Seth Godin prompts: when was the last time you tried something for the first time? How many firsts did you have last month? Last year? 2020 is the year of experimentation! If there were ever a year to try some new shit, it is this year. (It will be next year, too. And the year after that.) The ‘highly exclusive’ December to remember Lexus sales event comes around same time every year. Yes, even in 2020 people are still buying Lexi. What if every month, you tried something new? A new exercise? A new food? A new road trip? A new book in a new genre? A new app? A new MasterClass? You taught something cool to somebody else? What if…? How would we…?
It’s easy for adults to get tied-down to the tried and true — for you. We don’t explore much any more. Yet Creativity is all about exploration! Trial and error. Trying new things to see what sticks!
We get stuck in behavior patterns and methods and actions that we’ve always done. What gets us out of them are pattern interrupts: a health issue; a relationship problem; a ‘job interruption’; the COVID; 2020. Question is: now, what’s next? What are you gonna do about 2020? What are you gonna do about the health issue? Are you going to just roll over and hope that 2021 will be better? Or, are you gonna take action and command to do your best to resolve the issues? What’s next?
## What’s Next?
What’s next? is the powerful, insightful question that powers psychotherapy. What’s next is not concerned about the past any more. What’s next is future-focused. What’s next is values-driven. What’s next is action-oriented. What’s next is unfortunately not most peoples’ default, especially in a funk. What’s next is subjective. Your answer is different from my answer. And your mileage may vary. The really awesome thing about What’s next? is intention fuels it. You get to decide your next best action. It isn’t up to anybody else: not the spouse; not the kids; not the parents; not the boss; no. It is up to you. No warm security blanket sponsored by hr here. No. Your decision. Your choice. Your empowerment.
The other thing our friends in psychotherapy teach us / help us with is questioning our deeply held assumptions about ourselves and about other people. We can be dicks to each other. Worse, we can be complete Assholes to ourselves! Example: when was the last time you gave yourself due credit for accomplishing a cool thing / project? When was the last time you rewarded yourself for desired traits or characteristics? When was the last time you did something cool for a loved one completely unexpectedly with no prompting by her? When was the last time you nailed the project at work, didn’t get any praise at all from anyone, yet did something cool for yourself to celebrate? So many of us high performers do not gives ourselves sufficient credit for closing out the job. There is zero thing wrong with saying, “Hey, I did well here today. I owned this project. I nailed it!”
The Inner voice is a demon.
A lot of the noise in our heads is unpleasant. Our inner voice is a demon, and we must learn to mitigate him and/or silence him because all of what he has to say is bullshit. None of that shit is true. Zero. Nadda. Nope. There are several successful methods used to silence him, including years of psychotherapy, meditation, and yes: positive self talk (no, positive self-talk is not bullshit. Positive self-talk & affirmations build a healthy unconscious, far healthier than yours is right now.)
We are what we tell ourselves we are. We are what we tell others we are.
We are what we tell ourselves we are. We are what we tell others we are. Since one of my favorite things to do is to entertain people, I say I am in the Entertainment business. The Entertainment business and sales and marketing align nicely. It’s a good fit. It’s a good fit for me. It allows me to strengthen my Generosity & Creativity muscles nearly every day. A good Entertainer ought to be as generous as possible with their audience, just like a dedicated, Creative craftsperson.
Your flawed internal story.
The rub with most people is their internal story is terribly flawed. It’s chock full of self-doubt, I’m-not-good-enough, this-needs-to-be-perfect-to-ship, I -need-an-MBA-to-get-ahead, Why-didn’t-I-go-to-law-school? Why do I suck so bad at this!? And they wonder why they’re all jacked-up in the head?
What they need to do is get OUT of their own heads and air their internal B. S. To someone else, to set it all free, to exorcise the internal demons, to wipe the slate clean. And then while they go through the process of this, they inject positive stuff back in. Cool stuff. Helpful stuff. They try new things. They pick up a new hobby. They begin to cook again. They remember what made them laugh as a teenager — hint: it’s still the same things; you’ve just buried them throughout the years of life happening.
They remember what fired them up in childhood and/or their teenage years, and they re-connect with those feelings and, more important, those actions. Doing. Being. Picking up the ball again. Re-engaging the Martial Arts. Drawing again. Painting again. Working with Metals again. Shit you used to do, but you dropped as soon as you got your ‘real job.’ All these creative motions lie dormant inside of you right now! You simply need to re-engage with them. They’re waiting for you to unearth them.
The sad thing is most people won’t. They’re ‘too busy.’ Life’s happening all around them and they’re wondering why it’s all gone to shit. They’ll think drawing is only for kids (it isn’t). They’ll think brain teasers are for old people (they aren’t). They’ll think it’s silly to try to remember what made you laugh hysterically when you were a teen (you’ll revive and feel more alive)! They’ll think it is pointless to take a class when you think you’ll never be any good at it (you won’t if that is how you think, Duh).
Shake it out.
This is where you need to be shaken — not stirred. This is why great coaches take command and yell! It shakes you out of your own head, and makes you wonder why there is this coach yelling at me to get out of it! The sub-text of what they’re telling you is to Wake Up from your zombie slumber! It is game time! Get your ass off of the sidelines and get in the game! GO!
These coaches are right to do it because this is all we got: right here, right now. Our time here is limited. We need to go, now, because we need to make our creative contribution. We need to connect. We need to make stuff happen. Right now. Best time to start the business is right now. Best time to dedicate yourself to life long learning is right now. Best time to hit the gym is right now. Best time to go outside for a damn walk in nature is right now. Best time to get clear on what it is you want today for yourself, for your friends & family is right now. Best time to learn and hammer on that new skill you’ve been wanting to get after is right now. Best time to get off the couch and do a power walk / light jog is right now — not on January 1st with a bad hangover powered by silly ‘resolutions’ that will have gone to shit by February 1st. Resolutions are nothing. Intentions are everything. It is intentions & the actions powering them that fuel us, that comprise us, that make us who we are.
It isn’t thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are not the internal demon inside your head. You are not the noisy bullshit the news is scaring the hell out of you into into frozen position. No! You are your actions and intentions.