About 6 months ago, I was in a creative slump that I couldn’t really deal with. I couldn’t write in any kind of manner which mattered to me, the programs I was writing seemed trivial and my mind seemed like it had reached the limits of what I was capable of doing. Whenever this happens, I enter a weird phase, almost like a “deepening” (see The Rubber Ducky Method), but this one is just a gathering of information,and execution on a grand scale. Which, coincidentally I call a “gathering” phase.
I started looking everywhere I could for information to change things. Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohm, I tried to look at everything I could. But, at the end of the Gathering, I made a point to do 5 things every day, and it has changed the way I look at everything. I figured I’d share them with you and see what happens when YOU try them.
1. Write morning pages
If you pick up the book “The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”, the FIRST thing you’ll do is start morning pages. Three pages of writing, longhand, at speed of thought. To me, it seems to be a clearing of the cache before the web browser opens, you know? It’s the morning’s scream therapy. Be uninhibited. Be daring, say whatever the f**k you want to say, and say it loudly. Who cares? You’re going to keep this writing to yourself anyway.
I’ve gotten more writing from these pages than anything else so far. But, the therapy alone is like a purging of the senses before your day begins. Of course, if you go through the rest of the book, you’ll witness an awakening within your creative endeavors that is REALLY hard to stop.
2. Walk two miles
After my morning pages, I grab a cup of coffee, take it outside (provided my nethers won’t freeze to the bench outside), finish it and then go for a walk. I usually wake up before the sun comes up and my walk normally coincides with the sun rising. It’s an amazing way to start the day, and a communing with nature that I never realized I needed until I did it.
The entire time, let your mind wander. If you’re a religious type, talk to God if you like. If you’re the narcissistic type, talk to yourself. If you are the kind to speak out loud while you walk (I do this sometimes), take a tape recorder with you so you can get some of the dialogue down for use later. The goal is not to get anything worth writing about, the goal is to commune with the world and to enjoy your place in it.
3. Set a Short Term Goal and Attack the F**k out of it
Doesn’t matter what it is. Lose 5 pounds, read a book, write an article, fix your car. Something that you’ve been putting off for a while, get it done, set a date you want it done by and then attack the hell out of it.
If your goal isn’t working out, change your approach. Remember, you only fail when you QUIT. How many chances do you give a child to walk before you cut them off and don’t let them try again?
Once you succeed at your goal, it will give you the juice you need to accomplish the next goal. And the next one. And the next one. Set yourself up for success.
4. Eliminate Negative Self-Talk
“The quality of our lives is only as good as the quality of the language we use, when we speak to ourselves.”
— Anthony Robbins
I’m a big proponent of Anthony Robbins, for a very specific reason. The amount of positivity in ONE of his CD’s is equal to more positivity than most people encounter within a month of their daily lives. The way he talks to you is so positive and motivating that you can’t help but smile. Looking at yourself in a positive light is one of the first steps to creating a happy life for yourself.
How could you possibly be loved and appreciated by someone else, if you don’t at least like and appreciate who you are? All the pats on the back mean nothing when you look at the mirror and hate who you are. The way you BEGIN to change this is by speaking to yourself, as if you were speaking to someone you absolutely could not do without.
Do me a favor, if you’re not feeling very confident, check out this video and watch it once a day when you wake up, then start your day.
5. Look at life as a child
My daughter looks at everything with a sense of wonder that I do my best to recapture every day. Whether it’s a new episode of Team Umizoomi or a popsicle, she approaches every single element of her life with a freshness and an enthusiasm that I can only describe as “inspiring”.
Get up in the morning and treat every single thing you do and see and say as if it’s the first time you’ve seen these things. Appreciate everything as a child would and you’ll see the negativity removed from your life.
Good luck. Now get up, Team Dragonborn and attack the damned day!
Photo: Getty Images