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Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice via Dumb Little Man – Tips for Life

April 25th, 2020 Comments off

Each person should find time to have a break and think about what is bothering them. Mindful journaling will help to figure out what is in your heart.

Our hectic lifestyles lead to stress, depression, and other similar problems. Nearly all people have this feeling when everything seems to be fine, but something is wrong. You can be successful, you can have a great life and no complaints, but some event or even conversation might leave a trace in life. Mindful journaling is a practice that is targeted at finding out what is wrong.

When you can’t get over something bad or negative, mindful journaling is supposed to help in soothing your mind. You need to find time for yourself, to focus on what is bothering you, and to figure out why you are experiencing certain feelings. Such a practice will help to categorize your feelings, to understand yourself better.

After COVID-19 – 5 in a series – A single reason why

April 24th, 2020 Comments off

As a rather pessimistic person myself, it has helped me recognize pessimism — and fear — in others. This pessimism can lead us to become stalled in life and frozen by fear. Like a deer in the headlights, we can’t decide what to do and are ultimately run over by the approaching car.

In the real world, it functions more like this. When faced with a challenge, we can find a million reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t take some action. I see this whether I am talking to friends informally or consulting with a client. Whenever we are faced with a difficult situation or looking for a new area of business, the negatives flow like water. We can’t do this because…They won’t allow that because… We don’t have the money to do that because.., This can go on for hours and leads us exactly…nowhere.

After COVID-19 - 5 in a series - A single reason why

Photo: Alev Takil

Partially this happens because we are approaching the situation from the wrong direction. We focus on the status quo. We focus on the problems. We focus on the can’t, shouldn’t, won’t of the situation. We can easily find a million reasons NOT to do something when, instead, we should be looking for the ONE reason we CAN do something. By turning the conversation on its head we can find the useful and productive things we CAN do and leave the problems behind. We have to break free of the pessimism that holds us in place. I am not asking, nor dreaming, that you will suddenly become a great optimist. I know this hasn’t happened for me. Rather, you and I need to work to change pessimistic inaction into realistic action.

Whenever I am faced with my own million reasons why not, I think of this quote…

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

No matter how dark the world becomes — no matter the adversity — no matter the roadblock — we can persevere. It is rare for us to find ourselves completely out of options, although sometimes it can feel that way. We find ourselves and our minds buried beneath the million reasons why not and can’t see the one reason why.

Part of what I do in my work is helping people find that one reason why. Sometimes, outside eyes can see things more clearly. I know that is true for myself. I often need the fresh vision of a friend or family member to help me clear the fog of my own thinking. It is simply a fact of human nature. We get locked into a single way of thinking. We also underestimate our own skills and intelligence just when we need it most.

So, take some time today and think about one of your most pressing issues. There are certainly more than enough issues these days, so picking one shouldn’t be a problem. Then, put aside the million reasons why NOT and start looking for the one reason, the one idea, the one change, the one single reason WHY you CAN and SHOULD do something different.

Once you find that reason, start working on making it happen. Take action. Then, as shampoo bottles everywhere advise — Rinse, and Repeat. Make this part of your everyday thinking and action. Take the next issue and find the next WHY and HOW, over and over. 

It matters little whether you are “running, walking, or crawling.” All that matters is the forward movement towards the next great step in your life and career.

 

After COVID-19 – 4 in a series – You’ve Got This

April 17th, 2020 Comments off

After COVID-19 - 4 in a series - You've Got This

Photo: NeONBRAND

I was chatting with a long time friend today on our private Discord server and he was telling us how he was about to start teaching his first remote class for his Junior High students. This man is one of the best educators I know. He is knowledgeable not only in technology, his educational topics of specialization but also in education itself.

It surprised me a bit when he confessed he was feeling very nervous about his first class. Again, this person is someone I consider an educator’s educator, but as with all of us, doubt can creep in at the oddest times.

Partly this is because we all consistently under-acknowledge and undervalue our own knowledge and skills. It seems to be a universal trait of human nature. Sure, there are the narcissistic and arrogant among us, but I believe the majority of us carry doubts and fears about our own abilities and in most cases these doubts and fears are baseless.

How do I know this? It is because I suffer in the same, human, way as everyone else. We always need to look for a trusted external source to tell us the truth about our own knowledge and skills. These are the friends who know when to tell us we are full of sh*t and know when we are not giving ourselves enough credit. It is here we find the truth which we can find so hard to see ourselves.

So, yes, it can be a little scary, a little stressful, even a bit panic-inducing but trust me, you’ve got this. You know how to do this and you know how to do it well. Will there be hiccups? Sure! Not every day in the classroom runs as smoothly as you might wish, but in the end, you (and your students) will be fine. You will get through this, together, and learn much along the way.

In fact, you might even find your skills growing with new innovations that you have been wanting to try but didn’t have space or time. Being forced into remote teaching might be the best thing for education in decades. Sometimes we need extraordinary circumstances — and the freedom to address those circumstances — to really grow in our profession, no matter what it might be.

Again, you’ve got this. I know because I know you. I can see the person you can’t always see in yourself.

What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments!

After COVID-19 – 3 in a series – The Great Reset 2020 and You!

April 5th, 2020 Comments off

 

After COVID-19 - 3 in a series - The Great Reset 2020

Aleksandar Cvetanovic

As with all global or national calamities, COVID-019 is going to cause a huge “reset” in its wake. Like 9/11, the 1918 Pandemic, Hurricanes, Tornados and more, people take stock in their lives and, in some cases, discover there is something more important than what they were doing before the crisis. It is only natural when faced with your mortality to reevaluate your life. What would people say about you had you died at that moment? How would your obituary read?

Alfred Nobel had a similar, personal, epiphany when he awoke one morning to find his obituary in place of his brother’s, who had died the day before. The newspapers obituary was scathing. It called him the “mercchant of death” and said “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” Alfred created the Nobel Prize as a way of recovering his reputation, and perhaps, purging himself of a small bit of his guilt over all the harm his creations had caused.

While I don’t believe that any of us carry the guilt the Nobel did, we can still take a good example from his horrible experience.

  • Are you accomplishing what you want in life?
  • Are you affecting the world, both your small, local, world and the world at large?
  • What small concrete actions can you take to have that effect?
  • What long postponed change do you need to make NOW?
  • What is stopping you?
  • Why?

The world is being turned upside down in the wake of COVID-19 and instead of worrying about it, perhaps we can imagine how we can use this Great Reset to craft a new day, a new life and a new world for everyone!

 

After COVID-19 – 2 in a series – Don’t Wait! Start Planning Today!

April 5th, 2020 Comments off

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Things that will be in large supply once this is over…

  • Retail/Restaurant/Commercial Real Estate
  • Talent — in all fields
  • Stimulus Money
  • Businesses looking to grow again

What can you build from these? Is it time to start your own business? Is it time to move to a better career?

You want to start your plans now so you are ready to move as soon as the opportunity provides itself. It will be the first movers that benefit the most because they will have access to the best unemployed/underemployed talent in their fields and, hopefully, stimulus money before it runs out.

Don’t Wait! Start Planning Today!

After COVID-19: A little blue sky thinking for a post-COVID19 world

April 4th, 2020 Comments off

A little blue sky thinking for a post-COVID19 world

Ok, a little “blue sky” thinking for  a time when this crisis (or at least the worst of this crisis) is over…

  • What are you planning for when restrictions begin to be lifted?
  • What will you change?
  • What will remain the same?
  • What new ideas/projects/habits will you begin?
  • What are you going to do strictly for yourself and your family?
  • How will the world be different for you?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

How to Adapt to a Long-Term Crisis via kottke.org

April 4th, 2020 Comments off
How to Adapt to a Long-Term Crisis via kottke.org

From Dr. Aisha Ahmad, some advice for how to adapt to conditions of a long-term crisis like the pandemic we are currently facing. (This was written specifically for educators, but applies to anyone.) First, the necessary sobering bit (italics mine):

The answer to the question everyone is asking — “When will this be over?” — is simple and obvious, yet terribly hard to accept. The answer is never.

Global catastrophes change the world, and this pandemic is very much akin to a major war. Even if we contain the Covid-19 crisis within a few months, the legacy of this pandemic will live with us for years, perhaps decades to come. It will change the way we move, build, learn, and connect. There is simply no way that our lives will resume as if this had never happened. And so, while it may feel good in the moment, it is foolish to dive into a frenzy of activity or obsess about your scholarly productivity right now. That is denial and delusion. The emotionally and spiritually sane response is to prepare to be forever changed.

Read How to Adapt to a Long-Term Crisis via kottke.org


An interesting link found among my daily reading

12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 17th, 2017 Comments off

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See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon

 Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort. Share, Share, Share One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will on this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too. What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 15th, 2017 Comments off

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See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

I have read — and re-read — and would highly recommend you do the same. In fact, I am thinking that I will make it (and Pressfield’s earlier book, The War of Art) required reading before I will work with any client. Both books have helped me tremendously in my life and work. We all have to start somewhere on our creative adventures and Pressfield’s books are like an experienced guide that can help to lead us through the creative forest. Revisiting them on a regular basis reenergizes me to face the fight that all creatives feel.

Of course, creativity isn’t just the domain of some specialized class of people. We are all creative in unique ways and we all experience the haunting voice of resistance, as Pressfield names the monster that frightens all of us away from big, transformative changes in our lives. Pressfield reminds us of the nature of this beast and gives us the tools we need to defeat it — again and again.

In my work, I meet so many people who don’t realize their own potential. They drastically underestimate their power to change their lives and change the world. They face the resistance dragon and allow it to eat them nearly every time instead of emerging, triumphant, like St. George. It is often my goal to give them the tools — the horse, the lance, the sword — to help them slay the dragon of resistance just as I have to fight against it everyday. Sometimes I can bring them along with me — at other times, not, but I will never stop trying.

So, to repeat my unasked for advice — get these books, read them and then start on your own creative adventure. You can overcome resistance and create something new, something unique and something great!

The War of Art is also available from Amazon and your local public library. Add it to your creative toolbox today!

 

Do the workWar of art

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

02 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life – Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 7th, 2017 Comments off

Since so many people order their gifts online and ahead of time, I’ve decided to start my annual Gift Guide fairly early this year. This should allow you to find your favorite gifts — and perhaps recommend a few of your own wish list items to your friends and family — with enough lead time to assure they arrive in time for your holiday celebration, whichever holiday it might be!

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Could the positive thinking philosophy that is so popular be the wrong way to approach happiness in life, work and career? Maybe.

I wouldn’t have believed it myself until I read this book. Excellent writing challenges some of our greatest preconceptions about happiness. Read it and share it! — Douglas

02 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives. — Amazon

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

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