Shoot for the Moon, Graduate!

I love graduation season!  It is a season of leaving what has been and looking forward to what is ahead.   All options seem open and possible.  It is time to dream!

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At seventeen, I stood in front of my high school graduating class at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas, and delivered our school’s commencement address.  I remember two parts of this speech–and not much else.

The following quote was my starting line: “Success, what is it?”

And, somewhere mixed into the lofty talk was a quote that I just loved.  (I found it in a 1990s coffee table book of inspirational quotes.)

Here it is.

“Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.”

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I don’t remember what my 17-year old conclusion was to my initial question, “What is success?”  (I hope I find that speech someday!)  But, today, I do believe that success has something very much to do with shooting for the moon and being okay if you miss it and land somewhere else truly wonderful.

We must act.  We must try.  Otherwise, we will never know what could have been.

In the dream phase of Think Time, we encourage you to Dream Big.  Envision what your end goals would be if there were no obstacles.  What would they look like if you experienced “wild success?”  Build into your dreams.  Nurture their growth.  Let your dreams become larger than the obstacles.

Marcia Wieder, founder of Dream University (how fun is that?), emphasizes that too many people skip the dreaming and go straight to planning.  She says, “You have to identify what you really love and really want before you can go out to get it.”  We could not agree more and have created the Think Time Life Leadership System to facilitate this ideal.

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Have you taken time to consider your dreams lately?  If you had all of the resources in the world, what would “wild success” look like to you?  If you were not held back by fear or doubts, what would be your aim?   If you had more time, how would you spend it?

Do you know a graduate whose dreams you want to support?  Go to think-time.com and surprise them with an early graduation gift.  Now, before graduation, is the time for them to dream big, stay focused and get results as they make their plans for what comes next.

These are my thoughts, what are yours?

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Creative Director, Think Time

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Graduation season is a season of leaving what has been and looking forward to what is ahead.  @thinktimetweets

It is time to dream! @thinktimetweets

We must act.  We must try.  Otherwise, we will never know what could have been.@thinktimetweets think-time.com

Have you taken time to consider your dreams lately?  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

If you had all of the resources in the world, what would “wild success” look like to you?  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

If you were not held back by fear or doubts, what would be your aim?  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

If you had more time, how would you spend it? @thinktimetweets think-time.com

“You have to identify what you really love and really want before you can go out to get it.”  Marcia Wieder @marciawieder

 

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Soulish Living

This afternoon, I enjoyed a moment of sitting in the spring sun at the Dallas Arboretum.  I have found a special spot away from the crowds that tucks me away in plush grass surrounded by colorful flowers.  This is the spot that I find when I just want to “be.”

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Today, I just wanted to be.  No agenda.  Just time to be a human in the world soaking in the warmth of the sun and feeling the cushion of the other-worldly carpet of thick green grass.  Nearby was my glistening Think Time in case I wanted to jot down a thought, insight or idea before I forgot it.  But, my phone was on airplane mode, the girls were having a blast with their awesome babysitter, and my laptop was in the car.

This moment was a result–a beautiful result– of my yearly Think Time.  This year, my yearly Think Time themes revealed a deep desire to revive and to cultivate my soul.

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When I was younger, I sat long, thought much, and enjoyed deeply.  I played.  I connected. I said “Yes!” spontaneously to those I loved.  I spent too much time on the details, and I listened infinitely to others share their innermost hearts.  I had infinite time, it seemed.  And, I lived like it.

 

These days, the responsibilities of life seem to squeeze out those aspects of life that make me feel so full and so human.   I mean, who knew that I would grow up to be responsible for inventorying groceries and preparing or otherwise planning for 21 meals and 7 snacks a week–52 weeks a year?!?  What a surprise!

Who knew that my oldest child would need a new wardrobe every season?  Who knew that someone would need to create and maintain a system for storing and retrieving sizes and seasons of clothes for all of my kids?  Who knew that play dates, date nights, and any other activity I had in mind required an orchestral alignment of the stars to ensure that a sitter was in line, no one would be sick, traffic would not impede, blood sugar and water bottle levels were high, and potty accidents would not occur on the way.  (And, guess who was also responsible to ensure that back up clothes were readily available when things did not go as planned?)

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Some of you are amazing at organization and planning and actually enjoy these challenges.  Unfortunately, I am not like you.  I actually love losing track of time, following a deep intellectual thought to the end of where it travels, and detailing projects until they…are…PERFECT.

So, I am moving these moments back into my life.

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Today, it was a simple hour and a half of just “being” in the world, soaking up the sun and feeling the plush grass while I watched the trees bud.

Yesterday, it was restoring my hair to blonde while reading a deeply intellectual and spiritual book instead of being on my phone.

Last month, it was re-introducing distressed jeans into my wardrobe.

Looking forward, I also have some plans in my Think Time for some soulish moments throughout the coming year

This spring, I have set aside months to connect with my sweet new baby.

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This summer, we are planning to attend a family reunion in Tennessee.  I am most looking forward to “listening long” as my kids’ great uncles and aunts tell us the stories of our family.

Later, we are planning to go hiking in the Colorado mountains in celebration of our 10th anniversary.  I have a sketch in my Think Time of me with with my new baby in my baby carrier soaking in the surrounding beauty.  I can’t wait!

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This fall, I am planning to visit a fun-loving former roommate.  I am so looking forward to to laughing and to listening…to reminiscing and to playing.

 

These are simple moves, but they are bold moves.

These are the changes in ones life that restore light to the eyes and breath to the soul.

These are the soulish moments of life.

 

What are the moments in life that would restore your soul?

Are you making time and space for them?

If not now, when?

 

These are my thoughts.  What are yours?

The best blogs are dialogues.  Please comment below!

 

Christine Wilson

Co-founder and Creative Director of Think Time Life Leadership System

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Think Time Life Leadership system is designed to empower you to become the person you want to be with as little as one hour a week.  Click here to choose your Think Time tools today.

 

Blog Highlights:

Revive and cultivate your soul. @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Live like you have the time.  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Soak in the surrounding beauty.  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Laugh, listen, reminisce, and play.  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

What are the moments in life that would restore your soul?  Are you making time and space for them? @thinktimetweets think-time.com

If not now, when?  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

 

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

A Boy with a Question. A Man with a Vision.

When Eric was a little boy, he rode through downtown Indianapolis with his father.  As he looked out the window, he noticed the homeless people on the street.  Specifically, he noticed the children.  Out of his mouth came the most profound words.  He asked his Dad, “Who is taking care of the children?”

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Today, Eric Gilmore is leading thousands of people across the state of Arkansas with a clear mission and vision to serve some of the neediest children in our society: those children with no one to care for them–children without families.  His vision?  “No more waiting.”  Instead of living in a world in which children wait to be adopted by families, he envisions a world in which families wait to provide loving homes for these children.

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Five years ago, Eric–along with others sharing the same vision–started a new initiative called Walk for the Waiting to provide funding for organizations that are on the front lines serving these children.  Currently, there are 5,000 children in the state foster care system.  1,200 of these children are waiting for foster families.  A full 500 of these children are waiting to be adopted!  Each year 220 children age out of the system–never having a Forever Family.

Eric says simply, “This is not okay.”

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Each person who participates in the upcoming walk in May will wear a number as they walk or run.   Instead of wearing numbers to differentiate themselves, all walkers wear the same number to represent unity toward the same goal.  In this walk everyone wears the the number “0.”  The zero stands for the end goal of the walk–zero kids waiting for families.

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Eric and his wife Kara (full disclosure: my sister) live intentionally in one of the neediest neighborhoods in Little Rock, to communicate value and incarnational love to those around them.  He has also founded Immerse Arkansas, an organization that “immerses” youth who have aged out of the foster care system in a rich community of support as they emerge into adulthood.

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From the time Eric was a little boy, this dream has been on his heart.   Since I have known him, he has worked diligently to gain educational degrees and supportive experience to craft a life that supports the end goal he clearly sees.

What I love about his story is that the next generation is picking up his vision and running with it.

Watch Ross and Addison’s excitement as they raise money for children without families on our Facebook Page here.

Each person’s life is meant to impact others and to leave a wake behind them of change.

I share his story on this blog to prompt you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I notice about the world when I was young?
  • Who did I want to be?
  • What did I want to do?
  • Am I who I wanted to be?
  • Am I doing what I wanted to do?

Let’s start together today to live our lives intentionally.  Let’s not allow ourselves to be pulled away from our unique purpose by the many distractions of life.  Let’s live our irreplaceable story.

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-founder and Creative Director, Think Time Life Leadership System.

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Think Time Life Leadership system is designed to empower you to become the person you want to be when you grow up starting with as little as one hour a week.  Click here to choose your Think Time tools today.

 

Blog highlights:

“What did I notice about the world when I was young?”  @thinktimetweets

“Who did I want to be when I was young?” @thinktimetweets

“What did I want to do when I was young?”  @thinktimetweets

“Am I who I want to be?” @thinktimetweets

“Am I doing what I want to do?” @thinktimetweets

“Let’s start together today to live our lives intentionally.” @thinktimetweets

“Let’s not allow ourselves to be pulled away from our unique purpose by the many distractions of life.” @thinktimetweets

“Let’s live our irreplaceable stories.” @thinktimetweets

 

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Creative Thinking Skills You Need

Creative thinking skills are currently considered as important as literacy for the rising generation.  Why is this?

At first glance, creative thinking techniques seem silly or even absurd.  You want me to do what?  Draw?  I haven’t drawn in 30 years!  You want me to do what?  Mind map?  That looks messy!  My orderly list has worked fine for decades.  Why would I take time to learn a new method?  I know what my goals are.  You want me to keep going and to keep thinking about them?  Why?

Have an idea

However skeptical you may be about the process of creative thinking, much research supports the benefits of going through the creative thinking process–even if it feels a bit foreign or odd at the beginning.  Try to keep an open mind, and you may find yourself surprised at the results.

Let’s look at some basic creative thinking skills.Neurons in the brain

Brainstorming

To brainstorm means to generate a lot of ideas.  The more ideas you have, the more likely it is you will have a GOOD IDEA.

One crazy statistic stood out to me above the others in my graduate Creativity course.  Here it is.  Are you ready?  Only 8 out of 100 ideas are good ideas.  That’s right.  This is why you want to sit in the creative thinking phase a little longer.  To get to your best ideas, creativity experts encourage you to keep the ideas flowing.  That way, you can actually get to the good ones.  Often one idea leads to the next, which leads, in turn, to another one–which happens to be the good one!

In this phase of thinking, don’t edit yourself.  Often one idea leads to another, so at this point value all ideas–even the ridiculous ones.*

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Engage your right brain.

The left brain is associated with logic and order while the right brain is known for its ability to handle the messiness of life.  Much innovation and divergent thinking originates in the right brain.  The left brain is awesome when you know exactly where you are going and how to get there.  Engaging the right brain, however, may help you to access some needed energy to get over a hurdle or find a solution to a difficult problem.

Here are some ways to engage your right brain.

  • Mind Mapping.  Use words and lines to visually organize a large amount of interconnected information. A mind map is often created around a central concept drawn in the center.  Hierarchical relationships are visually represented as images, words, and lines branch outward from this central concept.  
  • Drawing Rich Pictures.  Visually draw the pictures in your mind connected with your goals or ideas.  The right brain, which is more thoroughly connected to your deeper desires and values than the left brain, cannot be accessed through words.  What are the most ideal outcomes you can imagine? Use words sparingly while you draw what “wild success” looks like to you.
  • Envisioning the future.  Use the above concepts to picture a bridge from your current state to your new, desired reality.  Sketch things as they currently are on the left of a page.  Then, sketch images of things as you desire them to be on the right.  Envisage a “bridge” between the two and draw pictures of how to get from here to there.
  • Imagineering/Role Playing.  Use objects in an individual setting or actual people in a group setting to represent people and tasks as they are.  Then, explore new ways of being through these interrelationships by role playing.  What are some new ways these people and tasks can interact with each other?  What would happen if there were no barriers and perfection could be achieved?  Ask yourself why things are not that way and seek to dismantle these actual or perceived hurdles.

Keep Going

Even when you believe you have gotten to a good point, don’t stop there!  Keep going to explore more possibilities, and you will be surprised at the results.   Walt Disney coined the term “plussing” to describe this process of bringing your best ideas even further.  When his imagineers would come to him with their best work, he would observe their work and then say, “Plus it.”  This meant that they were to ask themselves, “How can this be even better?”  His brilliant imagineers would go back to the drawing board, literally.  Then, they would return with even better work.  Then, Walt would say, “Plus it again!”

You only need to watch a two minute clip of one of his amazing videos to appreciate the value of plussing.  Here is one of my favorites.

A friend of mine used this idea recently as she visited a friend with her newborn baby.  She asked herself the question, “How can I make this even better?”  The thought entered her mind to offer to stop by the grocery store on her way and deliver some necessities to her door.  She then remembered to “plus it again.”  Into her mind popped the idea of purchasing a sweet little outfit for the baby while she was shopping.  Not only did the new mom have a visit from a dear friend, but she also had a practical need met with the addition of a special gift.  This particular mom was very moved by her friend’s surprising efforts.

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Not Sold?

For some of you, this process of sitting with ideas and not judging them may feel uncomfortable.  You are envisioning a wasteful allocation of budget to fund pink paint for a pet project in underwater basket weaving–on Mars.

If this is you, it may be helpful to keep in mind the different types of thinking.  Two type of thinking that are very important in uncovering the solutions to your biggest problems are divergent and convergent thinking.  Usually, our brains prefer one or the other, but both are necessary for good problem solving.

Divergent thinking involves generating creative ideas and exploring possible solutions.

Convergent thinking focuses on finding a single best, most correct answer to a question.

It is best to start with divergent idea generation and then move to convergent decision making after a robust session of idea generation.  This is why the Think Time Life Leadership System includes both divergent and convergent thinking in our Dream, Decide, Do, and Review process.

The important thing to remember is to do the right type of thinking at the right time for the right results.  

These are my thoughts.  What are yours?  Please comment below!

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.