10 Easy Steps for Thought Tracking – The New Way of ‘Journaling’.

Journaling is not a mystery – it is easy and we need you to get one for your personal use. It can be one on your phone as an App – one that you can do on your computer – the good ole fashion pen & paper one – or even an expensive leather bound one with hand made paper.

Men think it is for women and women think men need to do it more.

Guys – journaling is not for prepubescent girls – look in history if you have a chance to read a book now and then and you will see men (and women) working through areas of their life to make for some huge shifts in their life and their success is for us to gain some insights as to their thinking by sneaking peaks into their journals that are documented on line.

It is a healthy thing to do and get used to doing – male or female.

What I have found is that journaling is keeping track of some powerful thoughts. So I call it Thought Tracking. 

Thought Tracking has Transformational power within the process of doing it – and I would like to share with you a process of how to do it.

All I can say is that the most brilliant minds in the world past and present use some form of keeping track of your thoughts – plan and simple it is journaling.

Opening up your mind, soul, spirit & heart to share on paper the signs of who you are and what you are made up off for gaining insights as to what you can do in a much needed world that is missing your input.

Thought Tracking is not all about writing out your emotions – that is fine to some extent once in awhile – but Thought Tracking is about calling forth your own hidden resources and we need that desperately.

Most people get a book on personal growth but never get the work book – the workbook can lead you into self discovery and also bring some closure and inner resolution if committed to working through it. A workbook has a process of guiding you to write out what is going on inside you.

Well, I took those principles and came up with Thought Tracking.

Save your money from buying a workbook – and use it for getting a journal and follow along here.

When you go for a walk – your subconscious mind is free to ruminate and come up with things that the heart want to express – do so in your journal – stop and put the thought in your mini travel journal – on your phone in an App that records your thoughts – or by typing (yup – right there on the side of the road).

While you work your mind is active with process and intuitive ways of doing your job that are un-noticed or undefined. As you learn to become aware of these second nature actions you can teach yourself to define these actions to make it into a system to then extend to others by teaching if you so desire – but for now, just fill your journal with observations, defining that which is undefined as well as your intuitive insights.  Your Thought Tracker becomes an extension of who you are and what you do – revealing your vision, passion and calling. Over time, you will see patterns and consistencies that can form a company, a way to work with your family or a system to revolutionize how to do something that can impact the world.

The next step of what is important to do is to set a time period of creating in your journal then after a week or so to go back and consume your information to simplify and refine what you have written down. This is missing in many peoples journal time is to revisit your writing and glean information of what you can learn from it to take actions on.

Here are 10 things that can change your life – all based on a journal: Thought Tracking

1) intuitions, undefined actions & observations. Become aware of your thoughts.
2) write or verbally note them – define that of which is undefined. Marinate with undefined.
3) collect them for 1-2 weeks.
4) revisit them to refine and put meaning into your thoughts – define, claim & own them.
5) take actions to build experiences and write down your reflections of the experiences.
6) refine what you learn and make mistakes from – these are great insights for growth.
7) celebrate the victories – we all could celebrate more as a discipline of gratitude.
8) share what you are doing to encourage others – you do have a story to tell now more than a week ago.
9) give a journal to those that you love and also to those that you would like to gain wisdom from – build a network of other Thought Trackers.
10) get together to form a community or a Tribe – as more gets done with others in your journey.

Thought Tracking can be done so many ways – this is just one that has worked well for many and what I have shared with you is intended to pull out of you your vision to make an impact in our world – we need your thoughts for helping us in Walking New.

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Mind Mapping for Your Creative Thinking

Exploring thoughts.

You get a thought and I believe it can have so much energy to it that it would be a waste to not pursue it and find out all of what it can do for you in your chosen form of creative expression.

When I want to write, create content or just plan out a family trip – I LOVE to Mind Map. It just helps me to see the bigger picture of my thoughts on paper that is much moe beneficial to me than a list or just writing out on paper sentences of what I am in considering or in thought about.

Years before knowing what Mind Maps were – I was doing my own version of them in my journals or on paper.

I have only one book on Mind Maps and it is by Tony Buzan and I actually enjoy the exercises and examples that are in the book – you can also do a search on YouTube and see Tony and others teaching elaborate mind map techniques – so, I will keep this as a simple introduction here for you to consider as you explore your own thinking for with topics of writing and creating.

Tony calls the main word you start with “Radiant Thinking” – which is to write out the word you are focusing on in the center of the page for now.

Next up are words that are freely associated with that word. Tony gives a cool example of the word “Happiness” and then just write words that are associated with Happiness all around the center word. It is different for everyone with what words you come up with and a fun exercise to do as a couple or for a team building exercise as well – then to share what you came up with – as many will think it will be very similar – but in reality most words are all unique and different, which means we can learn a lot about what makes each of us happy – as by doing this we realize there is not much sameness but more difference with how we process or think about happiness.

You can do this with pen, markers or pencil – but what I like to do is use colored pens and whatever word I write down has a color that is associated with it – so as I write out my Map I can see it forming a rainbow of thoughts.

From the center word you wrote down – you have some other words that radiate around this thought and then you can extend the first grouping with other thoughts, ideas or actions that form a second group of radiating thoughts – you can keep going on and on or keep it simple as I have here in this example – yes, there are Apps for doing this.

Here ia a Mind Map example using the previous article on The Passion Circle and this shows you the first outer grouping of Radiant Thoughts.

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Each thought can now be expanded on.

What is cool is what I came up with – if you want to take notes on a separate piece of paper or use software like the one here using an App (for Mac) called Scrapple (I actually prefer paper and color pens) – (iThoughtsHDis another great App for iPad) – I use the color that each topic is in as a form of ‘coding’ and this makes it fun and also purposeful in my mind for remembering things that I have in each topic with a color that I like it to be related to.
For example I can write in a purple pen that I get from Office Max – the above mind map section on “Techniques” (is purple) and come up with more ideas and transfer them on to an index card. I can use a green pen for “Life Style” (in green) and put those ideas on an index card and when I finish all of them I can put them on a table and move them around or pick one card, turn it over and further expand my thoughts to come up with actions to take, ideas to explore or topics to write about.
Seeing the white index cards spread out on a table – with the variety of ink colors – brings a sense of joy to creating something with this process.

Using cards and one ink is boring and uninspiring – so – I use white cards with different color inks to make the colors pop out,
No – I do not like colored index cards – but you might like that as an option….but I do like different colored Post It Notes!

I use Scrivener for writing and they have an index card option that allows you to manually move them around – and I hardly ever see anyone mention that they do this – do a search on it as that would make for another blog by itself (maybe I will do one, as I have other ideas and Apps that work with using Index Cards for thought processes).

You can get the Mind Map book by Tony if you want to explore it more, as these can turn into pieces of art – and read his thinking, but doing a search on YouTube will be just as beneficial – and this article really is all you need to know to actually do it because it is so simple and doesn’t really need to be compacted and studied – as what we want to use it for is stimulating thoughts to do what we do best and stay focused more about our passion for writing.

Discover Inspiration with 4 areas of Passion.

The Passion Circle

How I create, write and offer help to my Tribe of readers comes from a few things I have learned about and put together to form new ideas and to get a flow of creativity going that can be used to inspire, offer solutions and in some cases contribute to transformation of my readers needs, desires and wants.

The Passion Circle is used to find inspiration, to process and discover what you can do to help others with based on things you love to do and how you are as a person on fire to achieve a goal. It is not meant to be final or stuck on one thing….it can be flexible and change according to what you want it to be. You can make it permanent but you will miss out on its true purpose of using it to unpack your passion, imagination and help others with what you are designed to Tell the World through your writing or business.

This exercise is simple. All you do is create a circle and divide it into four sections.

It doesn’t matter where you start – but you put your Passion, vision or desire in one of the sections and mark it #1.
This area is what lights your fire, keeps you up and gets you up in the morning.

I will use myself for an example – my Passion Circle for this example is work & business related (you can do this for family, church, health, etc.) and my Work Passion is: Curly Hair. If you are unfamiliar with my work go to www.scottmusgravehair.com and get a glimpse of what I do. My business Facebook page Scott Musgrave Hair is full of tips and my website has a blog called MagiCurl – from this you can see that I love what I do as I have a healthy obsession with helping people with wavy, curly and multi cultural hair to embrace and know how to love their God-given hair (this is my purpose and calling).

Next is LifeStyle – how you incorporate everything you know of your passion into your daily living. Maybe someone has an issue in an area and you can offer suggestions, tips and counsel in their areas as solutions, resolution or transformation.
For me: People of Curl need help with dry hair, frizz & being in the rain or humidity. A question of how to make their hair look good for 2-4 days, etc. This is a matter of care and maintenance = LifeStyle. So I use the Passion Circle in helping clients develop a Routine, amounts of product and sequence of applying products with daily or weekly tips.

Next is Techniques or Methods – a system of solutions and once put into a box you can go out of the box and mix in other ideas and expand. Somethings are intuitive and second nature to some that need to be defined – to define that which is undefined and make it teachable for those that do not have it incorporated into what they do (as in being second nature).

You don’t have to take the best of the best and make something you own, as you can discover what is missing more so and create something new from what is lacking.

For me: I took what was not being taught in my industry and started to bring it back and take it to new levels. I took what was taught visually and defined steps to make it teachable. I created methods of product application that was based on frustration of what people were not getting elsewhere. New cutting methods to form a system that made for a vocabulary to create a way of communicating to other professionals and artists so that we are on the same page and can duplicate work anywhere in the world.

Next up is Tools – and this can be gadgets, objects – for me, I use Products to help and I also like to associate Brands with this area – what it is about brands and how they market like Apple or Starbucks and what they did to succeed. Systems.

The Passion Circle = in this case I wanted to expand my Service Experience (as an example):

Passion = Curly Hair, Waves, Multi Cultural
Products = Deva, Jessicurl, Homemade, Mop Top, Raw Curls
Techniques = MAP, Fabric Scrunching, Power Spray Bottle, Cubist Curl Cutting
LifeStyle = Rainy days, humidity, extending products used to day 2-4, sleeping with curly hair

For this exercise you as a writer may want to try:

Passion = Writer, blogger, Author
Products = Scrivener, Mole Skin Journals (read the insert that come in those), PROCESS
Techniques = mémoire, screen writing, rant, subjective, truth, opinion, self-help, poetry
LifeStyle = where you write, rituals, manifesto, chapter, eBook, observation of humanity, news

This is just an example – you are to create and process your own ideas WITHOUT over thinking the process and what I wrote is not objective truth for YOU – as there is no right or wrong and tomorrow it will have different activities and thoughts on what I will do to create through a process that can change daily to find inspiration FOR ME (as it should for YOU).

You will gain wonderful insights by doing one thing = asking others what they struggle with.
What frustrates you with your hair? – is one that I ask.
What frustrates you with your writing? – is one you can ask yourself or others.
As I ask People of Curl what they struggle with and they say, “Dry hair and frizz” – by using The Passion Circle I can go into products, techniques and methods to help them with a routine to help solve their problem of frizz and dry hair – in person – OR ON LINE in a forum or on a Facebook Post that they can incorporate into their LifeStyle.
Read what others are working on and struggle with and you can find inspiration by using and working through The Passion Circle.

Words of Influence

Learning to write for me was not an academic process from higher education – as I did not like reading and writing while growing up other than getting a certificate for good penmanship in 3rd grade – but that was more related to ‘drawing’ letters more so than writing letters for me.

What helped me fall in love with writing was much later in life as I was exploring the Artist within me by reading “The Artist Way” by taking on The Daily Pages exercises of writing 3 pages everyday – even if it did not make sense – just pouring words out on the paper everyday for 30 days. I quickly realized how great it made me feel to get words and thoughts out of my head and to express them with pen and paper.

That was 10 years ago and I NEVER would read those pages – as I would write three pages on paper and put them in a big vanilla envelope. 

I was on a cleaning rant recently of where I store long ago works of art & photography in the garage and I just now went into the garage, to where I stored those pages and to read them for the first time since writing them…and realized that they got thrown away.

I am a hoarder to some extent – not in saving paper, books and photography – but more of a collector of thoughts and ideas for inspiration.

Doing those exercises ignited my mind and generated a cycle of ideas that to this day has not stopped. I now realize that it was always going on in my mind, but this process just gave me permission to BE it and DO IT and to recognize that it is a part of who I am.

Just about every night I would get thoughts in my dream mind and write them down. Many times I would toss and turn at night and realized that my mind was active and would write down my thoughts with a pen and paper that is always bedside and would go back to sleep with the comfort of knowing my thoughts were safe.

I discovered an instinctive discipline getting up earlier, as words were entering into my mind and the only way I could go back to sleep (or start my day) was to put them on paper (I bought journals after doing my Daily Pages exercise).

Other times I would pray, read Scriptures and just listen….because if I were to hear God in my heart, it would be worth it to record it. So many times I hear Him in my soul and to capture it on paper would be something to remember – right?

Capturing words on paper changed my life.

It would influence many areas of growth for me and also impact others as you will also discover. 

If you sense a desire to express what is on your heart, in your mind and can’t sleep well or have ramblings in your Spirit to get things off your chest – then start today to just get used to putting those thoughts down in a journal or on your computer in a safe file for your eyes only.
It is a process that will initially feel uncomfortable, but I assure you that it will lead to a wonderful reward of self discovery and in the end a discovery of what people around you are like as well.

For now, write whatever you want – large or small – and all I ask is for you to fill ONE PAGE with your thoughts, ramblings, scribblings and over the next 7 days to write everyday (whenever you want) and after seven days to look it over and read what you have discovered. It may be a theme, a song, poem, rambling ideas or just more confusion…but I bet that over time you will be released of something or uncover a sense of satisfaction – and this IS writing that over time draws many to the art and craft of writing. In our case we can do this without concerns for being a novelist or writing a book even…just writing for yourself is worth it and good enough for the present time.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing what works for me and my own writing in hopes to build curiosity in your own creative expression in learning how to ignite words of influence for your own writing.

Goal Setting & Vision

Vision is what you are compelled to do – it is what consumes you at night and also drives you to wake up early.

Have you noticed something compelling, consuming and driving you in your thoughts? Some say they have an urge that will not go away…what is yours? 

It can be a tiny…very small item to focus a set amount of time on or a grand vision that will impact the world.

 

But what is it that gets your vision done?

Small steps and some large leaps that are done with focused written down and reviewed everyday – GOALS!

Let me ask you right now…are you writing down what you have to do to accomplish your vision today – everyday?

Many do not write them down – and they wonder why they see time go by with no results or very little results done toward the achievement of their vision.  So – they do nothing. 

Goals are actions steps toward the accomplishment of your vision. 

One thing I have learned is that you must be in a Growth Mindset to achieve what is known as a Flow State that is a directed focused on a target for a specific period of time to achieve your goal in steps. 

A Growth Mindset is something I learned about in a book called Mindset by Carol S. Dweck and it is a state of mind that reveals to you that you can learn, change and that things can be cultivated over time. 

The opposite of this is a Fixed Mindset and this is a state of mind that says you are done – no more learning or this is the way things are and will not change…so your actions reveal what you believe based on your mindset

I can’t help you in a Fixed Mindset – but if you adopt the Mindset of Growth – we can accomplish a lot together. 

I was listening to a program on Writing by Michael Hyatt and he said, “Attitude and a winning mindset are essential to taking on your goals – if you OWN what you do and who you are and take on the responsibility for controlling our mindset to influence our success – Ideas will show up –  partners show up to help you –  you attract what your mindset is and people will want to enter into what you are radiating – as they will avoid you as well with the opposite mindset (who wants to be with a negative take down mindset) and you learn to fight this every day and the creative process is something you have to take on all by yourself many days”. (I wrote this as Michael spoke it – so it is not a verbatim quote but modified). 

Are people with you – NO! – ut-oh…you got some stinkin’ thinkin’? Are you radiating a Fixed Mindset?

or – Are people with you – YES! …then you have a Growth Mindset that attracts others – well done! 

So, as you discover the goals that are needed to take on your Vision – discipline yourself to be curious, inquisitive and be selective in using your imagination to uncover goals and the steps of action that require a Growth Mindset and write them down everyday – go over them multiple times during the day – and over time you will look over your Goal Sheet (or put them on a specific calendar designed for goals only) and you will see accomplishments of what is being done or what needs to be done…this is what it takes to Lead with your vision…and writing them down will reveal to you a New Story and is apart of your New Walk. 

How to Discover Balance in Your New Walk

It was 40 years ago this week that Phillipe Petite walked across the twin towers in NYC to amaze the world of what is humanly possible.

What amazes me more so is another High Wire Walker Nik Wallenda.
I was one of 10 million that watched Nik make history by taking some entwined wire and putting it across the Grand Canyon – and if you watched it you will notice that the very first step he took over the canyon had a ‘wow-factor’ that took your breath away (watch the first minute of the link I provided!).

For Nik (and Phillipe) to achieve his goals – he accessed his Vision through his God-given imagination. The next step is to have Faith that it can happen by planning it out – as planning it out is a sign of you willing to act on your faith – and finally it comes down to taking a huge risk…and take that first step while living out your vision. As each step you take will reveal that you are living out your imagination and faith and you will experience your own Wow- Factor as vision comes into view.

Faith like this over time becomes VISIBLE!

Vision comes in part from our Imagination and in Faith we think and create with it – but it is of no value without taking action on it – which means you need to take that first step.

If you want to experience light at the end of the tunnel – you must take that first step – and keep stepping until your faith becomes something you can sense, feel or see.
Over time it is very much possible to forget the dark tunnel and walk in light for the remaining of your life.

I go for early morning walks and that first few minutes is in total darkness – until my eyes adjust and I can start to make out trace spots of the neighborhood road I a on. Perspective Adjustment takes time for your eyes to get used to because at first you are squinting before they can fully open.
Vision Planning is squinting at first until your eyes adjust and open up completely.

My previous post of living my life from The Cube revealed that I also had tunnel vision and was in my own interpretation of darkness…for years. It was only when The Cube crashed was I out of myself and could actually sense a light at the end of the tunnel.
I took a risk to walk on my own High Wire.
This feels very liberating.

Nik Wallenda annoyed some people with his non-stop praying to himself to comfort his walk as he was experiencing shifting winds, dust on the wire, the sleight moving of the wire as he walked on it and maybe even thoughts of his family member Karl Wallenda who fell to his death by taking his imagination and faith to risk walking on a wire in San Juan, Puerto Rico – but I can tell you from my own experience – I practice praying like this many times during the day as I walk on my own wire!
Taking a step towards the light at the end of the tunnel may require you to do so as well.
It did not work when I was lacking faith, filling my imagination with doubt and had no planning and was feeling stuck and did very little about it. That to me was not a dark tunnel – that to me was Hell when I recall those memories now.

Don’t forget – when Nik walks the wire he has practiced, planned out – and oh-yea…he has a balancing pole to hold in his hands to maintain balance as he walks on something about 1/2 the size of the width of his foot.
My Balancing Pole is my relationship with Christ – same as Nik’s.

You must find your Balancing Pole and learn how it affects your imagination, creativity, faith and planning and then take it with you as you take a risk on your own first step…and each step leads to a New Walk.