2 more (free!) creativity tools
I want to share two more tools that have helped me cut through the mental clutter and help enhance focus, creativity, and awesomeness. Best of all, these tools are are free!
1) Meditation: if you’re anything like me, the normal state for your mind is clouded by a million different ideas. If I release my focus from writing this article for even just a moment, random thoughts start storming in: send flowers tomorrow, include the three secrets of leadership in Friday’s training, do I have a bottle of wine for my friend’s dinner tonight?….
The list would go on and on and on. And I know that many smart and high performing twenty-somethings operate like this. We lead exciting lives that produce a million thoughts a second.
I’ve been meditating as part of a yoga class for the past four years. Only recently have I gotten into meditating outside of yoga and on a consistent basis. I found a free program that makes it easy to understand meditation and easy to practice. Since I began meditating about one month ago, I’ve felt more calm and have found focusing much easier. It’s also helped me be present, both on stage and with friends and family.
I highly recommend meditation. If you give it a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised by how it increases your focus and creativity.
Get started for free at project meditation here: http://www.project-meditation.org/
2) Running: when I started Changing the World 101, I had to change my exercise routine. As a student I was going to the gym 3 times a week and loving it. But to get any serious gains I had to eat 4-6 meals a day. Since I travel a lot for both speaking and volunteering, neither my old gym routine nor my old diet was sustainable. For a while, I just let exercise slide.
One day it dawned on me: I’m lazy.
So I resigned to find some sort of exercise program that would work for me – both when I’m at home, and when I’m touring. I initially chose running for an arbitrary reason; my favorite living author, Haruki Murakami, is a runner. There was only one problem – other than the 1/4 mile I had to run for gym class in highschool, I had never run in any disciplined manner in my life.
Fortunately, Couch to 5K solves that problem. Couch to 5k helps non-runners become runners with a very manageable run/walk program that takes you from being lazy, to being able to run a 5k in about two months.
As I got into it, I realized that running was the perfect exercise for an on the go 20-something. It only takes a pair of shoes to get started, you can do it anywhere, you can do it with friends if you want to be social, or you can do it on your own.
I’ve also been amazed by what a difference it has made in my life. Often times, the x-factor between a good day and a bad day for me, is whether or not I went for a run in the morning. I’ve learned that when I am am struggling to focus as much as I need to be, or unable to get in touch with the creative part of my mind, often the best thing to do is go out for a quick run.
Check out Couch to 5k here: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml