Showing posts with label Success. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Success. Show all posts

Friday, 29 September 2023

Part 3: How To Combine The Two And Come Up With Creative Solutions That Work!

Last but not least, we come to the fun stuff. In this section, we take a look at how we can combine creative and critical thinking to come up with out of the box solutions to problems that work. By combining both critical and creative thinking, we can take advantage of the benefits of both while avoiding the downsides. 


Let’s go back to the silly weight loss example to show how this can work in action. Again the idea is to lose a fair amount of weight. Cutting off a limb is obviously not an option, but we can take a look at some of the reasons that make this an attractive consideration. We lose a set amount of weight, and we lose it in a set amount of time. That may spark a thought about tracking weight loss in interesting increments (like losing the equivalent of 3 packs of butter, or the equivalent of your arm’s weight). It may also inspire us to set a date for which we want to have x number of pounds gone. It may even get us to think about and consider surgical alternatives like liposuction or stomach stapling. While those may not end up being the right solutions for you, it’s good to include them and think about those options. You never know where they may lead you. 


Looking into weight loss surgery may have you considering alternatives like fasting. At the very least, it will serve as a motivator if you want to avoid surgery at all costs. 


In this case, we started out with creative thinking and then moved into critical thinking. We got a complete picture, collected a lot of data, and then analyzed it logically to come up with the best solution. That’s a great way to approach this process. 


Another option is to start with critical thinking, then switch to creative thoughts to come up with more alternatives and more data sources. Then go back to critical thinking to determine what will work in the end. 


By combining these two ways of thinking, we can come up with new and innovative solutions that will work. At other times we may find that the old tried and true way of doing things is popular for a reason. It may end up being the best possible solution. We won’t know that though until we’ve thought about it critically and creatively, working through all possible alternative options. 


That’s why combining aspects of both critical and creative thinking is such a powerful strategy. Give it a try the next time you face a complex problem. Since switching between thinking creatively and analytically can be a little tricky at first, it can be helpful to sit down and work on creative brainstorming first. Get out a notebook and spend some time thinking of as many ideas as you can and write them down. Walk away for a bit and then get to work on the critical thinking part of the process, collecting more data, organizing it, analyzing it, and finally coming up with a workable solution. Rinse and repeat as needed until you find something that works well for you.


The more you get in the habit of practicing those creative and critical thinking skills and combining them, the better you get at it. Before long the entire process will become an integral part of how you approach problem-solving. 


Tuesday, 26 September 2023

Part 2: What Is Critical Thinking?

Another problem-solving skill is critical thinking. It’s very different from creative thinking. Here the idea is to think logically and work from information and data collected. You start with the information gathering process and then sort and analyze it to find the best solution. You want to be as objective and unbiased as possible and come up with the best possible judgment based on the information you have. 


For example, if you are a project manager for a construction firm, you would gather information on what you need on the job site and then order the materials at the best price you can find. Another example a little closer to home would be the critical thinking you use when you’ve lost your car keys. You start to search the house room by room, possibly retracing your steps until you find them. That's a small-scale example, but it gives you an idea of what critical thinking is.


The significant advantage of critical thinking, as opposed to creative thinking, is that you usually come up with a workable solution. When you let your creativity run too wild, you end up with a fun potential solution but possibly not something that will work or even something you want to attempt to try.


Let me show you what I mean by an off the wall example that will illustrate my point. Let’s say you want to lose 25 pounds. When thinking creatively, you realize that the average human leg weighs about 26 pounds. Cutting one of yours off would instantly result in a 25+ pound weight loss. While creative, it’s also absolutely ridiculous. 


When you switch to critical thinking, you gather data and information on various weight loss programs as well as how the biological process of burning body fat works. As a result, you fast intermittently, eat more whole foods, and start to go for daily walks. It’s a much more workable solution, isn’t it? 


Think about some other times when you’ve used critical thinking to make important decisions. Maybe it was choosing the right health insurance or 401K plan. Maybe it was picking a house in a good neighborhood with great schools for your kids that fit within your budget. Maybe it was whether or not to make a big career move or relocate to a different area of the country. We use critical thinking skills all the time. They serve us well at home, school, and work. 


Friday, 22 September 2023

Part 1: What Is Creative Thinking?

In this short article, I want to introduce you to an innovative way of thinking and problem solving that combines creative and critical thinking. These two approaches are very different. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. By combining the two, you can tap into the power of both. 


Let’s start by taking a look at creative thinking, what it is, and how we can start to think more creatively. The phrase most often used to describe creative thinking is “think outside the box.” I like to think about it as a way to think about something in a new and different way. Look for the not so obvious solutions not thought of by anyone else. Yes, it will be out of the box thinking, but it can be so much more. 


Let’s look at an example of creative thinking. Suppose you just bought a new house, and between the cost of the down payment and renovations you had to make, you’re broke. Your neighborhood association sends you a letter that your yard needs to be redone to fit in with the overall landscape. There’s no money in the budget for landscaping. What do you do? 


You have to get creative. The obvious answer is to do it yourself, but that takes time, money, and skill that you may not have. Some creative options may be to get in touch with an up-and-coming landscaping company to see if they are willing to redo your yard for free or at cost price in exchange for putting up a sign to advertise their business in your yard. If you have web design skills, you could barter those in exchange for the work. Think outside the box and come up with a creative solution. 


To get your creative thinking cap on, you can ask yourself some interesting questions: 


Start with what if. Keep it very open-ended. In this first brainstorming stage, no idea is too ridiculous or impossible to throw out. While the idea itself may turn out to be unusable, it may spark a creative thought that will lead you to the perfect solution. 


Another great question to ask is “What else.” It encourages brainstorming and expanding on existing ideas. Last but not least, you can spark creativity by introducing an off the wall concept. For example, you could pretend that you have no income for the following year. How would you live and how would you pay for your home and renovations, including the yard? The solution may be to work on a side hustle like graphic and web design for small businesses in your area. That, in turn, will help you realize that you can pay for the landscaping by spending a few weekends on freelance projects. 


Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Top 10 Ways To Better Understand What Makes You Dis-Satisfied With Life

Feeling dissatisfied with life can be a common experience for many people. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing these feelings, but by exploring some of the possible sources of dissatisfaction, you can begin to make changes and improve your overall well-being. In this article, let’s look at the top 10 ways to find what makes you dissatisfied with life.


1. Reflect on your values


Our personal values play a significant role in determining what is important to us in life. If you're feeling dissatisfied, taking a closer look at your values can be a helpful starting point. Reflect on the values that guide your decision-making and consider if they are being met in your life. If you find that some of your values are not being fulfilled, consider ways to incorporate them into your daily life. This can help you to identify areas of dissatisfaction and make changes to better align with your values. 


For example, if you value creativity, consider incorporating creative activities into your routine. Alternatively, if you value social connections, prioritize spending time with friends and family. By prioritizing your values and taking steps to ensure they are reflected in your life, you can cultivate a sense of fulfillment and purpose.


2. Take a deep look at your relationships


Our relationships can have a big impact on our overall happiness and satisfaction with life, from acquaintances to friends to family members. Consider the quality of your relationships and whether they are fulfilling your needs. 


Are you giving more than you are receiving? Perhaps you even have some relationships which bring more negativity than positivity into your life. If you find that some of your relationships are causing dissatisfaction, then consider how you can improve them or seek out new, more uplifting relationships.


3. Examine your career


Our careers can hold a lot of sway into both our joy and satisfaction. People in careers they have little passion for, or jobs with high amounts of stress and negativity, can become easily overwhelmed and dismayed. Consider if your current career is fulfilling your needs, and aligning with your values and needs, and if not, consider exploring new career paths that align more closely with your passions. Doing this can help bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment to your life.


4. Focus on your physical health


Your physical health is an important aspect of your overall well-being. If your physical health is being neglected, then it's possible that this is affecting your feeling of satisfaction in life. Those who make an effort to exercise and challenge themselves physically tend to experience a greater sense of accomplishment as well as capability. Focus on your physical health through exercise, healthy eating, and regular check-ups with healthcare providers.


5. Explore spirituality


Spirituality can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment for many people. You can explore your spirituality through practices like meditation, prayer, or attending religious services. Connecting with something greater than yourself is one of the most common ways that people increase their sense of purpose and meaning. 


6. Examine your financial situation


Financial stress is a common cause of dissatisfaction. The goal is to make sure that your financial situation aligns as closely with your goals. For instance, having a deep desire to take part in a new experience or see a new destination might be inhibited by poor money management. While it may be difficult to cut back and save in the present, it might also be necessary for you to reach goals that you long for in the future. 


7. Assess your living situation


Our living situation can impact our overall satisfaction with life. Assess whether you're contented with your current living situation, and if not, explore ways to enhance it. This could involve improving your current living space, searching for new roommates, or living arrangements, or relocating to a new location. By prioritizing your living situation and ensuring that it aligns with your needs and values, you can create a more comfortable and satisfying living environment.


8. Identify your passions


Passions are activities or interests that bring you joy and fulfillment. The problem is that passions can become easily overlooked in our daily routine. It’s important, then, that you identify and integrate the activities or interests you enjoy most. What do you love and what do you love to do? Next, ask yourself what small ways you can begin to use your time towards those passions. Identify areas of dissatisfaction and make changes to better align with your passions.


9. Practice regular self-reflection


Making time to regularly reflect on your thoughts and feelings is an effective way to identify patterns of dissatisfaction and improve your overall well-being. Consider starting a journal, practicing meditation, or seeking the guidance of a therapist or counselor to guide your self-reflection. By gaining a deeper understanding of your emotions and thought processes, you can identify areas of your life that need improvement and make positive changes. Engaging in regular self-reflection can help you to live more intentionally, cultivate self-awareness, and create a more fulfilling life.


10. Seek the help of a professional


If you are struggling to identify the sources of dissatisfaction in your life, it may be helpful to seek the guidance of a professional. A therapist or counselor can assist you in identifying and addressing any underlying issues that may be contributing to your feelings of discontent. 


By working through these challenges with a professional, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and learn valuable skills for improving your overall well-being. Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, and taking the steps to prioritize your mental health can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.


It's not uncommon to experience a sense of dissatisfaction with life at some point. However, it's important to recognize that this feeling doesn't have to be permanent. By exploring the possible sources of discontent, you can identify areas of your life that need improvement and take steps to enhance your overall well-being. 


Friday, 15 September 2023

5 Steps To Decide What To Do Next In Life

Are you feeling stuck in life and have no idea what to do next? Do you feel paralyzed with fear at the very mention of change?


First off, you should be proud of reaching this state. It’s a good thing because it means you sense that there are things that your life is shifting.


Yet, knowing where to begin or what to do can be overwhelming. So, if you’re facing this decision, then this post is for you.


Below are five steps to help you decide what to do next in your life.


1. Take a Step Back


When you’re looking at what to do next in life, it’s imperative to stop and take a step back. Take a look at the big picture to identify where you want to go and what you want to do.


Too often, we struggle with all the ways of how to get there without fully knowing where ‘there’ actually is. We don’t take the time to highlight what’s working in our lives and what’s not, so when we reach a crossroads, we feel baffled and unable to move forward.


This is when taking a step back can help you specify where you want to go as you move on in life.


2. Understand What Brings You Joy


Get to know what makes you, you. Dig deep and do some soul-searching to understand what motivates you.


Ask yourself these questions:


  • What drives me and makes me excited?
  • What are my values and beliefs?
  • What contributions do I want to make to my community?
  • What’s important to me?
  • What are the skills and talents that I bring to the table?


3. Explore Your Passions


Make a list of all the things that you’re passionate about and explore those options in more detail.


It’s important to analyze your options both emotionally and intellectually. To do this, try to imagine how each one impacts your thought processes and your emotions.


Go through this step without worrying about any of the whys, should-haves, and would-nots. Instead, connect more with your subconscious to find out what resonates with you and your core values.


For instance, if you value innovation and technology, look for positions at industry-leading businesses. On the other hand, if you value family culture more, then you’ll be better off seeking a job at a small family-owned organization.


4. Learn New Skills


No matter how many great skills you already have, it’s always nice to learn something new. Whether it’s soft skills or hard, think about what you’d like to learn. Then, look for places in your community or online where you can take classes.


For example, you want to learn more about graphic design. You may consider applying to an art program.


Or you could be interested in gardening. You can take a class in gardening and plants, then apply for a job at a garden center or arboretum.


Whichever you decide to pursue, remember to set short-term goals that follow the SMART framework. This framework ensures that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.


5. Let Go of What Could Be


Change is scary because we don’t know what to expect from our decisions. This fear keeps you in a state of inaction and apprehension.


But if you could let go of all that worry just for a few minutes?


To do that, you need to trust yourself and maintain a positive mindset. Have faith that whatever comes along, you’ll find a way to handle it.


Stop thinking of change as something to be dreaded and feared. Instead, you can begin to think of it as something stimulating that adds a layer of excitement and intrigue to your life.


Remain to be open to whatever life brings your way. It may surprise you with an even better outcome than the one you had initially envisioned for yourself.


Final Thoughts


If you’re unsure what to do next in life, we hope these five steps can help you enhance your personal and professional life and improve your life in the long term.


It’s a tough journey, but if you’re determined to make it, it can also be extremely rewarding. Now, all that’s left to do is take that first step to discover your life purpose and find your passion in life.

Tuesday, 12 September 2023

Top 10 Tips To Better Understand Your Self-Defeating Habits

Self-defeating habits are those behaviors and thoughts that hold us back from achieving our goals and living our best lives. They are often automatic, unconscious, and counterproductive, and they can have a negative impact on our relationships, health, and well-being. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 tips to better understand your self-defeating habits and how to overcome them.


1. Identify what self-defeating habits you have


The first step to overcoming self-defeating habits is to identify them. Pay attention to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are holding you back from achieving your goals. Do you procrastinate, self-sabotage, or engage in negative self-talk? If so, you might be acting as your own worst enemy. Once you have identified your self-defeating habits, you can begin to work on changing them.


2. Understand the underlying beliefs and emotions


Self-defeating habits often stem from underlying beliefs and emotions that we may not be aware of. In a study on golf participants, they found that those who spoke negatively of their ability and their game were more likely to perform worse than those who engaged in self-affirming language. 


For example, you may have a belief that you are not good enough or a fear of failure that is holding you back. It is important to understand these underlying beliefs and emotions so that you can challenge and change them.


3. Practice self-awareness

Self-awareness is key to overcoming self-defeating habits. How can you work against something that you don’t know exists, much less understand. Grab a pen and paper and take time to listen and record what’s going on in your mind. 


Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors throughout the day. Notice when you engage in self-defeating behaviors and what triggers them. This can help you to better understand your habits and begin to make changes.


4. Use mindfulness techniques


Mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can help you to become more self-aware and present in the moment. When we auto-pilot with self-destructive tendencies, the results should not be surprising. 


Being present, staying in the moment, can give you far more information on why you do the things you do. Using mindfulness techniques can help you to break out of automatic, self-defeating patterns and make more conscious choices about your thoughts and behaviors.


5. Challenge your negative self-talk


Negative self-talk is a common self-defeating habit that can hold us back from achieving our goals. Pay attention to the messages you are giving yourself and challenge negative thoughts with evidence-based positive self-talk. 


For example, if you are telling yourself that you will never be successful, challenge that thought by reminding yourself of times when you have been successful in the past. Sometimes we struggle to pull up information to challenge these intrusive thoughts, if that’s the case, then set aside time to sit down and list out some accomplishments or positive experiences that you’ve had over the course of your life, so that you might have a better frame of reference moving forward. 


6. Set realistic goals


Setting unrealistic goals can lead to feelings of overwhelm and self-defeat. You want your goals to be challenging, but not impossible. It is important to set realistic goals that are achievable and aligned with your values and priorities. 


Break larger goals down into smaller, manageable steps and celebrate your progress along the way. As you begin to reach your smaller goals, you’ll develop more self-confidence in your abilities. This self-belief will go a long way in challenging self-defeating habits. 


7. Practice self-compassion


Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with kindness, care, and understanding, especially in times of difficulty or failure. It is important to practice self-compassion when working on overcoming self-defeating habits. 


These habits have a tendency to make us overly critical and pessimistic about ourselves. When are you the hardest on yourself? Acknowledge that change is a process and be gentle with yourself as you work towards your goals. 


8. Build a support network


Overcoming self-defeating habits can be challenging, and it can be helpful to seek support from others. Talk to friends, family, or a therapist about your struggles and ask for help and encouragement along the way. 


Having a positive network not only allows others to pour into you, but also you to encourage and support them. The act of helping others can often be a powerful way to notice pain points in our own lives. 


9. Replace self-defeating habits with positive behaviors


Replacing self-defeating habits with positive behaviors is a key step towards lasting change. For example, if you tend to procrastinate, set a timer for a short amount of time and work on a task for that amount of time. 


Then, take a break and reward yourself for your progress. This can help you to break out of the self-defeating habit of procrastination and replace it with a more productive behavior. If you can do this, behavior by behavior, then you’ll have a much larger chance at success. 


10. Practice self-reflection


Finally, practicing self-reflection is key to understanding your self-defeating habits and making lasting change. Take time regularly to reflect on your progress, successes, and challenges. Consider what is working for you and what you still need to work on. It’s recommended that you keep a journal. 


Along the way, make note of your highs and your lows. What habits did you see and what worked best in counteracting them? As you see patterns form, you can utilize them to your advantage. This can help you to stay motivated and committed to your goals.


Understanding your self-defeating habits is the best way to eliminate them from your path. Life hands us plenty of twists, turns, and even hurdles along the way, it’s important that we control what we can by encouraging our end of the bargain. 


If you incorporate these steps, you’ll have a much easier time understanding the active ways you might be sabotaging your own potential. Take them one day at a time. On the path to your aspirations, be your biggest fan!