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Being Creative In A Dull World

I use the word dull very loosely. It can be interpreted as not feeling like you are in the mood to create anything.

be creative in a dull world

The world is how you choose to look at it. Some days it’s bright, wonderful, and you are filled with imagination. And then on some days, boy, does it seem like the skies are gray, dreary and life is full of nothingness. Those days suck your imagination dry. But you must endure. You must find ways to become creative when all things seem dull. You must overcome your procrastination and lack of wanting to create. As an artist, you have to choose to be creative no matter the circumstances. Be willing to be creative in a dull world.

Let’s begin by discussing what creativity is all about. It’s about using your imagination and thinking out of the box and finding a different way to represent or solve something. It means you are coming up with ideas that no other person is thinking about and you are choosing to take the initiative in order to bring the idea alive. Creativity makes us feel free. It works our mind. And a better version of ourselves comes out when we decide to embrace our creativity.

So now that we know what creativity is, what does a dull world mean? I use the word dull very loosely. It can be interpreted as not feeling like you are in the mood to create anything. Procrastination overcomes you and the thought of thinking creatively bores you. There’s a lack of inspiration in your life and you choose to let it be. Dull can also be a reflection on the weather. The skies are gray and cloudy and it further makes you not want to do anything. Bright and sunny makes you cheerful. Anything otherwise makes you somber and uninventive.

How do you overcome this dullness? Here are some ways:

Force Yourself To Just Do It

Force yourself to put something down on paper! Even if it’s a line of a sentence, forcing yourself to do something will stimulate your mind. You’ll find that once you start, you’ll have an easier time managing the task. A lot of people have trouble getting to this point so if you manage to get something down, you are more ahead of the game than you think. You overcame the initial hurdle. It’s just a matter of using this momentum to keep going.

Create A Peaceful And Creative Space

If the weather outside doesn’t get you to create then you must take action and create your own space. Corner off a part of your bedroom that can be dedicated to writing. Move around to another area that looks calm and peaceful and plop yourself down with a book and read! There are ways you can choose to not look outside at the gloom. If you cannot control the weather, then, at least, control your environment and where you choose to do your work.

Collaborate!

I find that dull days can be brightened with the help of friends. Pick up your phone, ring a friend up and hang out together. Do you have a shared interest? Then choose to collaborate and work on something together that you both enjoy putting the effort in. Because you feel uninterested in creating by yourself, there is a higher chance you will change your mind if you do work with someone you get along with.

I find it important to always find a way to stay creative no matter what the circumstances are. You must push yourself as much as you can. You need to learn how to motivate yourself to become the best that you can be. When you start doing this, it’ll become a lot easier to be creative 24/7. Keep it up. Conquer the dull world.

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Think About The Worst Case Scenario And Breathe

The worst case scenario is exactly as it sounds. Whenever you are stressed about something, take the time to think about the worst thing that can happen in your head. Let that fear, panic and dread fill your mind.

worst case scenario

I’m a natural worry wart. I am anxious about everything. Whether I am at a job doing my duties or at home taking care of errands, I always feel like something will always go wrong. I panic at the thought that I will miss a small detail and ruin the flow of things at work. I cringe thinking I will not have enough time to do my laundry before having to go to an important party that has been in my books for many months. But in the end, it all works out and my stress and anxiousness during these times made no sense. I’m trying a new method lately and it has been working for me. It’s called the worst case scenario situation and I encourage you to do it with me.

The worst case scenario is exactly as it sounds. Whenever you are stressed about something, take the time to think about the worst thing that can happen in your head. Let that fear, panic and dread fill your mind. Let it be the thing you focus on and cause you to shiver. Thinking about the worst case scenario is not easy nor fun. It might even add more anxiety to your life. But do it anyways.

After you’ve had time to panic, go ahead and meditate in order to clear your head. Then start to analyze how likely it would be for that worst case scenario to actually occur. Be realistic. Are you imagining all the bad things to happen, when it most likely won’t? What evidence is there to show you that it could go down the worst road imaginable? When you start to get grounded in your thoughts, more often than naught, your worst case scenario will never actually occur. It’s all a figment of your imagination and what you create for yourself.

I find that when we think about our worst case scenario, we are able to have more common sense. We amp ourselves up thinking about all these different situations that after a few moments, you know that it won’t turn out to be true. I find that I have become less stressed in my day to day life because I am now always assuming that the worst is never going to occur and that life will move forward. No one will be mad at me for anything I do, and if something does go wrong, I know there will be solutions to help smooth things over.

As you go about your day and you find that your anxiety sets in, be calm and rest assured that it will not be as bad as you think it is. Let your stress roll off your shoulders and walk away confidently knowing that the worst case will not really happen.

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Be A Good Employee – Dos and Donts

A good employee should always be one step ahead of their boss and have things ready even before being asked

good employee

We strive to be the best we can be at the places we work. Some places turn out well while others not so much. Some jobs may fit what you need in your life and some jobs you want to run away from and never look back. Ultimately in the end it is what you make of the job and how you choose to perform. If you are at a place that doesn’t seem to fit your style, then there is a chance you may not perform well. But if you want to show off your ability as a worker, then follow these dos and don’ts of being a good employee.

DOS

Do Pay Attention & Be Detail Oriented

A good employee has to be detail oriented. They are able to recognize mistakes and typos when they see it. Instead of letting it go, they correct it. Someone who is detail oriented is constantly aware of everything going on around them and not get distract from their duties. They listen and get everything asked of them, done. Practice your listening skills and double-check everything as much as possible.

Do Take Initiative

Take action on a project before being asked to do so. Good employees should always be one step ahead of their boss and have things ready even before being asked. I  admire someone who does everything ahead of time and when I finally get around to assigning a task and they tell me that it’s already done, it’s like music to my ears. Be perceptive and see what can be done ahead of time and you’ll see that your employer will be impressed.

Do Stay Organized

No one likes a disorganized individual. If your boss sees you disheveled and unorganized, it can be disastrous for your reputation. Keep your work area neat and tidy. Get all your paperwork in order. Don’t let stray paperwork be the end of you. People admire those who are on top of things and know where everything is located when asked.

Do Find Solutions To Problems

If there is an issue, do your best to rectify it. Don’t let the problems work their way to your boss. See if you can get it handled and with urgency. Bosses love not being bothered with things that they know could have been handled without them. I get annoyed when a tiny problem is addressed when it didn’t need to be. It’s a waste of time. If there is an issue at your workplace, see the best way you can get involved and nip it right then and there without having it go up the chain of command.

DONTS

Don’t Be Negative About Your Duties

Not every job is great, but that does not give you the right to complain day in and day out about your duties. Learn to stay positive and resist any temptation to be angry and negative. Employers love positive and inspiring individuals who seem to be cheerful and on top of the world. These employees bring a great vibe to the workplace and we are always searching for more of them.

Don’t Badmouth Your Co-Workers

Your co-workers are people you will have to see every day. It makes no sense to gossip about them and talk about them behind their backs. It doesn’t contribute any positive vibes. Don’t give in to other coworkers gossiping and spreading rumors. Make a conscious choice to ignore them and go about your day. Don’t spread what they say around, even if it makes for good conversation. Change the topic if you can and talk about more positive things that are happening in your lives.

Don’t Assume

A big issue that many employees face is assuming something when it’s not true. If you are unsure of doing something correctly, be sure to ask so you can get it right the first time. Don’t automatically assume that you are doing everything correctly because this can lead to time-wasting situations and not look good for anyone in the end. I’m a big advocate of making sure we do things right the first time and so we hammer out any and all questions at the very start of the project.

Don’t Brush Things Under The Rug

And finally, make sure you are not brushing things under the rug. This means that you choose to ignore a pressing problem in front of your face. If there is something wrong, make sure you take action on it. Don’t just let it persist! Make sure you correct something when it is needed to be corrected. Ignoring a problem can cause it to escalate and that is no good for everyone involved.

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How To Be A Good Manager

I think one of the greatest qualities of a good manager is having empathy.

how to be a good manager

Going to work can be hard enough. Leading at said workplace can be even more challenging. As a manager or supervisor, you are in a leadership role where your fellow employees look up to you. It can be daunting to give orders and ensure your department runs smoothly. I’ve been running a department for several years now and my management skills still need to be honed in order to be a more effective leader. Some people are born with this natural ability to lead while others have to gain them through experience. To be a good manager, there are several qualities that one must have. This is how to be a good manager.

Be Empathetic

I think one of the greatest qualities of a good manager is having empathy. We all live hectic lives and we all face different circumstances in our positions. Your team will come to you asking for advice or favors and you have to be able to relate to their position. Without empathy, you won’t be able to build a solid relationship with your employees because you’ll make them feel like you don’t respect their worth. Having empathy shows that you truly do care about their well-being and it can allow you to connect on a more personal level.

Teach, Don’t Dictate

There’s an old Chinese proverb I love that says “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” When you are running a department, it can be quite difficult to get everyone on the same page in terms of knowing what to do. But the truth is, everyone has to start somewhere and in order to get them to your level is to teach them how to do things properly and efficiently. Begin by asking them about their workflow. Have your employees feel like they have the freedom to provide input at their workplace. Make them feel involved. Don’t tell them what to do and dictate their duties. Rather, through trial and error, guide them throughout their journey so they can learn the pieces quickly and efficiently.

Don’t Underestimate Them

I find that a lot of employees want to be at a job where they feel challenged. They want their creative juices to flow and they want to feel are appreciated for the work they’ve been putting into the job. Just because an employee is working for you, does not mean they don’t have the capabilities to take charge and lead as well. Give them control and the trust to handle more difficult assignments. The more responsibility you put on your peers, the more they’ll feel valued for their contribution.

Being a manager is challenging but highly rewarding. It can be tough balancing multiple personalities who all come from different backgrounds. The truth is, as a manager, you need to adapt to your environment. One method may not work for one employee while that same method might make another blossom into a strong asset to your company. Commit to leadership and know that just like your employees, you are growing as well and learning every step of the way.

Photo Credit: startupstockphotos.com

Use LinkedIn Effectively

In short, Facebook is for pleasure while LinkedIn is for work.

Use LinkedIn Effectively

Do you consider yourself an effective networker? If this is the case, then I am sure you have heard of the success known as LinkedIn. It is dubbed the social media for working professionals and is a valuable resource to use in order to land the job of your dreams. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile then I highly suggest you start one now and read on how you can use it effectively.

Unlike Facebook, the working networking website, LinkedIn, kind of falls under a different category. While Facebook is seen more as a place where you can create social dialog and bring a community together, LinkedIn focuses on the work environment and produces an environment where employers can find viable employees. In short, Facebook is for pleasure while LinkedIn is for work.

When you start a LinkedIn account, it can be frightening as to how much of your past you will need to refer back to. This is because, in order to use LinkedIn effectively, you need to make sure your profile is fully complete. Employers want to see a full history of your employment; where you went to school; what organizations you were part of; your volunteer experience and the requirements going on. The best candidates are the ones that can make their profile stand out.

Make sure to be active on LinkedIn. This means actively liking people in your network for a post they contribute or congratulating others on a new job. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you will stand out in your community. People want engagement and look for others who also take the networking website more seriously. By increasing your presence, you broaden your chances of being recognized by others who are just as active.

Many people post articles relating to the workforce on LinkedIn. This is valuable because it can provide tips to improve yourself as an individual and make you stronger as an employee. We should all try to identify our weaknesses and find ways of overcoming them. Reading job development stories and learning about the current state of affairs increases our brain bank and provides us with the next steps to becoming a better individual.

Using LinkedIn effectively requires effort. You need to take the networking website seriously and be willing to be active and engaging. It is a site that has wide potential for employers in securing a strong employee and for you to make important long-lasting connections. Make it a point to yourself that you want to stand out on this site and in doing so, it can lead to new opportunities for you in the future.

Photo Credit: Remi Network

Keep Imagination Alive

Keep imagination alive by setting a day in your week to have all outs fun. Go crazy and eat at a fun restaurant that you’d normally do not go to.

Keep Imagination Alive
Imagination keeps us from going crazy. Without our imagination, we would be uninspired and lost in this wacky world. You need to make sure that you do all that you can to preserve your imagination because it may be the one thing that can keep you going.

My definition of imagination is the ability to think freely without being hindered by reality. You are able to go beyond the ordinary and not give a darn to its feasibility. You are given permission to imagine whatever you like because whatever you conceive, is yours and no one can take that away from you.

As we get older, our minds falter and our busy lives give us no time to sit and use our imagination. We become encumbered by work and our duties that imagination ends up on the back burner. This is normal. But we must make sure we do not lose sight of it. Keep imagination alive by trying the following.

HAVE A DAY OF FUN

Keep imagination alive by setting a day in your week to have all outs fun. Go crazy and eat at a fun restaurant that you’d normally do not go to. Plan a day where you are hanging out with friends and chatting about the “what ifs.” Don’t limit the day or set any expectations. Live carefreely and enjoy life. The more you enjoy it, the more you will allow imagination to roam. I find that the more fun I have, my imagination of what my friends and I can do for the day has no limits.

DAYDREAM

Yes, you are given permission to daydream. Keep imagination alive by thinking about all the fun scenarios you have created in your mind. Don’t judge your thoughts If you want to be a superhero, fine, embrace it. Are you secretly crushing on someone? Don’t feel bad. Imagine yourself in their warm embrace. Laugh about the idea and learn to enjoy that moment. Daydreaming stimulates our minds and can give us clues to what our subconscious wants in life.

READ

Be sure to read, read, read as much as you can. By reading fictional stories of adventures and wonders, you immerse yourself in that landscape. Don’t limit the book options you have. Be open to reading about anything and everything. The more you know, the more you can invent things in your mind which allows for the expansion of your imagination. Keep imagination alive by fueling it with any information you didn’t have before and open up new doors of thoughts!

Imagination is a wonderful thing to embrace. Many people do not care for it and I find they can get grumpier as they become older. They lost their fascination for life. Make sure you don’t lose this. By encouraging yourself to not hold back and by using imagination freely and without judgement, you are freeing yourself of feeling burdened by the realities of life. You will be living in multiple worlds as you imagine and that is totally okay. Embrace it.

Photo Credit: Simple view

Important To Network Professionally

You never know where your next job will be so it is crucial that you maintain relations with your coworkers because they may be the key to your next gig.

Important To Network Professionally

Before I started to writing this article, I sent a message on Google Chat to a friend I’ve worked with on a previous project. We were great co-workers during our time together but once the job ended, we drifted apart. It was because we were on bad terms, but rather we became too busy leading our own lives that we put less effort into our connection. I thought about him this morning and decided to send this message and funny enough, it felt exhilarating. Even though he has not responded, the fact that I reached out made me feel good. It also reminded me of how important it is to network with people from your past because it can potentially lead to long-lasting relationships in the future.

One of the reasons it is important to network professionally is for you to advance your career. The people you meet in the workforce can help you land future gigs. They may know people who are working in a field that may interest you. They can recommend you to who they know and give you a good start in the process. The people who I have worked with in the past have gotten me year-long freelance jobs that have provided me with a good source of income. You never know where your next job will be so it is crucial that you maintain relations with your coworkers because they may be the key to your next gig.

By connecting and maintaining a relationship with people, you can make new friends. People are social beings and we want to find people we can identify with. You do not want to live a life where you are alone in this world and do not have someone you can rely on. Going into work and meeting new people, especially those who have different values, can open your eyes to the diversity of our world. You may end up finding someone who you completely identify with and can become great friends and will be there with you for the long term. Without networking skills, you might not be able to find such people.

Networking helps improve your social skills and increases your presence in the community. By networking with others, you are putting yourself out there for the world to see. You are overcoming any social anxieties you have and making sure that people see you as a sociable and approachable individual. It is important to stand out in the community because you should be recognized for your abilities and traits. People want to know who you are and if you don’t make an effort to be social, then you might come across as standoffish and unapproachable.

Networking is a fundamental aspect of being in a community. We need to find people to engage with us and when we do find those people, we need to make an earnest effort to continue maintaining those relations. People too often give up on their past connections. But dedicate yourself to making that effort and you’ll soon realize that it can open a lot of doors for you. It is important to network professionally to keep yourself relevant in the world and in your group of friends. Don’t disappear from people.

Photo Credit: Toronto Jobs

Find The Wonder In Everything

When you start to find the wonder in everything, you will appreciate everything you have in life. Feel the sensation of your breath as you inhale in and exhale out.

Find The Wonder In Everything

Life is fascinating. There are miracles that happen every day and we don’t take the time to acknowledge them. We are giving birth, saving lives, and doing good deeds for one another. We live on a planet that fosters life, ranging from extraordinary wildlife to simple creatures. But with work and our priorities getting in the way, we can sometimes forget to marvel in the wonders of our world. I ask that you take the time in your life to find the wonder in everything and watch your sense of gratitude ignite.

When you start to find the wonder in everything, you will appreciate everything you have in life. Feel the sensation of your breath as you inhale in and exhale out. Is that not a truly wonderful thing? The fact that you can do it? You are alive. You are living proof that you exist. You have a soul and can control and shape your life however you like. Take this all in and see the wonder of it and how lucky you are to be alive.

In your day to day routine, take the time to sit outside and look at the world. Recognize what is happening in your community. People are moving. Kids are playing. We are interacting with one another. Isn’t it magnificent that we have a group on this planet that can engage with one another in a friendly way. Is it not mesmerizing to say that we are a planet that wants its people to connect with one another. We need to interact more with our community to not only embrace but to love each other.

And although we see ourselves as superior to the wildlife on our planet, they are part of our world. Bask in the wonders of these living creatures. Find the wonder in everything they do. See how they consume their food, engage with their companions and interact with humans. It is sad that we do not treat them well as much as we should because they coexist with us and we need to treat them well.

Find the wonder in everything and open your eyes up to the fact that you are not alone. It is important to realize how everything on this planet is a miracle and should be something we learn to embrace. Without this sense of wonder, we can fear life and everything that happens. Enjoy your life for what it is and find out how you can prosper each and every single day.

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Why I Go To Toastmasters

Toastmasters is an organization that unites a community together and helps you improve your public speaking skills.

Why I Go To Toastmasters

Going to Toastmasters has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent years. It is an organization I have heard about multiple times but never committed to until this past year. As I became more determined to better myself and develop into a stronger individual, I found that Toastmasters would need to play an essential role. Going to Toastmasters helps improve your public speaking skills and shape you into a charismatic and fearless leader.

Toastmasters is an organization that unites a community together and helps you improve your public speaking skills. It has been around for many years and many of its members have vouched for its effective results. As a member for the last year and a half, I can personally say that Toastmasters is not a scam organization and they do their best to help accomplish your goals.

During every Toastmasters meeting, there are a number of pre-determined people who be giving a speech. The speech topic is chosen by the individual but at the same time they are guided by a manual that all members receive at the start of their membership. One by one, each person gives a speech and would later be evaluated by a fellow member. The evaluation provides a way for the speech giver to receive constructive feedback so they can improve themselves for the next speech they give.

During each Toastmasters meeting, besides the speech and the evaluation, there are other times when the members of the meeting get to be interactive. Table Topics, for example, is an impromptu 1-2 minute speech where members are chosen are random to come up to the front of the room and deliver the speech. It can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience due to the unpredictability of the question, but it teaches you to cope with being put on the spot and learn how to stay calm and collective in that situation.

The benefits of going to Toastmasters is numerous. Besides being able to improve your public speaking, the sense of community is apparent. People from around your neighborhood are gathering and putting themselves in the public eye and showing that they are not afraid of public speaking. The level of encouragement from each member is significant. People want you to succeed and improve. They don’t want to see you fail. In addition, by listening to speeches, you become inspired by what people write and find new tricks that you can implement into your own writing.

By going to Toastmasters to improve your public speaking, you will  start to notice the benefits of being a good public speaker. Not only do most jobs require an individual to be able to speak publicly and clearly, but being a socially dynamic individual improves your standing in your company. Public speaking allows you to build your confidence and makes you more noticeable in the workforce. You demonstrate leadership by being able to be firm in the point you want to say and people can feel you are reliable, based on your public speaking abilities. There are many more benefits to being a public speaker but if wanting to be more respected is crucial to you, then Toastmasters can help.

There are many branches around the country and it is a matter of taking the time to search for the one that fits your neighborhood and schedule. If you go to www.toastmasters.org, you will see an option to search for local Toastmasters in your vicinity. It is important to improve ourselves and going to Toastmasters to improve your public speaking skills, can be a great start.

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Dream Big, Don’t Limit Yourself

The goal at the end of your journey will be well worth it if you dream big. Use that as a motivation to not limit yourself.

Dream Big, Don’t Limit Yourself

Having dreams and goals is an important process of living life. You need to have something to work towards because without one, you’ll be living life aimlessly. It is important to make sure that you have meaning in your life or it can drag you down. However, sometimes our dreams feel like they are too big and unachievable. As a result, we hold back and limit our capabilities. Your dreams, hopes and wishes are never too big. Dare to be a big dreamer and you’ll find that you will be hungry for your ultimate goal. Don’t limit yourself and see yourself grow.

If you don’t limit yourself, you’ll find that you will have more fun on your journey to success. I find that our dreams and hopes are filled with happy moments and can make us aspire to live life fully. If you decide to limit what you are capable of you are telling yourself to not have fun and that the reward at the end of the journey won’t be worth it. You need to have a dream that will make you beam with joy once it is achieved.

You undersell what you are capable of if you limit yourself. It is a reflection of low confidence in your abilities. Do you have the faith and trust in yourself to be able to succeed? If so, then why should you hold yourself back? You’re putting an unnecessary barrier to success and it’s making you reevaluate your capabilities. Have the confidence to believe in yourself and know that you will do all that you can to make success happen.

The goal at the end of your journey will be well worth it if you dream big. Use that as a motivation to not limit yourself. Know that there will be much to celebrate when you did everything right. Imagine the happiness you’ll feel when you accomplish something that you’ve been working hard towards. Revel in the fact that you did not give up. By not putting a limit on yourself, you will feel amazing when your goal has been reached.

Far too many people put a limit on their dreams. They think it is too far-fetched and impossible to achieve. They lack the confidence in themselves and want to think about smaller goals and opportunities. But what they don’t realize is that these small goals will never live up to the big ones. Don’t limit yourself. Go for it. We only have one life and it’s better to go after what we deserve rather than let life pass you by.

Photo Credit: ICI Caldaie

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