In awe of your creative abilities

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Where is the greatness but in you?

Life as an experience is miracle if we look at the odds.

Then at our present we may not feel that way. Feeling certain way is, because of the evolutionary advantages of conserving strength among other reasons and complexities.

Life is a result of complex process. At least it is complex in comparison what our conscious mind is at times able to handle. At our best even our conscious mind is a miracle. However, hungry, exhausted, stressed and worried? Not quite so.

It takes another almost miracle to create environment where we are at our best. To create that we need other people who understand this.

Of course societies at large are becoming better and better at this, despite of everything. That’s why there is over 7 billion of us today,  more than ever before.

It is illusion that work is over. There is plenty of work for those of us willing to pick up slice of that responsibility which does not belong to them.

To solve problems which have not yet been clearly defined, requires wide range of different skills and above all the one elusive quality that makes us human: creativity.

Creativity is awesome.

What will you create today and how will you share it?

Creativity does not have to wait until tomorrow.

Creativity does not call for perfection.

You might start as a child like level, however do not be embarrassed of that. Think of Picasso, who tried lifetime to reach that state again. That is the cycle, irony and cosmic joke of life. We are afraid to begin, yet once we have got up to a speed we desire to return to that state. And it might take decades of masterful effort to be able to call oneself beginner again.

In order to figure out your strengths and creative tendencies, think of something that interests you. Start doing it with low barrier and commit to it for thousand repetitions. Do not judge yourself until you have thousand repetitions behind you. Then start to ask yourself if this is something you would like to continue in longer term.

Committing to something for thousand repetitions is under three years if you do it daily. It might seem like a lot, or a few, depending on your perspective. How about just be present and do something today?

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Have an awesome day!

Janne

Decisions to Do Create Something from Nothing

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Today as I was packing my stuff for the move. I finally got to my lifeboard, a very deal construction of post-its and such that I try to keep there to remind me of that which is really important and valuable for me in life. Each morning I’ll start my day by spending five minutes with lifeboard.

Now that I was taking lifeboard down carefully, I noticed that there are too many things there again. A decision to do something, should always go with a plan what is worth sacrificing for this decision. The decision become holy when something is sacrificed. Sacrifice is for example the decision not to do something, there is opportunity cost involved and based on conscious decision one choose an action over another.

Decision to do, requires a decision not to do.

When you’ve done something, that you have sacrificed your time and actions for, it really starts to matter. Anymore there is no messing around. Decision making is serious business as time is really limited.

Virtuous person will find oneself in a position where there is not simply possible not to do. This is because virtue is values in action and when one is able to live virtuously, there are few unskillful actions and when there are those actions are quickly corrected. Thus we get to a point where you’ve to choose in what order or with what focus you will commit to your decisions. It’s possible to overlap several things: such as going for a walk, with audiobooks and with grocery shopping. Three things done at a same time.

However, the experience of listening to a audiobook suffers still from opportunity cost of taking notes or checking additional material while at it.

Despite the opportunity cost, I believe a lot in overlapping several activities. Through habits we do not need to have any excuses not to do things. Instead we should find creative ways to get the decisions done no matter what.

Decision and commitment to that decision means using the limited time to come up with the results. Ex nihilo, from nothing everything has been made

Love What You Have

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Loving the present moment makes life magical.

No more clinging to the past.

No more desiring for the future.

Focusing and enjoying the present releases energy to be happy. When we are happy we tend to be more cheerful and creative. This translates to productivity and social likability as well.

We can work from the present to increase the odds of good things happening in the future. However whatever happens, our life experience is limited to the present.

Loving what you have is easier said than done. Personally I find it easy to accept present and love it after 16th Karmapa meditation.

Feeling the Suffering

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Sometimes they say that the smartest people feel the suffering.

Well what is smart anyway? Smarts should be the ability to come up with working solutions.

In order to solve something we should have problem and we should feel the problem completely. This might refer to the ability of empathy to everything around us.

It’s in human nature to feel the suffering somehow, that’s what makes us creative and smart at the same time. We are human, because of our ability to suffer.

Focusing to the suffering does not solve anything, however the ability to feel the suffering is the ground to start looking for solutions.

First Priorities Should Come as First Action

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Your actions reflect your true priorities.

If you sleep a long time, nap a few times and then rush to work, then your most important priority comes from working for others in exchange of your time.

If you were working for yourself, you would do your own creative work first and then work for others.

Same goes with the money that comes to you and you spend. If you start spending to the fun things first, then your serious savings and investments will not grow. People with rich mindset pay themselves first, always.

What do you consider to be most important priorities? Do they really happen?

I realized that in my life they do not. Certainly on many mornings I do jog and exercise, even read and listen some books during my commute. Yet for writing I haven’t had the time.

And the haven’t had the time is just an excuse, I haven’t made the time. And why I haven’t made the time? I had an argument that “I cannot write in the morning because my mind doesn’t have any ideas to work on in the morning” – yet this is so weak argument. I’ve a lots of ideas, it’s merely about effort to dig those up or about preparation to make sure in the previous evening to sure have everything at hand for writing.

Try listening to yourself and write those arguments down. Often the things that keep us from doing things are rather silly.

First priorities should be done first.

Don’t Let the Limits Bother You

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Creativity blossoms out of limits.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

Excuses are form of our own thoughts limiting our own actions. Let go of excuses.

Beliefs what is or is not possible is a form of limitation. Do not let beliefs hold you back, look to open up possibilities.

What we have achieved before, does not mean something is impossible. It has just merely been done before. Do not let past, history limit you.

What others think you can or cannot do, is not necessarily accurate judgement. Do not let others determine what you can or cannot do. You know yourself best and if you think you have a chance, try it out.

Do not let the limits bother you, even if there are limits, seek to build bridges in between. You will find more strength and are able to summon unexpected strength and creativity. Limits are the construction material for greatness.

Embrace the Odd

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You are a bit weird aren’t you? We all are rather weird, especially when we start to look closely.

In fact it is exactly because of our differences and diversity that makes life fun and worth living. This I wonderfully odd I am and still getting somehow along.

It’s surprising that a common language and a task can bring so many people together. This is what fascinates me about company cultures. Originally I started doing my thesis about company cultures, then later on I become so absorbed my current company that of course I cannot see the company culture anymore, because I am living it so strongly.

Culture is an unseen, strong force. A collective unwritten agreement on how people will act under pressure. What will the stress response be, that is the test of the culture.

Another interesting test is how does the culture handle the new and odd. Does it manage to embrace the change or resist it?  I work in a change management consultancy, so the people who are attracted there are very open minded and open to change as well. The differences and diversity sparks the creativity in my opinion. And it’s just not my own opinion as well, because most creative cities in the world across the times have been tolerant of the diversity.

It’s not just the diversity in others, it’s in ourselves as well that we have to be learn to embrace.

Oddity in ourselves is the thing we need to be proud of, because it is through that from where we can bring most value to other people.

Get Crawling

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Life is imperfect, we need to accept this right off the bat. Imperfection is not the reason not to get started and going. I am imperfect. So may be you. Yet both of us have the capacity to become something a little bit better, this in fact I feel like is the meaning of life.

To be able to become a little bit better, in order to benefit others more. To love myself so that I could nurture the growth of others as Scott Beck put it.

Whatever it is you are interested in doing, you should find a ways to do it now, or very at least today something towards it. Then just repeat it the next day and you are again a step closer.

Today I for example I calculated that I managed to combine three activities that must be done into a one: exercise, chores and learning. In fact all of these I wanted to do now, because I know that how much I will benefit from all of it. I feel like it is great use of time to batch activities like this.

World won’t be perfect over a day. Sometimes big breakthroughs do happen overnight either by coincidence or by sheer creativity and necessity. Yet most of the improvement happens gradually over time. Breakthroughs are rather unpredictable and what matters most is the crawl: ability to every day proceed towards what is deemed as important.

Now when we are moving, let’s talk about prioritizing your tasks.

Prioritizing is one of the most difficult cognitive task we can set for ourselves. We have to make choices to do and not to do. I recently learned that it’s rather useful to set the morning for prioritization and this is true especially for me who gets interrupted a lot at work during the day in an open office setting.

Of course prioritizing happens through the day and through week. I plan my work week ahead during Sundays. This has been a habit for me since my college years when I liked to dedicate Sunday for quiet study and contemplation without any interruptions. I still do enjoy this Sunday study time a lot and in fact even today I used to prioritize my life board – it’s kind of collection of post it’s full of wisdom that include my goals, daily actions to crawl towards those goals and important tools to keep with me during the journey. Reorganizing and updating this info is one of my favorite things to do during the week – I feel like when I organize my life board my mind gets clearer as well.

Now you know what you want to do during the week and during the day, just get crawling.

Simple Success

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Succeeding in life is easy:

  1. Determine what is important, what does success mean?
  2. Figure out concrete actions
  3. Prioritize: decide in which order and when you perform these actions
  4. Learn and return to 1.

People get caught to a story loop, in which they are constantly convincing themselves why they cannot achieve this. Watch your self-talk, be mindful and accurate of your thinking and your words. Then keep returning to the first rule. What is the success for me, what is really important?

Groundwork also involves a lot of self-knowledge, your values and you goals. If you do not know yourself, you cannot start succeeding, how could you if you do not even know what you want and need.

In life results come from nothing. It depends on your creativity and ability to organize common successes how much you can get from nothing and in what time. We all have limited time and no-one really knows how much.

What can be done depends only on your capacity to draw things from the unknown, the creative world. World we know today has been made from nothing. We are the shapers, we create the change.

What kind of change you want to create?

My advice is to create reasons for succeeding in creating this vision rather than excuses to obscure it.

Happiness, Wealth, Success and Love is in Our Minds

 

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Our minds create meaning. Consciously we can choose what kind of meaning we give to what happens in life.

With the same principle our happiness is in our minds.

Our wealth is created by our mind, creativity, imagination, habits and actions.

Our success is the result of our actions.

Love? Actual love is doing rather than a feeling. Feeling is a mess in brain chemistry, real love is actions. If you do good, you will find eventually that it resonates back to you from people.

We become what we put into our minds. This includes the environment we are in as well as where do we spent our focus: i.e. is it in watching entertainment, pursuit of knowledge, building relationships or doing good deeds.