This morning I came across a quick design I did for fun last year. Thought I would share for fun being I have yet to give my definition of Live Life :: Love Life as I promised last month.
Have you ever thought of your “unique set of gifts, talents, and perspective,” as “creativity?”
You are creativity. You are a magical and unique expression.
Creative expression is “life blood,” and fuels all areas of our lives. However, our deep cultural belief in practicality squeezes creative expression out of our lives.
Creating space in your life to express your unique set of gifts, talents, and perspective, could be the most practical choice you ever make.
Creatively expressing myself has lead to a deep sense of well-being which has positively effected every aspect of my life.
Growing up I loved music, drawing, dancing and singing. As a child I never pursued any of these things much beyond required classes and some years of private cello lessons. I also loved sports, and I spent many hours playing and practicing, plus I was “good at sports.” When I went to college, I really wanted to take art classes and I never registered for a class because it wasn’t “practical.” I took an adult education drawing class two years out of college and since then I have taken classes on or created space for: stand up comedy, improv, improvisational singing, drawing, portraits/self-portraits, photography, and writing.
First of all Happy Valentines Day to you all!! I hope your spending some wonderfully meaningful time with your loved ones!!
Now onto business because I am very excited to share tomorrows Guest Blogger with you!
Betsy Crouch is a perfect example of balance between professional work life and personal creative expression, and often find ways to blend to two together creating extraordinary results! Betsy is the CEO and Founder of Sizzle Consulting where she is passionate at helping people find what makes them come to life. I have had the amazing privilege of having coaching calls with Betsy over the last couple months, and I must say I look forward to the call each week. They not only push me personally and professionally but also creatively, and finding a intertwined balance between each area in order to perform at my best. I find that Betsy and I share some common beliefs on the power of bringing personal creativity into your life, which happens to be the subject of her post tomorrow.
Betsy has enjoyed a life of much success with various different career achievements, including top producing management positions and a Vice Presidency with an extraordinary Financial Consulting firm, and now with founding Sizzle Consulting. Betsy is an entrepreneur, coach, artist, speaker, writer, improv actor, and a storyteller. She has conducted over 4,000 coaching sessions helping individuals and organizations to thrive. To say she is qualified to share thoughts on the power of creative thinking would be an understatement!
Be on the lookout for the post tomorrow, and come ready to be inspired as Betsy shares thoughts on the meaning of creativity and how to openly express it in order to thrive.
You can check out more on Betsy at her various sites.
I wanted to share some interviews to follow up with my recent comments on Jay Maisel, who I would consider has had the biggest impact on my street and city photgraphy. Jay has a phenomenal view on the world, and though he talks like a true New Yorker he has many many years of wisdom to offer. Jays work is timeless and his words carry the same if not more weight than his perfectly captured photographs. Even though each of these interviews are only a few short minutes long, I can guarantee you will walk away a better photographer with tid bits to implement into your own creative workflow. I cant wait to hear you guys’ thoughts. Jay continues to inspire me and my work, and Im sure he will do the same for yours.
Young Boy Baffles Reporters
Last week my wife and I were sitting at home watching T.V. together. As I began to flip through the channels I caught a reporter beginning to tell a story about a man who nearly drowned in a swimming pool. I found this story to be very powerful and I want to share it with you.
The reporter began to tell about a man who jumped into a pool head first. He didn’t realize that he jumped into the pool on the wrong end. Instead of diving in on the deep end of the pool, he dove in on the shallow end of the pool. When the man jumped in he hit his head on the bottom of the pool and knocked himself unconscious. The man’s 11-year old son and his 12-year old friend stood back terrified by this accident and not sure how to help. The man’s 11-year old son ran into the house to call 911 hoping his dad would not drown before the emergency team would arrive.
While the man’s son was in the house on the phone his 12-year old friend refused to stand back and watch any longer. The seconds were ticking away fast and the man was losing life rapidly while under water. The 12-year old boy jumped into the water and wrapped his arm around the chest of 6’3″ 230 lb. man the best he could. Then he began to pull this very large man to the surface. He got the man to the steps of the pool and pulled him completely out of the water. Continue reading
So Ive been contemplating on how to take this blog, that has actually been doing quit well so far, to the next level. I am a huge believer in having not only mentors but powerful people to surround myself with to invoke intense and meaningful conversation! So in an attempt to add to my challenge of posting my Daily Exposures and my own personal thoughts and creativeness, I have again challenged myself to reach out to the various people who have and continue to impact my life in helping me towards the-best-version-of-myself. So starting today, I plan on featuring a guest post every wednesday from top performers in their personal field.
My goal with this is to “Expose” you guys to my sources of inspiration, motivation, and often accountability, while at the same time “Exposing” my mentors and close friends to my awesome network of fans (thats you.. you awesome fan you) that have helped take the blog to where it is, even in its short month lifespan its had so far!
Realize Im not reaching out to just the ol average Joe, these are top performers and experts in their field, and I wouldn’t reach out if they hadn’t impacted me in a BIG way!
So without further ado, I introduce our first Guest Writer Kris Mathis, who I have been privileged to know for a few years now. Continue reading
Two simple statements… Live Life.. and Love Life.
I will be divulging my passion for these words in an upcoming post. But first I want to hear what power and emotion you may put behind these words.
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts however brief or in depth they may be. Im curious and excited to hear what you have to say!!
I was reading through some fun facts the other day, and one caught my eye more then the others. It said the average child laughs about 400 times a day, while the average adult only laughs around 15 times a day. Holy Cats!! So I got curious and looked up similar facts. Turns out Kids smile on average 400+ times a day, adults only 20. On average kids ask about 125 questions a day, adults only 10-15. Thats 27 times more laughs, 20 times more smiles, and 10 times more questions from kids then adults. Since when did we start letting the kids have all the fun!
I think this relates to the fact that most people see a statement like “Easily Amused” as some sore of childish act that us “Adults” shouldn’t partake in. You often hear it used as a sort of tongue-in-cheek insult, as if really implying oh that person is just acting childish for finding amusement in something so small. RIDICULOUS! I feel that far to often we as adults take things too seriously, and should find humor and amazement in not only the really small things but in the really big things. In fact one of my goals in life is to be easily amused, to find humor and amazement constantly throughout the day. I want to live in child like wonder and astonishment, to be young at heart.
I have the pleasure of being surrounded by children in my life, with my 2 year old Niece, and with my Girlfriends 7 year old son that I absolutely love hanging out with. I love experiencing the amazement and humor that they witness every second of every day. My Niece could spend all day flipping the hallway light switch on and off and never grow old of it. Ryan, the 7 year old, will laugh at just about anything. Last night in talking to him on the phone before he went to bed I went through the whole bed bugs goodnight sequence then after saying don’t let the bed bugs bite, I said and don’t let your farts wake you up, and we sat there laughing for at least a minute and a half. Remember back when you would laugh even at someone saying the word FART. But no no no, now were adults so we have to take things seriously, we cant laugh at that. Continue reading
“When you are real in your music, people know it and they feel your authenticity.” -Wynonna Judd
Your different then every other person on the planet, thats the obvious part. The not so obvious part is that’s a great thing! Far to often we look at this like its some sort of flaw, like we need to be exactly like everyone else. Otherwise we wont fit in, or we wont be thought of as cool, smart, talented, sexy. BULLSHIZZA! It is our uniqueness and authenticity that draws people in. It is our bold self expression that makes us cool and trendy. There is no cool in conforming with others, it waters us down and dilutes our true self to a dull photo copied version of someone else, then you wander around trying to fit in then trying to fit in and then trying to fit in. Its a never ending cycle of you molding yourself to fit into someone else’s life.
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” -Herman Melville
We get caught up to much in what others think. Honestly it causes un-needed stress in your life trying to live up to other peoples standards for who they think you should be. Here’s a tip… Most of the time they have no clue who they’re suppose to be let alone who you should be. So many people wander around aimlessly not knowing their true selves because they’re to busy trying to be someone else.
Now, Im not saying all imitation is a bad thing. Were often told to stand on the shoulders of Giants. Some of the best ideas were built off the ideas of others, but they were only improved upon by adding an extra dash the special ingredient… originality. To imitate something and improve upon the idea in your own way is no longer imitation, but authenticity and originality. Continue reading
What an amazing word! At a glance this small word may appear to be an insignificant combination of the second and fifth letter in our english alphabet, but combined these letters bare a world of meaningfulness, an intense source of significance even. Believe it or not, but this word has kept me up at night. This word excites me and gives me strength moving forward. Imagine that… out of all the letter combinations running through my mind throughout the day, these two simple letters can at times hold more weight then any other word in my mind. Coupled with other words, these two letters can move mountains.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~Mahatma Gandhi
According to thefreedictionary.com the dominant definition of the word be is:
- To exist in actuality; have life or reality.
Put simply to be is to live! This is how writers like William Shakespeare are able to put such weight on this simple word, like in the famous line from his playHamlet:
“To be, or not to be” ~William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Act3 Scene1
So why am I putting so much emphasis on this one word you may ask. Well to know me, you must know that I choose the words that I focus on very carefully. I choose words and thoughts that will move me forward to my current goals and ultimately towards the best version of myself, and this word in my mind give me ownership over my abilities, actions and my direction. The constant use of this word means to set the solid foundation and expectations of what my life consists of, and to settle for anything less would be unacceptable. To be is to not just be alive; but to live life to its fullest, and to love the life we’ve been blessed with. To accept anything less than this best version of myself, is to fall short of Being me!
I always get so excited around this time of year. I am filled with such gratitude as I reflect on the year that has just passed! Its like looking at a beautiful painting with such awe inspiring contrast. Every year has its deep deep shadows and its nearly exploding highlights. Each year has its own blistering vibrance and tack sharp detail that can evoke such a wide gammit of emotions! With running a business of my own its almost like being able to observe the beauty of two perfectly imperfect masterpieces that I have created in the most recent of 365 days.
With that being said, this time of year is also the time to reflect and take note of the years “failures” and successes. And over the last few months I have been doing just that, addressing the highs and lows of my personal business and life, and tweeking my plans and strategies going into 2012. With my planning I have come across 10 keys that I will be using to ensure the New Year will be raising the bar in a big way, not only in my business but in the businesses in which I assist as well.
If your an Entreprenuer or Business owner of sorts I think these tips and strategies will help you make a big bang in 2012 as well.
- Set Goals!
Alright I know this one is a bit obvious, but you would be suprised at how many people fail to set Real Measurable Goals that actually have a chance at being obtained. Most everyone sets goals going into the New Year, but most are so vague that they are often lost by the end of January.
- Make sure you Goal has a specific deadline and details so that you can evaluate progress as you move into the year.
- Find ways to hold yourself accountable to your goals, or if your not that great at keeping yourself in check yet seek out a friend to take on the task.
- Be flexible. At times there are going to be things that may take priority over your goal (ex. Health bills come up when your working on building your savings). Don’t beat yourself up over things you cant change. Simply re-evaluate your goal and current situation and go from there
- Reward yourself when youve made large strides toward the completion of your goal. Recognition feels good, even when its from yourself.
- If you run or own a business I hope you are utilizing the wonderful social media tools we have at our disposal these days. We are blessed with so much FREE marketing its a wonder why everyone hasn’t jumped in to take full advantage of it yet.
- Don’t forget to socialize with others in your same field/industry. Of course its important to connect and communicate with your current and potential clients, but when connecting with a wider peer group in your industry it opens an array of new doors you may have never thought possible.
- Here’s a brief list of the most popular Social Media platforms that I would suggest going into 2012
- Where as my last tip was more focused on online socializing, this is more so on in person networking. having an online presence is extremely important these days, but nothing beats a warm smile and a friendly handshake to build a solid professional relationship.
- Get out there and build powerful relationships in your field with peers and potential clients.
- Attend Networking Groups, Fundraisers, and other meetups in your area (Or out of your area if your looking to expand) and share your gift with others.
4. Plan Ahead
- This is huge, often times we get so busy with the hectic schedule coming up over the next few weeks or months that we forget to work on the big picture. Then what happens is we work our way through the busy months and when we lift our head its a empty calendar that we have to create from scratch all over again.
- With my position I’m a man of MANY hats, I run all aspects of my Studio as well as consult and assist with a Charity and a Coaching/Speaking business of a great friend of mine Jon Vroman. Just the other day Jon and I were laughing at the fact that a decent amount of the work we are doing right now, wont even yield a return until 2013 or beyond. That’s one of the many things I love about Jon is he see’s things at an aerial view and sees the full picture, and because of that he has the comfort of not having to worry if the business is going to be running next year.
- Plan ahead, because as they say “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”.
5. Bring value to those around you
- Its amazing how many businesses are all about take take take. This is the kind of mentality that will loose clients and followers in a heart beat.
- Part of my job is to work on developing a following for particular brands. To come up with strategies to gain raving fans and build a loyal following. The easiest way to do this is add an insane amount of value to peoples lives. And here’s the magic words… do it for free!
- I’ll illustrate this idea with an example from earlier this year. With my design and creative position I invest in training programs for the year so that I can keep up with latest trends and technology, as well as of course continue to learn in new and exciting areas. For the last couple years I have been using an excellent training program that I was very pleased with and have renewed each year, until around September when I found a new training group that not only offers similar training for a yearly rate like the previous but also has 4 or 5 weekly FREE podcast and training sessions on various topics that relate to what I do. Needless to say I’ve switched over to the new training program, and here’s the kicker… It costs a considerable amount more then the last training. However I am extremely happy with not only the content that I pay for, but also the content that I have access to for free!
6. Embrace New Ideas and Trends
- One of the wonders of today is how fast everything is changing. Think about the internet, which has only been around for about 20 years! Just a few years ago we were using dial up (makes me cringe to say those words haha). Now days were surfing the web at lightning speeds, just about everyone nowadays has the internet in there CELL PHONE!!
- Far to often we find ourselves avoiding change, where as instead we should be embracing new ideas and trends. This is something I did in 2011 with facebook fan pages. Who knew that you could make money by designing a page for facebook and then post related content on the page! I would have missed out on this extraordinary opportunity if I hadn’t been open to new ideas.
7. Stay on top of your Health
- This is a big one that I am attacking going into 2012. Just 5 months ago I was living in Virginia Beach eating delicious organic foods and being aware of what I was putting into my body. Unfortunately Ive let that slip a bit moving back to Michigan. Just today I had Taco Bell for lunch and if you’ve ever been on a detox diet and went back to eating fast food or anything like that then you know the effects improper food has on your body.
- Its very difficult to reach your goals if your energy and health goes out the window.
- Eat Healthy, Exercise, and get enough sleep to restore your levels to run on all cylinders the next day.
8. Create your success
- Be Proactive in your approach to the New Year. You cant sit there and expect success to fall in your lap. A topic that Ive spoke on before is “The Law of Attraction”, and how the idea that if you just want something hard enough it will magically happen or appear. Bull Sh*t! You can practice your wishful thinking all you want, but your still going to have to go out and create the success your looking for. My point is dont sit around waiting for your success to bump into you at the market, go out there and grab that success by the balls and make it your… I digress.
9. Challenge yourself
- This is at the top of my list of things that keep me up at night when thinking about 2012! I am so excited about the challenges that I have already put in place going into 2012 as well as those that will come up along the way.
- Take time to push yourself out of your comfort zone this year. Take that big leap in your business that you have been afraid of. Go get that client you have been telling everyone you will talk to one day. Learn that new skill. Whatever it may be just push yourself past your comfort level and watch yourself grow.
10. Live Life and Love Life
- Live life to it absolute fullest!
- We were built to be able to experience all that this world has to offer, take advantage of it! Live your life at full volume!
- Love the life you were blessed with!
- No matter what your situation, understand that you live an extraordinary life. Embrace the adversity that comes into your life and just know that its making your story unique to you!
I hope this helps as you move into the New Year.
Happy New Year
Isn’t it funny how some of the best inspiration can come from the most peculiar places. You could be in the drive through or waiting in line at the market and all of a sudden that award winning “ah-ha” moment hits you like a 17′ U-Haul truck. You pick your self up off the ground and check the seat of your pants making sure they weren’t soiled in the act of this spontaneous moment of genius. When Inspiration hits, it hits hard and its a beautiful thing.