The Possibility Tree

Treeinhand
So, you've got a clear vision and a CPR (a statement of the results you want from your work , what your purpose is, and the context you'd like to pursue your results in.) Now, what, Ms. Creativity Coach? If you're at all like me and like to create big visions for yourself, you can get awfully excited and awfully overwhelmed by it all.  Questions arise, like, "Where do I start?" and "Which is the best, most effective task to perform at this moment?"  The intensity of the wonderful vision you have created for yourself can become another block to having what you want if you let it overwhelm you! (It's easy in moments of overwhelm to lose sight of goals and get lost in distractions like over-checking email…)

So, take some time to brainstorm the steps that will bring you from where you are now to where you want to be breaks everything up into manageable chunks.  And if you are someone with a lot of different goals and a lot of different projects all in play, drawing a tree of possible courses of action can be really helpful in visualizing what steps you need to take to arrive at your aims.  Then, you can choose which "branch" you want to focus some time on, take specific actions, and see measurable results.  And whenever necessary, you can re-assess.  Perhaps you're a violinist, and you know you want to get more work playing the violin.  One possibility branch for getting more work would involve networking with other musicians at parties or at the symphony…  Another possibility branch would involve building a website, posting examples of your work online, and attracting customers through internet searches.  Yet another possibility branch could be learning new pieces of music and auditioning in different cities.  Of course, the knowledge of your tree branches will evolve as you grow, but you will create a great picture of how to achieve your goals.  And then you can build a treehouse.

"Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."  -Les Brown

Resuscitate your creative heartbeat with a CPR!

Ukulelewahine_3
It's easy to fall into the routine of daily life.  Making time for your creative expression, whether it's an avocation or a career, can be difficult for some people.  Here is a piece of writing that can help strengthen your vision and resolve by reminding you why you're doing what you're doing.  It's called a CPR, which stands for Context, Purpose, Results. 

Topic:  Pick an area that's meaningful to you, and make that the title of your CPR.

Playing the Ukulele

Results:  Make a list of 10-20 things you want to result from playing the ukulele.  They can range from concrete and specific to abstract and ethereal, but make sure you write them in the present or past tense, as if they have already happened.

  • I learned twelve chords.
  • I can play all my favorite Tiny Tim songs.
  • I really enjoy practicing every day.
  • I don't even mind now that the uke looks so tiny in my hands.
  • People love to sing with me when I pull out the uke, and I feel like a party animal now.
  • The uke really feels like an extension of my body because I play it so much.
  • People call me all the time, asking if I'll bring my uke to their parties, and I make so many new and interesting friends because of it.
  • I really feel self-expressed.

Purpose:  Write why you want to play the ukulele.  Then, think about what you've just written.  And say what that makes possible.  And then, say what makes that possible.  Continue to "ripple out" the effects of your uke-playing to see the largest possible effect it has on the world.

I want to play ukulele because the special plinky sound of the strings makes me feel happy whenever I'm feeling blue.  If I'm truly happy and self-expressed, I will brighten the lives of those around me.  If those around me are brighter, they will touch and enliven their friends, family, and co-workers.  If this many people even spread one small, bright note of authentic cheer to everyone they know, I will be contributing to world peace.  So, my playing ukulele contributes to world peace.

Context:  Write a few words that sum up the kind of person you'd have to be to make each of these things true, i. e. if what way do you need to move around your world to achieve these goals?

playful, disciplined, expressive, open

Take what you've written, and put it on the wall where you can see it (with the Context at the top, then the Purpose, then the Results at the bottom) every day, and let it remind you of what you really, really want.

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     "Hide not your talents.  They for use were made.  What's a sundial in the shade?"

     -Ben Franklin

Your Daily Action Partner

Integrity
In my creativity coaching work, one of the most common things I see is that people have a vision, but they sabotage themselves in carrying it out.  Your integrity with yourself, that is, your ability to think, act, and speak in alignment with your vision is your magic key to carrying out your vision.  When you make an agreement with yourself to do something in line with your vision, you need to guard that agreement with all of your being.  (Therefore, don't make agreements you aren't willing to keep!)  When you break an agreement with yourself, there is a breach in your integrity that must be repaired.

You have to do this for yourself, but you don't have to do it by yourself.  One of the best tools for staying aligned with your integrity is having a daily action partner.  This is a person with whom you make an agreement to call every morning (set a time to call by) and outline what your actions will be for the day.  Each of you take five minutes or less letting the other person know what steps you are taking today.  An action partner can inspire you, fire you up, and hold you accountable for following through on your dreams.  Take turns listening and be compassionate when there is a break-down.  All that needs to happen when you break a commitment is that you speak what happened, what the cause of the breakdown was, and a statement of what you are re-committing to.

        "When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself." 

        -Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements