How a brainstorming retreat fueled my passion and purpose
A close friend of mine once hosted a yearly brainstorming getaway at her lakeside residence in Nelson, B.C. It was a perfect escape from the everyday hustle (imagine serene waters, sandy beaches, and delightful wine) and an ideal setting to celebrate and enhance our collective achievements.
Being a solo entrepreneur, I lack the luxury of a large team to share responsibilities and brainstorm ideas. This absence often restricts my creativity, thanks to persistent distractions and limited avenues for ideation.
To combat this stagnation, we conceptualized this brainstorming retreat. The goal? To immerse ourselves in the rich pool of creativity and innovation that our friends had to offer.
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Legendary motivational speaker Jim Rohn often stated that we’re the average of the five people we most associate with. It reminds me of an age-old parental adage about being known by the company we keep. If surrounding oneself with optimistic, forward-thinking individuals leads to positive influences, then isn’t that the best choice?
It was with this belief that we initiated our brainstorming venture. We gathered eight individuals, each dedicated to meeting bi-monthly, with the sole intent of uplifting each other. Every participant took time for introspection: to understand what they wanted and how they could contribute to the collective growth. We then set out for a week to rekindle our passion.
The results were astonishing. I had anticipated leaving with a handful of inspiring ideas, but the retreat offered far more than I had hoped for.
By the end, our bond had strengthened. We had delved deep into our aspirations, leveraging the group’s diverse experiences and insights. The retreat left me buzzing with positivity and a renewed sense of purpose.
Fast forward years later, and many of us from that retreat are still actively collaborating.
The magic of such brainstorming communities lies in:
- Being a part of a cause greater than oneself, invoking camaraderie and transforming beliefs and actions.
- Tapping into a collective intellect. Achieving goals and overcoming challenges become significantly easier with a team of driven and knowledgeable allies.
- Having a safe space for candid discussions and genuine feedback.
- Sharing your vision with more individuals amplifies its chances of realization.
- Upholding the principles of commitment and consistency, especially when publicly declared.
Historically, numerous influential brainstorming groups have reshaped societies and industries:
The Inklings: A literary collective including the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, responsible for iconic works like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings.
The Junto: Initiated by Benjamin Franklin, this assembly of 12 discussed personal growth, politics, theology, and science.
The Chicago 6: A group of budding entrepreneurs that transformed their financial futures within years, boasting successful members like William Hertz and Charles Wrigley.
The Graham Group: Decades ago, Warren Buffett began a modest annual meet-up discussing stocks. This evolved into global gatherings with influential business personas deliberating on impactful ideas.
Lesson learned? Behind every triumphant individual is a supportive and inspirational team making dreams a reality.
Faith Wood is a professional speaker, author, and certified professional behaviour analyst. Prior to her speaking and writing career, she served in law enforcement, which gives her a unique perspective on human behaviour and motivations. Faith is also known for her work as a novelist, with a focus on thrillers and suspense. Her background in law enforcement and understanding of human behaviour often play a significant role in her writing.
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