'You should follow people on social media you don’t agree with' – What Inspires Me, with CSM's Joe Laing

The business director at CSM Sport & Entertainment discusses what stirs his creative mind.

'You should follow people on social media you don’t agree with' – What Inspires Me, with CSM's Joe Laing

The unexpected

Probably as a result of reading and listening to too much Malcolm Gladwell or Michael Lewis, I am less inspired by the inspired and more inspired by what caused the inspired to be inspired.

Stories that have been misinterpreted or misunderstood; stories that change your thinking and behaviour fascinate me.

Podcasts such as Revisionist History, Against the Rules and Cautionary Tales are great reminders to challenge your thinking and ask more questions but, moreover, they are generally wonderfully told stories.

Straight talking

I can’t stand words and phrases that exist to say nothing not at all. ‘Proactive’ might be my least favourite word in the English language.

Buzzwords, jargon and marketing-speak I find monumentally uninspiring. People, brands and briefs that get to the point with efficiency, clarity and humour get my vote.

It inspires clearer thinking, better insight and stronger creative.

Good news stories

It sounds obvious, but finding inspiration in good news stories is actually good for you. Science suggests that reading and sharing good news boost happiness for you and those you share it with.

For much of 2020 good news has been in drastically short supply, but you can still find it; it just takes a bit more looking than other stories.

I’m a firm believer that you should follow people on social media you don’t agree with, or even oppose, so as not to get sucked into an echo chamber where everyone thinks the same.

Donald Trump

It’s an inalienable truth that inspiration can’t always come from a place of comfort or happiness. For that reason, the 45th president of the United States may just about lay claim to being the most inspirational figure of the 21st century.

At the time of writing, approaching 110 million US voters were casting or had cast their vote early. Come election day, voter numbers are expected to exceed 65 per cent of the eligible voting population, totalling an additional 25m more votes cast than in 2016.

While the world waits to see whether it is enough, there is no doubt that apathy towards elections has shifted in 2020 and, regardless of your political belief, that is heartwarming.

The catalyst for change is palpable and millions have been inspired to make their voices heard to make a difference.

Authentic action

Sport is not short of inspirational characters and quotes, but pinpointing moments that serve to inspire action or change are not so common.

Step forward Marcus Rashford. The Manchester United forward has quite rightly received plaudits for his campaigning to end child food poverty.

A makeshift banner reading 'A Humanity United #EndChildFoodPoverty' hung from the signpost for Wythenshawe yesterday as thousands of businesses across the UK have pledged to provide free meals for children who need them over this half-term week.

Rashford himself has used his social media platforms to thank them personally and raise awareness of their offers.

It is difficult not to feel inspired by the story of an individual who, despite his success, has not forgotten his journey or the role he can play in generating change.

It also shows the importance of authenticity in creating something compelling.


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