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Home > Blog > Six Things that Inspire You
Out of Our Minds
Monday, June 21, 2004 6:38 PM
Six Things that Inspire You
Anita Sharpe on Passionate Work

I love magazines and one of my favorites is HOW, a publication for and about designers and other creators. A while back, they did an interview with Kevin Carroll, whose job is to nurture creativity at Nike. I loved his reponse when asked to quickly name six things that inspire him:

'My cello. The drama of the sport -- the moment. Breakfast at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne, Australia. My early morning workout. The Alchemist. Music. And watching recess -- anywhere on the planet.'

It's a fun exercise, and if you do it quickly, you might surprise yourself, or, like me, you might produce something that sounds like a personal ad on Match.com: 'Magazines. The Beatles. Great dinner conversations. Spontaneous adventures. Billy Crystal movies, or any humorous book or movie that also has a point. Views of water (I bought my house because a creek runs through the property; my office window has a view of a swimming pool and I count that, too.)'


Rennie - 6/24/2004 5:55:14 PM
It’s a good exercise, and it makes me ponder what inspire means. Driving and listening to good music is enjoyable for me and probably therefore inspiring, though I don’t believe I conjure up any genius plans while doing it. Traveling to foreign countries and seeing new lands and cultures usually brings fresh perspective to my own hometown and routines. I love reading or hearing humorous, self-deprecating stories (i.e. Weinbergers posting about his airport nod which made me laugh for a week). Laughing releases endorphins which surely helps lift the fog surrounding our tired, news-clogged brains.

Spontaneous and interesting conversations with people outside of my usual circle inspire me. The other day the Croatian woman running a European market told me about her 22 year old son in his 3rd year in Japan in the U.S. navy, and she teared up telling me how proud she is of him. And there was a man in the nursing home I visit each week, whose name happened to be Jimmy Stewart, and he was also a great fan of the actor. I brought Mr. Stewart occasional small gifts that he greatly appreciated, and asked once if I could bring something to hang on his bare walls.

No, thanks, he said. “The name is enough.� I thought about that for a long time. I guess you could say I was inspired.
Brian - 6/22/2004 2:49:40 PM
In this day and age it is inspiring just to be able to come up with six things that inspire you off the top of your head. The every day hustle and bustle can stifle that feeling. I think Kevin has the right idea with watching recess anywhere. Nothing tends to open my mind more than getting enveloped with children playing.


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