Added: Kay Duchesne - Date: 22.11.2021 15:59 - Views: 47170 - Clicks: 1656
in. Why do people lose their spark? And how do they get it back when they do? These are the questions I found myself pondering in the middle of Why had I lost my spark? Honestly, I had no idea.
I owned and ran businesses that gave my family financial security, allowed me to travel the world speaking and teaching two things I really loveand involved work that was generally very fulfilling. On the home front I was happily married and father to three healthy. Given how good my life was, I felt huge guilt at being in such a funk. After talking with a few people close to me, and discovering others had experienced or were experiencing similar feelings, I wrote about how I was feeling in a blog post. And then I thought long and hard about actually pressing publish. Would this post actually help other people my usual criteria for pressing publish?
Or was it pure self-indulgence? In the end, I decided if it helped one other person feel a little less alone, it would be worth it.
I pressed publish. And the response was overwhelming. The article received thousands of shares and hundreds of public comments from people who said it resonated strongly. A large of people messaged me privately to say my story connected with their present situations.
And there were also many encouraging messages from people who were on the other side of what I was experiencing. How is it that so many of us feel quite stuck in life and struggle to find joy and contentment in lives that are, for the most part, great? I suspected evolution plays a part. We, humans, are inherently competitive creatures, Looking for my spark to be dissatisfied and always keep pushing for more. Or, were paying attention to the wrong things. I thought it was worth doing a little experiment. At the end of my blog post, I invited readers to take part in what I called the Sparks Challenge, a simple daily journaling exercise where participants answered two questions:.
Essentially, these questions were asking people to pay attention to, and reflect on, the moments in their days where they experienced little sparks of joy and contentment. Nearly people ed up to take part in the month-long challenge. Here are some of the insights and findings that emerged from that challenge. Some people found answering this first question easy. They quickly realised sparks could be found in the tiniest of places:. Some found it hard. They felt each day was much the same groundhog day! Or they realised much of what they did each day actually took energy away from them.
My experience was interesting. I found it easy to answer this question for the first half of the challenge because I was on vacation with my family. There were lots of new stimuli and experiences and I was spoilt for choice at the end of each day. For the second half of the challenge, I was back at work. I was still able to answer this question, but because work is more of a routine and repetitive thing for me, it took more effort to notice the things that gave me energy.
The reaction to this question was interesting. Many people felt it was presumptuous to feel something they did gave someone else energy. The challenge inspired them to seek out more opportunities for connection. The main thing to emerge from this challenge was the Sparks people identified in their days usually fell into one of four. Curiosity is driven by the questions of who, what, when, where, why and how. Things like:. Then I wondered what would happen if I started my own blog. Curiosity fuelled my journey into starting a blog as a hobby but curiosity also fanned the tiny sparks that saw blogging become the business it is for me today.
You need to take little steps of action too. Remember, I clicked Looking for my spark link, I learned more, I started my blog. What I saw in our challenge group was people doing likewise. Some curiosity-driven Sparks from the challenge included:. Following your curiosities can lead to all kinds of sparks.
Is there currently space in your life for both being curiousand also for following those thre of curiosity by taking small actions? Many of the challenge participants cited the more traditional forms of creativity as energy giving: painting, music, drawing, writing, knitting, etc. But creativity manifested in surprising ways too. AsI tried my hand at drawing, music and even knitting thanks Nana!
That all changed in my mid-teens when I discovered a love for public speaking. While the thought of preparing a short talk to give at church and then getting up to deliver it terrified my friends, I was absolutely energised by it. I particularly loved the crafting and shaping of the talk and honing my stories. In more recent years this has been augmented by the careful preparation of slide decks. So, it was thrilling to find out that yes, I was creative. From that point, I decided to pursue other creative endeavours, falling in love with photography and discovering I could write too!
Looking back on my journey with the benefit of hindsight, I can see the times I felt most alive were often highly creative periods. Conversely, a lack of creativity in my life often coincides with periods of becoming stagnant. The resulting sparks that flew for me and hopefully others were incredibly fulfilling. Our challenge participants saw all kinds of creativity-driven Sparks including:.
Super energising!! I was able to find help or figure things out, even though it was a bit overwhelming at times. How intentional are you in making space for creativity? A connection can be created by something as simple as smiling at someone as they walk towards you in the street. Or listening to your child recount the events of lunchtime at their school. Giving people either your time, attention, or both seem to have the ability to spread positive energy around like butter. Of course, none of this just happens and during the Looking for my spark, numerous participants reported two big barriers to connection.
Secondly — some found the barrier to social connection for them was busyness. Life was so full of activity that little meaningful connection was able to occur. It was fascinating to watch these two themes emerge over the 31 days. Despite being quite different problems both groups came to the same conclusion — they needed to be more intentional about creating time and space for connection. The great thing is that making intentional connections may not need to be a huge big change in your life. For example, my family and I have decided to make a simple change to our dinner time routine.
So we decided to try something new as we eat and instigated a ritual at dinner where each person answers these three questions:. Another unexpected benefit is dinner time is a little calmer too. Some connection-driven Sparks from our challenge group members included:. But I think I gave him some energy by listening to him. Another important aspect of the connection equation was connecting with ourselves as individuals. Looking for my spark people mentioned meditation and daily exercise as great opportunities for connecting and sitting quietly with themselves. Are you intentional about creating space in your week to create meaningful connections?
At many times during the challenge, people remarked that doing something for someone else gave both them, the giverand the receiver a spark of energy. We derive great joy from being in a position to help each other. Some of the contribution-driven Sparks from our challenge group members included:.
Today I helped two co-workers with problems they were having with their computers. For me, moments of contribution during the challenge looked like …. Volunteering my photography was not only a contribution to the school but it was an opportunity to be creative and build connections with staff, students and parents at the school.
Preaching at church was not only a contribution to my faith community but was again a creative activity and led to some interesting conversations and deepening of relationships with those who heard me.
Lastly sponsoring my friend not only helped the organisation he was raising money for but also was a statement that I valued our friendship — deepening our connection. The key takeaway from the challenge was that for all of us, there are many little Sparks of energy and joy happening in our days.
Something this challenge highlighted for many people was that there is a ificant benefit to be found in making time for:. With this in mind, I worked with my friend and co-author Kelly Exeter to create some reflection sheets that would allow people to set daily intentions around curiosity, creativity, connection and contribution.
You can request those daily reflection sheets here. You can purchase the hardcover, three-month diary here.Looking for my spark
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