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The Next Challenge

Today, I am beginning a new personal challenge.

In an effort to build on the momentum, confidence, and personal growth generated by recently fulfilling my goal to write a blog post every day for 365 days in a row, I am now pushing myself to crank it up a notch and dig a little deeper.

This year, from June 1st 2012-June 1st 2013, I intend to write a blog post every day for 365 consecutive days again, while reading a new book every week for 52 straight weeks (thanks for the inspiration, Julien), and also authoring a new book every two months.

So, on this day of next year, I will be able to celebrate having written 365 blog posts, read 52 books, and authored 6 books of my own.

Why am I doing this?

Because it scares the heck out of me to commit to something of this nature and I believe that a little fear and discomfort can be very good for one’s evolution.

Last year, I had no idea how I would be able to keep writing day in and day out, but I found a way every day without fail. From my own wedding day to the day I went to the emergency room for a hernia, I seized opportunities when they arose and I made them count.

In doing so, I discovered something about myself: I realized that I am capable of much more than I could’ve possibly imagined. I witnessed the creative power that can emerge from within when one holds himself publicly accountable to the achievement of a desired result.

This year, I wish to do that again. I wish to discover, in an even deeper way, what will happen to and through me as I dive into a previously unexplored realm of learning and creating.

What kind of person will I become as a result of facing this challenge? How will it transform me? What new things will I be capable of? These are the questions that excite and drive me.

Why am I announcing this to you?

There’s something about declaring an intention out loud that makes my subconscious mind take it seriously. If this is really an intention of mine, then there’s no need for me to play it safe and keep it a secret “just in case I fail.” I’m not here to just merely talk about traveling, I’m going to take the next step and actually buy the plane ticket. This blog post is my version of buying the plane ticket.

I hope you join me because this year I intend to fly high and I could always use a little company.

As Zig Ziglar was fond of saying, “I’ll see you at the top.”

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Where there’s a “why”, there’s a way

Successful people don’t necessarily have a great “how”, but they do have a compelling “why.”

Sideliners are just the opposite. They refuse to move until they have a proven process laid out before them as insurance against failure or embarrassment.

Here’s today’s two cents:

It doesn’t matter how many processes you have if you lack a vision that’s powerful enough to drive you.

Sideliners hear success stories and they listen to experts give all sorts of practical advice only to respond with phrases like “well, that won’t work for me because of (insert reason here).

These people are usually right. Their objections tend to be valid. But for the person who knows his “why”, objections are merely creative challenges to be overcome because their sense of vision makes it possible to see beyond unanswered questions and unresolved problems.

Whatever your goal may be, you don’t need a process. You need a vision that’s strong enough to make your ignorance and incompetence utterly irrelevant.

Find your “why” because where there’s a “why”, there’s always a way.

T.K. Coleman

Dealing with difficult people

You don’t need anyone to change their behavior in order to feel good and get what you want out of life.

If someone close to you is a non-stop complainer, for instance, there’s no need for you to get them to stop complaining. Their incessant complaining isn’t the problem.

For all you know, the complainer might be in a stage where they need to take large amounts of time exploring contrast as they learn to process their feelings. Trying to change them may not only create an unnecessarily frustrating experience for you, but you may also do more harm than good by making rash judgements about them which imply that they’re are somehow “wrong.”

The real issue is a lack of boundaries. The complainer may be getting his needs met by venting to you, but your failure to establish healthy and respectful rules of engagement drains you in the process. The solution is to find a way of supporting them that also allows you to meet your own need for a little peace, quiet, and positive reinforcement.

This kind of thinking isn’t limited to complainers. We all have to live, work, or play with people who require some creativity and patience to deal with.

You don’t have to micro-manage others in order to manage the results you get out of your interactions with them.

Once you learn to focus on what YOU want rather than on how you think THEY need to change, you will be able to create win-win scenarios in which others get to keep being themselves while you get to have what you want.

That’s my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Forget about “being creative” and just start creating

“Am I wearing the right outfit for creating?”

Creativity is not an exclusive club you need to be admitted to nor is it some kind of elite status you need to obtain as a prerequisite for manifesting the results that matter to you. Creativity, if it is anything at all, is the power and process of bringing something into being.

The creative process is experience-oriented not label-oriented.

Either you succeed at involving yourself in creative risks or you don’t. How you define yourself, how others label you, and how much the world is or isn’t impressed with your style of work, are separate matters.

One of the greatest deterrents to risk-taking and successful creating is a preoccupation with titles and definitions.

Many aspiring innovators and achievers concern themselves with all sorts of questions as to whether or not they deserve to be called “writers”, “entrepreneurs”, “artists”, “professionals”, etc.

People evaluate everything from their style of dress to their speaking accent in an agonizing quest to determine their “worthiness”of the proper label.

The Universe isn’t checking I.D.’s

Here’s today’s two cents:

You don’t have to BE something in order to DO something.

Society is filled with “artists” who never get around to making anything and “creative-types” who experience their creativity as a state of being, while the world carries on without any tangible contributions from them.

While there is nothing wrong with mystical and psychological conceptions of creativity, a major problem emerges when would-be creators fail to produce the effects that matter most to them because they don’t consider their personalities and  lifestyles to be creative enough–and all too often, “creative”  means something like “eccentric”, “cool”, “hip”, “modern”, “post-modern”, “stylish”, “sexy”, “underground”, “mysterious”, “enlightened”, or “artsy.”

But labels don’t write songs and titles don’t build businesses. Reputations don’t solve problems and a funky hair style wont fill a blank canvas.

The process of creating, alone, does these things. And creating isn’t strictly reserved for the “cool” people.

Creating is an enterprise that’s accessible to anyone who’s willing to get their hands dirty.

Where do we go from here?

You are free to explore whatever you wish to explore and you don’t need anyone to crown you with the title of “explorer” in order to do that.

You can simply focus on moving in a direction that intrigues you without putting any pressure on yourself to order business cards that say “explorer of worlds.”

Just pick out something that fascinates you and explore it.

Some people may come along and call you a “true explorer.” Others will dismiss you as a “wannabe.” Either way, that’s THEIR discussion to have.

Let the philosophers philosophize about what it means to be “someone who does something”, while you actually do something.

I don’t know what I am, but I know what I’m doing and it feels amazing

If your ideas and causes are worth fighting for, you needn’t torture yourself over what the definition of a “fighter” is. Just start fighting in whatever way you can.

If your stories are worth telling, you needn’t torturing yourself over what the definition of a “storyteller” or “writer” is. Just start telling your story in whatever way you know how.

Forget about “being creative” and just start creating.

One day, the world MAY “award” you with a fancy sounding label like “writer”, “artist”, “creator”, or “innovator.” And if you’re really lucky, you might even agree with the label they give you.

But when it’s all said and done, label or not, your life will be a story that you created. And no one’s labels, definitions, and philosophies can take the actual EXPERIENCE of creating, along with all the thrills it brings, away from you.

At least that’s the way I see it,

T.K. Coleman

Build your success vocabulary

“In the course of your lifetime, read a thousand biographies. Because in doing so, you will build a vast vocabulary of overcoming incredible odds.” -Peter Daniels

We never fall short in life because of a lack of creative power. We fall short because we fail to see how our existing inner resources can be applied to the problems at hand.

We can’t express what’s inside of us unless we have a vocabulary that’s broad enough to convey it.

We always have what we need in order to meet whatever task is at hand, but we must have a repertoire of ideas that allow us to see what our options truly are.

Here’s today’s two cents:

If it seems as if your particular creative challenge is unresolvable, then you may be suffering from a limited success vocabulary.

Your problems are never as unique as they might initially appear.

The seeming uniqueness of a problem is a perceptual illusion created by ignorance of the thousands of others who have transcended the same challenges in a thousand different ways.

Each person’s overall story is unique, but the subplot of overcoming adversity is a universal theme.

There are thousands of people in every demographic who have found ways to overcome incredible odds on route to disrupting the status quo and changing the world.

Observe them. Study them. Glean wisdom from them.

Don’t be a loner on the road to success.

Build a mental network that allows you to connect with the ideas and solutions of others.

That’s my two cents,

T.K. Coleman

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