Inspiration is Perishable

Inspiration is Perishable


One of my Christmas presents (recommended by the charming James Wills at Watson Little, and bought for me by my lovely sister) was Rework, the New York Times bestseller, by Jason Fried and David Hansson.

It is a deliberately provocative book, which sets out to challenge much of the conventional wisdom surrounding business.  According to the authors (who founded the incredibly successful 37 Signals), “Meetings are toxic” and you should “Send people home at 5”.

On balance, despite the fact that some of the entries may have you shaking your head, whilst others will make you shout in agreement, this is a book I recommend.

For me, the best is saved until last.  This is from the conclusion, where the authors wrap up with the idea that ‘inspiration is perishable’.

“We all have ideas.  Ideas are immortal.  They last forever. 

What doesn’t last forever is inspiration.  Inspiration is like fresh fruit or milk:  It has an expiration date.

If you want to do something, you’ve got to do it now.  You can’t put it on a shelf and wait two months to get around to it.  You can’t just say you’ll do it later.  Later, you won’t be pumped up about it anymore.

If you’re inspired on a Friday, swear off the weekend and dive into the project.  When you’re high on inpspiration, you can get two weeks of work done in twenty-four hours.  Inspiration is a time machine in that way.

Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator.  But it won’t wait for you.  Inspiration is a now thing.  If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”

Check out Rework if you have time.  And let me take this chance to wish you a very happy, healthy and successful 2011, whatever if may bring.

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