Journey Into Creative Thinking

attractive business woman with a magic wand and hatHow many times have you caught yourself thinking there has to be another way to solve this problem only to come up blank.

How often have you felt frustrated because you knew exactly what the  problem was but had not ideal of how to solve it.  No idea, nada, zip, zero, just can’t come up with the RIGHT solution no matter how hard you try.  Matter of fact, the more you try the further away the solution drifts from your mind.

The number of  possible solution  may be exhausting and too overwhelming to come up with a single answer.  Maybe you feel like you’re walking up the side of a mountain to get to the other side only to find another mountain once you reach the top.  The pressure to find THE ANSWER  puts you in overload.

 

But celebrate! There is hope!

When you get creative you can look at your problems and see them in a different light.  The solution may be right under your nose and you just can’t see it.

First you need to be open minded and allow for the fact there is probably more than one solution to the problem.  That creates an environment to take an unsolvable problem to a solvable solution.   With a positive mindset you can get more creative in solving a problem.

  • Trying writing down all the possible solutions.  Just put everything down on paper.  Even if one of your ideas for a solution is far-fetched
  • Don’t restrain your thinking. 
  • Explore funny ideas or even foolish ideas
  • Look at the problems through the eyes of a scientist, or athletic, artist or child
  • Allow yourself to be playful
  • Let go of fears, judgment’s, assumptions, biases or criticisms
  • Visualize to see new opportunities, and think creatively.
  • Define the problem by asking questions
  • Who, how, what, when, where and why.
  • Recall past experiences both good and bad
  • Explore strategies identifying the benefits, drawbacks and obstacles. 

Sometimes you have to venture into uncharted territory to make progress fully knowing problems are an opportunity in disguise.

Here is one example of the creative process at work.

Take a piece of paper and write any word that comes to mind at the center. Now look at that word then write the first two words that come to your mind. This can go on until you can build a tree of related words. This helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

So, next time you see a problem you think you can not solve, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, and a whole lot of work.

Explosive Danger Of Ignoring Stress


iStock_000008468808XSmallWhen I was dealing with one of the most stressful periods of my life I never thought about stress.  In fact I didn’t even know I was even stressed
.  I thought that what I was dealing with and how I was managing my life was just a part of life and I might as well get use to it.  In fact, if anyone looked at my life they would never know I was under any stress at all.  It was a well hidden secret.  So much so it was a hidden from me too.

I remember recently my son told me something I use to think myself “I work better under stress”  in reality nothing could be further from the truth.  We get things done because we have no choice but what we fail to recognize is the damage stress has on your body.  The truth is no one is completely immune to stress and does affect you in profound ways.

Do you stay busy because you hate feeling bored?  You consider yourself someone who loves life and lives it to its fullest, so you are always on the go, meeting new people doing new things.

Maybe others come to rely on you when they need help to get through a stressful situation in their life because of your positive optimistic attitude.  To the outside world all  seems well.  But if you are paying no attention to the stress in your own life  don’t be too surprised when you explode over some small thing that now seems like too much to handle.

Rather than waiting for stress to explode and totally disrupt your life and business, take time to observe the small disruptions and interruptions  that cause stress for you on a regular basis.  Dealing with problems as they come up will prevent a build-up of stress that can later cause an explosive reaction over something small.

When you hide or ignore the small stressor thinking that as long as I use affirmations and stay upbeat everything will be ok you are actually putting your head in the sand.  You may notice this happening with your life partner.  You ignore something that you find  irritating, for instance, your partner leaves their dirty clothes on the floor.  This may even go on for years.  But one day they leave a dish in the sink and POW you explode in anger but was it really the dish in the sink or the years of being irritated by the clothes left on the floor.

Dealing with stressor as they come along is far more manageable then if you wait until you are in crisis mode.  Commit to dealing with one problem a week.  In one year you would have fixed 52 problems and resolving 52 problems will change your life.

What small problem are you committed to resolving this week? Keep a list in a journal and look back at it in one years time and see how your life has change.

 

You’re A Real Fathead… and So Am I

121129_omega-3Fat is a fearsome word to most people.  For decades nutritionists and medical professionals have warned us that fats are bad for us.  They raise our cholesterol, clog our arteries and tend to make us…. well fat.  But if you take this at face value then you will avoid fat like the plague.  But that’s just plain wrong.

We need fats.  We’d be dead without them.  They’re critical to the well being of every cell in our bodies, and they’re critical building blocks for the construction of every neuron in our brains.

Did you know your brain is mostly made up of fat?

It sounds like a straight line from a stand-up comedy routine  but it’s true.  The human is about 60% fat by dry weigh.  Fat molecules (sometimes called fatty acids) play a critical role in the construction of brain cells and the insulation of nerve fibers.

But all fats are not created equal.  The essential dietary fats come in tow versions - Omega-3 and omega-6.  They play a complementary roles in the brain and the rest of the body.  When all goes well, omega-3 and omega-6 work in harmony to keep us firing on all cylinders.  But when our dietary fats fall out of balance, we become vulnerable to many forms of illness.  Depression is one of the most common.

According to studies, hour hunter-gather ancestors maintained a superb balance of omega-6s and omega-3s in their diets, usual in a 1:1 ratio.   The typical American, on the other hand, has a radically imbalanced fat intake heavily slated in favor of omega-6s.  The ration in the modern American diet now stands at a staggering 16:1 ratio.

Fortunately, the body is able to make many of the fat molecules the brain needs.  But their are some forms that the body can’t manufacture on its own, these fats can be obtain only form our diet.  And among the most important dietary  fats is a group called omega-3 fatty acids- critical building blocks for brain structure an function.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found mainly  in fish, wild game, nuts, seeds and leafy vegetable, all thing found in abundance.  Our distance ancestors ate five to ten times more omega-3 fat than we do today.  In fact, omega-3s have gradually disappeared from the American diet over the past century.

In the past our great-grandparents, for example, ate beef cattle that were free range, where the cattle ate grasses and wild plants sources of omega-3.  Remarkably beef used to be good for us.  Today’s cattle in contract are mostly grain-fed, and have little beneficial omega-3

Omega-3 fats are made in the leaves of plants, grasses, and algae.  Any animal that eats one of these omega-3 plant sources quickly absorbs the essential fats directly into its own body.  So, for example we find high levels of omega-3 fats in wild game, which feed on grasses.  and many species of wild fish that fee on algae.

Omega-6s fats on the other hand, are usually concentrated in plant seeds.  These fats are also abundant in nuts and grains.   One of the biggest changes involved the shift form leaves to seed in the diet of livestock.

To restore your dietary balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, there are really only two major possibilities to consider.  You can either

  • Increase your intake of omega-3s 
  • Decrease your intake of omega-6s

You can do this by:

  • Switiching to grass-feed beef or simply drop beef from your diet
  • Stick mostly with lean meats like chicken breast and fish
  • Cook with olive oil, or coconut oil
  • Use butter instead of margine
  • supplement with a good omega-3 supplement.

So now that you know that it’s good to be a fathead.  What are you going to do to add omega-3s to your diet and decrease your intake of omega 6s.

 

 

 

 

Eliminate Time Clutter – Create A Not To Do List

MH900104872 If you’re busy and overwhelmed like most people you’ll likely have some sort of to-do list going. It could be in the form of a notebook, a computer, mobile device or even heaven forbid a piece of paper. But some days looking at the list just makes me feel crazy. There is so many things to do that sometimes I get the feeling the list has “legs” of its own like a centipede.

In others words the list seems to keep growing and growing without my help. In my experience at some point the list becomes an alligator…one that bites.

So how do you get control of your to-do list?

How about creating a not to do list instead? Because we’ve either heard and use these terms so often a great deal of our thinking comes from, No I won’t, don’t know how, cant get it done, part of our brain. I sometimes use this same concept with my list. Here’s how it goes.

Take this article for instance. Most people would write on their to-do list get an article written by a specific date. Instead I might put on my not to-do list something like:

Not to waste time doing things that is not going to be of value to my clients. That forces me to focus on what I need to do first which is to add value. Because quite frankly, saying to myself write an article is not always an effective motivating factor for me. But when I think about giving value that can have an affect that motivates me to take appropriate action. In this case the action I take will provide the most value for my clients.

Let me give you another example. Maybe I need to clean the bathroom and let’s face, it that’s one of my least favorite jobs (maybe it’s your least favorite too). I change that thought to “not to have my bathroom unprepared for company.”

Here’s the deal. Our mind if a funny thing. It’s so use to the negative, it can be difficult to continuously focus on something positive. In fact, it would take an extraordinary the effort to focus on something positive all the time. And this of course causes stress

So here are some ideas of what to put on your not-to-do list:

  • I am not going to get distracted from the most important thing I can do today (whatever that thing is). If I think about not getting distracted that automatically makes me think about the things I need to focus on.
  • I am Not going to get confuse and buy into the idea that activity equals productivity. Instead do something that you know will move you closer toward your goals
  • I won’t going to attend events including teleseminars or teleclasses that I not willing to take the actions directed by the trainer. Instead carefully select the events you plan to attend.
  • I won’t confuse eating fewer meals with losing weight. Instead accept it’s all about the actual food choices you make when you eat.
  • I won’t look at and respond to each email when it arrives. Instead select a time of day such at 9 am 12 noon and 4:30 pm and spend only 15 – 30 minutes reviewing and responding to email.
  • I am not going to work through lunch. Instead plan your lunch and take a break away from your work.
  • I can’t work non-stop for hours on end without a breather. Instead I use a 30 minute hour glass to time my activities, then I take a break. One quick stress busting activity is to simply take a deep breath. When your body is under stress, breathing becomes shallow. You might even notice you hold your breath. Taking a deep breath releases tension instantly. Oxygen immediately starts to flow to the cells. Energy is free to move throughout your body. Taking a deep breath after 30 minutes of deep focused work just might make you work a little bit smarter.
  • I am not going to give up on my goal even when I feel tired. Instead remember why you had the goal in the first place.

This simple way of thinking helps you stop and think about what you’re doing that might be getting in the way of reaching your objectives. It also relieves you of the constant burden of trying to think positive all the time.

So what are you going to put on your not to do list?

Getting To The Heart Of Stress

heartFor thousands of years, many believed that stress could make you sick.  But until science supported this fact there was little done about stress in the area of medicine.  To tell the truth there is still very little done about stress even today in the western medicine except for maybe prescribing a pill.

The truth is many approaches like meditation, prayer, music, sleep, yoga.. and the list goes I know in my heart really work to maintain health.

Heart disease is the number-one cause of death in the United States and many other countries in the world.  One of the most devastating results of long-term chronic stress may turn out to be its like to heart disease.  This fact is not surprising because stress can increase your blood pressure, constrict your blood vessels  raise your cholesterol lever, trigger arrhythmias, and speeds up the rate at which your blood clots.

Stress is now considered a major risk factor in heart disease, right up there with smoking, being overweight, and lack of exercise.

Today there is convincing evidence that stress and emotions such as hostility and anger play a significant role in the development of heart disease.  In the 1950′s researcher Robert Shekelle found that high hostility was a significant predictor of increased risk of heart disease.

In one study conducted by Redford Williams, found that individuals with high hostility scores had the most coronary blockage.  In fact, over 70 percent of the subjects in his study with high hostility scores had severe blockages.

Now that you know how stress can effect you heart it’s time for a bit of Instant ahhhh.. 

When you are triggered by stress, anger and hostility, you need a way to induce relaxation instantly.  You need a cue, like the command “Relax,” in order to reduce your anxiety as quickly as possible.  Get comfortable in a seated position. Take a deep breath and hold it for an extra moment.  When you release this breath, focus on blowing your worries far away   Let go of any excess tension still in your body.  Continue to breathe in and out deeply and rhythmically, saying to yourself silently.  ”breath in”  on the inhale and “breath out longer”  on  the exhale.  Follow this repetition for five minutes.

With each breath peace, and calm comes in and tension and stress moves out.

What do you do to get instant ahhhh?

Putting Your Action into Overdrive

typing-in-blur-150x150If you are creating a successful business, you should discover how to take positive action each day to achieve your targets. Doing an average job  likely lead to mediocre results at best.  Instead, place your activities into overdrive and maximize your efforts.

Making very action count develops momentum and propels you toward your goals.  It’s actually pretty easy to learn which actions to take…the hard part is actually taking consistent action.

And what stops you… it’s you!

Turn Positive Action into a Positive Life

Every achievement, every goal – every major accomplishment begins with the first step.

But for some reason – that first step is often the most difficult. You may talk yourself out of taking it, decide to think and not do anything and in the end nothing ever gets done.

Today you can change that and you’re not only going to take the first step, you’re going to take the next step and the step after that as well – You’ll be taking the right action until you achieve your goals.

Placing one foot in front of the other not only increases your results, it increase your passion.  Most of us are a lot happier when we get results.  So when you feel like sitting back and taking it easy remember you will find more joy and passion when you take action and get results you’re looking for.

Even if you’re getting get plenty of ideas and opportunities you need to act on them.  The greatest failures come from not taking action, not doing anything and putting things off.

Nothing is going to magically show up at your door.

Not every action you take will be pleasant or seem rewarding.  Many actions you take in order to succeed will be tedious, annoying and you’ll feel like you’d rather be doing something else.  But those are the necessary actions and those are the little things that lead to greater success.

  • Bestselling authors only achieve success by taking action – writing the book and working with publishers to succeed.
  • Successful athletes practice every day to achieve success.
  • Business people who build successful businesses also take massive action – building and marketing their business.
  • Even a person who wins the lottery had to take action and buy the winning ticket.

By taking action you also tell your subconscious mind, and your higher power that you’re willing to do what it takes, that you’re willing to fulfill your obligation to take action and make your goals a reality.

Positive affirmations permit you to set your goals, imagine them, and reaffirm them each time you state them.  This declaration only needs to be something you desire for yourself and with continued  repetition, you could make it your reality.  Words are highly effective because of their  provoke emotion and encourage action.

As you use affirmations you’ll start to think about new things to do, and think about the different things that you can do to accomplish your goal, your subconscious mind will begin to bring you answers. You now have your subconscious mind and your higher powers working for you and they help you come up with and discover new action steps.

 Affirmations are generally very simple, but they can help you make lasting changes in your life, one step at a time.  When you use continued affirmations you’ll find that when you’re are thinking and feeling (vibrating) in accordance with what you desire, the actions come from a place of inspiration and it is always the right action to take.

 

Stress Management – Eliminate Stress By Balancing Your Intake of Duties, Expectations, and Pressures

balanceLiving in balance means choosing how you spend your time, your energy you’re your money. The most effective action you can take is to prioritize and make sure you don’t overdo in any one area or totally ignore other areas of your life.  .

Start by setting healthy limits.  For instance think about how you balance exercise food intake.  Are you allowing a day of exercise to be the excuse to overindulge in a fast food meal or a poor snack choice?  Consistently is the key.  There was a time when I wasn’t consistent with anything and wondered why the weight refused to release.  What I recently taught myself is “it’s not about how I feel.”  If I exercised when I felt like it I would never exercise.  If I made good food choices when I felt like it that wouldn’t happen either.  In order to stay balanced, I don’t over indulge in any one area. I set limits for myself so that I can stay healthy.

Just as I do with my nutrition and exercise choices I find that balancing my responsibilities is my business exercise. When I stay the course, I burn off the excess weight of busywork or distractions. My life feels more fulfilling when I replace busywork with meaningful tasks.

So how else can you  balance your life?

Remove anxiety from your diet and replace it with careful planning. Balance your duties by filling out a weekly and monthly planner.  You won’t see where your going if you don’t.  It will cause random starts and stops without the good feel of accomplishment.  If you see that you have too many tasks on one day,  stop adding responsibilities be realistic about what you can do and what is unreasonable to do.  Also be practical about what is necessary to do for your business and what you need to do today for your business.  .

Sometimes you have to say “no” to some things. Other times you simply have to say “not now.” If you tried to do it all you would burn yourself out and experience  overwhelm and stress.

You have to be reasonable about your own expectations. . If others place unreasonable expectations on you, replace them with realistic ones.   Take on reasonable challenges.  Realistic challenges are encouraging when you exceed expectations.  How many times have you heard just send out this email and you will triple your business.  When you set your expectation too high or the expectation is unrealistic this causes you to be discouraged and more stressed if things don’t work out

A moderate amount of stress is good, but when you feel like your getting buried under pressure, you know it’s time to re-evaluate your diet.  There is a difference between taking on a challenge and simply taking on too much.

Clarity Questions:

 How can I balance my schedule?

  1. What busywork can I eliminate from my life?
  2. Are my priorities reflected in the way I spend my time, energy and money?

Let me know how you balance your life and your business.  We’re in this together!