by Learning Department

October 01, 2021

Blowing Leaves, Kinder Weather, and Anxiety

A little over two years ago, I was leaving New York City after my Realistic Project Management workshop for Louis Vuitton. There was some chatter about COVID and at the airport, people were discussing how nice it would be to have a few days off if we went into quarantine. A few days became a few years. No one could have imagined the impact of the pivots and of organizations and people. Two years later, we’re still trying to work out how and when things will seem more normal. We will never be the same as we were.


Like you, I have had ups and downs during these times. My family and I have been blessed beyond measure, so clearly, I should be counting my blessings more often. But I still feel a bit broken, and maybe you do as well. The broken is always there. This month, I am going to share with you a few easily practiced thought processes that I plastered around my home computer a little over two years ago when I thought this would end soon. 


1. 4 Steps to Natural Creativity

This tip explains that conflict is the start of creativity. The phases are:

  • Conflict: Describe what the conflict is
  • Incubation: Mull over what has happened and could happen
  • Illumination: Let your mind rest and pop up some new ideas
  • Creative Implement: Use your new ideas and do something with them

If you haven’t had the energy or hope to try to think creatively, think of one small and irritating conflict (‘someone’ always leaves the peanut butter out in the living room for example) and follow the four steps above to build a new reality.


2. Imagination and Reality

Did you know that people just like you use imagination to make amazing new things occur? One of my wall post-its says:


 I x V=R               I (IMAGINATION) x  V (VIVEDNESS)  = R (REALITY)  


Close your eyes, breathe quietly, and imagine something you want, even something incredible. Keep your eyes closed, and make what image you want vivid – color, size, etc. Last, come back to reality. You’ll have many new ideas about how to influence reality for yourself.


3. Self Talk

Self Talk (talking/ thinking about yourself) can trigger a negative or positive image and it’s YOUR CHOICE which it is. For an experiment, count the number of negative and positive thoughts that come to mind over a brief period of time. If you find out that you’d like to be a bit more positive, use words and pictures that help you describe what you want your thoughts to be.


4. Affirmations

If you haven’t tried it before, try an affirmation. Some of the ideas above will help. Work on NOTICING your thoughts then ENCOURAGING them to be positive (present tense). Start with “I am...” for example, I am a smart person who cares about others. Repeat these words to yourself and talk yourself into how wonderful you really are. If you BELIEVE it, you can BE it.


5. Have to vs Want to

Pay close attention to how you interpret “I have to...” versus “I want to...” language when you speak. I have to represent restrictive motivation and is based on fear. Listen to your own language and replace “I have to...” with “I want to...”. If you really don’t want to, stop doing it.


6. Self-Image

Finally, back to YOUR self-image. Your #1 asset for growing positivity is imagination. Through repetition and emotional awareness, you can learn to direct and influence your future. Here are a couple of examples:

  • I was stupid to use that golf club vs. Now I know what golf club to use!
  • I don’t look good in dresses vs. I love to dress up
  • I’m a horrible cook vs. Cooking helps me spend more time with family

You try it! Notice your own ‘left hand’ comments and rewrite them to the positive.


A few years ago, I found a wonderful book called The Inner Game of Golf, written by W. Timothy Gallwey. Somehow, I had enough positivity to ask Tim to spend some time with me playing golf and learning about “The Inner Game”. Sitting here today, I have no idea how I pulled that off. We met at my favorite hotel (Wild Horse Pass) in Phoenix. When he would miss a shot, he would always say “isn’t that interesting?” He never let his negative emotions show up. His practice is powerful, and I highly recommend all/any of his books. Here is a quote from him:


Fear, which is probably the biggest obstacle to any learning process, is a repressive force.
– W. Timothy Gallwey, the Inner Game (author of the Inner Game of Tennis, Skiing, and Music)


Back to Blowing Leaves, Kinder Weather, and Anxiety (still)...

 We are all scared and emotionally broken, and the poorest and/or most lonely are deeply suffering. We cannot predict what’s next. But we can:

  • Be kind to everyone
  • Trust our own creativity
  • Focus on “I want to...”
  • Influence your future intentionally
  • Acknowledge the broken parts kindly

I’d love to hear how this goes – how can you use these tips? Contact us!

Learning Department

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