Setbacks are freeing

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Setbacks are freeing. They make you see more critically and analyse.

The start of a New Year brings with it a sense of inspiration, a need for growth and a craving for goals. If your year has started with a new project or a new challenge, it can be a great time to throw yourself into it, conversely, if it has started with a setback of some descript, it can make you feel a little lost and in need of direction.

A mantra I live by is ‘everything happens for a reason’. My close friends are probably sick of me saying it, especially when they are going through something tough, but I truly believe in it. When something goes wrong (or right), there is always a reason, it can take a long time to realise what that was, but it all makes sense eventually.

There have been times in my life when I have needed clarity or direction which cause a period of feeling lost, but they are always, always followed by an Epiphone or an experience where I grow substantially.

Nothing good ever comes from feeling comfortable, and occasionally it takes something negative to happen to make you realise your growth was on pause. I think in order to grow and be successful as an individual you need to live in a state of certain discomfort, you need to be constantly challenged in some way. That doesn’t need to be extreme; it can be as small as giving a presentation on something you are passionate about, giving 100% at work, or starting a big project. If you are in a situation where you don’t feel challenged, you aren’t going to grow. I am not just talking professionally either, there are many ways you can challenge yourself and grow as an individual, from travelling to meditation or surrounding yourself with people who make you the best you, and don’t want to see you settle for average.

Sometimes things don’t work out, you don’t meet your goal or you fail. But failure isn’t a bad thing, failure will make you ask yourself ‘was that right for me anyway?’ We are often told to never give up and to reach our goals, but sometimes we are so focussed on reaching our goals, that we don’t question whether they are actually worthwhile.

I am a very spiritual person, and I believe that if you are in a period of feeling lost, then look for the signs, during these times opportunities for growth are everywhere, they might just take some searching for. In 2016 I achieved everything on my goals list (and then some), but this year my goals are already scrapped because I have realised, they weren’t the right ones. I am now free to choose my inspiration and focus for the next few months, or years, and that is very liberating.

Rouge x

How to stay inspired at work

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Creative minds tend to put themselves into creative job roles in companies that they are inspired by or believe in. However, unless you work for a company which puts a lot of effort into its interior design, your office and desk space can feel very dull. Even the most beautiful location or building doesn’t mean your actual desk is very exciting.

If like me you work in an office, you’ll spend around 40 hours per week sitting at your desk, one way to make this sound less terrifying is by injecting a little personality.

Keep it visual

Why not add some images which inspire you or make you feel good to your desk? Whether it’s colourful patterns, photographs or graphics, shops like Paperchase have hundreds of post cards and cards with beautiful pictures on. I could never tire of looking at travel photos (I work in travel), but I also love art, especially abstract paintings, having one of these on my desk adds a bit of variation to my day.  Gather a few pictures you like and stick them on your old grey in-trey, the next time you glance up for a bit of respite you’ll be greeted with some creativity from people you admire.

What do YOU like?

Your desk shouldn’t just be littered with industry magazines, and promotional crap you feel bad throwing away, you could also use it for the magazines and books that genuinely interest you, even better if they are image led. Not only does it offer a break from the same-old content, but it shows your team mates your personality. Yeah, you’re uber profesh at work, but there’s way more to you after 6pm, you can offer a little insight by sharing your interests visually.

Leave your desk

I know, it sounds a bit simplistic, but bear with me. Taking some time out of your day to move around can change your mood and morale more than anything else on this list. I’ve lost count of the amount of times an idea has come to me when I am making a coffee. You might think the most effective colleagues are the ones stuffing a sandwich in their mouth at their desk and skipping lunch, but they’re not. When you’re busy getting through emails and making deadlines you aren’t allowing yourself time to think. As a creative person your concentration levels fluctuate, take a short walk once a day and see whether you find yourself coming up with better ideas.

Pinterest yourself
Whenever I am feeling inspired, or uninspired for that matter, I head to Pinterest, the thousands of constant ideas are enough to make my mind buzz with new possibilities. But I also use Pinterest for the perfect quote, why not find a motivational quote and put it on your desk? If you already have a mantra you live by, or a specific quote you want, you can design it yourself on a simple graphics tool like Canva.

What do you do to stay inspired at work? Let me know in the comments below.