You've got browser bookmarks for every newsletter in your field and every after-school program in your neighborhood. That's great for your work and your kid—but what about your heart? You can use your browser's bookmark collection to create collections of online resources related to spirituality, creativity, mental health—whatever inspires you and keeps you on track. My inspiring bookmarks range from ideas for beating writer's block to short meditations that inspire me.
Inspire Your Desktop
The background on your computer doesn't have to be an ad for your computer manufacturer. Whether you're moved by a panoramic view of the Himalayas or a close-up of Hugh Jackman's abs, stick those inspiring ridges where you'll see them every day: on your computer's desktop. Starting up to the sight of Hugh's six-pack may be just the thing to lift you out of your morning blahs.
Share Your Inspirations
"I'd rather be nine people's favorite thing than a hundred people's ninth favorite thing." I had listened to this line from the musical called [title of show] 900 times before I finally had to write a blog post about how it inspired me. As I struggled to describe the impact the show had on my life and work, I uncovered new lessons in it, like how to separate yourself from how other people see you. When you share a blog post, Facebook update or YouTube video about what inspires you, you're not only helping other people discover a new source of wisdom or courage: You're likely to come to a new understanding of what helps you soar.
These practices won't turn you into a digital Buddha, someone impervious to the magnetic appeal of Perez Hilton's latest headline and Zappo's latest sale. What they can do is rebalance the scales: to edge you away from a tech life that toggles between relentless offline productivity and mindless online distraction.
"Productivity tools" like computers and smart phones can be transformed into personal touchstones, and "buddy lists" can become support groups. Now that's what I would have called synergy.
Where do you turn for inspiration online?Share your thoughts below!
Alexandra Samuel, PhD, is the director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University and the principal of Social Signal, a social media agency that has launched more than 30 online communities. The mother of two young kids, Samuel blogs about how to make technology a meaningful part of your life, work and world. Follow her on Twitter.