I ran across an article in my email inbox that talked about nine qualities that may enable us to best deal with stress. Ironically, when I perused the list, what I clearly saw immediately in my own mind were the keys to continued inspiration:
Spirituality or religious belief
Love of learning
Self-confidence and self-esteem
"Inspiration: The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative; inventiveness; ingenuity; artistry; vision"
The three photos below personally represent inspiration for me:
The first photo (directly below) is a snapshot I took with my cell phone out the sunroof of my car as I was pulling into my neighborhood this last spring. I live in what I consider to be God's country, and I have worked very hard to finally get here! Whatever it takes to keep me here will also involve my career, so they are, at least at the moment, very intertwined.
While I have plenty of goals left that I wish to work *toward*, this is one that I have met, and it continues to inspire me to keep pushing and to keep climbing onward and upward in whatever way I wish to excel next. Beautiful, isn't it?
The second photo (directly below) represents my Power Reporter colleagues with whom, as a group, I associate most. They belong to some power Facebook groups with me, where we all share practice time, ideas, brainstorm new theories and workarounds, and support each other in becoming better and better, one small step at a time, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year. You "get out of it what you put into it," and the results that these amazing NCRA Realtime and Speed Contest participants are able to produce is nothing short of *amazing*. It's a form of inspiration I choose to not let go of because of how very important they all are to me.
This photo represents so much hard work and *success as a result* that the energy from the photo alone is enough to keep me inspired for a very long time into the future! And I really just love all of these nuts. :-)
The third photo (again, directly below) is representative of rooms where I have done my most challenging realtime work ever in my career. It is not something I want to give up, and so it reminds me that I need to continue to work hard, and work hard in very specific ways, so as to be able to continue to rise up to the challenge, to be able to succeed, and to be able to have fun doing it!
The amount of work involved for me to be inspired does not seem like work at all. It is HARD, don't get me wrong; but I love what I do, and some say that is the key to success. (There are also those who disagree with that! Consider for a fleeting moment "Do What You Love: And Other Lies about Success and Happiness" :-) I do continue to make sure I am charging and receiving what I am worth, and do continue to reevaluate what all of that should look like for me, but that is a completely different topic and not for discussion here today!)
In evaluating the nine points or qualities that were laid out to perhaps best deal with stress, I see so many keys to inspiration that I think they are worth considering in a little more detail.
And by the way, the inspiration for this blog comes after recently pondering articles and opinions voiced about how to curb negativity when trying to get out of court reporting school, when trying to pass certification tests, or when trying to push through the editing and producing of icky deposition transcripts after a hard day in the field, as if the writing of them in the first place were not hard enough. Trying to read through professional coaching tips and tricks that others have outlined to get through that negativity are, quite honestly, so negative for me in and of themselves that I felt I only dare peruse them just to get the idea but so as not to taint myself with the negativity being talked about trying to overcome and avoid!
I think it maybe is a reflection of just how far I have come in my own world of positivity and refusing to see things from a negative standpoint. There are learning moments in this world and, indeed, in court reporting; and all are positive if you look at them that way. At the very least, they are challenges that need to be risen above, and ones that will make you stronger and more successful if you choose only to look forward.
So let's look at these nine points one more time, and take a few moments of introspection, pondering each one with the idea toward what usefulness they might have for you with regard to empowering you to have perpetual "inspiration" in your own life and career:
Spirituality or religious belief
Love of learning
Self-confidence and self-esteem
In everything we do, we can find purpose and inspiration, if only we choose to look for it and see it that way. Every time I edit a transcript, I see opportunities to build my dictionary, evaluate my theory and my writing style, and ways that I can become more efficient in similar circumstances in the future. It is as inspirational as I choose to see that situation! My work has become all about excellence, and that, for me, is a continued shot of inspiration in the arm every time I think about writing on my machine, every time I think about opening a transcript file, every time I think about what improvements I could make to my dictionary or to my realtime macro methods, et cetera.
"The Art of Possibility" was such a powerful book for me that I actually never finished it! I felt I picked up so much from just the essence of the first few chapters that I put it down to ponder all of what I had just read and never actually picked the book back up again to finish it! (I still have it; maybe I should consider finishing it at some point.)
Choosing to see your circumstances in whatever light is most beneficial to you is powerful, but the encouragement to also do so by thinking "outside the box," and trying to create a picture of what exactly "outside the box" thinking could look like, inspired a lot of forward thinking for me!
I will leave you with just one last thought about "inspiration" when trying to apply it to the sometimes-daunting world of all things court reporting: You know how kids these days will sit down in front of a video game and continue to strive to get to the next level no matter what it takes? No matter how ridiculous that level is that they are not able to get through, no matter if it takes them all night long, no matter if they have school the next day, no matter almost anything else? If you can make speed practice or realtime practice or editing a transcript all about "getting to the next level," you will give yourself so many shots of adrenaline and dopamine and all of the feel-good endorphins, you will continue to inspire yourself, and you will continue to want more. All of the results you start producing for yourself will keep you coming back for more. And every time you go out in the field and know that it was a job well done, that you applied all that you have been working so hard behind the scenes to achieve out in the field like that, you will be jonesing to practice some more and then will be jonesing to get back out there in the field yet again and put it all to the test. Your own geeky cycle of inspiration is at your fingertips!
It has been quoted in our industry that lack of hesitation is speed; if I apply that same principle to those nine points above, then perhaps lack of stress *is* inspiration. And maybe that's why I see "inspiration" in all of those points when someone else meant for me to see lack of stress.
Whatever the actual reason or reasons, I am a firm believer that there is so much Power in Inspiration that it makes me want to cap those words in a sentence like this where they would not otherwise be capped!
Find what inspires you, and figure out how to make it the key(s) to your own success.
The Power of Inspiration -- get after it!