Remembering to be inspired

I tend to occupy my mind most of the time – double entendre intended.  Thoughts of myself (my shortcomings, my hopes, my tasks) occupy my mind and I tend to live in my mind rather than act outside of it.  I am more a thinker than a doer.  Thank goodness for deadlines and a guilty sense of accountability.


Here’s what I’ve been thinking about


The To-Do List

Making a Difference

Becoming Inspired

Staying Inspired


It is only just recently I’ve decided that the order of that list is a little out of order and I could do the ones at the top better if I focused more on the ones at the bottom.


I’d been trying to learn about getting myself to be better at my job.  I’ve started trying to learn about doing a better job at getting to myself.


I have been concerned that I really didn’t have much to blog about that would inspire a visitor to the website to read the first post, much less ones to follow. Most of the content on this site is aimed at selling you on our mission, our programming and our facility.  If you’re here, then that would presuppose some modicum of effectiveness.  You don’t need to be sold again – perhaps you need to be inspired like I do.  So I want to share with you what has been inspiring me.


It’s rather serendipitous, the way we become inspired to learn.  I read in Isabel Paterson’s The God of the Machine that that is called disinterested curiosity. It is how autodidacts and scientists learn – going where the thing you learn takes us rather than studying to prove our preconceived conclusions.


Before Christmas I was watching PBS and learned of two authors (J.J. Virgin and Wayne Dyer) that I wanted to pursue. Their books made my Christmas list. Got em. Read em. Overwhelmed. Inspired. Also on my Christmas list was Rosetta Stone French. Got it. Buyer’s remorse set in and I started to wonder if I’d wasted my money. Then saw my college French teacher’s doppelganger the very same morning. Installing it this weekend.


I’d been invited to go to New York to sing at Birdland in January. Went. Did it! Expensive. Worth it! Inspired to put together another cabaret program after communicating with and meeting songwriters (Dave Frishberg and Francesca Blumenthal) considered to be pillars in the field.


While in New York, we decided to visit the Irish Hunger Memorial only one block from Ground Zero. My daughter and her friend were doing their history fair project on the Irish Potato Famine and it seemed like a good idea to include the visit in her research.  The memorial is profoundly moving.  She made her presentation in the form of a skit and was told that she would be asked to present it at the next level.  I imagine this has been one of the most gratifying and encouraging academic experiences she’s ever had. It also happened that she presented on her birthday. She said that this was the best birthday ever – because of the history fair experience! Yay, non-traditional learning!


Around the Christmas/New Year period two other books caught my attention; Ken Robinson’s The Element and Katherine Schulz’s Being Wrong. Ordered the first – waiting till I finish it to order the second.  By coincidence, I watched their presentations online at around the same time.  The talk and book recommendations came from unrelated sources – must be fate!  I didn’t realize Sir Ken Robinson on TED was Ken Robinson of The Element until I was done watching. I found him Bono’s Ted playlist of favorite talks along with Seth Rodin and Bill Gates. Inspiring. Inspiring.


It sounds like I’m spending a lot of attention on my personal interests; and I am, but oddly enough, I’ve been more productive at work since.  It’s hard to remember to keep “be inspired” on my “to do” list. So, now I’m a subscriber to TED and they remind me every day to be inspired.