Write The Vision Down

Approx 2.5 min read

Hey there! Back again are we? Fantastic! Good to have you.

Remember when I started off this series and I mentioned that bit about how some of the things I will be sharing will be from experience while others will be from principle? Yeah? Well this is one of those things that I’ve done in part based on principle and it’s already working.

To start this off I’d like to insert and idea into your head. One of the most powerful things we can do as humans is create an image. No, I’m not talking about photoshop. I’m talking about the ability to see something that doesn’t exist physically as real, and behave accordingly. In Christianity it’s referred to as faith and it can sound a little crazy but we use it all the time. You don’t believe me? What is time? What is a country? What is a company? What is money? What is a government? In a way, crazy as it may seem – these are but figments of our imagination which we allow to govern our lives. Things with no actual power but are given power because we agree with the notion. But that’s just my opinion (or is it?).

One way to break out of one’s comfort zone is to provide an image of the thing one wants; to see it daily until it is etched in one’s mind. In my case I have a dream (Martin Luther King Jr., please do forgive me for stealing what I think is your best line, I just couldn’t help it!) that I will own Manchester City football club. It sounds ridiculous and is possibly downright insane. That’s even before you consider the fact that the entity is worth over 2 billion dollars right now.

However. once that idea seeps into the recesses of my mind and is as real to me as money is… I can’t be comfortable lying in bed until my body feels like waking up on a weekend. I can’t be comfortable being unproductive. I will be forced to change because the thing I envision and my current behaviour don’t align. Just like when your goal of achieving a certain body shape becomes crystalline you adjust your diet and exercise accordingly, so too will your attitude change when your goals become very clear.

And the tool to make your goals clear: a vision board.

So get on with it. Get a large sheet of paper or prepare some kind of powerpoint. From the 8 areas of your life that have the most significance: spiritual, health, family and friends, relationship, career, personal growth, money and fun and recreation – stick images that align with what you envision yourself achieving, then put the vision board in a place where you can see it everyday. Let that become as familiar to you as the crush’s social media page and see yourself working towards it.

One awesome thing about this. It can be proven fairly easily just by doing it. So… just do it. (Sorry Nike.)

See you tomorrow.

Stay awesome!

Importance Of Confidence

Confidence:
●Helps prevent or protect against depression
●Able to take risks, increasing opportunities
●Rejection disappoints you less
●Reduces anxiety
●You can feel good when you are alone
●Better social interactions
●Eliminates jealousy
●Makes you more attractive
Sold yet?
Confidence QuoteConf qoute 2Conf quote 3

Creativity: Exposure (Travel)

photo cred: Alexey Y Petrov


I have edited the first part of the Exposure mini-series as I believe it was not as clear as I wanted it to be. It is now so have do have a look at it at:

https://impactingeverylifepositively.blog/2019/04/13/creativity-exposure/ 


You probably already know this but I’ll say it anyway. One way to remarkable boost your creativity is to travel. Experiencing a different culture, drastically different weather, a diversity in people, language and viewing different geographical landscapes will expand your mind in a way very few things can.

Travelling allows you to have a full-on dose of new. 

If you’ve never been to a place before, every interaction you have with the people and things in that region is a learning experience as opposed to the automatic response to the more repetitive, maddening monotony of local sameness.

Travel isn’t just limited to crossing borders. There is an immense growth spurt in creativity that can occur just by visiting a new coffee shop or checking out a new part of town you haven’t been to yet; or going to the outskirts of your district and participating in paintball or skirting the mountainous region you wanted to visit but found baseless reasons to put off doing so. The exposure you seek to stretch the self-imposed limits of one’s imagination can be done by making a conscious decision to visit, try, taste and experience something new. Where better to do so than a region where everything around you is new?

I certainly wouldn’t have been able to have the diversity that I achieve in my posts and in the 16 short stories in my collection were it not for my travels – beyond borders and also just beyond my neighbourhood.

 

 

Creativity: The Day Dream

photo cred: Daniel Coyle

Do you ever feel like you lack imagination? Not me hahaha. No this isn’t a post where I gloat about it. It is a post for me to justshare something that helped me in this aspect, especially regarding stories. It got to the point the that my IGCSE English teacher was forced to air her thoughts to my parents one consultation.

“Ayanda’s stories are too fantastic!” she yelled apparently.

Before you accuse me for providing pseudo-genuine information I vow it is all true. How can one’s story be too fantastic? Well, she didn’t mean it in it’s most positive connotation. My stories were so creative they were totally irrational and required a complete suspension of belief for anyone to thoroughly enjoy them. Not everyone could appreciate that, my teacher being one of them, so for me to start attaining A*s in the subject I humbled myself and reduced the imagination I used in my stories. How did I get to that stage in the first place? As a young boy I didn’t revel in time spent with those my age. This coincided with the time before my sibling could have fruitful, non-goobledygook conversations with me so I needed a way to entertain myself when I felt lonely. Often I would stand beside the house and dream up entire worlds, inserting myself in these dynamic stories as the protagonist, white-haired and dubbed Alex (my favourite name before I appreciated my own). My favourite time  of day was when my head hit the pillow. I would spend an hour or so every night reimagining whatever tv shows I would have watched that day with this fictional white-haired character that was simultaneously myself and someone else kicking ass and winning over the main female character. Kid me had game before he knew what attraction was! In the bath I’d close my eyes and picture things. In the car I would imagine a laser chopping all the long grass within view. I would then close my eyes when I encountered a person or vehicle – after all, I’m no murderer.

The brain works similar to a muscle in this, the more you use it the more capable it becomes in that area. Actively use your imagination as you day-dream and you’ll reap in creativity!

See you tomorrow for Creativity: Fullstop.

Creativity

photo cred: Mark Schaefer

Creativity is often attributed to being within the same class as talent.

“Some people have to work hard and try to be creative” is how most people think.

I wholly agree. But that is the silver lining, creativity can truly be worked at – it can be developed.

Back in the day my tiny little sister would draw pictures of her favourite female cartoon characters. Without fail she produced truly awful drawings. On a scale of 1-10 they were probably a 3 and this is coming from her biased, loving older brother. They were a 3 out of 10 not in general but compared to those just in her age group. She was around 6 years old. Kim would draw ‘cars’ and they would look like random shapes smooshed together. As her doting older brother I would never tell her that her drawings were an eyesore (and they were). In fact I affirmed her and lied saying they were beautiful every time. I didn’t know at the time what was happening when I did so or the importance of praise in the confidence of a child in her formative years but the comments spurred her on to draw even more, and that in turn drew even more deceitful comments out of me…

One day my sister approached me years older than she was when she’d done her first drawing. “What do you think?” she asked. I glanced up from my work expecting to see a wonky car that looked like a block of lego. I was astonished to find that her drawing was not unsightly, it was downright impressive. “Did you draw this?” I asked incredulously. She simply nodded. Her artistic ability had flourished over time due to the practise she had put in. She then went on to tell me that she was grateful that I had affirmed her when she was young and incapable of drawing simple things well. She confessed that my praise had been the catapult to her drive to continue art. Today I am absolutely certain her art will adorn many a famous wall somewhere soon.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a post highlighting how awesome of a brother I am (even though I’m pretty dope as a brother LOL) but serves as an illustration that something that I always attributed as a talent, art, (which I was terrible at in high school), can be worked at. This sort of creativity can be practised! 

Time to get to work!

See you tomorrow for Creativity: The Day Dream.

 

Lying Is Good For You: Building Habits

Starting a habit isn’t always easy. The proof is in the number of people who say they want to start a new habit who don’t actually end up doing so. Or maybe they’ll start but stop before it’s really become a habit.

Habit – a regular tendency that is hard to give up.

Lally’s study claims that it takes anywhere between 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit.

How can one actually achieve such a feat that requires an incredible amount of discipline? First of all we have to acknowledge that it is difficult to maintain something just because we see the benefit of it in the future. If you are one of those people that can do it by just intentionally making the decision, kudos to you! If you are like me then you have to use a different way. The good news is it works just as well. Here it is… it’s time to lie again!

There’s this story about a mouse that’s put in a cage. Scientists would ring a bell at a certain time and then put cheese in the cage. Over time the mouse associated the sound of the shrill bell with cheese and would come out of its little house when the bell was rung and wait, even if the cheese wasn’t forthcoming. The bell didn’t sound attractive but the cheese was attractive. Over time the mouse would come out for the bell because to it the bell = cheese. We’re not mice though so what can we do? We use the horse and carrot stick method.

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Looks ridiculous right? The carrot is the reward after you’ve done the hard work of doing whatever the new habit requires you to do. This way we associate the reward with the work. For example, I love movies! When we got back from a service on Sunday that’s the first thing that I wanted to do. Unfortunately for me, I lived with very wise, orderly parents who would have me do the dishes first (after we’d made and eaten breakfast) before watching any film. Doing the dishes was work. Watching the movie was the carrot. My love for movies was so strong that I would speed through the dishes to have my carrot – ahem – I mean watch my movie. You couldn’t motivate me to do the dishes because it wasn’t something I looked forward to, but because I looked forward to watching movies, the labour of doing the dishes was no longer as hard as it seemed initially. Over time I stopped doing it as an inconvenience and started viewing it as a sort of key, a key to me watching the movies that I wanted to watch on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve used this same trick to exercise daily, write more consistently and to drink enough water each day – all things I never used to do.

So what are the practical bits you can use for you. The only thing you need to do is to make a list of the things you love. Lie to yourself until you believe that you can’t do one of those things until you’ve actioned out the habit you’re trying to build, then reward yourself with the thing you love at the end – and repeat. Make sense?

A short real-life illustration of the effectiveness of this technique:

Mom: Where are you?

Me: I’m in the kitchen. I’ve just started doing the dishes.

Mom: We’ve started watching a movie, come watch with us – you can do the dishes after.

Me: I don’t like doing dishes well after we’ve eaten. I’ll finish up fast then come watch when I’m done.

True story.

I’m a dish dog now!

See you tomorrow for Lying Is Good For You: Trumping Fear.