“A rather interesting stimulus is stretching of the anal sphincter muscle,
which causes inspiration.”
~ Understanding Human Anatomy and Physiology
4th Edition page 278
Several years ago I was taking an introductory course in Anatomy and Physiology when I came across this quote in my textbook. I laughed again and again as I read it. Really, I still laugh about it. I couldn’t help but think about how many people say that ideas come to them on the toilet. Seriously, it was in the chapter on the respiratory system.
I spend a lot of time trying to stay inspired. It is an active and ongoing project in my life. It seems the whole world is out to bring me down most days. I quit watching the television. I quit listening to the radio. I don’t read newspapers and rarely even peruse a magazine. I get some limited news information on the internet, but even that I try to avoid.
Occasionally I feel some guilt about ignoring the problems of the world. My “philosophy”, though, has developed as follows:
The news feels like it is designed to leave you feeling depressed and powerless. When they start ending news stories with a recommendation on how people can help, I’ll start watching the news again.
For the most part this works well for me, although I did once end up dropping my kids off at school on a snow day because I wasn’t “in the know”.
I work in the administrative side of the healthcare industry. I’m a problem solver. I work to keep things running smoothly, but when they blow up – I fix them. There’s a joke around the office that it that proverbial shit is rolling down the hill – I’m the one at the bottom that is going to fix it. The buck stops here. Yes, finance.
I struggle every day to stay inspired about my work. I’ve known for a long time that it isn’t where I want to be, but for now it’s what I can do to support my family. I try to find the service in what I do. I’ve kept a document on my desktop for the last five years that maps the convoluted trail of how what I do ultimately serves the greatest good of our patients.
It’s true that the industry couldn’t sustain itself without the money coming in, but it’s hard to look at western medicine and feel good about supporting it. It’s in a perpetual state of crises management. The industry (yes, it’s an industry) spends most of the time and money on treating the symptoms, and very little on identifying causes and prevention. There’s been a lot of lip service on this front, but truth be told – I’m not sure that the predominant “American” need for immediate gratification would support an industry based in prevention.
So – I’m left each day trying to stay inspired – to continue finding ways that I can believe in what I do. I try to stay inspired to continue what I love in my spare time. I have to stay inspired to continue slogging through the teenage angst and rebellion of my stepkids.
I keep the book “14,000 Things To Be Happy About” on my desk. I have inspirational quotes cut out in cloud shapes and hung on my office walls. I do a lot of positive self talk and try to find ways to keep it interesting.
Recently, a dear friend send me a link to this website: PhilosphersNotes
The tag line is “Concentrated Wisdom”. I started listening to them in my office. I’ve now progressed to running them onto CD and playing them in the car. Only four would fit on one CD, but I have a commute that is a full hour on a good day, and during bad weather can be two hours. I’ve listened to that CD at least 8 times now, and think of it more as concentrated inspiration.
It has been helping me stay inspired through my day. It improves my mood and lifts my spirit. What Brian Johnson refers to as “Big Ideas”, I have always referred to as “duh moments”. This wisdom – these big ideas – all come from universal truths. I think that these ideas resonate so well because we already know them in our hearts – it’s just difficult to keep them at the forefront of our minds while trying to make our way through our incredibly busy daily lives.
Currently a subscription to his website is free. FREE!
Since I’ve been using it for a little more than a week, free of charge, and have been reaping such a benefit from it, I knew that I would not be in keeping with those “duh moment” ideals if I didn’t pass this information along. Brian keeps these ideas accessible by putting them in a format that will fit into those little nooks and crannies of time that you might have at your disposal.
If you’re in need of some wisdom, guidance, happiness, inspiration – I highly recommend you go give this a chance. I’m not in kindergarten. I can’t expect the whole world to stop and give me encouragement – but in a week I’ve come to find that Brian will. And he’s giving it to me free – no strings.
So, while it still makes me laugh, I don’t need to go to the toilet for guaranteed inspiration anymore. I’ve got PhilosophersNotes.