a wall is an understatement and I am finding more and more that I need to figure out ways to stay positive and keep my chin up.

Here are a few of my favorites: 

1) Attend an Industry/Networking Event

Last night I went to HubOttawa's second "Hub and Spoke" event that was all about connecting people trying to do social good in the Ottawa area.  Not only was I inspired by others trying to accomplish and generate new ideas for what we are doing at Computers for Communities, I was able to make a few new connections and give our efforts a much needed push.

You never know who you will meet at industry or networking events or what will happen so get out of your own little bubble and interact with the community around you.

2) Go For a Walk or Bike Ride

Like I say above, you sometimes forget about the amazing world around you.  I find that a good bike ride or walk does wonders for helping to re-energize.

3) Find a New Podcast or Book

Imagine if I were to tell you that everything you ever wanted to know was at your fingertips.  Imagine if you could access that knowledge for free.  

I am a huge fan of podcasts and the public library.  Between the two, I am able to access insane amounts of knowledge for free.  I love book recommendation lists, I love using LinkedIn to see what my contacts are reading and I love asking Twitter for new podcasts. 

A good podcast or book can change your whole life and your way of thinking so take the time to get into both of these if you're feeling like you need to re-charge.

4) Go See Some Art

I'm sure that your city has amazing art galleries, theatre or live music and I would highly recommend that you get out and enjoy it whenever you need some inspiration.

Artists are inspiring because they take chances.  Whenever you feel like you can't do the same, go see an artist and find strength in the fact they do it everyday.

5) Unplug

I have a personal rule: I spend 30% of the time that I spend "connected" totally unplugged.  So if I spend 9 hours connected, I will spend 3 hours unplugged.

The fact that I don't get cell or internet coverage at my cottage means that I am able to relax every weekend without any interuptions.  During this time, I am able to reflect on where I have been and where I am going.  I get to connect with the people around me and live in the present.  As much as I love being connected, being unplugged with always have its charms. 

What do you do to keep your chin up?

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