I’ll admit, I was one of those who never really used LinkedIn. Or looked at it. But then I started getting hooked to “Influencer Posts” that cover a variety of topics from various levels in the professional world. Last week, Arianna Huffington posted Hemingway, Thoreau, Jefferson and the Virtues of a Good Long Walk and it really got me thinking.
Maybe those guys (being Hemingway, Thoreau, Jefferson and the slew of others mentioned) were seriously on to something. I’ve often turned to walks during stressful times. Times to catch up with friends. Or just times to escape it all. And often, these happen along the lakefront. Though for some reason, it’s only during the fall and spring (maybe that chill in the air slapping you in the face has something to do with it). But it’s my first defense when things get rough.
Take for instance this past week at the office. A colleague was seriously overwhelmed and after seeing her walk by my desk, I followed up with a Gchat message saying: “Want to take a walk?” Even though we never went outside, it still helped. To get up and just walk away for a bit to gain a little perspective, but more importantly, a little distance. I’ve made a point to just pop into offices instead of calling people, just for the chance to get some mobility into my day.
I particularly enjoyed the quote from Gregory Berns in Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently when he writes, “new insights come from people and new environments — any circumstance in which the brain has a hard time predicting what will come next.” That to me sums up why around that 2:30 hour at the office, I’m craving somewhere for my legs to carry me. Sitting makes me feel stuck. Sitting makes me feel like a lump. And how is one supposed to be creative in that kinda of setting?
Below is an infographic from Mind Yourself Chicago on the importance of getting out there, for less than an hour. So feet, sandals, flip flops and boots, start walkin’.