I’m intrigued by the idea of creativity. Creative and innovation are the best and most widely available resources we have at our disposal. It’s free. It’s not limited in accessibility. It’s open 24 hours a day. I am constantly challenging myself and my students to look for creative solutions to problems.
And yet, one of the paradoxes of creativity and innovation is – it’s often best found in a setting of constraints.
Have you heard of the story of Weldon Long?
Weldon’s story is the archetypal rags-to-riches made-for-TV narrative of someone who has overcome unbelievable setbacks.
He was homeless. He was addicted to drugs. He was serving a 13+ year prison sentence. He had no hope for a future.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t have enough time?
I can ask that question to any of my audiences and the answer is almost always a resounding yes!
Even if you are a time management expert, most people are going to feel a slight pang of guilt because they feel like they could have done even more with that time.
We never have enough time.
How often do you get discouraged because you haven’t done anything yet?
What were your goals this past week? Any movement on those?
Don’t lose heart! It’s ok to fall. That’s part of learning how to walk. We all fall, but it only becomes a permanent condition when we choose to not get back up.
When my sons were all learning how to walk, none of them did it right on the first try. My oldest son, Benjamin, was a late walker, he waited until 15 months to venture into biped mode.
Now he runs a mile in 7 minutes.
Why? Because he chose to get back up. He chose to try again.
Now is the time to get back up and focus on small doable action steps.
Want to hear mine?
1. Write 15 minutes every morning. Yes, this means getting up 15-20 minutes earlier than I want to. But isn’t your writing, business, vision worth the extra 15-20 minutes? If it’s not, then you don’t have a big enough dream.
2. Write a blog post 2 times a week for the next 8 weeks while I’m in Rome (update: this was modified down to 1 blog post).
3. Start with 10 push-ups 3 times a week. See the 100 push up challenge (http://www.hundredpushups.com).
What are your action steps?
Unless you are working in highly physical and manually labor-intensive profession, many of us earn our keep by sitting at our desks and writing or researching. We get paid to think.
I don’t mind this. In fact, I love the fact that we are able to create something out of nothing with our thoughts. Especially when we are able to work creatively and tackle new problems or challenges.
If you have not been keeping an online journal or notebook of your writings, now is the time to do it.
It’s never too late to start one, and it doesn’t matter if you can’t write everyday.
Look at this blog for instance. My goal was to write 15 minutes a day. Even if I don’t post everyday, I’m still writing. I believe that having a process, method, and means for writing your thoughts is still important. And to be honest, even with only writing 15 minutes a day – I feel that my writing has been more consistent and it’s improving.
Another great thing about having an online journal, blog, or website is it allows you to access your writing wherever you are.
As I continue to write my book, my mind is constantly searching and researching for new ideas, thoughts, phrases, and angles to present a story.
Every meeting, every encounter, every person I meet has a story – the challenge is to mine that nugget out of the layers of rock.
What are you writing today?