Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Thursday, August 11, 2022

SpeakAnyway Speaking Tip #25: Mindset, Pt. I

Skills and content aren't enough if you don't have the right mindset about your speaking. Editors Note: Speaking of tech issues, my computer reset last night (thanks Bill) so my microphone default changed. Hence the echo.)

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Going From Creative Avoidance to Creative Confrontation


First heard the term 'creative avoidance' at least 15 years ago. It's a great term to soften the blow when you don't want to face the fact that you're simply procrastinating - putting off the important, the valuable, the HARD tasks, in favor of something that feels productive, is easy to do, and creates a dopamine surge.

That might be something truly worthy - like spending an hour getting an oil change for your car. Or a couple, doing it yourself - then you'll really feel good about yourself. Maybe you suddenly realize the laundry and the dishes need to be done, and, by golly, you'll really feel better in a clean environment. Or, it's getting to that next level, or five, of Candy Crush, or leveling up on Halo. It feels GOOD, doesn't it? You DID something. But, you didn't do what you originally set out to do - finish important paperwork, write a few pages in your book, send out 10 marketing inquiries - whatever it was you knew you should do, but just didn't want to face.

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I'm great at creative avoidance. I literally have it scheduled into my day. Each day I'm supposed to listen to an audible book, read 20 pages in a real book, read my 'Bible in a Year' email, and extend my consecutive day Kindle reading streak. Because, that makes me feel good. Doesn't help me market myself, though. Creates virtually zero money - though I'm learning some good YouTube strategies right now in Brian G. Johnson's YouTube Ritual.

Scheduled creative avoidance isn't all, of course. And I am almost to level 4100 on Candy Crush Soda. I expect a large sum of money soon from King.

What's the solution? Heck if I know. I'm 54 years old and I haven't beaten it yet.

Small victories have come when I work with scheduling time for important work - short bursts of 15 minutes (or 17 Minutes lately, thank to Darren LaCroix's recent book). Sometimes I actually lose track of time and get 30 full minutes of important work done. Other times, I just write another article for LinkedIn.

My biggest successes, though, come when the sh*t hits the fan. I'm great at last minute work. Deadline work. Gotta get the money to pay the rent work. Which, for me at least, is indicative of the real problem. Creative avoidance sends us to pleasure to avoid pain - one of the oldest motivational maxims around. Deadlines force us to the pain, and the only pleasure that moves us away from pain, is actually doing the work.

Which means, perhaps, the best solution is to increase your deadlines. Purposely increase your pain. Go beyond your 'why' - push past it to envision your 'what if I don't'. What's your worst case scenario? Is it bad enough to get you past your creative avoidance? If you don't believe you can truly end up in a worse situation by continuing to do what you're doing, it's easy to just stay where you are. Envisioning lots of money, big houses, private jets - for most people, we just don't really believe it's possible, or even necessary. But if you could lose your house, your spouse, your life - that's real. That can push you forward.

And you might just go from 'creative avoidance' to 'creative confrontation' - and work harder than you thought possible. And end up on that private plane you never thought you needed. Or at least a decent Honda Accord. Then you'll REALLY be living your #WinAnyway Life!


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