It is hard to lead when you are tired, sick or overweight. The Standard American Diet (SAD), that is now spreading across the globe is the perfect diet if you wish to create less than optimal health. It is the diet of the non-leader (The couch potato). This series of posts is designed to eliminate all the misinformation about the SAD and provide the best of the best insights that we have discovered at CMC to make you more antifragile.
Although there has been a lot of press about nutrition and its effects on overall health and longevity, very little has been said about the connection between what you eat and the quality of your leadership and decision making. Of your ability to lead your life and lead your team.
With that said, we will explore a few easy things that anyone can research to see if it makes sense for them to begin doing. In the spirit of Kaizen, one small step is all we are after at this point.
One of the biggest areas and maybe the least obvious when it comes to nutrition is fat. This has become a three letter word that people try to avoid at all costs. Yet, we do so at our own peril. What we need to do is make the distinction between healthy fats and toxic fats.
A toxic fat is something we definitely want to avoid putting in our bodies at all costs. Hydrogenated oils (could be considered a plastic) are not helpful. Soybean oil, canola oil, vegetable oil are all on the list. Just about any oil used in any fast food restaurant is in this category of oils to avoid. Avoid rancid oils (if the bottle is in clear glass or plastic, there is a high probability that it is rancid).
Healthy fats are those fats that fuel the body and fuel the brain. They are what we not only crave but need to function at optimal levels of performance. Here are my personal favorite healthy fats. They can be used every day to maximize your nutritional profile.
From the oldest known texts in the world, the Rig Veda: “Ghee is the first and most essential of all foods.” It took me years to learn to like the taste of Ghee. Now I love it and use it every day. You can cook with it (it has a high smoke point), add it to anything where you would use butter or use it to make Bulletproof® Whole Bean Coffee 12 oz. in the morning (highly recommended). The best ghee comes from grass fed, pastured cow milk. The best ghee on the market is: 100% Organic Ghee from Grass-fed Cows, 32oz
Coconut oil can be used for everything including skin care and hair treatment. It can be used as toothpaste and used for oil pulling to detox the mouth. Like ghee, it has a high smoke point and is perfect for cooking. You can had it straight to smoothies and use it for bulletproof coffee. Here is a good one: Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce
This is an Italian staple. There is nothing like a tomato salad with fresh basil and high quality olive oil and a little salt and pepper. The key word is high quality. Olive oil has a low smoke point and it should not to be used for cooking (drizzle it on after the dish is already cooked). There are a lot of olive oils on the market that are less than stellar (many are cut with other oils). Here is one from California that you will love: Acropolis Organic Olive Oil (500ml) Brand: Acropolis
Krill and/or fish oil
Lots of research points to the need we have for Omega 3 fatty acids. It is curiously missing from the Western diet. That means supplements are required. One of the best sources is: New Chapter Wholemega, Whole Fish Oil with Omegas and Vitamin D3 - 120 ct
Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon
This is the best fish ever. Get is fresh at Whole Foods or get it canned from Wild Planet. This is one fish that is low on pollutants and high on nutrition. Avoid all farm raised fish and especially avoid genetically modified salmon which was recently approved (ill advisedly) by the FDA. Here is a good canned version: Wild Planet Wild Alaska Pink Salmon, Boneless & Skinless, 6 Ounce Can (Pack of 12)
Just like there is a lot of fake olive oil on the market, there is a lot of fake sardines being sold under the label of sardines. The real thing is a little known nutritional gem that fuels brain power. One brand we know that checks out is: Bela Olhao Sardines Lightly Smoked Sardine in Tomato Sauce, 4.25 Ounce -- 12 per case.
Nuts pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. Get nuts sourced from reputable organic growers. Pistachios, Macadamia, Almonds, and Walnuts are all excellent sources. Yes, they have a lot of healthy fat and that’s a good thing.
One of the best foods ever! Loaded with healthy fats and other goodies.
Is this the end of the story? No. But you have to begin somewhere. From our experience, toxic oils can have the most devastating impact on health while healthy oils can have the most positive impact. We will look at another area of leadership fuel in the next post.
Part of thanksgiving is feeling gratitude. It is about being grateful for what we have. Focusing on that is a game changer. For the readers of this blog, we have a lot to be grateful for (for starters, you have eyesight and are able to read, you have a computer, electricity, and some form of shelter, you are on the path of growth and development, etc.).
Yet. There is another side to Thanksgiving. That is saying 'thank you' to those who have specifically contributed in a positive way to our lives. It could be something small or it could be big. Either way, we have some obligation to recognize the other person. To say thank you. It is amazing how few people actually do this.
Let's start a trend and begin appreciating those who contribute to the quality of our lives with a heartfelt thank you (throughout the next 12 months). Other people will appreciate the recognition and we will feel good at the same time.
If you are in a leadership role, consider adding this practice to your performance objectives for the coming year. It is a kaizen practice (something small that will have a huge impact). You will thank me later.
The 2015 Dream Job Intensive is now complete. This live-remote workshop is for those who seek to have a career they absolutely love. In this latest session we had students ranging in age from 24 to 45. They came from non-profits, business, and freelance careers.
The Dream Job Intensive is based upon a coaching program created in 2012 by Conscious Management Consulting for one-on-one clients. We expanded it to a 10 week program and now to a four week Intensive.
The Dream Job Intensive uses tools like Maestro Conference, LinkedIn, triadic support and real-life coaches to engage students in an intense 30 day process. Each session of the workshop is led by certified coaches, who engage with students in individual and group work.
During the workshop, each student creates results within the 13 assigned projects. The program has regular deadlines, group discussions, and one-on-one coaching calls. It is entirely based online, with students participating from their home or workplace.
The next course begins on Monday, January 18, 2016. There is still room if you feel called to do this work (not easy but doable). You can learn more here.
Note: This is NOT like the courses that you sign up for and never participate. This course involves real work. It is a serious undertaking. You will have other people who will be counting on you to cross the finish line together. It is all for one and one for all. If you are not ready for this level of commitment, please do not apply.
One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you're dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you.Well, week three of the How to Create Your Dream Job Now Intensive is complete. In an effort to not sound like a broken record we will refrain from going overboard about how awesome this class is. But still, we do have to say it: They are an awesome group!
~ Reid Hoffman
This week we shifted our focus to building their personal networks. We define the network as, "the people who want to help you, and you want to help them." We place the emphasis upon the fact that everything we do to strengthen our network is time well spent on a number of levels (now and in the future).
We are now focusing on LinkedIn. Our objective is not only to be "on" LinkedIn, but to be an active member of LinkedIn. Of course, we share the advanced techniques required to be an active LinkedIn member.
In the last group call, we talked about strong ties v. weak ties. The main idea is to build strong ties while continually creating new weak ties. We discussed Malcolm Gladwell who, in his book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, said:
"People weren't getting their jobs through their friends. They were getting them through their acquaintances. Why is this? Granovetter argues that it is because when it comes to finding out about new jobs -- or, for that matter, new information, or new ideas -- "weak ties" are always more important than strong ties. Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do. They might work with you, or live near you, and go to the same churches, schools, or parties. How much, then, would they know that you wouldn't know? Your acquaintances, on the other hand, by definition occupy a very different world than you. They are much more likely to know something that you don't. To capture this apparent paradox, Granovetter coined a marvelous phrase: the strength of weak ties. Acquaintances, in short, represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are."Everyone in the Dream Job Intensive becomes a new member of your network. Everyone in the workshop gets connected on LinkedIn (including the coaches). We place emphasis on the idea of letting your network help you get to where you want to go.
Interested in the Dream Job Intensive starting in January 2016? You can learn more here.
A good friend from college recently responded to a Craig’s List posting for a Caretaker of a ranch outside of town. According to what he saw in the advertisement, it would be the perfect position. He is a true outdoors-man having spent over 20 years in the rugged mountains of Colorado. Watching over a large ranch is a perfect job for him.
On Saturday, he arose before dawn to ride out to meet the owner and check out the ranch. It was nice enough with plenty of land and large views of the countryside. There was a herd of Alpaca on the ranch. That was part of the deal. Take care of the flock and the property. But here’s the rub. When they were discussing payment, the owner talked about rent. Not a salary for being a caretaker. Not rent in exchange for watching over the property. No, she was talking rent for the "privilege" of watching over her animals and land.
My friend was of course taken aback. His choice words to the owner began with the letter “F” and then “you” and ended with the classic refrain “…and the Alpaca you came in on.”
This situation illustrates the modern phenomenon of people wanting their cake and to eat it too. Rather than find a way to create win/win/win agreements, they attempt to create win/lose agreements. They push the boundaries of common sense and common decency. It is yet another example of unconscious people trying to do business.
This is why we love conscious businesses (Trader Joe’s, Southwest Airlines, and COSTCO in the U.S.). They play by a different set of rules. They bend over backwards to make the customer happy, the employees happy, and the investor happy, all at the same time. Not a bad way to roll.
Note: An alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.
I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right or wrong and identifying what one's strengths and weaknesses are.Week two of our Dream Job Intensive is complete. As we noted last week we have an energetic and motivated group of students who have committed themselves to this 30-day immersion to discover more about themselves and more about conscious businesses (where they one day might like to build a career).
~ Ray Dalio
We should take it a step further and say this is an amazing group with over 85% completing assignments on time. And not only that, they are working together as a “we” instead of several “me’s.” That is pretty amazing.
One of the assignments was to take the StrengthsFinder 2.0online assessment and begin putting their top strength to use (immediately) . The research data is pretty clear that we can only thrive and be happy if we are using our strengths on a daily basis. Of course, to use them, you need to know what they are.
Here is a sample of some of the top strengths of the students in the intensive: Activator, Adaptability, Arranger, Communication, Context, Futuristic, Ideation, Input, Intellection, Learner, Maximizer, Positivity, Relator, Responsibility, Restorative, and Strategic. Wow! Imagine building a team with these folks.
Do you know your top strength? Do you use it every day? Interested in the Dream Job Intensive? You can learn more here.
Here is an interesting video that will help you start focusing on strengths: Eva Katharina Herber at TEDxIEUniversityMadrid
Within each successful person is an ordinary person who found the courage to act – to face the big challenges and make their dreams come true.
~ Jinny S. Ditzler
In Session 1 we talked about creating your Weekly Success Map. In session 2, we talked about using 3x5 cards to plan and track your day. In this session, we explore the topic of creating your Yearly Plan.
The Yearly Plan is your big picture. It feeds your Weekly Success Map. It provides a roadmap for where you are headed over the next 12 months. If you have never created a yearly plan, it may well be one of the most exciting (and productive) things you have ever done.
In the video we reference the book Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Everby Jinny S. Ditzler. You can buy the book here:
Week one of our Dream Job Intensive is complete. We have an energetic and motivated group of students who have committed themselves to this 30-day immersion to discover more about themselves and more about conscious businesses (where they one day might like to build a career).
Besides the individual attention that everyone gets from the one-on-one coaching, what makes this program unique is the support network from all the students enrolled in the course. Unlike most courses where there is little or no connection to others, in the Dream Job Intensive, it is all about “all for one and one for all.” We intentionally designed it so that everyone must cross the finish line or no one does.
Tough? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
Check out this great video someone shared with the group. It aligns perfectly with what we are up to in the course:
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.
~ Zig Ziglar
In Session 2 we go from your Weekly Success Map to your daily plan. Each day is planned and recorded on a ruled 3x5 card. There is amazing magic in planning each day and then executing on the plan. Of course, things will come up and you will need to adjust. That is to be expected. But the discipline of planning is indispensable to success. It is the difference between moving out with a purpose and drifting through life.
Within the video, we mention a few resources that you may want to consider ordering. You can order directly from our Amazon links. See below…
Levenger 300 Non-Personalized 3x5 Cards - White Ruled (ADS6780 RL)
Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase Purple (AL5945 PU NM)
Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.Longevity is great but we don't have too much control over that (healthy eating and exercise aside). What we do control is how much we live each moment we are alive. Mindfulness is probably the most direct route to living more fully each and every day. If you have not seen our course on mindful walking, we encourage you to check it out here. Try it and see what results you see.
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
How often do you consciously practice mindfulness? Do you notice that your ability to love increases with your level of awareness?
We are doing a private version of the Dream Job Intensive starting Monday, October 26, 2015 (that's next week). Because there are a few slots open, we are opening the doors to the readers of this blog on a first come basis. The tuition for the program is normally $1,995. Because of the short notice, we are offering a one-time-only discounted rate of only $397 per person (this session only). Please check out the details here.
If this program resonates with you and you are up for a challenge we would love to have you with us. Although it will be difficult and will require a lot of work, it will be a lot of fun at the same time.
For everyone else, there will be a regularly scheduled intensive beginning January 18, 2016. We will post more information when the date gets closer.
We look forward to your success!
The Dream Job Intensive Leadership Team
If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.In Session 1 we focus on your Weekly Success Map. This is the key to the whole process. If you do this one thing, your success could well multiply beyond your wildest dreams. The reason for this is, you are combining your creativity with focused attention on what you intend to do in the coming week. It is not magic but it can seem like it once you get into the habit.
~ Yogi Berra
Within the video, we mention a few resources that you may want to consider ordering. You can order directly from our Amazon links. See below…
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.This video is a quick introduction to a new mini-course for the regular readers of this blog. This program is an advanced yet simple system that is all about Time/Life Management.
~ Benjamin Franklin
The course is designed specifically for those of us who are highly creative and may find it challenging to use the traditional “left brain” tools typical in the world of time management or project management.
As a creative person, you likely have some challenges in time/life management. It might manifest in problems with keeping up with email, being on time for meetings, or getting projects completed on time. It is our sincere wish that this course assists you with overcoming these challenges so that you become more productive and more successful in anything that you choose to do.
We look forward to hearing about your experiences!
Forever is composed of nows.
~ Emily Dickinson
It is never a question of not enough time. The question is always about not enough living. We are served up a huge dish of life every single day. Yet, most of us complain. We forget that this day is the show itself. The main act. The final cut. All the absurdities we read about in the newspapers may be due to a very simple but deadly miscalculation about the nature of existence.
Life is sweet precisely because we know each day is a once in a lifetime experience. Each sunrise is totally unique, never to be repeated in the same way again.
If your faith calls you to believe in the afterlife, then live this life to the fullest. If your faith does not allow for such a belief, then all the more reason to be alive and happy now.
As requested, this is a guided mindful walk we created over the weekend for the readers of this blog. The audio and pics are from the actual walk in real time. You can listen to this while you take a walk yourself. Use the audio to prompt you to actively notice new things as you walk. This will activate the mindfulness switch!
Note: There will be a series of professionally produced guided mindful walks available on iTunes in the near future. We will let you know when they are ready.
Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that, “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”
We could add to this all the other envoys of beauty we miss every single day: The sunsets, the clouds, the mountains and even the eyes of those we pass along the path. We miss all this beauty to our own peril. It is as if we see but cannot see.
We are all billionaires living in poverty. Stuck inside the house staring at a screen. Lost in a world (of recycled thoughts) that has nothing to do with the true wealth awaiting just outside the door.
Photo Credit: Eric Barr, in South Korea
Don’t Try to Control the UncontrollableIn our recent Antifragility Webinar (listen to the excerpts here), one of our special guests was James Key Lim. James is a consultant who spent a long time at Zappos, one of the few companies on the planet known for having a truly world-class culture.
~ James Key Lim
During the webinar, James said something profound (many things) that I’ve been thinking about ever since. He said, “don’t try to control the uncontrollable.” The more I think about this, the more deep it goes. These words of wisdom speak about chaos. He cautions us not to get hung-up on things we cannot control. He even invites us to not only accept chaos but to actively encourage it (if everyone is prepared to do so).
In a very real way, the only thing we really control is ourselves and how we will show up in the world today. If we get that handled, then everything else has a tendency to work itself out. If we can begin to accept the chaotic nature of things, might we one day learn to love it?
We joined Si Alhir and Barry Bettman to discuss Antifragility with Judith E. Glaser and James Key Lim. This was an amazing discussion. Listen for some Zappo's stories from James and insights around neuroscience and art from Judith.
The full audio will be posted on Si's blog in the near future here.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
The great John Mackey and his company Whole Foods Market (WFM) essentially created the health food movement as we know it today. We take for granted that there are healthy (or at least healthier) choices when it comes to food. WFM is within driving distance of almost every major town or city within the United States. They are truly delivering on their Higher Purpose.
But there is one thing conspicuously absent in WFM that every other grocery store has. What is that? A pharmacy. There Are No Pharmacies in Whole Foods Market. Anywhere. Ever. It is almost as if they actually listened to Hippocrates' famous quote about letting food be your medicine and your medicine your food.
Could it be that Hippocrates was right after all? Could great healthy organic leafy green food really become your medicine? Could an ounce of prevention really be worth a pound of cure? Well, we leave that for you to discover. The fact that pharmaceuticals are not part of the success equation at WFM speaks volumes.
We’ve written about Whole Foods Before and how they are Antifragile (see the post here). Despite recent criticism of WFM in some corners, we continue to recognize them as leaders without which the other stores who now carry organic foods would no longer be able to do so. Rock on WFM!
Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
As we wrap-up this mini-course on mindful walking, we finish in a magical garden in a park. This magical garden could be anywhere on the planet. You will need to discover yours for yourself. Let your intuition guide you to the spot (you will know it when you see it).
In this session we talk about the idea of doing some conscious breathing since most people tend to hold their breath. Let the air in and let it circulate. Then let it out. Breathe.
Going to the garden is a special way to slow down. Focus on walking slowly and consider using it as your final destination after each mindful walk. See everything. There is no need to rush. Look at things close-up. Actively notice new things continuously. Don't let the rain stop you. Some of the best walks ever had by anyone who has walked the planet have happened during "inclement" weather.
Our sincere wish is that you have been inspired by this course and will consider giving this walking practice a try. As always, we love to hear from you. Send a note if you have any questions.
Check out the Guided Mindful Walk here.
When I am traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
In this session we talk about some of the "side effects" of mindful walking. In this case they are all good. Namely, any feelings of stress, anxiety or overwhelm begin to fall away. At the same time, new ideas (relevant to what you are working on) begin to flow in.
We recommend carrying a notepad and pen so you can jot down these ideas and then continue on with the walk. If you don't write it down, there is a tendency to keep playing the ideas over and over again in your head. This is a huge distraction from the task at hand if you allow it to happen. Stay focused! As John Muir pointed out, "in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
Go to Part 10 here.
Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.
~ John Muir
This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
In this session we discuss a few things that you can do to boost your mindfulness walk. As you are walking and noticing new things, you can begin integrating the sounds that you hear along the way, such as the breeze blowing through the leaves. You can become aware of the feeling of your feet as they touch the ground.
Keep in mind that no two days are ever the same (light, temperature, sounds, weather conditions, your state of being). Even if you take the same path every day for 100 years, each walk would be one-of-a-kind-unique if walked in mindfulness.
Go to Part 9 here.
And so, mindfulness, for me, is the very simple process of actively noticing new things. When you actively notice new things that puts you in the present, makes you sensitive to context. As you’re noticing new things, it’s engaging. And it turns out, after a lot of research, that we find that it’s literally, not just figuratively, enlivening. So, the Eastern notions, I did research, again, back in the ’80s, on transcendental meditation. And, that’s also — meditation is also useful, but it’s quite different, different ways of getting to the same place. Meditation, no matter what kind of meditation, is engaged to produce post-meditative mindfulness.
~ Ellen J. Langer
This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
This session is all about noticing new things, intentionally, while on a mindfulness walk. It is about stacking the odds in your favor. The mindfulness walk, in the way that we use that term, will have a higher than average chance of turning on your mindfulness switch not only during the walk but for several hours afterwards. You become awake and aware. Your power to create is greatly enhanced. So-called accidents and mistakes almost disappear because you notice everything (within you and around you). It doesn't get much better than that!
The takeaway message of this session is to notice everything you can on the walk: From the super small to the grand vista opening before you in a beautiful location. Switching between the two can be very useful in heightening the experience.
Go to Part 8 here.
It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
~ Francis of Assisi
In this session, we talk about your pre-walk activities. That is, those things related to getting into a mindset conducive to a mindful walk. Prepare to launch!
This step includes:
- Setting the intention to be mindful during the walk
- Check-in with your level of consciousness before and after the walk (write it down)
- Dress appropriately
- Solitude is the way to mindfulness
- Go towards nature
I am alarmed when It happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.
~ Henry David Thoreau
This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
In this session we discuss a few considerations about what you need in terms of equipment (not much) and proper clothing. We also discuss footwear for walking. On rough terrain, you will need walking shoes. We mentioned the idea of going barefoot when it is safe to do so. There is a lot of new research coming out about the importance of getting grounded. See the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! - 2nd editionfor more information on this important topic.
Go to Part 6 here.
This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
In this session, we discuss selecting a place that is conducive to mindful walking (especially in the early stages of the practice). We recommend criteria in outdoor spaces to look for and consider. It is likely that there is such a place not far from your home or office. Even in New York, Central Park is available, for those living in the Big Apple.
No matter where you are located in the world, there should be a place where you can go to take a mindful walk. You may notice how crowded the streets are with cars while how few people are out there are on the walking path.
Go to Part 5 here.
This is a Mini-Course on Mindful Walking.
In this video, we talk about setting the intention to become mindful before you set out for a walk. We recommend that you do a check-in to see where you are at--in terms of your level of consciousness--before and after the walk. The check-in numbers can be tracked effectively in a spreadsheet so you can see your progress over time.
Go to Part 4 here.
- Level 0 - Sleep
- Level 1 - Twilight Zone between sleep and waking
- Level 2 - Ordinary everyday consciousness (the lights are on but no one is home)
- Level 3 - Mindful awareness
- Level 4 - Mindful awareness with active noticing
- Level 5 - The Zone/Flow State
- Level 6 - The Peak Experience (Maslow)
- Level 7 - Enlightenment
This is a Mini-Course on something we call Mindful Walking.
One of the questions that came up from the How to Find Your Dream Job Now course was about the Mindfulness Walk we discussed in the Session 10 video. Because it is so important and so many people have asked about how to do it, I shot a series of videos explaining the process.
This is Part 1. A new video will be posted every day for the next 10 days. If you have an interest in mindfulness this series may be of interest to you.
The video quality is rough and grainy not unlike war footage. This is appropriate since it is a battle to not only wake up but to stay awake. The main thing in this series is the motivation for you to get started (and keep going).
Go to Part 2 here.
Let’s say you have an idea for a book, a blog, a work of art, an online course, a new service or anything else that requires creativity. Almost everyone we talk to has something they have been “thinking about” doing for a long time. Some have started. Few have finished.
Here are a few tips that you can use to overwhelm anything (usually internal) that prevents you from starting and completing your creative project.
Begin at the End
This is an old trick I originally learned from Steven Covey in the book,The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal ChangeIt basically means to see the final result before you ever get started. Get clear on what you are creating. See the big picture. Use this as a guide to create your masterpiece.
Commit to Doing It
Until you make a decision nothing will happen. Thinking about doing it is not the same thing as doing it. If you decide to go on a cruise, you go on the cruise. Same idea for your project. Decide once and then begin.
Utterly and Absolutely Forget about Perfection
Most people get hung up on creating the perfect thing, whatever that thing might be. It is one of the major stumbling blocks to creative work. As Reid Hoffman the co-founder of LinkedIn said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late.” The main idea is to launch.
Break It Down Into Logical Pieces
In every project, there is a logical sequence to what needs to happen and when. Some things can be done out of sequence but other things depend upon something else being completed before the next step can begin. Brainstorm everything that needs to happen and then arrange each step into a sequence. PostIt notes are invaluable for this.
Use social pressure to your advantage. By telling everyone you know what you are up to, you put pressure on yourself to follow through. The more people you tell, the better. Most people will not want to report back that they did not start or finish the project they were so enthusiastic about a few months ago. Forming a mutually supportive Triad (three people who are all working on something important) can be a huge boost to your productivity.
Set Traps for Yourself
A productivity trap is something that distracts you from completing your goal. Conventional wisdom says to clear the decks so you have time to focus on your priorities. This can work but often does not. The alternative is to book your calendar with meetings, exercise, social events, etc. This will force you to schedule in an hour or two every week to work on your project. This time becomes truly focused work time.
Without a little faith, you will be always doubting yourself. That is not helpful when you are doing something you have never done before. If you can muster up the belief that you can do it, that what you need will be available when you need it (even though you have no evidence from the past that says you can), you will be way ahead of the game. Think of how children create. They just get going with a lot of faith that they can do whatever it is they choose to do. They happen to be right.
That's it! If you use the strategies, you boost the probability of not only starting but finishing any creative project that you decide (yourself) that you desire to create. We would love to hear about your successes.