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.

Success in the (Not So) Small Stuff

They found me!  Oh no!

Recently on Facebook, I have been greeted by “Sponsored” pages that start like this.  “Four years ago, I lived in my parent’s basement.  But, today, I live in a Manhattan high rise.  I am so successful.  You can be too!  Keep watching and I will tell you how I did it.”

Blog Highlights

“I have been able to maintain balance, stay connected, and achieve results during a super full season.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“Long term wins get us further than money could any day.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“I am taking care of myself so I can take care of others and maintain energy for the long haul.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“I now have confidence that important events and people will be remembered and celebrated even during seasons in which life is very full.”  Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

“Think Time has helped me to maintain balance during what could otherwise be an extremely stressful time.” Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets think-time.com 

They proceed to walk around videoing themselves walking through luxury homes and sailing on yachts while the wind blows through their hair.  All the while, they tell me the story again and again.  “Once I was a loser.  Now I am a winner.  You can be too!  Just be sure to keep watching.”  I never watch long enough to find out if they actually share how they did it.  I don’t think they ever really say.

I think they found me because I do a lot of research for Think Time on living your dreams, fulfilling your purpose, time management, success, goal achievement, and the like.  But, you will not see a video like that from me.  (If you do, kindly send me this blog in a couple of years and tell me to get a life!)

Fellow Journeyer

No, I am a journeyer alongside you.

To me, Think Time was a happy discovery and a blessing.  If you don’t know how Think Time began, you can read it here or listen to it here (select “Think Time as a result of the creative process).  By taking time to Think Time, my ability to accomplish what is important to me has skyrocketed.  By creating clarity around my intentions, the distractions of life that usually paralyze me are not even having an impact.  I am accomplishing what is important to me like I have never been able to before.

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While making money is something worth celebrating, it is not the central measuring stick of success.  Think Time has a broader definition of success.

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Let me share with you what my successes have been just today.

Maintaining Balance

I am in my third trimester as we are renovating a new house for a move.  Our fourth baby is due in only 5 weeks, and time is tight.  For the past several weeks, I have chosen “health” as one of my “prize roses” on my Rosebush Tool.  It serves no one—and especially not our sweet baby—for me to be stressed, to skip exercising, to miss sleep, or to eat poorly.  By empowering me to focus on what matters most, Think Time has helped me to maintain balance during what could otherwise be an extremely stressful time.

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Practically, by choosing to prioritize health, we have committed to few outside activities, allowed others to help us, and hired professionals to tackle some renovation work we would have otherwise tried to accomplish ourselves.  During this season, I am also getting full night’s sleep and taking needed rest breaks throughout the day as I work toward my goals.  By prioritizing my health, I am taking care of myself so I can take care of others and maintain energy for the long haul.  (Remember.  I am about to be taking care of a newborn SOON!  I cannot deplete myself now!)

Staying Connected

As I was taking a big bag of recycling to the bin this evening, I remembered my neighbor’s recent engagement.  I remembered that I wanted to celebrate huge moment with a gift!  This also prompted me to remember two other important events in the lives of friends and colleagues that I wanted to be sure to celebrate.

 

Immediately, I walked back inside and went straight to my Think Time to write these three events on my “to be” Concept Cloud. As I take time to Think Time, valuing not only results but also relationships is included in my planning process.  I now have confidence that these important events will be remembered and celebrated even during a season in which life is very full.

Achieving Results

My third Think Time takeaway from today is that I think differently as I do…everything.  Specifically, today, instead of getting lost in the packing process and feeling overwhelmed, I worked toward the visions that I had intentionally created in my mind.  What end result was I seeking?  In the areas in which I was intentional, my whole being worked toward the pictures in my mind.

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This week’s Think Time Envision Box features a “wild success” sketch of boxes stacked halfway to the ceiling in a room that does not have furniture.  I have worked the past two days toward that vision.  I have been selling furniture on my Facebook groups, loading items to be donated, and packing boxes with a consistent energy and focus that cannot be broken.  I have rescheduled appointments, resisted urges to reminisce, and simplified my schedule to achieve this vision.  For some people, this may not be revolutionary.  For those of us who struggle to focus and to produce results, it’s amazing!

Success in the (not so) Small Stuff

Well, I didn’t say, “I was a loser.  Now I am a winner.  You can be too.”  But, I did say that in one day, I was able to maintain balance, stay connected, and achieve results during a super full season.

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I call that success.

These are the long term wins that get us further than money could any day.  At Think Time, we focus on bringing our long-term goals into our daily lives.  When we look back on our lives, we don’t want to see that we missed what was important because we were “too busy.”  We don’t want to neglect important relationships.  We also don’t want to look back wondering what, if anything, of value we accomplished.

It is our hope at Think Time that when we get to the end of our lives, we can all say, “I lived my life to the full.  I lived on purpose.  I loved those around me.  I did important things that only I could do.”

These are my thoughts.  What are yours?

 

 

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

 

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.

Live Your Unique Story

Take a moment to look at your fingerprint.

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If you are like me, it has been years since you reflected on the uniqueness found in such a simple task.  Take a moment to reflect on the uniqueness of your fingerprint.

No one else has the same one.

Sure, there are patterns of types of prints the helps us to categorize fingerprints, but NO ONE has one quite like yours.

Remarkable!

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Now, think about your unique personality design.

Are you energized by being with people or being by yourself?

Are you a person who lives in the world of tangible things you can touch or in the world of ideas?

Do you tend to lead with your heart or your head?

Do you live within defined time and space parameters, or do you wait until later to decide what seems appropriate?

Do you work in a logical or sporadic sequence?

Do you like to hear the high points or all of the details?

Are you quick to start something you are energized to do or are you motivated to minimize unnecessary change?

You are likely somewhere on a continuum of each of these categories as unique as your fingerprint.  Sure, we can think of areas that help us to understand our uniqueness, but the fact remains that each of us is one person as unique from others as our fingerprint.

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Now think about your unique story.

Where were you born?  Who were your parents?  Who were your friends?  What was your community like?

What did you notice as a child?  What places made you feel alive?  What relationships inspired you?

What tragedies have you lived through?  What obstacles have you overcome?

All of these things and more tell the unique story which is our life.

These uniquenesses of our lives can also hint toward our purpose.  Our past–including the most glorious and the most tragic moments–can be used to bring good, truth, and beauty into the world.  In the realm of purpose, nothing is wasted.  Oftentimes, comfort flows from us to another because we have lived through unique experiences.  If we are willing, we can offer ourselves–life on life–in comfort to another person as our experiences give us custom lenses through which we can view the world and recognize things others don’t.

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We are unique.

Our time is short.

There will be no repeats and no do-overs.

Time is marching on, and we have one life to live.

Let’s maximize our unique place in this world by embracing our unique design and living our life to the full–just as we are.

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Check out our collections of Think Time tools-Think Pads, Smart Planners, Ponder Prompts, and White Space White Board Walls.   Each tool is designed to help you to engage your deepest desires and both sides of your brain so you focus on what matters most as you live your irreplaceable story.

 

The best blogs are dialogues.  What makes you unique?  What do you see that no one else sees?  Please comment 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.

 

 

 

 

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.

How Do You Want to be Remembered?

How do you want to be remembered?

By your kids.

By your family members.

By your team members at work.

By the customers you serve.

By your neighbors.

By the stranger passing you on the street.

By the people of the next generation.

Think through the lenses of anyone you choose:  How do you want to be remembered by the people in your life? 

Instead of looking at your to-dos head on this morning, begin with the end you seek in mind.

Allow this simple question to shape your day today and see what a difference it makes in the small choices throughout the day.

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What shifted?

What suddenly looks important that didn’t seem so important five minutes ago?

What suddenly seems unimportant that seemed important five minutes ago?

By this simple exercise, you will be experiencing a small sampling of the shift in decision making that occurs when you take even just a moment to envision, to dream, and to begin with the end you seek in mind.

You really are what you think.

Christine Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

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How do you want to be remembered?

How do you want to be remembered by the people in your life? 

Before diving into your to-dos, pause and ask yourself, “How do I want to be remembered?”

Think forward then reflect backward.

Decisions shift when you take a moment to envision.

Decisions shift when you take a moment to dream.

Decisions shift when you take a moment to begin with the end in mind.

You really are what you think.

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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