Podcast 47/52 – Peak creative windows

Jonathan Fields points the finger on a sore spot for me, in this Good Life Project riff. How do I structure my days to ensure I work with my natural thinking and creation cycles, rather than fight ‘em? And what times of the day am I most organically creative? Listening to Jonathan, I realize I don’t really know my daily thinking/creation cycle all that well.createLike Jonathan, I have a peak creative window late at night, say from 9 or 10 pm and a few hours onwards. If I am still up by then, and there’s something to get done, boy, can I ever get it done, and with good quality at that.

But what – or rather, when – is my daytime creative window? Hm. I don’t really know. Have gotten into a somewhat lethargic routine on mornings when I don’t have to be somewhere at a set time, with a social media-session (that usually lasts much longer than the 15 minutes I aim at…), my daily Headspace meditation, doing my Seven exercise and then making a green smoothie, drinking it while reading the news paper and completing my daily Sudoku. And you know what? Nice as these slow mornings are, there is something within me wanting to come out, that isn’t. I’m not helping myself by structuring my days in a way that helps me get it out. Running more on mood than anything else?

I read someone who said they preferred to give people a hand up rather than a hand out. And that’s what popped into my mind now. How can I give myself a hand up to actually work with my natural creative windows? Making the most of them, if nothing else because it’s enjoyable?

Moderation or All-or-Nothing?

Today I pushed myself beyond my normal routine of doing a #Seven in the morning (Seven is an app – using the hashtag #SevenApp – which gives me 12 exercises to do, 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between each), and did Seven times five instead of just one time around.

I did the workouts that have unlocked in my app (every second month of daily Sevens, a new workout with 12 new exercises gets unlocked):Seven times five
Full body
Upper body
Lower body
Random (random picks of the unlocked exercises, my favorite workout!)
Stretch

And I have to tell you – that was really nice. I’m gonna try to do a round of Seven times five on a weekly basis, if nothing else for the wonderful feeling I have in my body right now. Arms, legs, chest, stomach and back, well, really my entire body has that heavy feel to it, from being utilized and stretched a bit beyond its normal use.

Doing a little bit of exercise on a daily habit works really well for me. And after 219 days of daily Seven’s I can feel the difference. So much so that today, I was able to do Seven times five, which I would have been hard pressed to accomplish 220 days ago.

Goes to show that a little bit, done in moderation, really does make a difference in the long run. Even though we often fool ourselves into thinking it’s All or Nothing. And I know for myself, that when I set very ambitious goals, and then one day fall through, based on my belief in the All or nothing-scenario, I usually become a drop out from my own goal. And doing these smaller, more moderate habits, have really helped me come to terms with my faulty thinking around All or Nothing, which generally, doesn’t serve me. So, I simply shrug my shoulders at those thoughts, when they come sneaking in, which they do from time to time. But I generally don’t entertain them.

What about you? Moderation rings a bell, or you’re an All or Nothing-kind of person? What usually serves you better?

I know what you mean!

I walked behind two people while walking through Hyde Park, and overheard part of their conversation.

Sometimes I give you book on how to live a good life and sometimes I give you books with good stories in them‘, the older man told his younger female walking companion, in an acccusatory tone.

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I can spin a few different stories that might or might not have sparked that exchange. But the one that I believe is most likely, is that the women figured she knew what the man meant when he giving her a book/books over time. And perhaps she’s right. But still, how can she know? Unless she’s a mind reader, of course.

And it’s just as easy to imagine that when the woman asked the man how he picks the books he gives her, that he imagined that she was accusing him of trying to control her, or something like that. And perhaps he’s right. But still, how can he know what she thinks, what her intent was?

Isn’t it funny we have so much thinking about what other people intend? I know I let my imagination run wild now and again. And get upset, or happy, or sad, by what I believe might be what was intended. I have a few friends who have started to use clarifying questions to make sure they stop themselves from going down the rabbit hole of I know what you mean-thinking.

Because really, doesn’t it make more sense to ask and find out for sure? In a way, perhaps that’s what the lady given books tried to do. But perhaps she didn’t ask? Perhaps she accused instead? So the trick is – how to ask to avoid getting the annoyed retort the lady above received?

Pizza to die for

20140415-215714.jpgOn my final day in New York, I went with my friend Rachel to Grand Central Terminal to see her off on her way home. It’s an amazing building, finished in 1913. Walked back to the hotel, and after attending my podcall for Supercoach Academy, I got ready to head out for the last hours of New York City of that specific trip, that is.

I decided to go for lunch at Tavola, the Italian restaurant close to our venue, where we had our pod lunch last week. I had the best pizza of my life then, and I felt like taking a raincheck. Chose a different pizza this time around though, but boy, was it good!

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As you can see, I’m not the only one writing about Tavola, However, I’m pretty sure my blog post won’t cause such a crowd as the WSJ-article apparently did. The place was jam smacked, but I managed to get a spot at the bar.

20140415-215013.jpgI am not the best at eating out by myself though, I get kind of self-concious, and feel a bit awkward and disconnected. But at least I didn’t let that feeling stop me from having a great NY-send off lunch! At my house it’s not an issue, eating alone, but having people around in a restaurant… I guess this is a great example of how my feelings are a direct result of my thinking. Since I start to think all kinds of weird thoughts like I am probably the only one eating lunch by myself, or I bet the other people here think I’m a strange and weird person not having any lunch company, or Haha, look at her, she’s having lunch all alone, poor thing.

The funny thing is, I bet most people are so into their own experience they are not at all concerned about the other patrons at the restaurant. And if they are, why wouldn’t they just as easily be thinking That pizza she’s eating looks really good, I wonder which kind it is, or Look at her, how nice to treat herself to lunch at this great restaurant, or even I like the brown color of her cardigan.

So, if my feelings are a direct result of my thinking, which they are, and my thinking on eating out are make-belief thought about what others MIGHT be thinking about me, why don’t I make up the latter rather than the former, and skip the feelings of awkwardness and disconnection?

Well, because I don’t control what thoughts come into my head, that’s why. But having spotted these particuar thoughts might mean that they vanish faster next time I head out to dine on my own, to be replaced by the latter version of make-belief.

Do you enjoy eating out by yourself at restaurants?

Busy busy busy – or not?

Sustainable man popped into my Facebook wall this morning while sitting on the train to Hässleholm.

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Busy-words for me include all variations of stress, rushing, juggling, life puzzle, I’ve got a lot on my mind right now, I don’t know how I am gonna make it, there is no time, I just don’t have the time to do that, I’m sooo busy and so on.

I try not to use busy-words when thinking and talking about my own life. Simple as it may seem, it makes a huge difference in my life and my feelings around it. It gives me a sense of calm, regardless of how much or little I have penned into my calendar and to-do-list. It also means I prioritize more consciously, chosing what to take action on and what to leave behind.

Why?
Well, because busy-words creates thoughts and hence feelings in me that makes me feel like I am not coping. Like I am always running towards something which is always just out of reach to me. Like I am never good enough, because there’s always more things to so, places to be, people to meet etc. it makes me feel like a puppet, dancing to someone else’s tune.

Ever tried not using busy-words? What difference did it create in your life?