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Monday, February 23, 2015

Harley King

One of the easiest things to be in this world is a pessimist.  It is much easier to be negative and discouraging than it is to be positive and enthusiastic.  It is much easier to find fault than it is to find the good.  Pessimists are the enemies of optimism.  They think they are being realistic, but their negative view of the world is no more realistic than the optimist.

We must learn to say goodbye to the pessimists in our lives.  Their negativity is harmful to our mental and emotional health.  Their negativity is destructive to our creative impulse.  No matter how painful it may be, we must let them go.

Many of us become trapped by the chains of our own fears because we don't want to make a mistake — we want what we create to be perfect.  The truth is perfection does not exist. Even nature is not perfect.  We can find plenty of mistakes in nature.  

We must learn to accept and live with imperfection.  We  must not let the chains of our fears destroy us.  Despite our fears, we must keep creating — we must keep growing and developing.  We must believe in ourselves and our talents.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Harley King

Are you bored with your life?  Do you wish you could become someone other than who you are?  A 2007 survey of high school students found that two-thirds admitted to being bored in class every day.  Even creative people, unfortunately, allow themselves to be bored.

Many people feel that their lives are boring.  My hope is that your life can be like a bowl of chili — hot, spicy and full of flavor.  I believe boredom is a state of mind that can be overcome by looking at life new ways.  The fact that you are reading this means that you are still above ground and have not been buried.  The world we live in is very exciting and full of hope if we spend a few minutes every day celebrating life.

For creative leaders like you and me, creativity is a crucial antidote for our survival.  Find joy in your creative energy and your creations.  Creativity overcomes the dull, boring and uninteresting.

Every year people in the northern climates grow tired of the cold.  Cabin fever sets in and our rational minds go on vacation.  Hiding indoors during the winter months can be very boring.  We miss moving about in the outdoors.  We keep looking for something to divert our attention from the cold and snow.  

Have you ever been chilled to the bone and the warmth of a bowl of soup or cup of hot chocolate picked you up and made your whole spirit feel better?  The temperature last night where I live dropped to a minus eight degrees so I thought it was only appropriate to make chili today.  Hot and spicy chili to warm up the body and the spirit.

May your life be like a bowl of chili — 
hot, spicy and full of flavor.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Harley King

Have you ever felt pulled in opposite directions and thought you were going to break?  At one time or another most of us have probably felt that way.  As creative leaders, living the lives we lead in today's world can be very stressful and challenging.  We have multiple priorities vying for our attention and time.  

The demands of a job can be stressful in and of themselves.  We have multiple people pulling and pushing us.  We have deadlines that we have to meet.  Quotas that we have to deliver. Goals we have to achieve.

On top of work, the home life can add additional stress.  We have children to raise, chores to do and spouses who require our time.  We have friends who call and text and want to have coffee so they can chat about the stress in their lives.

Some days it is amazing that we have anytime for ourselves.  Some days we can't find time to do any of our creative work like writing or painting.  When I go too long without writing, I feel out of sorts.  A happy, successful life depends on taking care of oneself — of finding a release for our creative energies.  Too often, we are so busy meeting the needs and demands of others that we forget about our needs and expectations.

Negative people also creative stress in our lives.  They put us down.  They tell us we will never be successful.  They are always finding something to criticize.  They suggest we give up on our dreams because they have given up on theirs.  They are very destructive to our spirits.

Five Ways to Care for Yourself

1.  Discover what restores your spirit.  For example: 

  • A walk in the woods
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Singing
  • Drawing/Painting
  • Massage
2.  Build time for yourself into your calendar even if it is five minutes a day.
3.  Learn to say "no" to the requests of others if you don't have the time.
4.  Avoid negative people who put you down and make you feel bad about yourself.
5.  Associate with positive people who are supportive and caring.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Harley King

Humor does not come easy for me.  I rarely find the jokes that people tell as funny.  I often don't find standup comedians to be very funny either.  As a child, I was very serious.  My wife, on the other hand, has always been a comedian.  Growing up, she would have her family in stitches with her ability to make people laugh.  She has taught me through our more than forty years of marriage that laughter is one of the most powerful instruments of healing that we have at our disposal.  These days I look for ways to bring humor into my life.

Whether I am one on one with a person or in a small group of people, I do not tell jokes.  As a professional speaker for over 25 years, I did not tell jokes.  Yet, there have been moments in my workshops that we laughed so hard that we had tears in our eyes.  For me, some of the best humor is what I call spontaneous humor.  It is humor that is unplanned and rises out of a comment that one of the participants makes.  What I have learned over the years is to play off the comments of others.  I have learned to use spontaneous humor to create laughter in the class.

I also think some of the best humor in my personal life is spontaneous humor.  We can be sitting around the kitchen table and someone says something that makes us giggle and soon we are laughing so hard that my belly is shaking like a bowl of jello and I can barely catch my breath.  I usually don't remember what triggered the laughter, but it feels good and it has shaken up my insides.

Five Ways to Add Laughter To Your Life

  1. Don't take yourself so seriously.  Learn to laugh at your mistakes.
  2. Find a friend or spouse who makes you laugh.
  3. Watch and listen to humorous speakers and comedians whom you find funny.
  4. Read books that make you laugh.
  5. Look for the absurd situations in your life.

Jeanne Robertson

One of the funniest speakers I have ever heard is Jeanne Robertson.  Jeanne grew up in Graham, NC and represented the state as Miss North Carolina.  She was voted Miss Congeniality in the Miss America Pageant. After college, she coached basketball for nine years before becoming a professional speaker.  She stands 6'2" in her stocking feet.  For years she told funny stories about the beauty pageant.  Today she tells funny stories about growing old.  Here is a video of her sharing one of her stories, Don't Bungee Jump Naked.