3 Seasons of Growing & Communicating Your Vision.

As I work with people one on one, I have discovered Three Seasons of Communication Styles that people use with confidence to build their business – or if used incorrectly based on fear…it will deteriorate their business.

Many do not even know they are deteriorating their business, family life or even their health – but lets just look at it for now with your business.

You do not need a degree in business to realize that how you communicate is based on fear or confidence. All one really needs is a simple article like this to wake up and realize that what you communicate is truly an expression of the condition of your attitude towards fear or confidence.

Many people have fear that is self inflicted based on (self protective) pride that:

1) creates faulty assumptions and conclusion of imaginary ‘what if’s’ and:

2) create experiences based on past immaturities and foolishness that resulted in consequences that were to be learned from and not be the final outcome.

Fear can be so vividly imagined in the mind that our body responds to it as if it were true…and many times it is invalid fear.

To break out of this self inflicted fear (that keeps people stuck in pride) I have learned that if one wants to expand their growth, we can look at each phase as a Season of Time.

There are the 3 ways of growing & communicating your vision:

Process
Is what you value and believe in that takes a season of time to refine and gain experience of the required abilities to become a vision that reflects what you have a passion for and will commit to.
Imagine it is a process of learning a trade.

Meaning
As you work what you value and believe in some will discover what is of excellence and create something that is valued for combining the ‘best of’ resources in a new way.
Some will find what is missing and create something that is valued for combining what is lacking and needed to solve problems with unique solutions.
Again, Imagine this is about a refinement of their trade that becomes a craft.

Expression
If your Process and Meaning endures the demands of what is needed, it solves problems and is unique – it may last long enough to tell a story all on its own – without force – that is an expression of your vision that impacts others strong enough so that they express it to others with joy, happiness and confidence.
For a few that create, learn, modify, experience and persist it is a lifetime of sharing a perspective that resonates with others and can become a form of Artistry.

Looking at where you are as a Season of Time in forming your vision – are you in a Season of:

Trade?

Craft?

Artistry?

You can learn where you are by the consequences you are getting.

Some are so new to building their vision that they have an Artistry mentality with no foundation of experience from being in seasons of growth of Trade & Craft – they just want the pay off. Even if you are more mature in age – you gotta be in a Trade Season.

Some are experienced people in one form of Artistry and begin a new venture and (without knowing it) are now put into a Trade Season and yet expect and almost demand to be treated as if they already are in an Artistry Season of respect that only comes with Time.

The EGO can demand pride without thinking it needs to walk in humility to gain experience that is required from being in a Trade Season that leads to a Craft Season and finally a well deserved Artistry Season.

If humility wins – consequences of growth happen almost as if they were meant to happen. Peace, patience and self control are moderating the spirit of an individual to experience a level of serving others that is geared toward what is needed for them – more so than a perspective of what I think you need.
If pride wins – consequences of stagnation & lack of building based on being judgmental and comparison that is related to jealousy will create a stream of strife (arguments, tension & comparison) and striving (demanding, proving & justifying) to ‘make it work’ – all because pride is blinding and causes a form of deafness from not ‘hearing’ how humility will serve others better than pride can (pride ONLY serves one person: YOU).

A look at your Process, Meaning and how you Express your vision can reveal an old walk mentality that has consequences that you can take personal (self inflicted) and fight back in pride with, or – you can respond for a Season in one Area of Growth that creates new consequences of humility based on a New Walk.

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.

IMG_3314

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.

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. 

The One Thing you Need to Kill Fear!

Mystery is a requirement for someone to live out their vision. If you are a man or woman of faith – there is one thing that fills in the gaps of uncertainty, mystery and fear.

To have confidence in something larger than yourself and to know you are growing and on a path without knowing every detail – is what faith is about.

So, when you have uncertainty – realize faith is fueling you in your vision…and when you sense that you are in a gap of uncertainty, it is prayer in these gap moments as one of your best defenses of not letting doubt, uncertainty and mystery lead to fear.

I guarantee you are muttering something under your breath when the poop hits the fan – you might just as well be talking with God as your doing it…and that is one form of prayer.

I also bet that when a sense of over-whelm hits you – or a feeling of inadequacy that you can’t do something you have never done before – all of these can cross an invisible line that sucks you into fear if left on it’s own.

I have seen many that mutter under their breath ‘prayer talk‘ instead of cussing – and this is a huge realization in that someone can reprogram their nervous system and cause positive reactions (peace, patience and even joy) as a response to mystery and fear. This is huge if you can practice this over and over.

Again, the best defense is to let the sense of overwhelm, uncertainty and fear LEAD you to prayer and that will help you to SEE FAITH IN ACTION as you Walk New.

10 Ideas that Prove You Have a Vision.

#10 – Contact someone who inspires you to let them know why they inspired you and thank them. Gratitude is a sign of having a vision sparked in you by someone else’s creativity and you should express thanks by crediting them and also reveal to them how you are taking their legacy into your own vision.

#9 – Connect with a friend, or a team…better yet – engage with your spouse to brainstorm your Vision and see how many ideas are discovered. Engagement is a form of energy to draw out potential of your vision – it it resonates with them…great! If not, then find those that do resonate with it and form an alliance to take it to another level.

#8 – Tell the World – let words flow from your heart, soul & spirit of what you are conceiving. Start with some practice in your Journal or on your computer program for writing – and consider a blog of expressing and refining your vision.

#7 – Take a Day/Weekend off to start your vision. Planning and the process of spending Energy on your vision comes with marking out your calendar with the intention of focused time on Vision Strategy and Development and just doing it.

#6 – Vision comes in to your mind at unexpected moments – in the shower, shaving or even while working out – and ideas are inspiration to act on. Instead of working on your vision non-stop, plan for unexpected revelation of ideas by planning to play more often and even to exercise – as it is not only good for your body but it is mandatory to clear your mind to receive more thoughts. You can say, “I hate to exercise” but if you reframe that to be, “I love to get new thoughts” and exercise is one way to receive those thoughts and benefit your body secondary!

#5 – Help a friend – heck, help a stranger. Acts of Service bring out the best of what is needed and you can also catch glimpses of what is being done well that will inspire you and trigger ideas of what to incorporate into your vision.

#4 – Recommend a great book or a Ted-Talk that reached down into your own soul and sparked many ideas or thoughts of what others are achieving. When you contact another person with the thought of “Hey I was thinking of you and thought you may like this book (or Ted-Talk) and would love to know your thoughts on it.” – This will create a new momentum in building levels of engagement much like a Master Mind group does with getting input from other people that accelerate in other areas that can inspire your own vision.

#3 – Up your Game! Improve your Service. Create ENGAGEMENT by expressing and showing us your passion, commitment and faith that you are putting into your Vision. Sitting on the couch day dreaming is putting energy into a passive action producing a passive result that many times produces stagnation – as it is only when you put active engagement into your vision will it actively progress giving you feedback on what to do or what to adjust.

#2 – Establish Boundaries and communicate those over and over. You are directing a vision and this means that you are Leading people. When you lead people you must communicate what is important to you over and over to clarify any confusion that will pop up or unexpected turn of events that can cause panic or frustration. Setting Boundaries means that you will reflect and communicate what is important for both parties and try to reach an agreement so that the relationship can continue – if it is not agreed upon then it means that a mutual separation or a strategic move or alliance can be developed. If it is horrible to move forward with then this is good to know now and deal with it immediately instead of down the road – so termination can be best for BOTH parties.

#1 – Know WHY you are doing what you are doing. A book called Start with Why mentions that it is what is most important to you and what you believe about what you are doing that draws other people into your vision. As if they also believe what you do then they are willing to support why you are doing what you are doing. Write it out – focus on it – develop it and know it like your name…Why you are doing what you are doing is the most important feature of fueling your everyday energy input into your vision. Passion is important for sure, but passion can fall off the side quickly if you do not BELIEVE in what you are doing. Do not tell me ‘what’ you do – Tell me: WHY you believe your vision will help you and others?

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.