How to get beyond ’competition’ to the creative sphere?

“First I overcame the pangs of isolation, born in an undesirable body in an unforgiving time. Next I addressed the fire of anger, as a result of rejection and mockery. From here I moved to the plane of denial, where the self met the hoard in a devious stew….

It was at this time I first faced the spectre of oblivion that had seemingly been ordained for one bearing my mark.

However, from this abyss, I manoeuvred into a new slipstream, meant for wanderers and thinkers alike.

Through this current I felt a freedom and a function, a form and fellowship, except this was a fellowship of one.

Within this singular race I ran a different sprint…one made from all the shortcomings that became shortcuts.

In the end, we arrive where we started. It is through rejection that I was forced to look inwards. It is inwards where I found a calling…this calling was telling me something I could already feel. Those who feel…are those who create.”

What words or advice can make a better life for someone?

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To be honest, my fundamental belief on this issue is that only the individual can ultimately make his/her life better for themselves. Words are hollow if not truly meant or backed up by sincere devotion to learning, change or action, regardless of who says them.

A good coach makes you want to be better because you have accepted your own need to want to be better. The coach cannot take your decisions for you or tell you what the right decisions were.

It’s not words that change your life, its perspective change, perception change and often a change in your understanding of purpose.

Facing the ‘self’ and removing the trait of denial is a sure fire way to eventually find a path or route to making your life better.

The advice of another is exactly that, advice. The actions of the individual will always outweigh external advice.

Actions change people and the best actions are those that have been taken as a result of knowing what, why and how the action was needed and having awareness of the outcome you want from the action.

A better life comes with a better approach to it.

#change #development #life

Do I Develop My Strengths and Improve My Weaknesses?


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For me this is not the way I approach the issue, but I do understand the question premise.

I deal with it this way….

I value my strengths and apply them to my life in the best way possible, knowing that sometimes it may not work out. In doing so, the amount of value I have for my strengths starts to turn into a desire to know them better as each day comes and goes.

For me therefore, knowing my strengths helps me value them, which indirectly provides a base for them to develop alongside my own personal development.

In terms of weaknesses, I see them as reminders of what happens when I don’t know/understand my strengths properly. For me, they are reminders o my fallibility, humanity and self. If I am cognisant of my strengths, it means I am aware of my weaknesses. Together, they stay in a symbiotic relationship and therefore do not need to duel with each other as ‘good and bad’, but as siblings trying to be raised the best way.

#personaldevelopment #self #change

What is the Meaning of Training?


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There are some words thrown about nowadays that take on a life of their own, independent of the meanings, symbolism and accepted traditional understandings. Before we get into today’s topic, let’s provide some examples of these words;

  • News
  • Diversity 
  • Inclusion 
  • Mindfulness
  • Coaching
  • Training 

There are many more, but our focus today is the last one on this list, training. The aim of this piece is to explore the term ‘training’ and its;

  • Implied meaning
  • Classical / Traditional meaning
  • Linked meaning (contemporary context)
  • Changing Meaning

Implied Meaning

Use of the word training implies various and some diverse meanings. These end up creating a vacuum between the word and the symbolism attached to the implications. The vacuum is created because of the nature of the implied meanings. Let’s break some of these down;

  • Training implies some form of action
  • Training implies some form of routine
  • Training implies some form or organised behaviour 
  • Training implies some form of outcome

It can appear, as a result of these implied meanings, that training is therefore always associated with action and outcome by way of routine or organised behaviour. Is there not any challenge to these implied meanings or some other way of understanding the word?

Classical / Traditional Meaning 

The most obvious association between the word training and historical developments of its meaning are linked to;

  • Learning
  • Education
  • Skill Development
  • Craft and Trade

With the decline of manufacturing and industrial societies, the emphasis on learning has remained but it has also shifted slightly to the realm of ‘development’, especially as a result of the rise in the schools of psychology, sociology and social theory. The emergence of ‘self-enquiry’ and understanding human behaviour has led to more and more ‘shift’ in the meanings of the word training. It now houses both cognitive and behavioural elements of meaning to its overall understanding. The focus is now more on the role of training as a developmental and assessment tool and less on the classic model of training being something that is imparted. It is now something associated with intention, motivation, behaviour and context. It is more about understanding than it is about learning.

Linked Meaning

In contemporary society and the age of ‘digital reality’, the meaning behind the term training has shifted even further to include;

  • Any action that suggests (however slightly) that one is doing something new
  • This does not include explicitly the idea that the ‘doing’ is linked to ‘learning’
  • The muddy terrain in between projection and reality means the understanding of the word is now open to the context it is used in and not the meaning given to it form its origins (opening a social media account can be called ‘training’ and so can what a professional athlete does on daily basis)

Changing Meaning

It is clear therefore, that the word training has changed, evolved and even mutated. What is means has become a more individualised and intention heavy practice. Almost anything can be classified as ‘training’ if someone is able to provide an account from a point of inception to the point of outcome (start/ end).

Well…what do we do now?

I’d like to throw my ten pence into the ring.

‘Training is about any thought, intention or action that either improves, assists or provides a different way to approach an issue.’

To train is to embark and to learn is to know that we never really and truly disembark from the journey once we start it.

Training is therefore away to learn. It can be anything and somewhat surreally, nothing. 

#training #performance #lifecoaching #personaldevelopment

The ‘value’ placed on Creativity..

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There’s a fine line between ‘value’ and ‘emphasis’.

Value is about ideas related to a return or a cost.

Emphasis is about what we regards as being important or meaningful.

Creativity is a subjective term and an even more subjective action. It is also ‘judged’by others in a society that likes to place ‘values’ on thing as opposed to levels of respect and reverence.

To tackle something creatively means you are using the abilities and skills you posses to come with a unique response to the issue. You are ‘taking your own path’ so to speak and not following the ‘herd’.

The difference between a creative and non-creative approach is a value judgement which is why the term creativity is also value laden.

Creativity is about change and progress and it should be applied wherever possible. This does not mean however, that something that’s not ‘creative’ is not worthy. The outcome would realistically decide that.

When it Goes Wrong…

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Read Munir Zamir‘s answer to Do you think that sometimes things go wrong, so we can appreciate them when they go right? on Quora

In a roundabout sort of way…yes. We are very binary creatures who ca get very afraid of the ‘grey’ areas of life. We tend to like the meta narratives of good and bad, but don’t like having to apply them to ourselves often.

So when things go wrong….we look for reasons…excuses and blame.

When things go right….we look for praise, reward and attention.

What we need to do is show more gratitude and awareness of situations and issues that affect us and others. We need resilience and respect, strength and compassion as mutual friends of each other, not exclusive entities that are laws ‘unto’ themselves.

10 Best Habits for Life?

  1. Don’t believe everything you read
  2. Go after what you want when you know why you want it
  3. Stop making lists because life is a journey, not a train timetable
  4. Love fiercely but have a sincere heart in all you do
  5. Stop complaining and start attaining
  6. Give to others and don’t think of why, how much and ROI’s
  7. Once in a while, drop off the grid and find yourself again
  8. Tell yourself it’s ok to not be ok sometimes
  9. Respect relationships that respect you
  10. Make your own mind up about what your own best habits are and value them
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