The Whole Picture
I am constantly amazed by the things I don't know. Sometimes I'm as giddy as a kid on a field trip. Other times, I'm saddened by all of the opportunities for learning that I didn't seize earlier on in life. Regardless, the world is a wide, amazing place. It sounds trite, but try understanding it in your own terms. (More on this later.)
I started another blog quite awhile ago, Live Awake, that has sadly been neglected. The entire concept was sharing things that inspired me, made me realize all there is out there. From a documentary by Michael J Fox to information on a foreign country (and their focus on Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product!) to creative folk I discovered online, I'm coming to learn that all the answers we ever need really are out there (and thus, within!!). We just have to get out of our own way to discover them.
It may seem like one of those luxuries "for people who have time" to explore the world around them. Learning about other cultures, discovering resources across the world or in one's own neighborhood, indulging in a rare type of food - exotic, no? But the more I discover, the more I realize that it is just this type of exploration that brings awareness & juiciness to one's own daily grind and offers opportunities to overcome challenges.
A random and specific example: I'm an avid reader. I could easily go broke in one afternoon at Borders, so I'm always looking for bargins on books, magazines, etc. I enjoy sharing this passion with my children. I was just reading a pamphlet I picked up (for free) at my son's school on "Kindergartners Learn To Read". It mentioned a checklist of valuable techniques to use, then stated that "This checklist is adapted from (a book)...Get a FREE copy at www.nifl.gov". A free book? Yippee!
Regardless of whether or not you enjoy reading or whether or not you have kids, the point is that there are billions of people out there with trillions of ideas. These ideas have culminated in actions, which many times end up as organizations, businesses, corporations, not-for-profits, world-wide charities, or your neighborhood mom-and-pop shop. There are people out there who have experienced challenges just like you have (really!) and found or created a solution, had passions and made something of them. They did the work. All you have to do is connect.
Be open to new sources. I went to a local Red Cross book fair and picked up a magazine called "HOW" that looked cool (but was focused on design which isn't my field). Lo and behold it is all about creativity (!) and although some of the techniques aren't my forte, I have already found some astonishing messages to inspire me in my own work. (Check out their website at : http://www.howdesign.com/GeneralMenu/ or blog at http://blog.howdesign.com/) (I love the current halloween costume idea!)
Realize that the world around you is VAST. There are people, cultures, histories, futures, dreams, practicalities, organizations, blogs, web sites, t.v. shows, movies, books, lands, ...all stories being shared right now. They are as relevant to your own life, your own job, your own daily stories as you allow them to be. Stay disconnected and your life will remain that way. Reach out, listen to a few stories, and realize that every single second of your life is a wide array of stories webbed all around you. Go ahead, tug on a string or two.
Who knows where your life may go?