Monday, November 25, 2013

Core Values Series Part 5 - Rest & Reflect

Every year we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. This is the final article of our Core Values series, written by Newminder Luke about Resting & Reflecting. Enjoy!
Reed Flute Cave - Reflecting Pool via Brent Rostad

Time to unwind.  

Work is done and you need to recharge.  Rest and reflection time is tough to come by for most of us, but making it a priority pays off big.  We all need a counterpoint to the daily hustle.  Our minds need space to be contemplative, to make abstractions and to pursue the things that ignite our passions.

Finding something beautiful or fascinating or just plain fun might not be easy for everybody.  Our culture doesn't always validate these kinds of pursuits, and seeing them as secondary or auxiliary to the main goal - productivity - sets us up for failure.

I argue these pursuits are complimentary and every bit as important as work-oriented initiatives.  If you look at your brain like a mostly well-trained horse, it offers a decent example of how we should treat our grey matter.  When we jump in the saddle, we’re ready to kick it into high gear and do some real galloping.  But if your horse has spent the last 3 days locked in a stall, it isn't going to behave the same as if it had spend it’s time free, exploring your ranch, running with the other horses.  Giving your horse this freedom to follow it’s inner compass will give it balance and improve its all around well-being.

How I do

So what are my R&R pursuits?  I’m all over the map.

via photosteve101
My number 1 go-to is writing.  I find all creative pursuits favorable, but constructing with language is especially rewarding for me.  Under that umbrella, poetry is my main squeeze.  If a novel is like a half-barrel keg of light beer (great for marathon sessions of drinking games), and a short story is like a small cooler of microbrews (just right for a lazy weekend on the river), then poetry is a short tumbler of single-malt scotch (perfect for an evening on the porch, watching the stars trace across the sky).  For me, it’s the most flavorful, most interesting of all the literature drinks.  I love reading poems, but somehow I’m always led away from consumption and into the act of creation.

I don’t look for inspiration, per say, but I instead try to remain open enough to notice it.  It can come from anywhere.  Watching people interact, listening to the right music, hiking to a new destination, or even reading someone else’s poem.  The process is different every time, but it normally starts with 1 line.  Something that sounds like I’ve never heard anything like it before.  Something that that makes me want to stop what I’m doing and write it down.  If it can grab me like that, maybe it will do the same to someone else.  And at the end of the day, that’s what all art is about:  communication.  Relaying some facet of the human experience in a way that others can resonate with.

So that’s what I do to refuel my brain.  Sometimes.  Other times, it’s downhill skiing or running with my dog or video games or a round of golf with friends.  The point is, I’ve come to understand that I’m a better me when I take time to do these things.  I’m better at my job and I’m better at home.  When you walk into work in the morning with a smile on your face, like a boss and ready to GSD (see this post), you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Luke Reynolds is a new member of Newmind's IT managed services team. Previously he worked with schools, not-for-profits, and businesses to help them acquire and deploy Google Chromebooks on the enterprise level.

Luke Reynolds enjoys writing, music, film, and any form of radical human expression. He's also a rabid proponent of Kalamazoo's local roller derby team, the Killamazoo Derby Darlins.