15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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15 Minutes of Non-Stop Free-Writing

I’m sure everyone that has ever taken a writing course has done this exercise before. Just write for X amount of time and do not stop. Free-writing–or stream of consciousness writing–is designed to get you to start writing, stop thinking through all your filters and just flow.

Like I tell a lot of people: “You can’t think your way out of a writing block; you must write your way out of a thinking block.” ~John Rogers

So, here goes:

Free writing – I’m blank – a blank slate. I have no ideas at the moment, so I am going through the mechanical motions of writing – my mind is tuning with my hand. This is the same process I used when writing my first book – the thoughts direct the hand, I am focusing on the end product – I am generating words – this is my goal – to write. Not to write well, not to inspire, not to become the best in the world. To write, to practice, to prepare, eventually inspiration will come, eventually I will sift through enough dirt and soil to find gold and diamonds – this though, this is just exercise. This is my cardio routine, this is me going through the motions – of successfully filling this page with words I will not publish – this is me revving my creative engine at full tilt – pushing towards the red zone – making a lot of noise and smoke and fire and generating sound and fury and excitement. This is all part of the process. Every day is not scoring a homerun or winning a Pulitzer prize – every day is not Superbowls and marathons. But every day is important. Every day is an opportunity to work on basics. Every day is an opportunity to exercise, to practice, to stretch your legs, stretch your mind, go through the routines that will eventually refine you into a winner. Shake off the cobwebs and put yourself through the motions, overcome inertia, defeat lethargy and defeatism. Don’t try to be great, just be willing to prepare each day for greatness.

So, that was a fun little diversion. I think faster than I write, so I manage to come up with cogent sentences, although the dash becomes my universal punctuation mark while free-writing.

How do you get yourself out of a productivity slump?

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Leap Before You Look

There’s something to be said for leaping before you look. Often people are paralyzed by indecision, analysis, second-guessing, procrastination, planning, pre-planning, pre-planning-secondary-analysis-comparison. We wait for perfect organization, the perfect plan, the perfect weather, the perfect social situation, the perfect alignment of the stars and planets.

Here’s a better idea: Just start, then figure it out along the way.

While this advice doesn’t pertain to life-endangering hobbies like skydiving (parachute first, THEN jump), with most of the activities and goals that we have in life, most people suffer from mental inertia. If you remember your Physics 101, “an object at rest remains at rest.” So if you are at a complete stop right now, the hardest part is getting started. But the other half of the law of inertia says this, “an object in motion tends to remain in motion.” Once you start a task, it’s much easier to keep going, to make adjustments to your plan along the way. Ever noticed how much easier it is to steer a car that’s moving compared to one that’s parked? Successful people use the law of inertia in their favor, rather than allow it to hold them back.

So whatever project you’ve been putting off: Start!. In your life, you will regret most the things that you never attempted.

What do you regret never attempting? (That’s an actual question, not a rhetorical one, I’d love to hear some answers)