"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But, above all, try something." –Franklin D. Roosevelt
Welcome to January's "Mysteries of the Mind" monthly newsletter!
How to get out of a rut and get back to being creative!
At least once a week I receive an e-mail from someone following my social media sites who asks how I stay so busy and seem to be always doing something exciting.
And the answer usually surprises them.
For me the key isn't in how someone deals with success but how someone deals with failure. How we overcome disappointment, rejection and loss.
I face these pitfalls regularly. And if I am going to be completely honest with you, there are some days that I want to give up. We all experience that.
So how do I handle and overcome these moments of doubt and get back on track towards reaching my goals?
- Step Away: I step away from the problem and allow my mind to re set. Sometimes this involves a walk around the room, the house or the block. Sometimes it is a 30-minute nap or even involves going to a matinee movie at the theater down the street. But I set a time limit on myself of 3 hours or less that I will take to clear my thoughts – afterwards I must get back on the horse. When I return from my allotted time I sit back down and focus on my task again for at least as long as I stepped away. If I need to, I repeat this process. Why do I force myself to start again so quickly? Because the longer I am away from a problem, thebigger and scarier it becomes – so just like the horse analogy, I must get back at it within 3 hours and try again.
- Release Anger: It is easy to become angry at a problem and even easier to become angry with myself. I look at the situation that is causing me to feel intense emotion and ask "Is this a problem that I can fix or a problem that I can't fix?" If it is a problem that I can't fix, then I need to allow myself to let it go, brush it off and move on because it is unfixable. If, instead, it is a problem that I can fix: I need to set about the steps that can be taken to fix it. Fixable = Actionable, Unfixable = release and move on.
- Do Nothing: Take 30 minutes each day to do absolutely nothing. That's right, I take time every day to do nothing. During this time I don't eat or sleep. I don't read, listen to music or watch tv. I don't talk on the cell phone or read emails or play a game. I spend time in my own presence and exist with myself. There is nothing that I do in my life that adds to my ability to produce more than taking time to do nothing. Try it.
- Be Inspired: Other artists inspire me. When my brain feels empty, I go out and allow the pure pleasure of being inspired by other artists. Movies, Street performers, painters, open mic nights, musicals and biographies of successful people who I admire. Sometimes bad artists and bad shows inspire me more then good ones,because instead of being caught up in the emotion of the piece, I critique and make a list of everything that I could do to make it better – so I set about it in myself.
- Seek Mentors: Mentors help us refocus our goals. There are people out there who have beenthere and done that. If we don't know them already, we probably know someone who does. Remember that statistically, we are always just 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.
- Burn the Boats: It is said that some of the ancient Greek generals would have the men burn their boats when they landed to fight the Persian wars. Imagine what these men must have felt as they watched the boats burn and knew that their only way home was through victory. Sometimes the only way to victory is to cut off any other route but success.
- Never Give Up: The most successful people that I know are the ones who have mastered persistence. We don't have to be the most talented, the ones with the most intelligence, the most skilled or the bestsupported. All of these things help. But the men and women who I have seen succeed are the ones who have persisted and continue to fight even when things became difficult. Persistence prevails.
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." –Thomas A. Edison
Thank you for being my friend.
"Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk." -J.C. Penny
If you have been watching the History Chanel this month you may have caught a glimpse of me on Pawn Stars. This month I appear in at least 2 commercials for the series and a few episodes including "Learning the Ropes" & "Crosby, Stills & Cash" I was asked to come in and "apply" to be the night manager of the Pawn shop. I'm only on for a shot bit – blink and you'll miss it at the start and end. It was fun to film with the #1 rated show on cable television. Enjoy!
P.S. The video from my recent TEDx lecture titled "Ancient Secrets for Future Leaders" should be released before the Feb newsletter. Add my facebook page to see it first!
Wherever I travel, I try to find interesting spots to see unusual things. My main interests are anthropological, historical, artistic, religious and magical. However, I am also often taken by the worlds largest, oldest or best. In the last month I've held some handwritten documents by Abraham Lincoln and a bit of his hair cut from his head by Mary Todd Lincoln , visited the grave of L. Frank Baum's niece Dorothy Gagle (who was the basis of Dorthy Gale in his Oz series), took part in a a pictograph cave archeological site with habitation going back 9,000 years and visited the only known spot where Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition carved his name along the treacherous route to the pacific.
What is the fantastic and once in once in a lifetime site or thing that I need to see when in your area? Every place has one. Please let me know!