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Create or Die

A Manifesto For Fearless
Creators Everywhere

This book reveals just why creativity is the backbone of happiness and success, regardless of your occupation. It discusses the many adversaries to creativity that we are surrounded by and shows how to overcome them to create a powerful life by your own design.

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The Unexpected Lesson

This is a guest post by Allie Smith-Hobbs.

I was recently copied on an email that said, “I hoped you learned something, even if it was not what you intended” and I’ve been ruminating on this all week.

What am I learning that I didn’t intend to learn? Unintentional lessons happen to us all the time, we just need to stop and realize that’s what it is. You know, those “growth experiences” that we’d like to avoid most of the time.

It’s true that we learn from life’s hard experiences, but I’d wager that we’ll learn the most if we’re able to stop, take a step back and see the bigger picture of what we’re truly learning. In many ways, I feel like I’ve graduated from the school of hard knocks, (perhaps even an honorary PhD from the University of Doing it the Hard Way), but life seems to keep repeating situations until we learn the lessons.

Now if I’m paying for a course and want to learn the technical skills of grant writing, I hope I learn the technical skills of grant writing. But if I also learn something about my mindset in that I tend to be an information gatherer rather than an implementer, that’s just as valuable (if not more so!). (Unfortunately, as much as I’ve tried, learning and making real change in my life does not occur through diffusion of helpful books on my nightstand. I have to implement it.)

We experience these unintentional learning situations every day – at work, at home, in the car between the two.

I’m no zen master and it might take a level of maturity currently out of my grasp to sort through every sucky situation to tease out the lessons.

Sometimes that may take a few deep breaths behind a locked office door (or, ahem, digging into my secret stash of chocolate), but that’s okay. What did I learn?

What I learned might simply be that I get defensive and reactive when approached in a certain way or about certain topics. My first reaction is, “Yeah, when XYZ happens, I learned that you’re a jerk…” But if I can take it as my responsibility and reframe it as, “When XYZ happens, I get defensive and reactive. So how can I operate proactively even if XYZ doesn’t change?”

Framing is a powerful technique that Morgan teaches in grant writing, but it applies everywhere in life. I can take charge of my own response through my personal framing. My challenge to myself it to take the unintentional lesson and turn it into an intentional frame.

What about you? No zen mastery required, but did you learn unintended something throughout your day today that you can reframe?

Allie Smith-Hobbs has a background in administration with a M.S. in Instructional and Performance Technology and a passion for literature and writing. She combines adventure, administrative support and cool technology in supporting Dr. Morgan Giddings and her clients.

Run and Cry

Have you ever been in a situation – such as visiting with relatives (or dealing with collaborators, or etc) – where your head is ready to explode? I’m sure you have. Here’s the thing: It’s nothing wrong with them. They are who they are. You are who you are. Nobody is going to fundamentally change… read more →

Freaking out, coming out: being authentic is hard

I stand for alignment. My goal for all my friends and clients is to get them aligned with who they are at the core so that they can live life to its fullest. That’s what alignment does… But sometimes alignment can be freaky scary. Like it is for me now. I’ve known that I needed… read more →

You’re so free, you can choose bondage!

An interesting discussion emerged on my Facebook feed after my most recent post titled "F*ck it, I'm done." That post was all about my own journey from being an atheist/materialist to a quite different – far more spiritual, happy, and abundant – place. One commenter chimed in with a classic materialist line: "we have no… read more →

F*ck it, I’m done

Sometimes you have to just say Fuck it. This is especially powerful when it comes to something that has been happening in your life that is not helpful or useful, and yet which seems to keep repeating itself. While I don't swear a lot, there is a time and place for the emotional energy behind… read more →

My other favorite F-word

This is a guest post by Allie Smith-Hobbs. Fun is a four letter word around the American workplace. When I worked in Silicon Valley during the dotcom boom of endless foozball rounds and mini-golf in the all-you-can-eat-cafeteria, “fun” was mandatory ad nauseum. But in the wake of the collapse, playing and even hard-earned vacation time… read more →

Security versus joy and inspiration: which wins?

For the past week, I've been processing some of the experiences from Bali. One of them was this. I went to Bali for a mastermind retreat. I had only met the leader, and was very excited to get to know the other members, most of whom are from New Zealand and Australia. Most mastermind meetings involve… read more →

Travel Anxieties and… embracing the unknown!

When you travel, does it bring up anxiety for you? It does for me. And it’s always weird little stuff that gets me. For example: I just rode for about 30 hours in airplanes over the world’s largest ocean, and I had almost no conscious anxiety about that. I wasn’t fretting about the airplane breaking… read more →

Schizophrenia and air travel

I have schizophrenia. I think this is common amongst modern air travelers. It’s a schizophrenia of alternating love and hate. I’m in the air on my way to Bali. It’ll be my first time there, and I’m excited to experience a new place. I’ve heard that it is beautiful and the people are kind. One… read more →

Why enjoying money can stop the money struggles

There are a lot of people who resent money. They feel like money is a “necessary evil” but that they’d rather not have it around if they could just get by and do their thing without it. I used to be one of those. And here’s the thing. That’s a money repellant attitude. You can… read more →

Judging failure is futile self-judgement

This is part of a message from me to myself after I judged something I was doing as a "failure." Maybe you will find it useful. You never know the impact that your actions will have. You can sit here from your limited point of view and judge that something has “failed” - and yet… read more →