Saturday, September 29, 2007

Learning through Adversity

Does one learn better given obstacles within? Or is it better when learning is smooth sailing? Both are actually possible. However, it is not wrong to learn when there is problems during along the way. It is a well known and proven method used in school. It is also practiced in the working world where adults or apprentices learn through adversity. A probem encountered means a lesson learned. The process of learning through adversity depends on the person learning style. If one is receptive to this method, he will progress fast.
However, attitude towards learning is the key issue. If one does not want to improve oneself, no matter how, no method can help him. Attitude still matters! Whether is it through adversity or otherwise, attitude plays a part in one's learning.
To learn through adversity, the method throws a person into a stage of survival, whereby he needs to learn the rope in order to survive. He will be pulled out of his comfort zone where he has to learn knowledge through problems encountered. This triggers the brain into learning with thinking and details will go into depth. This helps in retention of newly acquired knowledge better compared to learning with a careless attitude. A careless attitude will not wake up the brain to go into the application level of the learning taxanometry. This level lets the learner keeps the skill or knowledge acquired through their usage (example to solve a real-life problem, which is exactly the adversity part of learning!). Go out of the "comfort zone". Learning takes place when the brain is challenged. People needs to think in order to learn. Learning through smooth sailing is alright but need to be enhanced through application. Learning by adversity jumpstart the learning process. Do not give up for this type of learning as it is a well-known and proven way to improve oneself. The habit formed through this method enable the person to possess a lifetime learning skill that he can depend on forever, and indirectly enables him to be an independent learner.
We live to learn and contribute back to society. This creates meaning for our existence in this world. Keep on learning whether it is through adversity or otherwise. Embraces improvement and learning by adversity.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Creative Communities - There For You When Your Friends And Family Aren't

Do you find much of your time is spent creating alone in isolation?
Do you sometimes wonder if anyone even KNOWS that you create, let alone cares what you’re creating and why?
You may even find yourself thinking: “If I create something wonderful and no one else actually gets to experience it, is it still wonderful? In fact does it even really exist at all?!”
Maybe you’re fortunate to be surrounded by creative influences that encourage and support your creativity, people you trust who you can always turn to and know they’ll understand.
But for most of us who create, unfortunately this isn’t the case.
At best, our creative efforts and lifestyles are greeted by our friends and family with blank expressions that just don’t understand.
At worst, we’re criticised, mocked, or laughed at, our creative work dismissed as a “silly artsy stuff” or a “funny little hobby”.
How does this relate to experiences you’ve had in your creative life?
As you know only too well, it hardly breeds an atmosphere conducive to abundant and joyful creating.
There is an alternative though, you don’t need to continue to suffer silently alone!
In these days of the “global village” of the internet, the selection of supportive creative communities available for all kinds of creative disciplines is deep and wide.
By becoming part of a supportive community of like minded artists, you can see your creativity rocket to new, previously unseen levels. For some of us, the encouragement we find in a group like this is something we’ve never really experienced before.
There’s a common coaching phrase: Encouragement = Rocket Fuel.
With the kind of encouragement and support you can find in a creative community you’ll be flying to the moon and beyond every day!
Wouldn’t you love to experience a group where you know your work is appreciated, taken seriously and encouraged? A place where you can speak openly about the struggles of the creative process and know others will listen and understand, and be there to support you?
Unfortunately, our families and friends aren't always the first people we can go to for support and encouragement in our creative lives. Fortunately though now there are creative communities we can find today that give us that support we lack closer to home.
Now you've seen some of the benefits, isn’t it now a good time to start looking into joining a creative community that can bring these benefits to you?
And with this in mind, I’d like to invite you to CoachCreativeSpace, a thriving interactive creative community space for you to learn how to be as creative as you've always known you can be.
You'll find Creative Forums, Groups, Artwork and Blogs to share in and contribute to, and supportive like minded creative people who are experiencing some of the same challenges and triumphs you are. Check it out now, at:
From Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin
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Problem Solving Strategies - Three Great Ones

Your problem solving strategies determine how effectively you deal with everything from creating new ideas to solving the routine problems of life and business. There are many specific techniques for solving problems, but a good strategy is a more general "plan of attack" that makes it all work. Here are three.
The Problem Solving Triage Strategy
Emergency personal use triage as a strategy to decide which patients to attend to first. The questions that determine this are, "Who'll die regardless of treatment?" "Who'll survive without immediate treatment?" and "Who'll survive only if they get treatment soon?" Of course, the latter are treated first.
In general problem solving, the important triage questions are:
1. In this problem, which parts are unlikely to have any solutions of value?
2. In this problem, which parts aren't too serious?
3. In this problem, which parts can be most profitably solved?
This problem solving strategy starts then, by breaking a problem into it's components and first working on those in the third category. Then you work on those in the second. Unsolvable parts of the problem can be given another look later.
An example: Suppose your problem is disorganization in your office. The smaller problems of which it is composed might include, "too messy," "not enough space, " "not enough time," "hard to find things," and "too many tasks." That latter may be unresolvable for the moment (category 1), so you ignore it. Messiness may not be a big problem by itself (category 2), so you start with the problem with the most biggest potential payback: "not enough time." New habits and procedures which free up time mean getting more work done, and having more time to work on the other parts of the problem.
A Group Strategy
Many problems just are too much for one person to solve. You may need to use a group of people to help. They might brainstorm initially, to get more ideas. Later you can assign various parts of the problem to individuals of the group.
Suppose your problem is "finding new ways to raise money for your environmental group." You could have one person research and list all the various ways that non-profit organizations raise funds. One person could look at various business strategies that might be used in some way. A third member of the group might look at what you have done in the past, to see which methods worked before.
Using Problem Solving Techniques Systematically
One of the simplest problem solving strategies is to just systematically apply ten or so of your favorite techniques. Create a list of those that have worked best for you, and use each one to get as many ideas as you can. After this creative process is finished, you can sort through the possible solutions to see which are most likely to work.
For example, if you need to design a better car, you start with the first problem solving technique on your list, which could be "assumption challenging." This involves challenging all assumptions, like the one that a car needs tires or doors. The next technique might be "changing perspective," so you try that one for a while. Work through ten techniques, and you'll have a lot of ideas and potential solutions, making this perhaps the most fun of these problem solving strategies.
Copyright Steve Gillman. To start that list of Problem Solving Techniques, and to get the Brain Power Newsletter and other free gifts, visit:
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Problem Solving with Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping

Problem solving is one of the key skills required to be successful at work, but finding speedy and imaginative solutions to the challenges and difficulties that inevitably arise is not an easy task. When confronted with a problem, all too often, we try to ‘force’ our brain into coming up with a solution. Not only is this a poor way to resource our creativity but this approach can result in stress while our mind wrestles with the problem. Straining your brain in this way will not result in a satisfactory solution. Alternatively Mind Mapping is a far more effective way to attain clarity and answers. View the problem as a positive challenge, an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and flex your creative muscles.
I am sure you are well aware that making endless lists is no help to you in problem solving. By using Mind Maps, your brain will provide you elegant and powerful solutions. This is because Mind Maps contain all the elements of a problem in a single visual ‘take’, they show you where the real emphasis should lie and are a perfect stress-reducing tool. The colours and images appropriately stimulate your brain to the task on hand providing you with greater mental tools to solve the problem. Mind Mapping encourages radiant thinking and provides endless options, instead of closed thinking. Today, problem-solving has become even easier with the development of Mind Mapping software such as Tony Buzan’s iMindMap. Such software extends far beyond the traditional capacities, creating an explosion of creativity, innovation and knowledge sharing which are all essential in solving problems.
There are two methods in which Mind Mapping can be used to in problem solving:
1) Start with the problem – use the problem as a central image and radiate thoughts, ideas and possible solutions from it.
2) Start with the solution – use the solution as your central image and work backwards
Both methods are effective although you may be able to achieve greater clarity by drawing Mind Maps for both methods.
The main branches of your Mind Map could be:
1) Finding a solution – you need to find a solution to the immediate problem.
2) Your team, employees, friends etc – what can they do to help? Include any advice they may give.
3) The problem – you need to analyse the problem, not only to come up with a solution but also to ensure that it does not happen again in the future.
You should approach the problem calmly. You will accomplish nothing if you panic. Having created your Mind Maps, you should feel in charge of the situation since you have started the flow of creativity. The Mind Map gives you control over all the information relating to the problem, in a secure and stable framework, showing you the ‘big picture’. Even if you don’t have coloured pens and paper to hand, your brain can still conjure up a mental Mind Map, a virtual picture of the situation to help you work out a plan of action.
A great way to stay calm is to distance you from the problem in hand by taking short breaks and then returning to it fresh and clear-headed. A short walk can be ideal for achieving this. The Romans coined the phrase ‘solvitas perambulum’, which means ‘solve it as you walk’. They believed that the combination of fresh air, removing themselves physically from the source of the problem, light physical exercise and creative inspiration from nature worked wanders if they needed to sort through issues in their minds. The state in which your imagination is able to run free is ideal for making associations on a Mind Map. By giving your brain a rest from repeatedly raking over every aspect of the problem, you will find you are more likely to come up with a solution.
You are always going to be faced with problems, whether at work or home but Mind Maps enable you to rise to the challenge and turn problems into opportunities to display your creativity.
Rose Angell is a member of the Buzan Online team. Buzan Online was founded by Tony Buzan (the father of Mind Mapping) in 2006 and is now a key part of the Buzan Organisation. Buzan Online has recently launched the first official Mind Mapping Software, iMindMap; the only Mind Mapping software which utilises the true principles of Mind Mapping and duplicates the brains non linear thinking process. Visit
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Creative Vision - Have You Been Dreaming With The Lid On?

Do you have a clear, strong vision for your creative life?
Do you know exactly where you want to be heading, what you want to achieve in the next month, the next 6 months, the next year, the next 5 years?
What are your creative dreams and goals, and what are your plans for reaching them?
If you’re like most of us creative types, you’re probably now quivering behind the sofa, face locked in an expression of horror at the mere mentioned of words like “goals”, “achieve” and "plans”.
Because of this aversion to thinking about the future and putting steps in place to get there, your creative ambitions are far smaller and more limiting than they could be. In short, you’ve been dreaming with the lid on.
Here then are 5 of the major reasons why you don’t dream big in your creative life:
1. You feel you don’t deserve it. You don’t bother to think about what you could achieve because you feel you don’t deserve to get there and experience all the happy, proud feelings that would come to you. Most likely this comes from a combination of years of programmed thoughts like “I’m not worthy enough”, “Someone else more talented should get a break before me” and “I’ve not been good enough”.
2. You don’t recognise you dreams already around you. Often when we do think of creative dreams that are big and wide reaching, we don’t realise that already we have some of them in place. For example the writer who has written countless poems, stories and articles, but when asked what their creative dream is says “to be a prolific writer.” Recognise those dreams you’ve already achieved!
3. You’re scared of failing. If you dream big then of course there’s the chance – in fact it’s almost a certainty – that you won’t see every last detail of your dream perfectly realised. Because of this “all or nothing” kind of approach, rather than reach the amazing achievement of 75% of your creative dreams, you think it’s better to achieve none at all.
4. You don’t connect your dreams with reality. Your dreams are completely unrealistic. Even dreams have to be based in reality if you want to reach them. For example if you’ve been trying to learn guitar without much success for 10 years but still dream of being spoken of in the same breath of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, you’re being unrealistic. Find a dream that plays to your unique talents and creative strengths.
5. You simply don’t know how to dream big. Maybe in your life you’ve had no examples or role models of people who’ve dreamed big and achieved them. There’s a saying that we become most like the 5 people we spend most time with. If none of them are creative or have achieved much, that’s going to seriously hold back your own creativity and ability to dream.
These are 5 of the reasons why we don’t dream big in our creative lives, why we keep our dreams small, in a jar, with the lid firmly on.
Which do you most relate to? What steps can you take in the next 24 hours towards taking the lid of that jar, or at least loosening it a little and giving your creative dreams a chance to come out?
Kick-start your creativity today by downloading your free copy of the powerful and practical Explode Your Creativity! Action Workbook at
From Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin.
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Creativity - From Purpose to Significance

One of my life research (and meditation) tasks has always been to align or find coherence in the variety of expressions of inner and outward creativity. On the one hand there is a creative search for identity and meaning. Most people call this purpose (I know why I do what I do and it reflects who I am). On the other hand is the original and useful creation of ideas, services and products be it in leisure, art, or business.
Creative people tend to live fulfilling lives: they create their own future. However, in the final analysis there seems to be something lacking.
This comes from the myopic or biased definitions of our thinking. Invariably we tend to think of creativity from the individual perspective: one person. However, creativity (as life) does not happen in a vacuum. It happens in a human context. So we perceive creative behavior in relationship with a community or society. When considered in context creativity has group consequences. The main aspect being do we create for our own profit and pleasure, for others, or for both? (for us first or for others first?).
I have come to understand that if you want to live a life full of significance instead of purpose, your creativity must be geared for the benefit of others FIRST. Even though this may sound as "mother Theresa" biased perspective, I can share that I have experienced both. This realization is not mainly conceptual, it is experiential. If you want to experience true creativity, purpose and significance start thinking, talking and doing acts for the benefit of others first. You will see then your creativity truly flourish.
Hector Ramos is a consultant, facilitator and trainer of creative thinking and innovation in South East Asia. His conducts workshops to empower employees to inject innovation in the workplace through experiential and cooperative learning methods using personalized thinking tools and strategies. Companies and participants benefit from innovative team assessment to apply in their leadership and teamwork. His clients include Citibank, Schneider, Marcus Evans, Aljunied Town Council and many others. He can be reached at or
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Little Known Ways to Be More Creative in Life

Whether you use more of your right or left brain, or you use both, it’s better for you to be more active in using more of your right brain.
Let me tell you how to:
1. Play along with your curiosity. Ask: why and how. Don’t just accept it when someone makes a statement you don’t really understand. Think and think.
2. Use some of your time to dream up. While doing it, make sure not to think about ‘what if’, ‘should have been.’ Instead, imagine that you have done all your task so all you need to do is relax.
3. Play. Use anything you can find around you that you can play with. No, not video game or wthatsoever, but simply your pen, clips, or keys.
4. Read science fictions. Think about the impossible.
5. Take a risk. Let yourself make a mistake. To be more creative you need to learn from your mistakes.
6. Be expressive. Give yourself as much freedom to express yourself without having to feel afraid of being criticized.
7. Enjoy the process. Don’t push yourself to picture the result, but take pleasure in doing the process. No need to burden your mind with such an unnecessary thought about the result.
8. Think positively and believe that all your problems have their own solutions. No matter how big they are. If you somehow have doubts in yourself, it means that you haven’t set yourself free.
9. Write down all your ideas then save it somewhere. If you don’t need them now, you might need them later. So, once you have to come up with new ideas, simply get into your saving.
10. Just do it and do it now. The sooner the better and the more creative you become. Why would you wait for tomorrow if you can do it today? You don’t need a special time to be creative. Just do it now.
David W Richards is a happy father of two boys. He has a big interest in self improvement. So, he shares all he knows about it to everyone who wish to have a wonderful life.
There are also some other stuff that he writes about, such as Lowest Forex, Tutorial Forex and Forex Intraday.
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Discovering Who You Are Through Creativity

Who are you? Are you your name or your face or your body? Or is there something deeper, more precious, in you? Could it be that the demeaning things that were said about you by an Ex or a member of the family or just your own self-inflicted judgment that causes the pain, cripples your creative abilities, to emerge? From time to time, we all suffer from a lack of self-esteem, but that is not a binding contract of who we really are.
When the word creativity is spoken, many say, “I’m not the least bit creative, I have no talent.”
Guess what? That’s not true! We are all creative, because we are the tools of God, “The Master of Creativity.” How can God’s presence be known if not by and through us? We are His children, His masterpieces, His pride and Joy. It is up to us to make Him proud.
You’re still protesting, “But I can’t…” Creativity is not just painting beautifully or singing well or writing a wonderful piece of prose. From creativity emerges solace, when we realize that someone important in our lives is affected by our gift of self. A gift of self can be a smile or a hand on the shoulder of someone who is feeling lonely and dejected. Creativity can be a silent conscious action that is done to create peace or comfort for another, just because we recognize there is a need. It need not be big or elaborate. Creativity is allowing our selves to work with God.
Creativity is using your God-given abilities to think and act in a loving way, just because it is the right thing to do. This is not rocket science.
A Lesson In Courage And Healing From My Daughter When cancer revisited my ten-year-old granddaughter, Michelle, after 2 years of freedom, I asked my God, “Why?” Why a sweet, intelligent, loving angel would be so cursed. I wondered how my daughter and son-in-law and her siblings could bear this burden. They all responded in a way that I hadn’t expected. Theresa, an art and humanities major, her other 2 daughters and husband, Sam, and Michelle spent a lot of time working on crafts and games, during her illness, with seeming, comfort.
I asked my daughter how she could be so peaceful in a time of such horrible pain and no hope for real healing.
She said, “Mom, first of all, ‘healing’ does not necessarily mean ‘curing.’ In art therapy, healing is considered an ongoing psychological process. So, we are all healing all of the time from something, whether it’s cancer or mental illness, or divorce, or even simply having a bad day. In my case, I was constantly healing myself of all the sadness and anger and frustration that I had to deal with everyday while Michelle was sick. She and I both took care of our spirits by making things. She loved to draw and paint, and I loved to garden and sew and make jewelry. Just the process of making something is healing in itself, because the maker is focused on something besides his or her pain. If it is a long-term project then it becomes an outlet for the person to sort of ‘fall into.’
Do you remember the quilt that I made for Grandma? Well, I started that quilt before Michelle’s relapse and continued to work on it for the next few months while she was in the hospital, receiving her treatments. Of course I worked on various projects with Michelle, but when she was sleeping or too tired to do anything, I just sat by her bed and sewed all those stitches into the quilt. Part of the time I was thinking of Michelle and other times I was thinking of Grandma. I remembered all the delightful stories Grandma would tell me and sometimes I would tell them to Michelle. I put my heart into each stitch and I knew that when Grandma saw it, she would know that it held as much love as I could give it. Does that make sense?
So in this situation, making that quilt helped me to heal my spirit and kept me from getting depressed. It distracted me, in a way, from all the doom and gloom in that hospital. As far as Michelle was concerned, going to the hospital was just a part of her life, and all she cared about was having plenty of things to do while we were there. One time we made a Sculpy Clay model of the state of California. The doctors and Nurses kept coming in and looking at our progress. All the while Michelle was hooked up to an IV with two or tree types of medicine dripping into her veins. While we were working on this project, though, none of that mattered. I could go on and on about this, but I guess the bottom line is that being creative for me has been soul-saving. I have also gotten a lot of satisfaction volunteering for Bob Burke’s Kids. Sam and I do arts and crafts with the kids in the summer and they just love it! It doesn’t matter what the project is, they know that they will be able to go home with something they made. Just watching their faces is enough to make me want to come back and work with them, for the rest of my life.”
Her Creativity Was A Gift Of Love I remember how proud my mother was of that quilt. She used it daily until she died at 93. She often reminded us that, “Theresa made this quilt for me!” The quilt was a symbol of her grandchild’s love for her. Mom knew how long it took to hand quilt this gift and she wore it as a sign of how she was loved. Theresa, in her wisdom, discovered the gift of creativity and all that evolves from it.
Creative expression can be maintained not only by art and music, but by cooking a meal, tileing a bathroom, giving a speech, journaling, using your humor to bring a smile to a lonely person in a nursing home. Being a friend when someone doesn’t know you are thinking about him/her and their needs.
The possibilities are endless. The flower of good self-esteem will bloom within, at the completion of any of these creative actions. You will be allowing yourself to be the hands of God, the tools of His handiwork. You may be surprised to meet that hidden self, that person you never knew existed. You will find out who you are.
For more tips and tools on how to survive divorce and loss and make healthy relationship choices, by finding your value and who are you are. You are invited to visit Patricia Hubbard has Facilitated a Support Group for Separated, Divorced and Widowed people for the past 11 years.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Playing with kids

Have you played with kids and see how delighted are they? I can say that this is a form of self-improvement. Why? Because we get to know the kids better as during play, the kids are showing us their nature behaviour. Kids are innocent and happy. Adults can learn many things from them. When we play with them ,regardless of whether indoor or outdoor, we feel energise through their happiness and innocence. We learned to relax as a result by modelling them.

We can think of exciting activities to play with them to keep us healthy physically and mentally. It serves both side good. Reading with play is also an interesting activity. Writing, story-telling and drawing are also good activities. We can learn many things from the kids of latest games they picked up in school or child-care centres also. Nowadays, kids are more exposed to the outside world and being young, they are able to pick up new experience real fast. This new knowledge can be shared with adults and becomes a topic for discussion at times.

Family outing is also another area where atmosphere is created for play and relaxation. It helps to improve the mind and strengthen relationship with kids and family members.

Do not disregard the benefits of play, especially with kids. It could reveal a new kind of experience that money cannot buy and may be gone forever, if one is not aware! Play with kids and enjoy yourself yo !

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Academic upgrading

As a small kid, it is play and schooling. The leraning process is taken for granted. They go to school to study, attend external course, attend educational activities and learn may, many skills to prepare them for adulthood. As they process to adolescence, some may start to lost interest in studies when their parent felt that they are big enough to handle themselves. Their therefore has a choice as to whether to continue studying or going for "side-line" work. Some, however, are privileged to continue studying given a well-to-do family background.

These two cases differs alot. But as long as attitude towards learning is strong, the outcome will be good. When the kids grow up slacken in studies, they will tend towards working without academic upgrading. They may feel a burden to continue studying and will lack updated knowledge in their work.

It is therefore good to keep attending courses, off-line or on-line, structure or otherwise. There are also many books, eBooks, software, CD and DVD that helps busy working people improve themselves. Grap the chance to update knowledge. One will stand a better chance of survival when one is equipped with the latest skills and knowledge. Keep on learning or studying. Pick up any learning materials and start learning or attend evening classes !

Relationship with others

This is one area of a human that involves communication. Relation is a sensitive and complicated subject and if not dealt with properly affects the relationship. It may be good or bad depending on how a person handles the process of building it. Relationship has no precedance to follow although there is some reference to guide us. But it is still up to an individual to align his objectives together with his targetted person or persons.

Basically to have a good relationship, one has to be open and work with trust. Create understanding along each other to lessen the tension. It is an iteration process and is continous, and one has to keep up improving and observing to maintain this relationship building process.

Building relationship and a strong one is like depositing money into a bank to grow interest. Only when one has put in sufficient effort does one reap the good outcome. Self-improvement matters alot in this area (and both parties has to follow this process). It does not involve noly adults but also parent and kids. Rapport building among teacher and students, staffs and bossess, all this are relation building and is a very challenging and important aspect of life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Purpose of self-improvement

There are many purposes in self-improvement and it can be done in many ways also. Self-improvement requires self-discipline and stamina as well as focus. It also involves attitude towards the goals set. Time maangement is important as it affects work and family schedule. Self-improvement can be done as a course within a time frame or it can be continuous without end. Both aid each other to achieve better rate of improvement.

Self-improvement can be grouped into various categories, namely:
1) Academic
2) Health
3) Spiritual

One can focus at any one of the above or as a cluster. The benefits of continual self-improvement cannot be over-stated and it can spreads to everyone around him or her. Many ways can be found to achieve the goal set if the person has the correct attitude regardless of race and age.

For academic improvement, there are courses, classroom or on-line, to cater to the needs of full-time students or working adults. Academic upgrading does not mean paper chasing. One can opt for short courses to pick up a skill of one's interest.

Health is one area everyone must maintain strong. This area is not limited to the physical being but also includes the mental being. The two actually go hand-in-hand. Exercise and physical activities can be make interesting to encourage one to join and enjoy.

Spiritual improvement can be done by grouping up with like-minded people can talk about their spiritual topics and practice. This also creates rapport and has influence over the Mental alertness part of a human.

In conclusion, do not stop improving oneself ...... Being Happy, Being Updated.