Monthly Archives: March 2011

10 WAYS TO INFLUENCE YOUR CREATIVE ABILITY

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um-032911-email“I ain’t in no slump, I just ain’t hitting.” Yogi Berra

That quote makes me laugh out loud! It speaks volumes about the facts of the matter without adding an interpretation or a loaded conclusion that creates having to deal with:

The meaning you give to what’s happening instead of just dealing with what’s happening!

What if nothing had any meaning until you gave it meaning? To quote another baseball favorite from a pre-instant replay umpire, “It ain’t nothing till I call it.”

We’re the umpires in our lives! So if you say you’re in a slump, you are, which is the meaning you give “not hitting”. Instead how do you influence your creative ability in the face of what’s happening, rather than adding meaning that doesn’t help you bat?

MANAGING CHANGE IS MANAGING CHOICES

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um-051711-emailWhen faced with a change in your life, what do you do?

I was presenting on the topic of bringing fulfillment to each day to a cancer awareness group, and it became clear that you manage change by managing your choices.

Whether the change is inside your control or outside your control, whether it’s inner directed by what you want, or outer driven by a surprising change in your circumstances; you remain at choice in your thoughts, words, and actions. You are choosing your response.

When faced with a change, you can complain. In fact many people do! I was working with a person who was doing just that! At some point I asked, “What is your request?” And do you know how she answered?

She kept complaining!

I’m patient. After listening a little longer, I asked again, “What is your request?” At that point, she stopped, and said, “I don’t know.” I asked her to think about it.

THE FREEDOM TO QUESTION

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um-031511-emailThis past week I traveled to celebrate a rite of passage in a young cousin’s life. Family and friends gathered, stories were told, and questions were asked. Not just the polite, every day questions about what you do, where you’ve traveled, and how you are, but penetrating questions about family history, timelines, and memories.

As our time together stretched over several days, there seemed to be a lingering and unasked question, which had never been raised before. The question finally surfaced as the crowds of friends left, and just us cousins remained.

“What do you know that I don’t know?”

What triggered the question was the discovery of family from a marriage and divorce no one knew existed until we began to piece together the history of our extended family. The younger members of the family sat in rapt attention as the family they knew grew to include recently discovered cousins who were unknown for half a century.

DEFEAT THE 10 DISTRACTIONS

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  1. um-030811-emailDesire
  2. Pressure
  3. Fatigue
  4. Cynicism
  5. Fantasy
  6. Time
  7. Anxiety
  8. Impatience
  9. Comparison
  10. Carelessness

The 10 distractions are habits of your mind, a way of thinking that moves your focus from the facts of the matter and the choices that are possible.

When you begin to see these mental habits for what they are, you expand what’s available to you in each moment, and can thoughtfully replace the distraction. Consider the following:

1. Restraint instead of desire gives you a moment of pause to look into what is fulfilling for a lifetime, rather than a momentary diversion that devolves into the next desire. Yearning for what isn’t is a recipe for suffering, and keeps you from appreciating what you have.