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The unconventional source of inspiration: A grandparent's perspective

hr Feb 08, 2024

By Stevie McDougall, HR Expert

As a seasoned HR consultant, I have encountered numerous sources of inspiration throughout my career. However, the most unexpected and profoundly influential source of inspiration in my life has been my grandchildren – Jaxon, Callum, and Lucy. Despite their tender age, their remarkable attributes of fearlessness, inquisitiveness, and willingness to take risks have left an indelible mark on my professional and personal outlook.

In my role as ‘the People expert’, I often encounter complex challenges that require innovative solutions. It is the attitude of my grandchildren that I find most uplifting. Their ability to approach new experiences without the burden of fear or self-doubt has taught me the value of embracing challenges with courage and determination.

Moreover, their natural inquisitiveness has served as a constant reminder of the importance of curiosity in fostering growth and development. In HR, being open to new ideas and perspectives is crucial for driving organisational change and promoting a culture of continuous improvement. My grandchildren's relentless curiosity has inspired me to approach each new project with a fresh perspective and a willingness to explore uncharted territories.

Furthermore, their willingness to take risks – whether it's attempting a new activity or speaking their minds – has highlighted the significance of embracing calculated risks in the pursuit of professional growth. In my position, where decision-making plays a pivotal role, their courage to take risks has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and advocate for bold, yet calculated, initiatives that will ultimately drive meaningful change within organisations.

From a psychological standpoint, the attributes exhibited by my grandkids in their fearlessness, curiosity, and willingness to take risks mirrors the foundational principles of positive psychology, which emphasises strengths, resilience, and the pursuit of optimal human functioning. By drawing parallels between these inherent qualities and psychological theories, it becomes evident that inspiration can be found in the unlikeliest of places, even within the playful demeanour of young children.

As I reflect on the profound impact of my grandchildren on my professional journey, I am compelled to pose a question to you, the reader: What inspires you to achieve more? Whether it's the unwavering determination of a colleague, the innovative practices of industry leaders, or the resilience of your team, take a moment to consider the sources of inspiration that propels you forward in your professional endeavours. In doing so, you may uncover unexpected wellsprings of motivation that can guide you towards greater achievements and personal fulfilment.

As you navigate your own professional journey, I encourage you to seek inspiration in unconventional places and embrace the transformative power of the unconventional sources of inspiration that impact on us all.


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