Inspiring Goodies – Chicago Fire, The Great Indoors and letting inspiration flow

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I’ve realised that I find inspiration in almost everything. From Chicago Fire on Netflix to the way products are packaged as gifts for Christmas. It reminds me of the film Love Actually. In the opening narration, Hugh Grant says:

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion makes out that we live in a world of hatred and greed. I don’t see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it’s always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love. lf you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

Of course, Love Actually was on in our house over the festive period, but I share this quote for two reasons – it’s an important reminder that there is a lot of love in the world when things can seem “gloomy” and secondly, there is inspiration to be found everywhere around us if we look for it. So here are my current inspiring goodies:

We are a family

Thanks to my best friend I have been glued to Chicago Fire since November! I have now watched nearly five seasons of it. The Chief who runs the fictional firehouse 51 is someone everyone buys into. The culture has been fictionally created to be like a family. For some this feels strange for a business setting but when you have to work as a team, and in the fire service you do, the need to rely on each other and work together is imperative. The use of family brings forward a focus on care, respect and empathy which are all values and behaviours organisations need to thrive. The values that shine through in the behaviours and the teamwork that goes on, all demonstrate that the culture is set from the top, and that leaders often have hard decisions to make.

The Great Indoors

After listening to the author on a podcast back in 2020, I was gifted The Great Indoors: the surprising science of how buildings shape our behavior, health, and happiness for Jolabokaflod in 2020 (an Icelandic tradition my husband and I celebrate on Christmas Eve). It’s a fantastic read about the design and science that goes into the buildings we often take for granted. One thing I’m taking away from it is the need to embrace nature and bringing the outdoors in for our own wellbeing – the walking continues in 2022! It also made me realise how impactful design can be – from solitary confinement in prisons to housing designed for those with autism – our surroundings are often things we take for granted without realising how they are affecting us.

Inspiration is all around us

If inspiration is all around us – and for me, it seems to be – make sure you’re taking time to be present. This might not be a book, a podcast or a film to recommend but it’s about taking the time to be in the moment. This is something I frequently recommend to the leaders and business owners I coach. To walk without listening to anything and letting the mind be quiet. Our brains do our best work when there is no noise so I try to make time once a week or so to have a walk without listening to anything – sometimes that’s when inspiration really hits!

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