The Great Myth “Original Thought”

Brent BaldwinOur thoughts are the distillation and personal interpretation of influences in our lives. Moments of time defined, unique experiences, things we have watched, heard or read that have captured our attention, it could be the emotional impact of human interactions or processes that we believe or have faith in; these are the things from which our thoughts emanate.

Is there such a thing as an “original thought”?

Or is it more likely the transformation of existing ideas, the interpretation of a premise or piece of knowledge, applied in a different manner or to a different set of circumstances, but none the less not entirely original.

An original thought would probably be of little or no interest to most of us. We likely wouldn’t have any terms of reference from which to understand it. For us to find acceptance, we tend to rely on experiences and references that we know, understand and can associate with; a past occurrence, present moments or future expectations.

We are made to creatively combine and copy,

And then implement and even take ownership as if it was an original thought. But the reality is “not likely” all that original. At best, a new idea or application may not be widely known or accepted, and therefore it has the impression of being original. Maybe original thought should be defined as being original to me; by the way, there is a word for that ~ learning.

“We should always strive to discover new things, ideas, and thoughts; keeping our mind open to possibilities and never before experienced moments.”

The World Class knows that creativity is the key to understanding, positioning and market advantages. Original thought in its purest terms may be a myth, but the creative application of existing ideas and premises can be the catalyst to standing head and shoulders above the crowd.

Look for opportunities; be reckless in applying current ideas to alternative and new applications. What have you got to lose? You may just solve a bigger problem or create a better mouse trap. Go for it!

Creativity inspires ~ Think World Class

Understand WHY Before HOW

When tackling something new, start by separating WHY from HOW. It is Brent Baldwinessential that you answer these two foundational questions in the right order. Knowing WHY before considering any of the HOW could be the difference between success and something that’s just an interesting idea.

Both need exhaustive understanding and contemplation.

Sure we always have an inkling as to WHY. But sustaining your pursuit through trials and tribulations, an inkling is never enough. Your understanding of WHY needs to come from the depths of your knowledge.

Moving to HOW is often where the fun begins, and when inspired we can’t get to HOW fast enough. Too willing to skip steps and move directly to go, without understanding exactly WHY is the beginning of the end.

“HOW” is where“WHY” meets action.

WHY is where all fantastic, new, and innovative ideas converge with the steps of HOW.

WHY is the emotional stuff.

It’s the stuff that ignites the fire in your gut and puts your butt in gear. Understanding WHY makes your juices flow and excites your senses. WHY can fuel your pursuit and prepare you to engage and inspire others.

Understanding and separating these two critical components can make the difference between success and mediocrity. The difference between middle-class thinking and World Class Thinking.

Ask yourself tough questions

Be persistent in your pursuit of WHY start with the obvious and drill down again and again. Step beyond your current beliefs and see this from all angles. Too often we get in a rut and find our wheels spinning on the same track without venturing down new unknown roads and trails.

Why are you doing this? Why will it matter to others? Why should anyone care? Why would people feel compelled to participate?

You would be surprised how many people have what they believe to be an earth shattering idea that’s right up there with the invention of the zipper. And because they don’t understand WHY it fizzles and ends up on the dust bin of clever things that could have been.

Nothing ever gets accomplished without emotionally charged motivation. A great WHY is a gateway to inspiration.

The HOW is the critical thinking component of execution. The place where the rubber hits the road. The action steps laid out in a logical and linear way.

Understand WHY before HOW ~ Think World Class

A No B.S. Schedule

Brent BaldwinLet me ask you a question. How does your calendar look? Is it chock-a-block with activities things and stuff, carry-overs from previous days, filled with more commitments than you can complete? Beware; busyness will debilitate and distract, it rarely leads to productive results long term.

Busy should never be the objective. Results oriented activities are the goal. Know what you expect to achieve, and be specific going in.

That’s not to say that being busy is completely void of a few benefits (emphasis being on the word “few”).

Being busy can create momentum.

When we stall and become debilitated by the overwhelm life has in such abundance, getting busy with just about anything is better than a self-absorbed wallow or becoming mired in mental muck.

But on the other side, red flags need to wave in your face when momentum, filled with busyness activities, become the norm and not an anomaly. Lot’s of folks just want to be busy so they can tell everyone who will listen how busy they are; I assume this is the result of unfulfilled self-importance.

Five steps to “A No B.S. Schedule.”

1) The first question to ask yourself “Is this going to make me money or move me closer to my goal?” Break everything down into small bits; know where you are and where you want to go. Look at each item on your schedule, critically value its importance. Value judgments, need to be ruthless and without compromise.

2) Get action oriented make your next move count. Start now, not when the stars align or conditions are perfect. Acting NOW is usually the perfect time.

3) Compartmentalize. Work when you work, play when you play, and give when you give, each has its own time and reason. Always give your key business priority.

4) Move the needle every day. When you close your books for the day, know in your heart of hearts that this day was a success. Somedays the needle moves more than others, but to have an impact it has to move (even if only marginally). All progress is progress so when you close your eyes tonight take a moment and celebrate the movement you orchestrated today.

5) Don’t allow the agenda of others to become your responsibility. Also, schedule your philanthropic involvement to enhance life, not to dominate it. When someone says you’re a perfect fit for our board, don’t let your vanity determine your destiny. NO THANKS may be the right answer for everybody.

I am a big fan of philanthropy, giving back, volunteering, and mentoring others. My caution here is don’t become so wrapped up in giving, that you end up giving until there is nothing left to give. I realize that I am speaking to the few and not the masses. I have seen more than one occasion where the spirt has moved intention to overload, overwhelm, and postponement of principal objectives. Results are never pretty.

When it comes to being in the game for the full ride, it’s only going to happen if you have the money, resources, and credibility to stay there. You are only going to have these if you succeed in business and you’re only going to succeed if you make your business the priority that it needs to be.

The best way to do this is to start each day with a No B.S. Schedule.

Business first ~ Think World Class

Is Abundance Finite?

Brent BaldwinSomewhere along the way, we developed an indelible belief that there is only so much prosperity to go around. Sure life may be excellent right now, but sooner or later the tide’s going to shift, the other shoe’s going to drop. Life is hard, and then you die.

If you know what’s good for you, you better prepare for reality and all the lack and deprivation it has to offer. No matter how good things are right now, reality is just around the corner waiting to bite your ass. It’s going to smack you between the eyes like a splintered 2 X 4, brace yourself. The sun is going to rise in the east, and undue hardships are lurking just around the corner. It’s as inevitable as death and taxes. Life is either feast or famine with disproportionate bouts of scarcity and sparse sprinklings of abundance.

There are many euphemism and bits of ill-gotten wisdom throughout our lexicon.

Why? 

These are lessons we learned at the knee of those who influenced our formative years. Social instruction that implied you should just be happy with the little bit you have and don’t push too much. It’s just impolite, rude and bossy. These folks never get ahead, or if they do, no-one likes them After all the important thing is getting along and realizing there is enough for everyone if you’re not too greedy.

Life lessons and parables filled with massive rationalizations that have you expecting so little that failure is not a likely option. Limit the risk and accept the minimum reward; living life safe with your adrenal glands under control at all times.

Abundance is NOT finite, 

I’m 100% convinced that abundance is not finite. It may be a lot of things but finite, is not one of them; regardless of what others line-up to tell you. 

And still from time to time abundance needs to be coaxed, and cajoled from elusive corners and hidden shadows.

The harder I work the luckier I get

Stephen Leacock

 

Abundance needs to be brought into the light and your life with sufficient effort and focused intention. And inevitably abundance will manifest in your life; the goal is to keep the attraction alive.

When?

The characteristics of abundance are such that it shows up without rhyme or reason and rarely on cue. Once it starts to present, its flow is not guaranteed nor should the tap of abundance be expected to be permanently stuck in the open position. That’s just foolishness and magical thinking.

Abundance is only limited by imagination. 

Sustaining an attitude of abundance requires an understanding of what abundance is. My definition is different than yours, and your definition is unique to you and you alone. Attitude is not the only thing you need to attract abundance into your life. 

You need a plan. Five things you can do today.

1) Define what abundance is for you. What does it look like, how will you recognize it? Seems obvious but too often it’s a gut feel and not a physical demarcation that we count on.

2) Understand WHY? Bottom-line if you don’t have a reason to be pissed-off with the way things are right now nothing’s likely to change.

3) Construct the HOW. Step by step. Start at the beginning and resist the temptation to skip the small stuff. Detail, detail, detail, nothing is too small. For big tasks, break them down into little manageable bites.

4) Give every step a timeline. Respect it and live within it. Carve the benchmarks in stone, then make them happen. Getting things done is a linear process, small incremental acts completed on-time, consistently, and with purpose.

5) The TARIFF, cause everything in life has a cost. It comes in many different forms. It can be financial, social, family vocational, or emotional. If you’re not prepared to pay the cost, then fold up your tent and move on.

Abundance is not finite ~ Think World Class