Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cleaning Your Mental Closet

by Adena Miller, CEO + Mindset

Every morning I stand in front of my closet.  A jungle of clothes, shoes, jewellery and scarves surround me. I dread going into the abyss in an attempt to pull something together to get dressed.  Boy- do I need to clean out my closet.  

I know the benefits- I have watched countless hours of Stacey London & Clinton Kelly - and am fully aware that I am not going to ever (nor should I ever!) wear half of the items I am wading through.  

There is no time to waste- time to take the plunge and start sorting!

When things are organized - they are more useful.  By understanding what you have you can be more effective and efficient and also create room for new items.  

Your mind operates in a similar manner.  Luckily, cleaning out your mental closet does not have to be as difficult as cleaning out your closet full of clothes!  So instead of throwing or giving away your ideas to the abyss of the collective unconscious.  Clean out your mental closet daily by journaling or creating a personal searchable database of all our fantastic ideas.  Doing so will allow you to understand and know the intellectual capital that you are accumulating, put it to the best use and make room for new ideas using +Mindset.

Happy mental sorting.  

Monday, 23 April 2012

Notebooks to The Cloud

(contributed by a long time user of +Mindset)

When I start to create a new enterprise--business venture, field of study or personal development program-- I immediately begin to research and write notes on every aspect of what i am thinking of doing. Up until recently I would have marched down to my  nearest store that sold trendy journals and mulled over at great length the size and shape and cover of the potential offerings to be sure that it was something worthy of my thoughts. Then through an exhaustive exercise of surfing the web and reading countless articles, making notes on every aspect and consideration of the new venture, I would slowly start to evaluate its validity. I may then chose to proceed or I may come to the conclusion that the original idea was ill-founded and should be discarded. Regardless, another note book has been filled and it most likely ends up in my collection on a shelf in the basement.

There are some great ideas in those books but in a sense they are "lost'. And although flipping through them and laughing at some of the entries is an entertaining pass time, it doesn't serve my long term progress the way it could. 

Enter + Mindset....

Over the last year I have used it to save everything. And when i say everything I mean everything. I have recorded my goals--both short term and long term, I have documented my meditations, affirmations and prayers. I have put pen to paper to write out what I dreamt last night and my complete process for achieving my dreams. 
As well with the customizations feature I have created sections for the notes for courses I am taking and specialized areas of different topics I am studying. As well, I am involved in more than one business and have been able to create separate sections for goal setting, planning, general notes and things that must be done for each of these endeavours.

Simple questions that I have and want answered are noted for future reference and even links and pictures can be added to my notes to create a complete and accurate record. 

Lastly, everything I add to + Mindset is searchable. So sometime in the future when i am looking for the fastest way to do something or where to buy that special item. Rather than re-researching the entire topic I can simply do a search and find my links and notes that I found relevant at some time in the past.
+ Mindset is my brain trust. I look forward to the future - several years from now looking back and realizing and experiencing my full growth and developemnt.
Thank you!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Journaling - An Old Idea

There are multitudes of accomplished and successful individuals who have advocated a Journal. Most self-help gurus say that a Journal is essential to your growth and success. You can design your ideal life, set your goals, plan your processes to achieve your goals, record your ideas, record your personal increases in awareness and understanding of yourself, and of course, maintain a steady stream of thoughts and accomplishments. Ultimately your Journal becomes your legacy. Perhaps, you will even have something to pass down to your children that they will value beyond anything else.

Thirty years ago I bought my first Journal. I wrote down every idea, thought, question, goal and business concept that popped into my head. When that first book got filled I bought another one and then another, and another. It wasn't necessarily a traditional diary where I wrote a summary of my day. It was a a place to Journal my every thought. I would always include my goals and ambitions, and got into the habit of writing what I called My Ideal Life. This proved to be a moving target. As I achieved one perfect scenario I began to visualize another, and so on and so forth. Today I can look back at these entries and read about what it was like to imagine living the life I live today. This exercise is very fulfilling, at least for the moment. At some point about ten years ago I got distracted. I adopted technology and stopped writing a Journal. It dwindled daily until there was no need to purchase another one. I had ideas and information all over the place. The files on my desktop were full of notes (that were next to impossible to find when I wanted to find them). I had bookmarked innumerable web pages and had begun to dabble in social media. Why did I need a Journal?

Many people may dismiss the need for a Journal based on the accessibility to social media programs such as Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, Youtube and many others. Blogs can also play a vital role in communicating your knowledge and understanding of a particular topic. It could be argued that you are recording all your thoughts and feelings for all to see, read and comment on constantly—the ultimate historical representation of your life.

But ask yourself: "To what degree do you edit and censor what you write when you now it will be publicly displayed."

Are you expressing your deepest thoughts, concerns and aspirations. Or is it much like the analogue world where you meet individuals, share some ideas develop some friendships but never share who you really are or what you are really thinking. Not that there is anything wrong with this and not that this also does not fulfill an essential function. And of course, if you really connect with one or two individuals you can exchange personal emails to banter back your opinions and ideas, and ultimately, perhaps, reveal your inner soul. This is a lovely ideal but how often does it actually happen? How many close friends (a true confidant) does anyone really have?

Don’t we need an intermediary process to facilitate our growth and development, provide us with that elusive introspection and ultimately facilitate change? Of course we do, and whether you use an old leather bound
Journal or an online service provider we must be certain that what we are writing in our Journal will not be seen or read by anyone but ourselves. At some point in time, as an idea matures and develops, or if you have that confidant in your life, and after careful deliberation you may choose to share some of your ideas. It becomes our prerogative to make that decision when, where and what we want to share with whom.

A Journal is essential to facilitate your growth, development and as an aid to reflect on your personal life and times. Anyone undertaking this process immediately will recognize the value and clarity that can be created by writing out your ideas in a simple and easy format for future reference and reflection. Getting ideas "out of your head" frees up your thinking and allows for increased creativity and clarity.

Eight months ago, while cleaning out the basement I came across some of my old Journals. After sitting on a box and flipping through them, perusing some of my thoughts more carefully than others, I realized I had made a huge mistake. Stopping this process was an error in judgement. At the same time I realized that I could never go back to a paper based process. In today's world this was flawed. I always have either my laptop,cellphone or I-pad with me. The most effective solution would be online.

I re-engaged in Journaling using +Mindset . At that time it was in the early stages and I have since helped with its development. For me the results have been outstanding. Initially I had thought it would take time to get re-acquainted with the writing process but it was almost an instantaneous adoption. Getting the ideas "out of my head" into a recorded format that is simple to search and re-evaluate has dramatically accelerated my personal development and my attaining my most recent Ideal Life.

Social media has been with us a few short years. Don’t be deluded into thinking that the Journal and all its virtues, can be replaced that easily. For the sincere student of life and personal growth they can both serve an essential role and can very complementary.

Book Review

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

In her book, Mindset: the New Psychology of Success, author Carol Dweck , proposes that everyone falls into one of two mindsets---either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. She uses numerous examples of individuals who have achieved success and others who have failed in various facets of life, and how their specific mindset either contributed to or detracted from their ultimate results. The primary determining factor of what mindset you possess is how your parents, teachers and peers responded to your early accomplishments. Did they praise the accomplishment and focus on your talent? Or did they praise the effort and determination that you applied in achieving what it was you achieved?

When someone says to a child: “Your so smart.” Or “Your such a talented artist?” The child interprets this as: “If I don’t do this well on the next exam then I am stupid” Or “If I really worked hard on this painting then I am not that talented.” They then go on to associate effort and hard work with being untalented and/or being stupid. The result is a Fixed Mindset that never allows for improvement or an increase in intelligence or capabilities. The Growth Mindset on the other hand recognizes that you can achieve what ever you can conceive by applying yourself and working hard.

The author’s examples are clear and precise, and leave no doubt the power of this simple principle that controls our thinking and ultimately our happiness. She uses examples from every day life as well as the successes and failures of sports and business celebrities. At the end of the chapters there are simple exercises to expand your awareness and help adjust your thinking.

This book is a must read for anyone—the business person striving for success, the athletic or personal coach, the athlete, the parent or grandparent, artists, writers, those in the performing arts, scientists, intellectuals, teachers and students.

These are principles that can be applied immediately to changing your life and those around you.