Archives For January 2015

My Story (Part 1)

January 31, 2015

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I don’t think I fit into any particular box very well.

I know because I’ve tried.

Man, have I tried.

I’m a native Texan, with all the big-hearted fun and ethnocentric pride that brings with it, but none of the southern drawl or cowhide boots or country music. I was always more spaceman than ranch hand, even as a boy. My dad loved cowboy heroes, but the Wild West could never capture my imagination like the Final Frontier could. I’m a devoted son of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and every brilliant or ridiculous film or TV show they’ve inspired. I have loved them all (and still do). As a boy growing up, when I wasn’t building model rockets, I was converting my bedroom into the bridge of the Enterprise and going on wild adventures where no young man had gone before.

Part of this was just the natural expression of my adventurous imagination. And part of it was because I really was trying desperately to get away, and this was the only way I knew how.

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oldtypewriter

We call it Inspiration. Or a Creative Burst. Or the Voice of the Muse. Those enchanted blocks of time when we feel super-charged with creativity, clarity, and motivation to work. Our vision becomes clear. We know what we want to do, and we feel compelled to do it.

It’s like somebody plugged us in, and we feel compelled to burn bright as long as the inspiration lasts.

But it never does.

Why is that?

Like so many other things in our human experience (eating, breathing, sleeping, a woman’s sexual cycle, and so on) I believe creativity is a cyclical process in our lives. I believe that’s why we experience it as “coming” and “going”; why some days we can connect with our creativity, and other days we can’t no matter what we try. As we are constantly called on to “be creative” in our workplace, at home, in our social circles, as well as within the inner life of the soul, it can be immensely helpful to understand a bit about this “Creativity Cycle,” so we can begin to notice its natural rhythms in our lives, and come to work in alignment with it as much as possible, rather than constantly feeling as if we’re fighting against ourselves to try to constantly be creating.

So what is this “Creativity Cycle”?

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silouetteatdusk

“To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

How strange the world is. I’m currently reading Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison, and it’s such a peculiar miracle to me that through these writings, which I know he penned while sitting in a cell in Nazi Germany in 1943 (over 70 years ago), I can so easily join him there and become a voyeur to his experience. Writing, I’ve always maintained, is one of the greatest forms of magic there is in the world. And there is magic everywhere.

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NewYearREZ
New Year’s Resolutions never used to work for me.

But…I was in love with the idea of them. Who wouldn’t want a fresh start in the new year? Who wouldn’t want to leave old baggage behind? Who wouldn’t want a real chance to start over? Build a new habit? Break an old pattern once and for all? So for years…no, decades, I’d get suckered in. I’d dream a fresh dream. I’d summon my courage. And I’d write out my plan:

Here’s how it’s going to be different this year.
Here’s how I’m going to change.
Here’s how I’m going to do it.

And then I would do it. (But you know what happens next.)

Sometime around March, I’d wake up to realize I’d lost track of things completely. I’d feel ashamed, and defeated, and I’d blame myself for not being strong enough, though I always suspected it wasn’t only that.

Truth is I never really knew why I couldn’t make resolutions work.

But now I do. Thanks to the principles I’ve learned in my years of coaching, I now know how to make any New Year’s Resolution succeed.

Now you can too. Ready? Here are the top 5 keys to making your New Years Resolutions actually succeed:

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