Thinking For A Change

Create Something

Thinking For A Change

Thinking For A Change

 

Skill #3: Discover the Joy of Creative Thinking

  • “The joy is in creating, not maintaining.” – Vince Lombardi (97)
  • “Originality is the art of concealing your source.” – Thomas Edison (98)
  • “To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter (99)
  • “The most valuable resource you bring to your work and to your firm is your creativity.” – Annette Moser-Wellman (99)
  • “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso (100)
  • Characteristics that creative thinkers have in common: (1) They value ideas, (2) explore options, (3) embrace ambiguity, (4) celebrate the offbeat, (5) connect the unconnected, and (6) don’t fear failure. (101-104)
  • “Highly creative people are dedicated to ideas. They don’t rely on their talent alone; they rely on their discipline. Their imagination is like a second skin. They know how to manipulate it to its fullest.” – Annette Moser-Wellman (101)
  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein (101)
  • Creative thinking works something like this: THINK > COLLECT > CREATE >CORRECT > CONNECT
  • An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. (104)
  • “anxiety is the essential condition of intellectual and artistic creation.”(104)
  • Sometimes creative thinking lies along the lines of invention, where you break new ground. Other times it moves along the lines of innovation, which helps you to do old things in a new way. (105)
  • “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have. Sadly, too often creativity is smothered rather than nurtured. There has to be a climate in which new ways of thinking, perceiving, questioning are encouraged.” – Maya Angelou (107)
  • If you cultivate creativity, you will become more attractive to other people, and they will be drawn to you. (107)
  • “Creativity is the joy of not knowing it all.” Ernie Zelinski (108)
  • Creativity is teachability. It’s seeing more solutions than problems. (108)
  • The status quo and creativity are incompatible. (108)
  • Wrong questions shit down the process of creative thinking. (111)
  • “The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes  a creative mind to spot wrong questions. (111)
  • Negative environments kill thousands of great ideas every minute. (112)
  • A creative environment, on the other hand, becomes like a greenhouse where ideas are seeded, sprout up, and flourish. (112)
  • A creative environment: (1) encourages creativity, (2) places a high value on trust among team members and individuality, (3) embraces those who are creative, (4) focuses on innovation, not just invention, (5) places a high value on options, (6) is willing to let people go outside the lines and (7) appreciates the power of a dream. (112-116)
  • “Studies of creativity suggest that the biggest single variable of whether or not employees will be creative is whether they perceive they have permission.” – David Hills (112)
  • Creativity always risks failure. That’s why trust is so important to creative people. (113)
  • “Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” – Rita Mae Brown (113)
  • Creative people say, “Give me a good idea and I’ll give you a better idea!” (114)
  • Look at more stuff, and think about it harder… That’s the formula all of us can learn to embrace if we want to become more creative people.
Thinking For A Change

Focus, Focus, Focus

Thinking For A Change

Thinking For A Change

Skill #2: Unleash the Potential of Focused Thinking

  • “He did each thing as if he did nothing else.” – Spoken of Novelist Charles Dickens (77)
  • Focused thinking can do several things for you: (1) Harness energy toward a desired goal, (2) give ideas time to develop, (3) brings clarity to the target, and (4) take you to the next level. (80-82)
  • Focus can bring energy and power to almost anything, whether physical or mental. (80)
  • “To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.” – Bertrand Russell (80-81)
  • A good idea can become a great idea when it is given focus time. (81)
  • “knowledge is power only if a man knows what facts are not to bother about.” – Robert Lynd (81)
  • One of the most important things about golf is the presence of clear goals. (82)
  • “The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through.” – Harry A. Overstreet (82)
  • Be selective, not exhaustive, in your focused thinking. For me, that means dedicating in-depth thinking time for four areas: leadership, creativity, communication and intentional networking. (83)
  • Identify Your Priorities (84)
  • “a conclusion is a place where you get tired of thinking.” – Edward DeBono (84)
  • Discover Your Gifts (84)
  • if you’re going to focus your thinking in your areas of strength, you need to know what they are.” (85)
  • Develop Your Dream ((85)
  • “You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration.” – James Allen (85)
  • “The real path to greatness, it turns out, requires simplicity and diligence. It requires clarity, not instant illumination. It demands each of us focus on what is vital — and to eliminate all of the extraneous distractions.” – Jim Collins (86)
  • Wherever you are… be there! (87)
  • The mind will not focus until it has clear objectives. But the purpose of goals is to focus your attention and give you direction, not to identify a final destination. (89)
  • “If you can’t write your idea on the back of my business card, you don’t have a clear idea.” – David Belasco (89)
Thinking For A Change

Always Think “Big Picture”

Thinking For A Change

Thinking For A Change

Part I of this book had some really good shtuff in it, but I wasn’t able to make time to write about the key points that stood out to me. I will do a better job for Part II: Eleven Thinking Skills Every Successful Person Needs. I will actually use these types of posts as my “notepad” when I complete the assigned readings for my Leadership & Critical Thinking course. As most of my posts about the books in my “Bookshelf,” I will just report (in bullet form) the more interesting points that I found in each chapter. Hopefully these bullet points serve a purpose for you; whether they be good conversation starters or even serve as “thought provokers.” Definitely, comment on any of these posts with your thoughts and we can have a discussion 🙂 Enjoy!

Skill #1

  • “Where success is concerned, people are not measured in inches, or pounds, or college degrees, or family background; they are measured by the size of their thinking.” – David Schwartz (59)
  • “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” – Konrad Adenauer (61)
  • How many thousands of people had seen what Eratosthenes saw and never made the same connection? (61)
  • When somebody like Jack Welch tells a GE employee that the ongoing relationship with the customer is more important than the sale of an individual product, he’s reminding them of the big picture. (62)
  • Spend time with big-picture thinkers and you’ll find that they: (1) Learn continually, (2) Listen intentionally, (3) Look expansively and (4) Live completely. (63-65)
  • Big-picture thinkers are never satisfied with what they already know…. they often are able to connect the unconnected. They are life-long learners. (63)
  • If I’m going to learn and grow, I must know what questions to ask and know how to apply the answers to my life. (63)
  • Big-picture thinkers recognize that they don’t know lots of things. (64)
  • Big-picture thinkers realize there is a world out there besides their own, and they make an effort to get outside of themselves and see other people’s worlds through their eyes. (64)
  • You can spend your life any way you want, but you can spend it only once. (65)
  • [Big-picture thinkers] experience fewer unwanted surprises, too, because they are more likely to see the many components involved in any given situation: issues, people, relationships, timing and values. They are also, therefore, usually more tolerant of other people and their thinking. (65)
  • Leaders must: (1) See the vision before their people do, (2) Size up situations, taking into account many variables, (3) Sketch a picture of where the team is going, (4) Show how the future connects with the past to make the journey more meaningful, and (5) Seize the moment when the timing is right. (66-67)
  • “He that is everywhere is nowhere.” – Thomas Fuller (67)
  • “You’ve got to think about the ‘big things’ while you’re doing the small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler (67)
  • One of the most important skills you can develop in human relations is the ability to see things from the other person’s point of view. (68)
  • see what other see… that is a powerful thing. (68)
  • The better the grasp team members have of the big picture, the greater their potential to work together as a team. (68)
  • The person who forgets the ultimate is a slave to the immediate. (69)
  • With preparation, the most important things will be done well. (69)
  • If you want to cultivate the ability to think big picture, then you must get used to embracing and dealing with complex and diverse ideas. (71)
  • Learn from Every Experience: Failing Forward (71)
  • Teachability is an attitude, a mind-set that says, “No matter how much I know (or think I know), I can learn from this situation.” That kind of thinking can help you turn adversity into advantage. It can make you a winner even during the most difficult circumstances.” (71)
  • If you want to be a big-picture thinker, you will have to go against the flow of the world. (73)
Wooden on Leadership

Wooden on Leadership — Introduction

Wooden on Leadership

Wooden on Leadership

This is one of the books that I will be reading once I start my Sports Management Program at USF on January 8th. I love reading these types of books so I thought I’d get a headstart. I’m super excited to get started in this program; 2013 is going to be a great year!

Just like my post, “Start With Why — Chapter 1: Assume You Know,” I will bullet point all the parts of each chapter of Wooden on Leadership that I find interesting.

  • Balance is crucial in everything we do. Along with love it’s among the most important things in life. 
  • Leadership is all about helping others achieve their own greatness by helping the organization to succeed.
  • How you run the race — your planning, preparation, practice and performance — counts for everything. Winning or losing is a by-product, an aftereffect, of that effort.
  • Effort is the ultimate measure of your success.
  • COMPETE ONLY AGAINST YOURSELF — Set your standards high; namely, do the absolute best of which you are capable. Focus on running the race rather than winning it. Do those things necessary to bring forth your personal best and don’t lose sleep worrying about the competition. Let the competition lose sleep worrying about you.
  • You must define success as making the complete effort to maximize your ability, skills, and potential in whatever circumstances — good or bad — may exist.
  • My standard of success counted most to me.
  • Before you can lead others, you must be able to lead yourself.
  • Learn to master the 4 P’s: Planning, Preparation, Practice and Performance. These are key to successful execution.
  • Write down the tasks, initiatives, and actions that each member of your team needs to do to perform at his or her peak level.

Start With Why — Chapter 1: Assume You Know

Start With Why

Start With Why

I started read this book and I want to post the more interesting elements that grab my attention. And I’ll do it in bullet form 🙂

  • behavior is affected by our assumptions or our perceived truths; we make decisions based on what we think we know. For example; “not too long ago, we all believed that the world was flat, that if we traveled too far we would literally fall of the edge of the earth. It wasn’t until that minor detail was revealed — the world is round — that behaviors changed on a massive scale… The correction of a simple false assumption moved the human race forward.”
  • whatever the result (of our decisions), we make decisions based on a perception of the world that may not, in fact, be completely accurate.
  • so how can we ensure that all our decisions will yield the best results for reasons that are fully within our control? Logic dictates that more information and data are key… More data, however, doesn’t always help, especially if a flawed assumption set the whole process in motion in the first place.”
  • assumptions, even when based on sound research, can lead us astray
  • “… they engineered the outcome they wanted from the beginning. if they didn’t achieve their desired outcome, they understood it was because of a decision they made at the start of the process.”
  • “when faced with a result that doesn’t go according to plan, a series of perfectly effective short-term tactics are used until the desired outcome is achieved. But how structurally sound are those solutions?”
  • “… great leaders understand the value in the things we cannot see.”
  • there are those who decide to manipulate  the door to fit to achieve the desired result and there are those who start from somewhere very different. though both courses of action may yield similar short-term results, it is what we can’t see that makes long-term success more predictable for only one: the one that understood why the doors need to fit by design and not be default.”

“you’d better be running”

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle — when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Roger Banister (via Born to Run pg. 13)

 

I think I just fell in love with running

Born to Run

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I’ve always been a physically active person; I’ve loved playing basketball since I was a kid, I played tennis in high school, I’ve been lifting weights since my freshman year of college, and all that good shhtuff. Running, though, I was never in love with; until recently.

Back in 2010, my grandmother (or “Lola” in Tagalog), had a minor stroke and was placed in the ICU at California Pacific Medical Center. I remember the call that I got from my mom who was obviously scared and in tears, “Lola, might be dying. She’s at CPMC.” I immediately dropped what I was doing and rushed over to the hospital. My Lola made it through the night, but was still in the ICU.

That next day, after I got off work, I headed over to CPMC again. When I got there, the nurse said that my Uncle had just left and that I was the only family member there at the moment. So I was at her bed side talking to her, letting her know that I was there and that I loved her. She was obviously not herself; the nurse said that the drugs were really strong and that she wasn’t “all there.” Although I wasn’t able to hold a conversation with her, she was still able to speak. And when she did speak, she would be counting out random, consecutive numbers: “78, 79, 80, 81, 82…” and after the last number she would say, “Continue.” She would say it in such a way as to have me continue counting on those numbers for her. As if she were back at her school in the Philippines, in front of the classroom, teaching all her students.

A few days later, my grandmother was allowed to leave the hospital and head back to St. Anne’s Home. After a few days back, she was back to her normal, talkative self. As the months passed though, her health started to slowly deteriorate just like the Doctor at CPMC had told us it would.

On February 5, 2012 my Lola passed away. It was def. hard for the whole family especially because it was the first death in our family since her husband (my Lolo) passed away on New Year’s Day ’95. I like to think that I went through the normal grieving process that everyone goes through when someone passes: lots of tears, lots of laughs as we reminisced about the past, a lot of praying and wondering where she was at that very moment, etc. As my cousins and I talked about our memories of Lola, I remembered that one day at the ICU at CPMC when my Lola told me to “Continue.”

This one word has taken on a different meaning ever since she passed. It’s stronger now. It means so much more now.

So how does this relate to Born to Run? Well, whenever I used to run, I would stop whenever I was tired and didn’t want to run anymore. I would set a limit to my runs: 1 mile, 2 miles, 20 minutes, etc., but not anymore. Whenever I’m on the treadmill, whenever I’m running Lake Merced, whenever I’m hiking up Mission Peak, I choose to hear my Lola telling me to continue. I hear her and I see her and she keeps me going; she helps me CONTINUE.

So this is the beginning of a new me, I want to “love” running. And I know that in order to “love” running, I have to do more than just run. And that’s why I bought “Born to Run” off of Amazon for $9.

My Lola

My Lola

I want to learn as much as I can about running. I even went to Fleet Feet in SF to get my new pair of Brooks Ravenna 3s instead of just going to a Foot Locker and choosing the coolest looking Nikes.

“Born to Run” marks the beginning of my journey to fall in love with runnning.