Lost your creativity?

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI must be honest. There are some days when I sit down to write and I think there’s not a shred of creativity in me. Today, as I began, was one of those days.

So I thought, why don’t I tell them about that? How do you get creative or resourceful when it just doesn’t seem to be there?

Easy peasy, as we used to say at school. (I think we might have added “lemon squeezy” too – but who cares?).

I simply remember all the times I have been resourceful. I see myself sitting at my desk writing furiously, wondering how on earth so much time can have passed I’m on such a roll. I recall times when I was teaching, or explaining something passionately to my kids, or when I had to think up a plausible excuse to get myself out of a hole, or when friends dropped in unexpectedly and I concocted a meal out of a larder I had considered empty …. the number of times any one of us has been creative and resourceful is huge.

Pretty soon, my brain is so full of ideas, I wonder if I can just keep to one a day. My posture changes, I may walk about, my breathing is different.

And you know what? You can do it the other way round too. If I change my posture, my breathing and my movements to the way I am when I feel creative, that old creative feeling comes back all by itself.

Raise Your Energy Today

You need a 7 Day BrainwashSome people have a lot of internal drive and seem to be motivated all of the time. Other people struggle with their energy and enthusiasm levels and it becomes more difficult for these people to really get the most out of their days. Even the most driven person can experience down times and it is important to know how to pull yourself out of these kind of ruts.

Here are 4 powerful techniques that you can use to raise your energy and lift your spirits when you feel a lack of motivation.

Audio immersion. This is a technique that I have seen a number of people use in a variety of ways. The general idea is to combine inspirational music with some form of physical movement. As an example, you might want to find a song that really makes you come alive. A song that you like to sing along with. Turn the volume up a little. Then, as the song is playing, grab a pen and paper and begin writing down powerful statements to yourself.

You might write words like “I am energized”, “I have supreme confidence”, “I am incredibly productive”, “I have undying power” or any other statements that resonate with you. You can also shout these sayings out loud but I prefer the pen and paper method because you can’t always shout out loud, especially if other people are around you. This method is a sure fire way to increase your energy and motivation levels.

Positive and Negative Drivers. This technique involves analyzing very personal things about yourself that impact your emotions. The idea here is to list as many things as you can think of that cause you to feel drive. For example, you might have a goal of running a marathon but you have not had the drive or motivation to go on a run. You would rather lie on the couch.

In order to get yourself off of the couch, you would start by listing all of the positive things would result if you were to go for a run. This might include things like increased energy, happiness because you are proud of yourself, excitement of moving towards your marathon goal and of course contentment that you are preserving your health.

At the same time, you would also list all of your negative motivators. Things that might occur if you DON’T commit to your running goals. This might include things like self let-down for not sticking to your objectives, reduced energy or even proving your doubters to be right (this can be a huge one). When you combine the positive drives with the negative drivers, your energy and motivation levels can’t help but to be impacted and improved upon.

Comedy and Movement. This is a technique that I use all of the time and when I show other people, they really enjoy it. The idea is to combine the good feelings of comedy and laughter with the increased energy brought about by body movement.

There is no “right” way to do this so I will illustrate with an example. Go to youtube and search for a comedian or clips from a funny show that always makes your laugh. Even if your mood is really low at this point, simply watch the clip with no expectations for instant mood enhancement. You are simply observing at this point. Watch the clip twice if need be. Then, search for a second comedy clip and simply cue it up. Don’t play it yet.

After the first clip is finished, stand up, move your chair out of the way and do some kind of fast body movement. This can be anything that gets your heart pumping (leg raises, jumping jacks, shadow boxing, etc…). Do this for a minimum of one minute.

Once your mini exercise session is done, return to your computer and watch the second comedy clip. You will find your energy level rising and you will very likely have an easy time laughing at this clip. Repeat this process a few times if need be.

These 3 techniques may seem basic on the surface but can have a huge impact on your life. Experiment with them and see how it can improve your energy and motivation levels.

Making a Habit of Personal Development

You need a 7 Day BrainwashIt can be a rather amusing task to sit back and analyze some of the daily rituals we perform, often without giving any conscious thought. I believe this is a good thing because we would accomplish very little if we had to stop and think about every task we perform.

Just today, I was making the short drive from my home to the library where I do most of my writing, when I noticed I had been completely engrossed in thoughts about the book I am writing. I had to look in the back seat to check if I even brought my laptop and writing materials. I then became aware of all of the other things that had to take place just to make this short trip. Among other things, I had to put on my shoes, put on my jacket, walk from the house to the car, unlock the car with the keyless entry, place my bag in the back seat, sit in the driver’s seat, fasten my seatbelt, start the car, and so on. The entire time this was happening, my thoughts were directed towards my task for the day.

This got me thinking about some of the other habit patterns in our life that we consciously decide to do without really asking ourselves if the task is really the most important thing on our list. For example, many people choose to watch a number of hours of television each day. I personally know people who spend an unusual amount of time daily cleaning their home or randomly browsing the internet. The point I am trying to make is that most of us can probably uncover at least one hour of time each day that we give to meaningless tasks.

The interesting thing is, if you ask most people if they are happy with all of the results in their life, the truthful answer is often no.

My goal is to encourage people to dedicate some time every single day to personal reflection and self development. If you are unhappy with a certain situation, you have the ability to change your thinking, and ultimately your behaviour, so that you can improve that particular circumstance. Instead of watching a daytime drama or indulging in excessive dusting and mopping, you might want to consider picking up a book or audio program that forces you to examine your results.

From my personal experience, this simple action produces an internal reaction. Because you are examining your own personal results, you quickly realize that you are the only one who can change them. Unfortunately, in our society today, people are fixated on producing immediate results and having tangible evidence in their hands the minute they ask for something. With personal development, the true benefits can only be realized when we incorporate the ideas into a habit.

Think about it this way. If you were to make a firm commitment to read or listen to personal development educational programs for even 30 minutes a day for the next two weeks, what kind of positive impact could this have on your life? What if you did it for two months? Similar to unconscious activities such as getting dressed or brushing your teeth, you would start to create a new habit and become the kind of person who automatically takes action on ideas that move you in the direction of improved results.

From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that this kind of self study works. It really is a never ending process because it is part of our nature to grow, expand and develop and ultimately, it provides an excellent opportunity to make positive life changes. As you become more involved in personal development, you will start to notice areas of your life that are working well and other areas that require improvement. This kind of education will help you harness ideas that will improve your results while at the same time, overcome all of the inhibitors standing in the way of you achieving your aim!

A common question I hear is, “Where do I start?” There are so many good authors, philosophies and ideas on this topic that you can never really say which style will work. The best advice I have ever received from this perspective is to study and learn from those who are producing results that you would like in your life. It’s a pretty basic lesson but a very important one. Seek out the people who have already achieved what you would like to achieve and learn from them. Success often leaves clues and it is up to you to find those clues and act on them. With a daily commitment to personal improvement, you will quickly become a master detective you will transform each clue into a tangible action that will lead to a more fulfilled life.

Learn from the past

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI’m a great one for looking forward in life, and anyone familiar with Tony Robbins’ work will recognize the adage, “The past does not equal the future.” It’s a great line, and one I find very liberating when contemplating what I once had thought impossible.

Yet there are advantages sometimes to looking back. Not to convince yourself of the impossibility of something, but to see the distance you’ve travelled.

Do you have any old diaries, or journals? Maybe even college notes. Have you ever had the experience when you look at those that the person who wrote them maybe kind of amusing, even cute, but certainly isn’t you? You just can’t identify with that being who you are in any way. You may remember writing the notes, but there is a sense of distance between you and that “other” person.

How did you do that? Old beliefs and values – gone! Views and opinions you once held dear – up in smoke! You couldn’t care less about those things now!

Today, ask yourself, what view or idea or belief do I cling to that maybe limits me? That if I read ten or twenty years from now I’d smile in mild amusement at the person I was, and realize how limiting that way of thinking was?

Then ask yourself, “How could it be easy to let it go NOW?”

Cherish The People In Your Life

You need a 7 Day BrainwashWhen you take a moment to really listen to another person, hear their story and connect with them, it can be an amazing experience. The problem in today’s world is we are all moving at an extremely rapid pace and it can be difficult to find time to have a good conversation with someone new.

I was recently at a business networking event where there were maybe 50 other business owners and sales people in the room. As I walked around, I saw a lot of fast paced talking and most of the conversation was “surface level” discussion at best. Most people were waiting for their chance to talk at the other person rather than listening and being engaged in the dialog. Part of the issue was this type of event can be rushed and that alone can hurt the quality of conversation. But this was not the first time I had witnessed this and I began reflecting on the number of times I had done the same.

Up until recently, I had been very focused on business and just being productive in general that I was missing out on opportunities all around me. If someone new would cross my path at a coffee shop or at the gym, I would do my best to avoid the person because I was in a rush. In some cases, the person was actually trying to strike up a conversation but I wanted no part of it. In hindsight, the reason I was doing it was because I was making a snap judgment (usually based on something superficial like the age of the person) that a conversation with this person would be more work than it was worth.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a coffee shop very early in the morning tucked away in a corner with my laptop trying to get some writing done. About 30 minutes after I sat down, an older gentleman probably in his late 70s put his bag down in the chair next to me and went up to buy his coffee. Right away I felt myself get annoyed and was about to pack up my bag and move to another coffee shop when the man quickly reappeared and asked me what I was working on. For some reason, I changed in that moment and I felt compelled to answer his question and actually use the opportunity to make a new friend. A minute later I closed my laptop and spent the next hour having a great conversation with this interesting guy. He shared some amazing stories about his travels through Europe and his plans for the future.

The conversation totally changed my day and ultimately the way I looked at other people in general. Everyone has a story to tell and if we spend even a few moments to take some genuine interest, we are bound to find something amazing in every person we meet.

Do you know what triggers your stress?

You need a 7 Day BrainwashBecause stress can be endured over a period of time without the individual truly becoming aware of it or by them simply accepting it as part of their lives, one of the most important aspects of stress management is to take those first positive steps towards making key changes as this will then create the strong foundations that are required to master stress control.

It’s important that progression is consistent throughout; they may be small steps individually but they are powerful ones nevertheless. The idea is to change any existing behaviours and to stress-proof new routines as much as possible, re-inventing both thought and actions going forward. This might sound difficult, but the most difficult aspect is always going to be identifying areas of change, after that, it is merely consolidating those lifestyle changes.

When life is muddled and very stressful, identifying the stress triggers that cause the problems will make changing them that much easier. Taking a pen and paper, write down all of the things that cause the most stress.

– No time to yourself

– Problems with the teenage son or daughter

– Money problems- more going out than coming in

– Feeling undervalued at home and at work

– Too much work

The list should be as comprehensive as possible and very honest. No-one else has to see the list and even those annoying little stressors should be captured because although on their own, they may just be a source of irritation, coupled with other factors, they can form powerful stress triggers that can cause much damage physically, healthily and emotionally.

Once the list is complete, it should be scrutinized with a sense of clarity to identify those areas where changes could be made. If necessary break the list down into a series of sub-sections and options such as:

– Feeling undervalued at home

– Having to do all of the housework as well as work full-time

– Main culprit Husband/Wife step-son

– Started happening when partner changed job and worked a lot more hours (pattern established).

Options

– Open up communication to partner

– Discuss jointly with step son and work out parameters

– Stick to it.

By writing down everything that evokes a stress response i.e. churning feeling in the stomach, headaches, tears, anger, or irritability for example, the individual is able to really understand what is going on in their lives and why they feel the way they do. In addition, this clarification of stress triggers helps the individual to face any set of real problems and tangible problems can always be overcome.

Self doubts, irregular thought patterns and feelings of inadequacies or helplessness are more difficult to fight. Ascertain the true cause of those stressors and deal with them one by one.

2 easy ways to de-clutter your mind

You need a 7 Day BrainwashTaking control of your mind and eliminating any negative thoughts is never easy but this is exactly what you must do to enable yourself to allow positivity and change into your life.

Here are two great ways to de-clutter your mind:

Meditation

A good starting point is to learn how to use meditation to help you find a more peaceful state of mind. Meditation is not difficult but it does take time to master your thought processes and to simply still’ the mind of all of its random thoughts.

Ten minutes a day can really make a difference although once you realize the many benefits and start to feel more relaxed and more able to cope with stress, you may wish to extend your practice period for longer.

Journaling

Invest in a journal that you would love to write in and then capture all of your random thoughts in diary form and be sure to add in any outstanding tasks that have to be completed. By incorporating this simple process into your life, you will find that you are immediately keeping a track of urgent areas of your life and this will instantly make you feel more in control and more organized.

Writing down your thoughts or tasks will help you to be able to take the pressure off of your brain. How many times have you forgotten things because your mind feels disorganized and you have become forgetful?

It can be hard to remember everything that needs to be done and journaling helps to free up your mind.