At a recent networking event, I was reminded of how awkward and uncomfortable it can be to walk into a room full of people, all of whom look like they are having a great time and are immersed in the most interesting conversations. I walked up to a group of people already talking and hesitantly said, ”Can I join your conversation?” Of course they politely nodded, and just like that, I was in.
The first woman looked at me and said, ”And what do you do?” I could have given my typical elevator pitch and explained that I’m a speaker and consultant, but instead, I got a wild hair and decided to get creative. My response was, “Well, I guess that depends on who I’m with and what time I’m doing it!” I wish I had taken a picture of the expression on her face. It was priceless.
Wow, that felt great! How often do you get out of your comfort zone and do something different? It is so easy to lose your creativity and spark. So how do you stay “sparky”? Here are a few ways to keep it or re-kindle it:
1. Do something different! If you always take one route to work, take a different one. Buy a different brand of toothpaste or go somewhere you’ve never gone. Leo Buscaglia joked that we follow the same exact routine every morning, get up on the same side of the bed, brush our teeth the same way, and do the same things. He suggested shaking it up and said, “Tomorrow, do something different. Get up on the opposite side of the bed. Roll over your wife!”
2. Read something you wouldn’t normally read. Pick up a different magazine, read a different book, or google something you normally wouldn’t. In order to stay creative, we have to stay smart and get out of our little bubble. If you aren’t used to reading on a regular basis, this would be a good time to start. Reading keeps you sharp and actually helps keep you healthy!
3. Just sit and don’t do anything. We are so busy going and doing, that we barely ever just sit and let our mind drift. Find a quiet place and sit. Don’t watch television, play on your phone, or continuously check your watch. Give yourself permission to sit for a few minutes and let your mind wander wherever it might go. When we are constantly going, we become a slave to activity and lose our creativity.
4. Do some type of personal or professional development. It could be attending a conference, going to a class, participating in a webinar, or just taking time to learn something you’ve always wanted to. Don’t let yourself get caught in a rut. Even if you don’t feel like it, get up and do something that will help you improve. You are the only you you have.
5. Listen to music. Find a song that makes it humanly impossible not to dance. It’s impossible to be cranky and dancing at the same time. If you don’t want to be the one to dance, at least watch someone who does!
Just because we’re getting older doesn’t mean we have to act like it! Have some fun this week.