We all have terrible work habits, behaviours and thinking patterns that reduce our creativity and energy. Often we just didn't know something was a bad idea until it's too late, or we simply said to ourselves that it will be okay. We've learned to behave or think a certain way for reasons we may or may not have control over, and now we have to take control of these. If we want to succeed at our endeavours, we need to do things the proper and right way. Not because it might offend someone or because it says so in a book but because it's the way that gets the best results. Design thinking is naturally conservative, it wants to adhere to pre-written guides and ideas. Of course, in creativity we try to make something new so not everything we do has to adhere to these rules and guides.
When our ideas don't fruit in the way we intended, we can turn to the wisdom to find out why. If we look at wisdom like building blocks, we can use them to build anything. The more we understand, the more blocks we have. But how do we create change when we have ingrained ourselves with unhelpful habits, when our building blocks are too simple to build what we are looking for? It has to be pushed, the process of change has to be a full-time occupation until it need not be one any more. Here are some steps that can take you there.
Talk about it all the time. It has to be on your mind at every moment. If you want to ensure that you don't fall back into old habits then make it known to yourself and those around you that the change is happening. It's okay to talk to yourself, maybe just in your head, to tell yourself that this change is taking place. This helps us to remember and stick to what we say. Our word matters to us, we don't want to break it.
Make it part of your routine. How can the change be embedded in the other jobs you have? What can you do during other times to continue the theme of change? Perhaps you need to change your ways in one area for a known reason and there are many other areas that could also make use of it for reasons you haven't thought of? Can you make the change some kind of fun game that you play while going about your day?
Change isn't punishment. Change isn't supposed to make you or anyone else miserable. Sometimes the desired change may be too far off at this time or it's not something that fits with the ethos of your team. There are times when the logical choice is not the ethical one and this can't be ignored. When we're unhappy or feel under excessive pressure, we don't function well as people. Take it easy on yourself and take it one step at a time.
Make a demonstration of the change. Show people you are doing it, be the stencil for change that others want to see. Show that you are making a change and act out the different behaviour at any opportunity. This produces a new mental image that helps to further enforce our change of habits.
Understand what it is for. There needs to be a clear reason to why you're making this change. There are often times when we just can't be bothered or we say to ourselves, I'll do it properly next time, and this is where we need to have a full understanding of why we are changing. If the old ways are proven to be holding us back or causing us to succeed less then we are more likely to shun the old behaviours. The end result and the steps are all important to keep in mind, so we understand our journey and the path to better creative results.
Then, all you have to do is enjoy your new possibilities!
Meditate, Innovate, Create – Why sitting in introspective silence ultimately increases productivity | Alternative Fruit
Being passionate about your project and leading from a position of strength can cause us to become too involved, too wrapped up, too off balance. Finding time to meditate is an essential tool for ensuring that our creative focus is positioned correctly. Emotions can blind us to the truth, what is staring us in the face can sometimes be missed when we're on a particularly different avenue. Meditation in the basic sense is the removal of the self from the mind. The intellect especially can be likened to a car. We get in, sit at the controls, and put our foot down. Off we go, thinking, imagining, comparing, wondering. So meditation aims to disconnect from this, it wants us to stop the engine and get out of the car. Visualisation and mind emptying techniques exist, each one has its own benefits. All kinds of meditation however have distinguishable benefits that cause us to be more effective, more productive, and more on target than if we go in head-first.
So why meditate? What is so good about meditation?
Meditation connects our mind to the rest of our body, it allows us to feel as well as emote. Our feelings are powerful indicators as the the social relevance and righteousness of our ideas where-as emotions tend to only relate to those who share the same precise opinion as yourself.
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Meditation provides balance. We can become too focussed on what we're doing in this moment that we begin to neglect other important issues. We can begin to place too much value on one aspect of our work and forget to nurture the rest. When we meditate, we can find that we let go of many of these unbalanced thoughts that ultimately hinder us.
Meditation encourages better sleep habits. We all know the benefits of a good night's sleep. When we're rested properly, we are able to apply a lot more mental energy to our tasks. We're more keyed in with what we're doing. Because meditation helps us to quiet the mind, it really does help us to fall naturally to sleep.
Meditation improves our self-perception. When we're busy and in a doing phase of being, we can often find life becoming difficult. Everyone seems to put up their own walls and complaints that it can become toxic and volatile. We begin to see ourselves in the eyes of the wide world, and that's not right. We're so small in those eyes, insignificant and meaningless. When we connect with ourselves through meditation we start to discover our own importance and appreciate our existence more.
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Meditation helps us to be better around other people. We know how sometimes we are treated in ways that cause us distress or discomfort. We can learn about how not to behave from these experiences and meditation is really great to help with isolating the exact energies and angles that we found so antisocial.
Meditation helps us figure out who's important to us. We tend to find connections in life among many connection that seem to matter to us on a deeper level. From time to time we realise that a person's particular quality is one that compliments us naturally. When we find these people we can learn to deepen our connection by involving them more and including them in our ideas.
Meditation provides emotional strength. Rather than closing ourselves off to the raging ocean of the human sensuality, we dive right in. This can be hard for us, especially if we've been disciplined into not indulging in emotions and feelings. This is a bit like saying to someone not to indulge their eyes or their fingertips. When we dive into this essential part of our consciousness we learn to swim, some even learn to sail or surf.
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Meditation boosts creativity. It opens up our mind to many principles and concepts that are too quiet to be heard when we're throwing our intellect around the room. Quietening the mind really does unlock a brand new tool-box of previous experience, lessons, and observations. Letting this occur naturally is part of it, there's no point in forcing the issue. Allow the bubbles to rise to the surface in their own time.
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You have creative vision, you see a solution to a problem and you want to make it happen. You're a leader, and one of the best kinds. You don't just demand the book version, you demand the fresh version, the best version. So how do you go about putting your power into action? You need to work on a handful of leadership skills.
Clear Vision. No half-way house or roundabout idea. It's imperative that you can discuss your idea to high resolution, you need answers and test results. Prove to yourself that you know what you are aiming for and that it's worth achieving. Everyone who comes to you for help or instruction needs to get the same information. The ideals and methods of the team are rooted in your notion of how it's seen. You must have a precise template that ensures everyone knows exactly what they're doing.
Adaptability. Things change, people change, situations change. We can try and fight the tide or we can harness it for our own benefit. Long-lived projects and ideas are able to flow with the natural currents of society. Digging in your feet to shifting sands will see you buried. Ride the dynamics of society, if you don't like the way it's going then take the correct route to be heard. Imagine a sailing boat on the ocean, perhaps they want to go east and the wind is blowing north. What do they do? Probably adjust the sail so they are pushed in a north-east direction. It's the best they can do in the circumstances. Trying to row due east may be more accurate but it will cost a lot of energy.
Be Like Glue. Teams are made of individuals. These people will have their own strengths and weaknesses. A leader can sit between these people and work as a cohesive bond between them. Matching ideas and methods with skills and personalities takes understanding and courage. Diverse skill sets make great teams. Finding skills in every area, making use of cultural viewpoints, and ensuring all people are given consideration requires a diverse set of people.
Lift People Up. Weaknesses and blind-spots are opportunities for a person to learn and become enlightened. Rather than shaming or punishing someone for their short-comings, give them an opportunity to develop their personalities. Good team members are hungry for more training and more experience so be prepared to lift people up, provide them with friendly advice, educate them in the methods and techniques you know.
Be Inspirational. If you're the leader, if it's your grand vision that's being put into action then you have to radiate purpose. When people meet you they have to feel motivated and inspired to produce for you. When you can communicate your vision and nourish your team, stay cool in the rising tide, then motivation will probably be natural. Other things you can do is offer genuine rewards and compliments, discover who prefers the stick and who prefers the carrot then use them to their best effect.
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Life is chaotic, everyone has their own personal agenda that focusses on their personal future. We have to work together to get things done, so we organise ourselves in various ways. The law of the land is a system of organisation, we know how people are not allowed to behave so we feel more secure. We have a system of keeping the law in place, i.e. police and media, hard and soft power influence society into universally accepted organisations.
When we begin to turn our creativity into a business model, we have to think about how we want to organise our work, our day. Just like the law of the land, your creative business will need to have rules and systems that make sure things are done in a consistent and predictable ways. People like their businesses to be consistent and predictable. When we buy a pair of brand trainers, we predict their comfort, durability, street cred, and so on. If our predictions fall short, we feel cheated. So how will we organise our business ideas into something that works best? Here are four distinct organisation styles that you will no-doubt recognise in the world around you. Being aware of their individuality will help you to choose wisely when mirroring what you see is working.
Rising Star style organisation allows the whole group to function as one cloud. Many concepts and ideas are flung around and the ones that make the most 'noise' and get the most positive feedback are the ones that are taken further. This style of organisation likes to challenge the normals and invent new methods and ways of doing things. World changing inventions often come from this type of practice, however it is born from a sea of chaotic ideas that ultimately go nowhere. There is a lot of freedom in rising star style organisations, everything goes in and then we simply, “see what happens”.
Meritocracy takes this to a new level. This style of organisation pits people against each other. Rather than functioning as a cloud, individuals or elements of the organisation are single units who have targets and expectations. Instead of bouncing ideas around and simply seeing what happens, we have to see to it that each element or individual makes it. We motivate, challenge, train, push harder for results. This is stressful and can lead to mental breakdowns as well as physical loss of energy. The plus side is that every ounce of energy put in is invested in and machined into its most productive self.
Teamwork styles of organising have a common goal with one main idea. Everyone in the team knows their place with managers taking care of their employees. Communication is preferred in these groups, there's no target to compete with. It's a much less stressful way of running a top down business, where rewards come in the form of expertise and training. The whole team is seen as an individual unit with a set network of working parts. On the downside, individuals may not feel motivated to put in 100% all the time. If someone is always there to pick up after them, bad habits are easy to find.
Authority styles resemble government. They have routines and protocols. Everyone is expected to do their bit and by the book. Each action is accountable and everything is checked over by a string of quality controls. This style of organisation is heavy handed yet maintains excellence on every level. With an iron hand workers feel compelled to put in their all and to work honestly. It gets good results but is bloated and takes long periods of time to implement changes. With expensive overheads and slow adaptation to change, the excellence has to outshine these downsides.
The business style that works for you will no-doubt be a combination of these structures. Each element of your process will have a distinctive style which you'll fall into naturally. Now you are aware of the pros and cons, it will be easier to determine if you're on the right path. If you want to get a head start with marketing your creativity, here's a free course in sales.
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