If you ever get bored, just open your eyes

December 29 2012

I have two young sons, aged 2 and 4 and before they were born I started to make a list of things they might find useful as they grew up. I keep adding to it, but thought I'd share a few to my fellow listservers. You won't find any 'live as if every day is your last' or 'follow your dreams' because for me they don't add anything. If anyone has others to add, then email me and I'll send then all I receive to those who submitted!

1. If you ever get bored, just open your eyes: This is a great reminder for me that we normally stumble around the world on automatic mode, missing so much around us. It's a reminder to stop now and then, especially when bored, to look around and try to see things that you may have not seen before. This also reminded me of a great quote by the late hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson: "have you ever noticed that every blade of grass is a different shade of green?". it still amazes me that simply asking yourself this question directly affects your perceptual system. Highly recommend books by Harvard prof, Ellen Langer on western scholastic mindfulness which will blow your mind (start with the power of mindful learning).

2. You rarely need more time, but more time limits: I've been my most productive when I've only had a limited time to complete things. I did my Masters, another course of study and worked managing a college (= available all hours) all at the same time, and really had to partition out my time. I would have struggled if they were at separate times in my life. This links with another one, "self imposed discipline is always better than forced upon you".

3. Anyone can be creative: so many people go to their graves thinking they don't have a creative bone in their bodies. I teach creativity and there are three enduring myths: you have to be born creative; creativity is only for those in the Arts & you have to wait for creativity to strike. All are unnecessary and crap! Instead I believe that: creativity is a set of techniques, which can be learnt by anyone in any industry/background, and can be employed at any time. Highly recommend the books by Edward De bono, especially "Serious Creativity".he recycles his ideas but this is the best book to smash these myths.

4. Compassion starts with seeing how we are similar: those of us reading this are better off than most people in the world. Compassion and gratitude for me go hand in hand and I've enjoyed reading some of the arising works/research on positive psychology. Simple implementation: start writing three new things you're grateful for at the end of each day. Agreed, it sounds a little light and fluffy, but I found it makes me more resilient in the day as it forces you to actively seek out what's good in your life. Check out Shawn Achor's TED Talk for a simple introduction.

5. Enjoy the journey because you'll never get there: this is hugely important.too many people work towards Imagined happiness rather than trying to live it day to day. Happiness should come first: it makes everything much easier

6. Arrogance is weakness: simple as that. Pity the arrogant and pretentious, it's all just a wank.

There's more but I'm limited by time and words. Happy to receive any from you.who knows, yours may be the one that changes my boys' lives!!

Thanks for your time.

[email protected]
Stavanger, Norway

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