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13 ways to zag…

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2010 at 9:37 pm

We are all creative. creative people are not born with some miraculous gene,  but the only thing which separates us  is that we are all on different planes of creativity and that’s not a bad thing as variety is the spice of life.

The nature and nurture view is also used for creativity-are creative people born or made? Are those creative suits in advertising really an enigma or is it that they have learned to process information differently? I distance myself from the idea that creativity is purely all about genetics. Just think of a situation when this happened-perhaps a  discussion or project where you came up with an idea  or when we were in school and made something that was the envy of many. So, if we follow the logic a little then we realize we have a spark of creativity within us.

Programmed thinking hampers creativity.

As leaders and champions, personal creativity through lateral thinking or zigging when others zag) is an indispensable skill to have as it allows us to solve problems by thinking outside our four walls. The good news is that we can accelerate our personal creativity if we follow some simple steps. Here are some ways.

  1. Suspending judgment. NOTHING kills creativity like limited thinking. Make your ideas outrageous and outlandish.
  2. Anchoring: Replicating the circumstances and surroundings  when we felt creative is a good catalyst.
  3. Take the Kipling approach: Rudyard Kipling had the right idea when he said he kept 6 serving men: what,why,when,how where and who? Ask questions and then ask more.
  4. E=MC2 : Albert Einstein used the idea of “provocation”-make stupid statements such as people should not eat. This helps us to come up with fresh ideas although not necessary always solutions.
  5. Be random: Creative block? Thumb through a thesaurus or dictionary and look at a word randomly. For example, you are trying to come up with a marketing campaign for “pets”, so, say the word is “car” take the word and see how you can associate it with pets.
  6. Start writing: The universe seems to throw random ideas at us, but these flashes of inspiration are far too often forgotten. Keep a notebook, journal or use a smart-phone to jot down ideas. I use my phone to create notes which will help me later when I need them.
  7. Look through a different lens: we are more creative when we stand in a  different frame. Seeing a problem as an opportunity is one way by which we can look through a different lens.
  8. Listen to music:Certain types of music boost creative thinking. Many people find classical music or meditation music really helps.
  9. Less TV: Try it. TV is really a distraction that interrupts creativity.
  10. Read: Opening ourselves to a wider variety of subjects will add to our knowledge and help us to have more ideas.
  11. Be a part of the problem not solution: When we reverse our thinking and ask how we can cause a problem we come up with creative solutions. If a business owner wants to improve customer experience he may ask “what do I do to lose more customers?” or “what steps can I take to increase my overheads?”
  12. Draw: doodle away. Start with a line or circle and just keep on adding. You may even come up with a new character.
  13. Build: Another variation on brainstorming is to build. If we are looking to develop a new product then we can group-storm and start making.

Go ahead and ZAG …Keep on winning…

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Update!

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Hello,

Been a few weeks. As you may know, just became a father and am now slowly settling into the role. The blog will resume this week.  i will also write about the adventures of fatherhood..what a ride

Keep on winning..

9 ways to live in color not sepia…

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2010 at 7:52 pm

As we take those small steps leading us toward our chosen path of excellence, one of the most empowering things we can do is to live in color.

 This means doing different things so that we don’t become bored or repetitive. And this may also be things that we have forgotten or never tried.

When we change the way  we do things, we   open ourselves to newer ways of looking at things from a fresher perspective and we open ourselves to greater levels of personal satisfaction.

1.  Bathe don’t shower. Yes, a shower invigorates, but taking a bath will also do the same. Sit in a bath, close your eyes and add oils if you want.

2. Wake up early and get things done whether its yard work or just reading something positive.

3. Go and bake a cake. Our culinary skills probably aren’t up to master chef standards, however ready-made mixes are the way to go.

4. Go to the library. Remember this? Before Google existed, we used to go to the library, but this simple pleasure is so often dismissed because of fingertip mania–a condition where everything is available at our fingertips–but nothing beats actually feeling and holding a book in your hands. Try it.

5. Watch an old movie or show. The pace of life is fast and with that TV and movie production has also become very fast-paced. Watching something comparatively slower will make a refreshing change.

6. Eat real food. Yes, real food. Chomp into an apple, break open a banana or just grab some nuts and yogurt.

7. Contact a friend. Somebody who you may not even ordinarily call.

8. Juggle. We are always juggling priorities in life anyway so let’s see how this works.

9. Rollerblade.  Now is the time to do it. Every day, we drive or walk how about combining both?

Variety is not only the spice of life it is a key to good living, so live in color not sepia because it not only makes life interesting, but it keeps us alive  and productive.

Keep on winning…

Update

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm

You are probably wondering where we have been.  I have some good news to share; I am proud to announce that my first child was born on February 15 and as we settle into this new phase of life we have taken a hiatus.
 
We will resume the blog very shortly sometime this week with more articles to empower and educate towards excellence.
 
Until then..
 
Keep on winning…

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm

5 simple things you need to do to clear clutter…

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

There is a saying that a clear desk is the sign of a clear mind. The thinking is that we should clear clutter to clear our mind, but I am going to turn this idea on its head as I believe that we should do the opposite.

Focusing on what we need to do is the first step to actually doing it.

  1. At first, seeing the overwhelming amount of clutter will trouble you, so remove yourself from the site and you may even want to step outside for this. Breathe in slowly, exhale and do this a few times, pray and meditate. Do this for five minutes. This will calm and re-energize you.
  2. In this frame of mind, take a moment to list what needs to get done.  For example, scraps of paper, shaker bottle, magazines and so forth. Then take a thick red marker and leave it by your list.
  3. Buy  supplies such as files, boxes and containers. 9 times out of ten, we use lack of resources as an excuse and our mind creates a block
  4. Begin to action the list. Don’t try to do everything at once, but perhaps over the space of a few days. So, today you may attack the magazines. Once you do it, cross it off. Crossing it off in this way makes our mind more aware.
  5. REPEAT. It becomes a habit and with time will become automatic.

Keep on winning…

Breaking a habit in 5 simple steps

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Habits are auto-behaviors The problem with trying to break a habit is that we suddenly decide on the spur of a moment that we no longer want to do something.

A sudden rush of emotions make us decide that we will stop something. As we all know, we jump onto the bandwagon and jump back right off! i have a relative who is like this and decides impulsively, but always fails to do so making a number of excuses.

The key to breaking a habit is to start small during the cold turkey phase. Be patient, set a 21 day deadline and review yourself.

1. Micro-size. For example, if you want to stop chomping on your nails then start by either cutting down on the number of fingers used or just chomp on one hand. If you want to stop overeating, cut down on your portions.

2. Replace with a good habit. Take a walk, para sail. Do whatever excites you.

3. Risk and Reward: Risk-every time you fail, put some money into a jar and make a note. Reward-each time you succeed, reward yourself with something

4. When you have the urge, close your eyes, breathe deeply and proclaim: ‘I can overcome this habit, I am confident, capable and I will overcome this challenge.”

5. Be accountable. Tell somebody what you are doing and set some guidelines including risk and reward.

Sarcasm: Losing it…

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I know (as I am sure you do) people who use sarcasm. In small doses, it is acceptable, but there are those who use it constantly and it is not healthy to do so. As somebody once quipped: “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit” meaning that it is a lower grade version of humor wrapped in a certain measure of ridicule wherein the person using it resorts to it.

Many counsellors have noted that sarcasm in excess is neither healthy or warranted. There are limits to how much sarcasm should be used as it often belittles others and makes them feel bad about themselves. Its effect may not be visible, but over time it can cause great distress.

We should use sarcasm sparingly or not at all and count to 5 seconds before blurting out what could be innocent but hurtful to others.

Keep on winning…

The reason you feel burdened and 4 quick ways to feel less stressed…

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

At work or at play, the mother lode of lode-mental load has a way of sneaking into our head. Here are 4 quick ways to lighten the load.

1.  Take time to say sorry every day: If you have erred, then go ahead and apologize. If you let things fester hoping the other party says sorry first, then don’t expect things to mend. Take a large spoonful of humble pie and gorge it down straight away. We don’t lose anything by saying sorry.

2.  Switch off your phone: Select a time in the day to switch off your phone and let other people know that you cannot take calls during a time you have set. Relax, pray and think about all the blessings in life.

3. Expect the unexpected: When we approach something with expectations, we set ourselves up for an instant fall. Have no expectations and do your duty.

4. Listen before leaping: Mistakes occur, people are only human. Listen to others completely before rushing to judgment.

2.

9 quick energy fixes…

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2010 at 6:32 am

Let’s face it, there are times where we could all do with a burst of energy and before reaching for that cup of coffee,  here are some methods that I practice which help leaders to stay energized and full of vigor.

1. Breathing as detoxifier: This is an ancient Yoga breathing technique. As carbon dioxide increases in your blood  it takes away energy. Follow this simple method to revitalize yourself by flushing out excessive carbon dioxide.

Breath through your nose, inhale deeply and then exhale in 20 to 30 short, rapid bursts, bringing in your stomach muscles to force out each burst. Repeat three times, taking a few breaths between each cycle so you don’t get disoriented.

2. Eat a mint. Popping a mint in your mouth could help stave off energy depletion. An alternative is taking something with menthol such as a cough candy. Research has shown that this works like smelling salts.

3.Drink up. Make sure you are sufficiently hydrated. Not drinking enough water leads to fatigue and a feeling of  sluggishness. Don’t let the well dry up.

4. Snack. If your tank is on empty, eat an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter, plain low-fat yogurt with a cup of berries (which contain anthocyanins), or whole grain toast with an ounce of cheese. Choose foods that provide protein,complex carbohydrates and fat.

5. Tear yourself away. Staring at a computer screen for too long will sap you of energy. Combat any prolonged activity by taking brisk walks and stretching.

6. Make a splash. Splashing cold water on your face and neck can help you to revive quickly.

7. Power sleep. Taking a power nap could help restore energy. A NIH study showed that power napping prevents burnout and improves mental performance

8. Go for brown. Stay away from energy sapping foods. Choose whole grain foods and eat colorful vegetables for energy.

9. Distress-de-stress. Stress will zap you of energy, so take some time,close your eyes, visualize and breathe in deeply for one minute.  A large body of research has shown that calling somebody to share your problems to detox will  help