Just Start!

One of my favorite entrepreneurial concepts is found in a small and practical book called Just Start.

Written by seasoned business leaders from Babson College, this book debunks myths about a curious group of people–serial entrepreneurs.  Many people imagine entrepreneurs testing ideas in a laboratory and perfecting them over and over again before finally releasing them to the public.

Not so.

After studying serial entrepreneurs, the research team discovered that people who started successful business after successful business had one thing in common–they started.

They most often started small–only investing what they were willing to lose.  Then, they learned…and adjusted…and, launched again.

Then, they learned…and adjusted…and, launched again.

This process gives the benefit of real-time feedback and data that can never be gained in a laboratory.  Each idea was sharpened by real feedback from real life and real people.  Because they never invested more than they were willing to lose, they always won.  They either found out quickly and cheaply that the idea was not going to fly, or they gained invaluable feedback that sharpened their product or idea so it could launch to the next level.

What’s your idea?

Is there a way that you can start small–only investing what you are willing to lose?

Launch it, but hold it loosely.  Allow it to come back changed–only to launch it again.

Can you create a Version 1.0 and get it in front of the world?

Go ahead!  Get it out there!  What do you want to create?

Go for it!

Christine M. Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

 

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Start small. @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Investing only what you are willing to lose. http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Launch, learn, adjust, launch again. http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Sharpen your ideas with real feedback from real people.  http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

What’s your idea? @thinktimetweetshttp://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

What do you want to create?  Go ahead!  Get it out there!   http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Go for it!  @thinktimetweets http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

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For people who want more time to focus on what matters most.

Free e-book “How to Live Your Purpose” http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Shop Think Time Purpose Planners at think-time.com

Achieve Your Goals and Feel Good About It!

Did you know that you are designed to feel good while you achieve your goals?

 

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It’s true!

Wired in your biology is a feedback system that allows you to feel “good” while you pursue what matters to you.

In this blog we will discuss how taking time to Think Time can utilize the dopamine feedback system to boost your energy and improve your motivation as you pursue your goals.

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Dopamine is a biologically based chemical that provides energy and motivation.  Stated simply, when the dopamine reward system is activated, you are biologically encouraged to repeat what you just did.  At the same time, the memory centers of the brain are activated.  They seem to be saying, “Pay close attention to what just happened!  We want this to happen again!”

One of the healthy ways in which you can engage the dopamine reward system is by moving toward clear goals.

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When you take tangible steps toward a goal you clearly have in your mind, you get a shot of dopamine.

This is why setting a clear goal and accomplishing it feels so good.

This is why crossing things off your to do list feels so good.

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This is also why we write things down just to cross them off when we forgot to put it on our to do list.  Crossing it off gives us a shot of dopamine!

This seems too easy.

What’s the catch?

The catch is that you must see your goal clearly.

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None of us pursues vague accomplishments.

Can you imagine it?

“On your mark, get set, go!  Run for a long time!”

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No!

We train to run exactly 13.1 or 26.2 miles!

…and as each mile marker reinforces that we are closer to our goal, we get a shot of dopamine!  This boost enhances our performance by providing energy and motivation toward our clear goal.

We pursue goals that are clear and we feel happy about our accomplishments.

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What do we do with this information?

Now that you know that your brain is giving automatic feedback and energy boosts to areas with clear goals, take some Think Time to assess the clarity that you have created around different areas of your life.

Most of us have clear goals at the gym and at work but we have no clear goals when it comes to marriage, parenting, personal growth, spirituality, money, service, and relationships.

Build clarity in these areas of your life with Think Time’s Think Zones, and notice the difference in how you feel as you pursue your goals.

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Think Zones are included in the Yearly and Quarterly Think Times in Think Time Journal Planners.

Chances are, you are going to feel really good and…

you are going to want to do it again!!

Christine Wilson

Think Time Co-Founder

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

 

Blog Highlights

You are designed to feel good while you achieve your goals.  @thinktimetweets 

Boost your energy and improve your motivation as you pursue your goals with Think Time.  @thinktimetweets

When you take tangible steps toward a goal you clearly have in your mind, you get a shot of dopamine. @thinktimetweets

We pursue goals that are clear and we feel happy about our accomplishments.  @thinktimetweets

Your brain is giving automatic feedback and energy boosts to areas with clear goals. @thinktimetweets

Most of us have clear goals at the gym and at work but we have no clear goals when it comes to other important areas of our lives. @thinktimetweets

Assess the clarity that you have created around different areas of your life. @thinktimetweets

Build clarity in more areas of your life with Think Time’s Think Zones. @thinktimetweets

You must see your goal clearly. @thinktimetweets

When Life Throws You a Curveball…Hit a Homerun!

We are in the age of planners.  Planners are great when you know where you are going, you are where you want to be, and you understand what needs to be done.

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But, what do you need when life throws you a curveball?

Do you need to better organize your overflowing list of to dos?  To put everything in little boxes on your planner so that you can see them better?

No!

You need to clarify what’s most important to you and get rid of the rest!

You need to make space in your life for where you’re going and what matters most to you…now.

You need to evaluate where you put your limited energy and time.

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When life throws you a curveball, don’t throw in the towel.

These are the times that drive your focus toward what matters most and toward where you can have the most impact.  Embrace these days and get ready for positive change!

How do we go about doing these things? 

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First, identify what you really want.  No one really lets go of anything until they have a clear view of where they’re headed. No one lets go in a vacuum.  Clarify your vision.  And, when you clarify your vision, dream big!  Ask yourself what “wild success” looks like.  As the cheesy cliche [that I love] says, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars!”  Dream big and don’t edit yourself.  Purpose and productivity guru, Michael Hyatt, says, “Build your dreams to be bigger than the obstacles.”  The obstacles will certainly be there, but your dreams can definitely be bigger than them with some thoughtful preparation.

Second, let go of what is obsolete, irrelevant, or good but not the best.  So often, the best is is squeezed out by things that used to be important to us, by things that are trivial or by things that are good but not the best.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Take time to evaluate what matters most to you and actively create space in your life for these few things.

Third, clarify what is within your control and what is not within your control.  When life throws us curveballs, it is easy to spend a lot of energy spinning our wheels on the “what ifs” and “if onlys.”  We can get caught up in unproductive thinking about what other people could or should do.  Instead, let’s focus on what is within our power to change.  My thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviors, and choices are in my circle of influence while an endless other things are outside.  Tell yourself, “This is my new reality.  Now, what true impact can I make with the steps that I take?”

When it is time to grow, the best thing to do is clarify your vision and let go of things that are obsolete, irrelevant, or good but no longer the best.  Focusing on what you can control will give you the most result for every action you take.  Use these three steps to identify what matters most to you and to clear space in your calendar and in your life to focus on what matters most.

But, wait.  There is one more thing.

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Fourth, expect change.  Life is fluid.  It is always changing.  The clouds are always moving.  The earth is always rotating.  The universe is ever expanding.  Nothing stays the same.   So, be poised as you move forward to continuously reevaluate your vision, your priorities, and what is within and not within your control.

Then, the next time life throws you a curveball, you’ll be ready for it.  Hit a homerun!

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The best blogs are dialogues.  Please comment below.  Are you in a season of personal change?  Do you have a personal vision for what could be next?

Christine M. Wilson, LPC

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Co-founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Choosing Purpose over Perfection

I write from a peaceful, quiet hotel room 15 stories above the Fort Worth skyline.  Keith and I are on a little getaway weekend.  It is part birthday celebration, part babymoon, and part taking time to think time and discuss our lives together on a deep level without interruption.  (Thanks, Mom!)

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I just hung out with the “personal” Think Zone concept cloud for a while.

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As I brainstormed, I was struck with how much I need to grow this year!

What was I thinking starting Think Time when I was so imperfect!?!  I easily could have taken a year to focus on learning in each major area of growth to refine myself before launching.  Maybe in five—or twenty—years, I would be ready!

But.

I didn’t.

And.

I didn’t.

On purpose.

In this move of choosing to launch Think Time, I chose purpose over perfection.

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I asked myself, “What can only I do in this world?

 

Then, I brainstormed.  I acted.  I gained feedback.  I acted again.  I refined.  I acted again.  I kept learning and growing.  I acted again.

 

Out of this milieu was born a collaboration of my personal and professional experience, my personal and professional research, and my unique personality design as an innovator.  It seemed at the time that only I could launch Think Time.  I mean, who else was going to bring together such a diverse compilation of creative thinking exercises, a passion that each life has an irreplaceable purpose, and the refinement that productivity practices bring?  It was a sort of odd and strange combination, but it seemed essential to me.  Any of these pieces without the others left something major wanting.

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I did not have a background in marketing.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a lot of time.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a lot of money.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have a sales personality.  It turns out that would have been helpful.

I did not have…well, quite a lot…

But, I did offer what I had, and I did launch.

And, I do not regret it.

I am so thankful that today, only one year after an initial launch, sales teams who want to excel even during trying times, CEOs who want to envision the next decades of their company, newly released prisoners who want to move forward toward their goals and not backward to repeat the past, parents who want to make the most of the time with their kids while they are still young, high schoolers and college students who want to pursue their goals amidst a plethora of pressures, young entrepreneurs who want to build their businesses while maintaining life balance, managers who want to better envision the future and lead their teams, and my family and I are able to dream big for the coming year—with the hope of actually bringing our dreams to reality.

Each of us is able to better envision the future.  Each of us is confronted with the choices that we must make if we are to live with a focus on what is important.  Each of us has the tool to empower us to “do” our dream in the most effective way possible, and each of us can constantly grow through reflection and daily gratitude.

I will admit, it is a more humbling way to go.

…to launch a dream before it is perfect.

However, if I can just get over myself and my “need” to be perfect, I can grow and people can be truly served.  In this way, I can live in such a way that I can be most in touch with reality.  Real life gives feedback—both positive and negative—in a way that preparation and thinking without action never can.

When I take time to Think Time, I am actively taking my ideals and constantly rubbing them against the sandpaper of reality.  Here, they are tested.  Here, they are refined.  Here, and only here, will they become truly beautiful.

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What are your dreams today?  Is your fear of imperfection holding you back, or are you ready to dive into the refining fire of life’s real time feedback.

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Do you choose purpose over perfection?

 

I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below!  What are your thoughts?

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-founder of Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

All You Need is Love

 

If you were to ask anyone what the world needs, you would likely start singing with the Beatles,All you need is love. Da da da da da… Love is all you need.”  And, you would be right!  Kindness, compassion, and love.  These have been identified globally throughout the centuries as the most game-changing characteristics that can belong to a human being.

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Another word that can be tossed in that top notch mix is empathy.  Empathy can be defined as “the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.”   While an empathic response is not the equivalent of love, when we put ourselves in the shoes of another person, we are in an excellent position to move into kindness, compassion, and love.

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Here, then, is the million dollar question: How can one grow in empathy?   Is there anything that we can do practically on a regular basis to boost our chances of having an empathic response toward those around us?

Interpersonal Neurobiologist, Dan Siegel, suggests that “self-understanding is foundational to empathy.”  Dr. Siegel studies interpersonal relationships and the way we impact each others’ bodies and minds.  He has found that as we grow in self-understanding, we can actually avoid behaviors that harm human relationships and move toward actions of kindness and compassion.  In essence, when we are in touch with ourselves, we are better able to be in touch with others.

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So…

To grow in love, grow in empathy.

To grow in empathy, grow in self-understanding.

But, how can I grow in self-understanding?

 

We are glad you asked!

 

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When we take time to think time, we allow our inner selves to emerge onto paper and into our lives:

  • We evaluate our personal experiences when we reflect on our highs and lows individually or with others using our Timeline Tool.
  • We acknowledge our aspirations when we ask ourselves what “wild success” looks like using the Envision Box.
  • We identify and validate our desires when we ask, “What do I want more of?”  “What do I want less of?”
  • We face our failures and successes squarely when we take time to review, asking ourselves “What worked?” and “What didn’t?”

 

Thus, when we think time regularly, we are promoting our own self-understanding. 

 

And, as we grow in self-understanding, we grow in our capacity for empathy.

As we grow in empathy, we grow in our capacity for love.

And, all we really need is…love.

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

On Envisioning…

On Envisioning…

Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “I have a dream!”  Stephen Covey encouraged, “Begin with the end in mind.”  Mark Miller of Chick-fil-A identifies “Seeing Into the Future” as the first characteristic of a servant leader.

Envisioning what you want is critical to achieving any type of success.

Watch this!

Clarity is simply a prerequisite for goal achievement. 

Unfortunately, most planning systems neglect this critical step. They are more responsive in nature, and as a result you end up living everyone else’s life instead of your own–simply because you lack clarity on where you ultimately want to be. 

In the “Dream” phase of Think Time, you have the opportunity to visualize what you want.  

“What if I don’t know what I want?”

We are glad you asked.

So often, when we are honest with ourselves, we don’t know what we want.  We at times need a guide to prompt us to unearth those desires that lie just beneath the surface.

Let Think Time be that guide.  Think Time walks you through a variety of thinking tools that empower you to unearth your vision in full-color, with clarity.   The tools are laid out in a creative, yet logical, format to help you see clearly what is most important to you.  You can think of these tools as a good friend asking just the right questions at the right time–leading to that “Ah-Ha” moment.

Would you like to try it?  

Take a moment right now to consider an area of your life.  You can choose anything you like–perhaps a relationship, a goal, or an important event.  Now think about it within a timeframe.  For instance, ask yourself, “Five years from now (or five weeks from now), what do I want to see in this area of my life?”  

Grab your favorite pens or pencils and start drawing.

Think big. 

Don’t edit yourself. You want your dreams to be bigger than your obstacles.  So spend some time here and clearly envision what you really want.

Sit with this for a while and see what other connections you make.  What details do you add?  

Congratulations!

You have just begun the dream phase of the Think Time process!

Did you like your Think Time 101 mini-experience?

If so, please share it.

 

What is your dream? 

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.