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Finding Inspiration – “Out There”

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

We are looking for inspiration. Thoreau sought out the quiet solitude of Walden Pond to ponder life, but my own experience has found similar opportunity in Manhattan and in Chiang Mai. My guess is your back yard is every bit as wondrous. The fact is awe exists not “out there” but somewhere deep inside each of us. So it is my last recommendation for inspiration (“god’s breath”) is you on occasion escape your profession.

We always risk the curse of familiarity. No matter how fantastic our individual travel practices may be, we have an incredible knack for drowning our interests in the commonplace, forgetting the magic of our profession.
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So every now and then, escape. At great professional risk, I offer up the following. There is inspiration enough in any of these suggestions to last a good long while.

Jump out of an airplane, read a trashy novel, go fishing on a Monday morning. Write a love note to someone you haven’t seen for 40 years. Have a conversation with your 13 year old self. Take a long walk in the city or the woods or in your neighborhood, but do it differently this time. Kick a can the entire way, sing out loud and frighten your community. Protest a social injustice and get arrested. Surprise yourself.

“Otherwise, you got nothing to brag about in the locker room.” ~ Harold and Maude

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