Meet Gina Pell, Perennial by Design
This week’s blog is written by a friend and kindred spirit Gina Pell. Gina is a tremendously vibrant person, entrepreneur and thinker. She’s coined the term Perennials to describe a mindset that supersedes age bias and invites lifetime joy. She was an early internet entrepreneur, launching companies such as the pioneering women’s portal Splendora. Her current venture is The What, which she co-founded with Amy Parker. The What is a fast-growing weekly newsletter with a private Facebook community called The What Women. If you’re not already part of it, take a look- real women talking to each other and giving legitimately great advice. I personally especially like The What Travel, and I loved being at their live conference event last year, primarily because of this Perennial quality of the women in attendance, and its general joy.
Bloom For Life: Activating a Perennial Mindset.
by Gina Pell
"In 2016 I published Meet The Perennials, my first article on Medium. It was a personal piece, more like a diary entry. I wrote it as a response to Millennial-bashing in the media: Millennials were called lazy, entitled, non-committal, unrealistic, selfie-obsessed posers. But wasn't my generation (X) called worse? Weren’t we “video game playing, latch key losers”? Complaining about the young is nothing new. Aristotle, in the 4th Century BC, wrote,"They think they know everything and are quite sure about it." Yet at the same time marketers make the mistake of focusing on an age based demographic, typically ages 25-37, and turn a blind eye to anyone who falls on either side of that narrow band. However, we live in the 21st century. It’s obvious that our age no longer defines us. I noticed a way of being that was ageless, a mindset of growth, and didn’t have a word for it.
Thus, I coined the term Perennials to describe this ever-blooming mindset of curious explorers and lifelong learners. Perennials transcend age, race, gender, religion, socioeconomic group, and other categories that tend to separate, silo, and divide us. Still, life puts some people into ruts and grooves and habitual rote behaviors.
Sometimes, we get stale and bored with ourselves. Cultivating a Perennial mindset counteracts that, and it is a practice, and it is something we all can do.
Here are five ways that I activate my Perennial mindset:
Activate Your Curiosity — There was a time when I was transitioning between life stages and jobs and felt unmoored, listless. I no longer had big goals or a routine and began sleeping in later and later. What jolted me from my torpor was a simple question: What am I curious about?
I made a list—photography, Japanese, vegan cooking, backpacking—and highlighted the ones that seemed possible without too much trouble. I took a Japanese language class, which stimulated my brain and connected me with other adult learners. It was precisely what I needed to get me out of my funk, and led to conquering another curiosity: learning Photoshop. Activating my curiosity was a way for me to reach for the sun again, rather than lying fallow without stimulation.
The Power of Onlyness by Nilofer Merchant and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown are also great reads to help you find your purpose and inspire you to rebloom.
Learn From Home — Learning platforms like Lynda, Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and General Assembly offer online courses to add to your personal or professional toolkits. I also recommend classes from Creative Bug, MasterClass, and Babel’s language platform to help get your creative juices flowing.
Focus on One Thing at a Time — Stop Multitasking! MIT neuroscientist Earl K. Miller says, “Multitasking is not humanly possible.” You cannot focus 100% on more than task and you work both faster and smarter by avoiding this myth.
Organize Your Space — Even if you’re not Marie Kondo (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up), it’s crucial to de-clutter and organize your surroundings to give yourself the peace of mind needed to create and achieve. Less clutter saves time, reduces stress, and helps you stay focused on what needs to get done.
Stay Healthy —You are a body and a mind. Mood and mind go hand in hand with health. Whether life is up or down we’re in a constant state of urgency. It’s always go, go, go and it’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits when life gets stressful. But if we’re not getting enough sleep, eating well, or taking a few moments to recharge, we’re only operating on half a stack—which is neither sustainable or efficient.
#PerennialPractice @RosebudWoman @TheWhatHQ