On the go, but in need of some inspiration? Why not listen to a podcast? This week, David reflects on ‘Real Business, Real Lives’ a relatively recent podcast from the erudite entrepreneur, Barbara Patterson.
Since a friend sent this podcast to me, I’ve been a big fan of Patterson. Although she is now an entrepreneur, she began her career in the corporate world and she really understands business. But her podcasts are about so much more than just making money. They share insights on our shifting perspectives of the world and how they impact business. With titles like ‘Why Being Authentic is Good for Business’ to ‘How a Free Mind is the Gateway to Doing the Impossible’ Patterson’s refreshing approach explores the intimate connection between mind and work.
My favourite episode is ‘Why a Quiet Mind is More Powerful than Your Drive’.
In it, Patterson has a discussion with software entrepreneur and coach Nicola Bird. Bird takes us through her journey so far, which features striving and a lot of success. But this constant need for achievement put a great strain on her mental health. She describes her quest of trying to fill what felt like ‘a hole’ in her soul. At first, she had no luck. Making targets, money and buying make up were doing nothing to help. Even hitting 7-figures left her feeling empty, questioning ‘Is this it?’
Bird tells Patterson that upon reflection, she realised that she was really looking for contentment. But so many entrepreneurs are afraid of this word: if you are content, where does your drive go? So many people believe that when you are fulfilled, you settle, and everyone knows that this is the enemy of success! But is this true? Patterson and Bird’s discussion reveals that this is not so. Instead, they discuss the way that a quiet mind allows us to see opportunity. Similarly, an acceptance of not knowing it all allows you to enjoy what you see in your diary that day.
They believe that if you stop trying to figure out where you will go and what might happen, a path will form, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open. But it’s very hard to do this when we drill ourselves down into a little hole of predicting, forecasting and controlling, which I’m sure we can all empathise with! Bird sums it up perfectly:
‘We don’t have to figure out the future direction. We can just show up and play with what’s on our plate today and new opportunities are just there. They pop into our peripheral vision when we stop searching for them.’
So, can it be as simple as this? If I want to be more engaged and inspired by my day to day life, all I have to do is show up and play? I think so, but if you’re not convinced, check out the podcast and decide for yourself!
Sound too good to be true? Ask yourself these questions…
⇒ Where do my most inspired ideas come from?
⇒ Have I ever come up with a solution while I’ve been in a frenzied state of mind?
⇒ What are the steps in my life that have gotten me to where I am today, and did I predict any of them?
⇒ Have I ever had a great business idea while doing something completely unrelated? (Nicola Bird came up with the idea for her 7-figure business while reclining on her sofa!)
⇒ Have opportunities ever popped up out of the blue?
Until next time, I hope you are able to enjoy some time with a quiet mind, and see what happens!