Posted in Business, Excitement, Inspiration, Learning, Life, Positive Thinking

"Why It Is Important To Explore Creativity – 4 Ways To Be Creative And Add Fun To Your Work"

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Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

What is creativity? According to Lexico, powered by the Oxford dictionary, it is “The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.”

When I think of being creative, I think of someone like my granddaughter, who loves and excels at the creation of art. I also think of myself when I was working for an organization. And in my employee reviews, my creativity was always mentioned as one of my top assets.

There are many forms of creativity. The act of creating a drawing, a porcelain bird, a piece of art you hold in your hand, or what seems like an opposing form, an idea for creating a new product and the promotion of that product, or a new way to solve a problem.

Creativity is thinking outside the box. Someone can look at items and events with a different lens and find patterns and connections that no one else can see. It is taking those patterns and connections and creating a solution to a problem or creating a new product or theory.

“Creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our ‘inner’ pool of resources – knowledge, insight, information, inspiration and all the fragments populating our minds – that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world and to combine them in extraordinary new ways.”

— Maria Popova, Brainpickings

Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematical genius, said that the insight for his work came to him in his dreams.

Albert Einstein had the extraordinary scientific achievement, the discovery of the principle of relativity, after having a vivid dream.

Niels Bohr, whose dreams lead him to the discovery of the Atom 

 “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” 

— Mary Lou Cook

Creativity is a skill. It is a skill which is becoming more and more valuable.

When you look at the ever-changing world we live in; creativity is necessary to create new jobs and also new and better ways to change the way we look at existing industries.

One problem we have right now is climate change. When you list the causes of climate change, you will find many areas where creativity will be required to create innovative new systems.

Many people worry about the loss of jobs, but jobs will be created to replace those outdated industries and systems.

We are all born with natural creative talents, but quite often, those talents are not utilized and become dim. Some of us will be more naturally talented than others.

It is possible to increase our creativity just as we are able to learn any new skill. It is necessary to learn techniques to build creative skills.

To develop a creative mindset, you have to be able to challenge existing assumptions, be open to new ideas and possibilities. As with learning any new skill, you have to step outside your comfort zone and experiment and consistently ask questions.

Dr. Robert Epstein, a psychologist and creativity researcher, has identified four core competencies that enhance our ability to think creatively and generate novel ideas. https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/can-learn-creative/

  • Capture new ideas

Find an effective way to preserve novel ideas as they occur, without judging them or editing them. Carry a notebook and write down your ideas or use a voice recorder.

I use a notebook to write down ideas for my blog and articles published on Medium.com.

  • Seek out challenges

Stop avoiding challenging problems or projects. Think about the possible ways to generate new ideas and solutions. Seeking challenges may lead to failures, but accepting failure is a necessary part of being creative.

With any project we do while learning any new skill, we face failure. It is part of life. When we fail, we learn the most.

  • Broaden your knowledge and skills

Whenever we acquire knowledge and skill that is outside of our current area of expertise, we expand our abilities. With more diverse knowledge, we will be able to make interconnections between what we know and something we had never considered previously.

  • Manage your surroundings

When you work in the same surroundings all the time, there is nothing to stimulate new thoughts. When you think of a classroom or your office, it is always the same. But if you introduce something out of the ordinary, it can stimulate you to think in a different way.

Change your environment by going outside, go to an exhibit unrelated to anything you usually do or have an interest in.

Read books about subjects unrelated to what you do or how you think. Listen to different music, go to an art class, or enroll in a college class you would never have considered before.

Diversity will help you move out of your comfort zone and stimulate your brain. Your thinking will change, and you will become more creative.

“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” –

– Edward de Bono

Creativity is becoming more important and more valued by employers.

Your ability to think outside the box and be creative will be essential in all aspects of your life.

Some of the skills you will need are effective communication skills and your ability to interact well with a diverse group of people.

Critical thinking, such as dissecting a problem and logical reasoning, is an ability you should work to develop. Employers value people who are self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-monitored.

You should look for classes, webinars, and written material to gain as much knowledge and skill in this area as possible. It will serve you well at work and in any area of your life.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”

— Maya Angelou

 I believe that you add fun and happiness to your life when you add creativity.

By being creative, our life is more exciting and stimulating. We are more relaxed and live more in the moment, and we become more confident. We are more fun to be around.

Every time we open ourselves up to something new through creativity, we become less afraid. Because of learning, it’s okay to challenge ourselves; we are more likely to continue and open our world to endless possibilities.

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” 

— Kurt Vonnegut

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day!

Posted in Inspiration, Joy, Learning, Life, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement, Success

An Intense Effort Is Required To Achieve Outstanding Results

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Continuous effort– not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.   

Winston Churchill 

An Olympic Gold Medal. What name comes to mind when you think of Olympic Gold? First, I think of Michael Phelps, the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time,[7] with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23),[8] Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16)

Then, there is Simone Biles, who is a five-time World all-around champion (2013–15, 2018–19), five-time World floor exercise champion (2013–15, 2018–19), three-time World balance beam champion (2014–15, 2019), two-time World vault champion (2018–19), a six-time United States national all-around champion (2013–16, 2018–19), and a member of the gold-medal-winning American teams at the 201420152018, and 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Additionally, she is a three-time World silver medalist (2013 and 2014 on vault, 2018 on uneven bars) and a three-time World bronze medalist (2015 on vault, 2013 and 2018 on balance beam). Having won a combined total of thirty Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and the third most decorated gymnast of all time

They are just two examples of someone willing to put forth an extreme effort to achieve outstanding results.

Think of the dedication, determination, strength of will that they used to achieve their goals—quite an achievement.

You could also think of someone who is a successful business person, such as Elon Musk, who is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, among many other endeavors. https://www.biography.com/business-figure/elon-musk

Also, Steve Jobs who was an American business magnate, entrepreneur, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company‘s board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs

Were they intelligent? Yes, but there is much more to the story of their success. Did they put in an extreme amount of effort? Absolutely! Without the dedication, determination, and strength of their will to succeed, they would not have been successful.

So what about us? Most people will never be able to match themselves to Phelps, Biles, Musk, or Jobs. They are exceptional, and they worked for every bit of their success. Their effort was extraordinary.

We can be more successful. We need to be willing to put in the effort. It is the amount of effort put in that makes the difference.

Seth Godin puts it all into perspective;  “People really want to believe effort is a myth…. I think we’ve been tricked by the veneer of lucky people on the top of the heap. We see the folks who manage to skate by or who get so much more than we think they deserve, and it’s easy to forget that these guys are the exceptions…. For everyone else, effort is directly related to success….and that’s the key to the paradox of effort: While luck may be more appealing than effort, you don’t get to choose luck. Effort, on the other hand, is totally available, all the time.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of effort is “the conscious exertion of power: hard work.”

I am not sure people think about the amount of effort required to complete a job or project. We think about, and plan for, the time, any tools required, and will it cost anything, but we do not schedule in the amount of effort.

It is about your mindset. What does it mean to you? What value does it have? What are you going to get out of it? Does it make you feel good?

What we do not usually think about is the importance of each day. What did you do yesterday, or last week, or last month? Can you look back and say, that it was a good day, week, or month?

When you feel good about something, and it makes you feel happy, content, or proud, think about why. How much effort did you put into it?

So many of us look back at our lives, and we are disappointed and wish we had done something better. We wish we had spent more time with someone, been more successful, had more money, a better education, etc.

We may blame other people, unexpected events, blah, blah, blah. It is so easy to blame someone or something else.

What we forget is that the one thing we have control over and is our responsibility is the amount of effort we put into what we do.

When you think of Phelps, Biles, Musk, and Jobs, you know they put in the effort. It is their years of work and an astounding effort that gave them success. It was a massive, sustained effort done day in and day out for years.

“What keeps so many people back is simply unwillingness to pay the price, to make the exertion, the effort to sacrifice their ease and comfort.”

Orison Marden https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orison_Swett_Marden

Is there a way to learn to put an increased amount of effort into what you do?

Good question. I do not have an answer. I believe that putting effort into what you do is an intentional act.

Each of us has to be mindful. Perhaps establishing the habit to start and end each day with quiet time to think about what we want to achieve that day. Then ask ourselves what effort you are willing to expend.

If we become more intentional about our actions, our dreams, and desires for our life, we should become more aware of the value of increased effort in everything we do.

There is a direct relationship between joy and effort. The joy of success is in ratio to the amount of effort expended to achieve it.”

Denis Waitley

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Posted in Inspiration, Learning, Life, Motivation, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Quote Of The Day

Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude”.

~Ralph Marston #Motivation #inspiration #Quote
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As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Calm – It’s A Skill We Should All Strive For – 8 Steps To Take

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Blindsided! Assaulted! Worry! Unease! Overwhelmed! Are these familiar feelings?

Like an explosion. You feel it surge over you. A negative response to a multitude of possible happenings.

You feel blindsided. Time to calm down, relax, breathe.

How do you calm down, not just right now but in the future? What can we do to quickly alleviate a stressful reaction and automatically calm ourselves?

Being calm appears to be easier for some of us then others. I would place myself in that category most of the time. There are times though when everyone has a demanding, stressful experience and it is overwhelming.

Some of us are easily thrown by everyday life experiences and find it difficult to calm ourselves. When you find yourself not being able to cope it can feel like your thoughts are bouncing off the walls. It is difficult to bring yourself out of that feeling. It feels almost like you are vibrating and you feel scattered.

So how do you learn to be calm? With any change, it is not automatic. We are training ourselves, learning something new and there is a process. We are learning small things that we can do and make into habits and part of our everyday life.

Smile, breathe and go slowly”

Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Is there an image, a quote, a book that makes you feel good? Perhaps a memory that you think of often that makes you happy or gives you a feeling of contentment. Use that. Whenever you start feeling a surge of distress think of that one thing that calms you.
  • Try yoga or meditation. I love yoga, it is very relaxing and is good for you physically and mentally. Both meditation and yoga are scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. Find a class near you and try it for a minimum of a month so you can feel the calming effect. Make it a habit. I think you will be glad you did.
  • On the other side of that is someone who is a totally focused, high energy type. Okay, accept that is who you are and go for it. Work hard, play hard so at the end of the day you are tired and feel happy. You have achieved you own form of bliss. I would encourage you that at either the beginning or end of that all out day you learn to practice something calming. We all need to calm down at some point. It’s good for us.
  • The wonderful experience of music. So many wonderful songs and types of music to choose from. Everyone should be able to find a list of songs to listen to. Let the sound surround you and sink into it. Let you mind go to relax and find calm.
  • Revisit a old hobby that you loved to do and lose yourself in it or try something new. Everyone has something they love to do but may not take the time to do anymore. I love working on a piece of old furniture and restoring it, bringing it back to life. I love art and would like to try some sketching. Lose yourself in the act of doing. Your mind and body will relax and stress will melt away.
  • Slow down. I know that is easy to say but it is a good practice and it is calming. When you find yourself rushing, slow your pace. Take a deep breathe and think of something soothing. Hum one of your favorite songs.
  • My favorite. Go outside. Take a walk by yourself and let you mind go, relax. If you have a dog, take them for a walk and have a conversation. It’s great because they are not judgmental and offer comfort and affection.
  • Rethink decisions. Why did you choose to do something? Why do you maintain a friendship that drains you and causes anxiety? Move away from activities and relationships that bring you down. Find a new friend. Find new activities that are beneficial for you and your family.

Take a deep breath, get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second.

Greg McKeown

Be mindful of where you are, how you feel and what is truly important to you.

Smile, relax, breathe. Life is wonderful and full of possibilities. Do something you love each and every day. Stay connected to the things you enjoy and calm you.

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As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a peaceful day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Perfectly Imperfect-How To Believe In Yourself And Gain Self-Confidence

Do you know a ‘Perfect” person. No, I did not think so. There is no such thing. Sure there are always those people that you will see and think they are picture perfect. For some reason we will be critical of ourselves and feel we do not measure up.

I do think that we are all flawed, maybe a little quirky or weird. I also believe we are all beautiful and magical. We are Perfectly Imperfect.

Everyone has issues and everyone has something they are really good at. Most people do not live up to their potential. Everyone has potential! We may not see it in ourselves but it is there. If we ignore the possibilities we will not grow as individuals.

We have to believe in ourselves. If you could pick one thing you would really want to do, love to do, what would it be? Do you believe you have the potential? Yes, you do.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”
– George Bernard Shaw

It’s time to start creating yourself! Make an assessment of yourself and be honest. You know yourself better than anyone else. To make yourself better you have to put in the work. Sometimes you may be discouraged. Do not stop!

What knowledge do you have? What is your skill level? Don’t rush this. Take the time to understand what you will need to do. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you are uncertain. Better to take time now to make a great plan instead of having to take a step backward later.

“Surround yourself with the dreamers, and the doers, the believers, and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”– Edmund Lee

Don’t just set a goal without knowing how you are going to complete it. It is really important to have a detailed plan. Write it down and continually go over it so you can make adjustments as needed. Break it down into small steps. It will make it easier for you to see your progress.

When you see progress, you will gain confidence. When you gain confidence it will become easier to keep moving forward. You will feel the difference in your attitude and so will other people. Remember the person you think of as perfect, they are not, but I bet they are confident. Confidence exudes strength and positivity.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” 
— Winston Churchill

Positivity is an attractive quality and it will attract the interest of other people. It is an admirable ability. If you want to be more positive you can make that part of your plan. Write it down. Practice being positive and look for ways to build an optimistic attitude.

What are the activities that expose you to negativity? The internet? the nightly news? the people you spend time with? someone at work? There are so many activities that can have a negative impact.

Switch from negative to positive! Always look for a positive way to influence negative situations. The negative co-worker? There usually is one. Try to add something positive to your conversations and look for ways to spend less time with them.

Adopt positive practices. Read something every day either for pleasure or to improve your skills. Keep a journal and reflect on the positive things that happen each day. Look for positive sayings, or quotes, and read at least one every day. I love doing that and it does help.

When in doubt Smile. It is the easiest and best way to feel positive. Spread your smile around and make someone else’s day better as well.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed or fearful to make changes in your life.

Fear is a natural reaction. Do not worry. You can use fear as a motivator. Take the fear and think of it as a challenge. Remember, Yes You Can!

Take some time and think about what frightens you and make a list. Divide it into sections. It can help to put it all in perspective. Just making the list may make you realize your really have nothing to be afraid of.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Take the hardest task and do it first. You will build confidence and before you know it the fear is gone and you have developed a new skill. Congratulations!

Remember at the end of the day none of us is perfect. We each have flaws. Take all your quirkiness, your weirdness and practice each day on improving yourself. Do not get rid of “You” and all the parts of you who make you a beautiful, magical person! Polish yourself, make yourselves shine and be proud that

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a Perfectly Imperfect day. Celebrate You !

Posted in Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Focus-Why It Is Important -7 Tips To Help Maintain Yours

Have you ever had a day, a week, a month or even longer where you just felt scattered? Wow, I am certainly having that moment in time right now. My brain feels like it is going to explode!

In this case I feel scattered because I am trying to do too much at once. I am hungry to learn, gain skill and succeed. Right now I am overwhelmed. Just a smidget.

Like most of us I am impatient. I want to be able to do it all and I want to do it NOW! I am finding that to be just a tad unrealistic. Unless you have Super Powers it is just not happening.

So I am taking a really big breathe right now and focusing on writing this blog post. The problem is there is a never ending video going on in my mind. It is hard to turn it off.

The last day or so I have been doing as much reading as I can. I have been reading blogs and articles about improving my writing. Searching for other sources and other outlets where I can write. Looking for tips, suggestions about the best practices and also what not to do.

If you look, you will find! Reading and research are such worthwhile activities. My problem is understanding I simply cannot do it all today. Maybe in the next few days or week, a month. Maybe even a year.

I need to be realistic about my skill level at this point in time. I am not ready to publish everything I write. I do not have the skill set quite yet. It is necessary for me to accept that. I need to do what I know I can now and keep working on learning and improving my skills.

So what am I going to do? Pretty much what I have been doing, except now I need to be really focused. Here are 7 good practices to follow:

  • Making a Schedule to follow each day. The best time for me to do this is at night before I go to bed. It helps me focus and keep my mind from being scattered with all those things I want to accomplish.
  • Reading the writing of all genres of writing. Investigate different styles of writing, learn how other writers add depth and nuance to the story they write.
  • Setting a time to write each day for a specific amount of time or a specific number of words.
  • Maintain a journal, or notebook, to write down ideas and keep track of sources, writers I like, books I want to read, etc.
  • Find what is your favorite, most productive, atmosphere for writing. Do you like to write when it is quiet or do you prefer music in the background?
  • Find a different relaxing place where you can write. I love being outside and I would love to sit in the gazebo and write. The downside is writing it all by hand and then inputting it on my computer later. Doing that would be a good opportunity to read what you have written and do editing.
  • Realize that not all your writing will be perfect. If you are writing for multiple outlets you might not always be published. Think of it as practice. Don’t trash it! Save it and consider it a draft. Come back to it later and redo it. Second time may be the charm.

So what do I do tomorrow? More of the same. Writing this has made me focus and also helped me understand I cannot do everything I want all at once.

I hope my experience helps you focus as well.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Help! Title Lines – What’s Important For Bloggers Or Entrepreneurs


“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
— Louis L’Amour

How can we write a good, effective title line? I write something and then look at it and say, “well, that sucks!”

I know it is really important to write something that will draw people’s attention. It has to create interest so people want to read what I have written.

Usually I will leave the boring title line and come back to it later. I just go ahead and start writing. If I take a break from writing I will look at the title again. At that point I may have a better idea and change it. Usually I make multiple changes. To be honest though I still think most of my title lines suck.

Writing title lines require a skill that I clearly do not have. How do I improve?
What are other people writing?

Each time I write I spend time researching other blogs and articles. I will look for similar subject matter. Today I was looking at the title lines they created. Is it better than mine? Sometimes, but not always.

The really good writers create something that pops! They write so it establishes interest. Their title draws you in.

So how do we get better?

Titles “sell” our stories. When I do my research I always scroll down and look at the title lines. What is it telling me? What is it offering? Is it worth reading? I usually will save a few and start reading the content. Some of the content does not offer much but the title line was good. Sometimes I find the title line was bad but the content was really good.

It makes me wonder how many stories and blogs have I passed over because the title line was bad. The next question is how many of my blogs were passed over because of my title line?

Our title lines are our advertisement. Every marketing expert will tell you how the message entrepreneurs use in their ads will affect their success. There is so much competition. Our ads have to be excellent. They have to “pop” and draw us in. What will I get from buying their product?

What about search engines? We want our writing and our ads to be seen by as many people as possible. We want to choose words that will resonate with our audience. It is also important our words will work effectively in search engines. Does the title line contain one or two keywords that will draw in our customers and will they rank high in search engines?

Keywords are best if placed at, or near, the beginning of your title line. They need to reflect the content you have written and provide a little punch. My last blog post contained the keyword “Fear”.

All of this is new to me. It is going to take some time for me to understand and be able to develop all the skills needed. I have just started using Social Media and I know it is important for promoting my writing. Now I just have to learn to do it effectively.

Another factor to consider for Social Media is the length of your title line. I just read it is best to use under 70 characters to insure your title is not cut off in search engine results.

Research shows that there is also an optimal number of words that you should use for Twitter and Facebook. You want people to “retweet” your content so you need to leave enough space for people to cite you or make comments. I read that 120 characters is a good number but that does not seem to agree with the 70 character recommendation for SEO. My goal is to use the 70 character limit whenever possible. I will do that until I realize it is not working.

So you know. I just changed my title line for the third time.

When I research I will often visit Medium.com for inspiration.
https://medium.com/

If you enjoy reading I highly recommend visiting their site. I just went there to look for examples of title lines I could share with you. Here is a list I think are good examples of a quality title line:

  • The Genius Study: What Determines Creative Success? written by Zat Rana, a writer I follow on Medium

Why is this form good? It uses a key word phrase with a colon which is followed by a question.

  • How a Painful Childhood Made Me A Better Mom written by Esther Wojcicki

This title line starts with “How” indicating it is going to give you information. It also indicates it will “Help” you and it is also uses emotion.

  • A Complete Guide to the Science of Self Talk written by Brian Pennie

“Complete Guide” indicates that you will receive a benefit from reading the article and the subject is also a hot topic.

This is an example of using a “hot topic”, something that is in the news and somewhat controversial.

Each day my goal is to learn something. Today, I have. I researched writing title lines. I read articles and looked for some good examples of work completed by other writers. Not only was it beneficial, I also totally enjoyed doing it.

I have read so many statements that writing a blog is easy and that anyone can do it. Maybe. My question would be, “Can anyone write a quality blog?” No, I do not think so. Anyone can sit at a computer and put down words, but are they meaningful? Is there quality in the writing? Does it add value to someone’s day, both the reader and the writer? Is it worth the time it takes to write and to be read?

My purpose is to write quality and it is an ongoing learning experience for me. In doing my writing and doing research I am learning. I hope my effort will be reflected in what you are reading. I am learning and I hope you are as well.


“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
― Octavia E. Butler

As always, Thank You for reading my blog. Have a great day!