Video: On Gratitude and Hating Homework

It’s 7:30 a.m. I just woke up, and I’m wiped out. I had food poisoning yesterday. And it made me realize how grateful I am for how I normally feel. In the spirit of gratitude, I picked up this gratitude journal. It was a gift from my brother-in-law Devon, who’s a master of personal development and growth. Every day there are some questions you fill out.

Three in the morning:
1. I am grateful for…
2. What would make today great?
3. Daily affirmations

Two in the evening:
1. Three amazing things that happened today…
2. How could I make today even better?

There’s a bunch of information in the front of the book about how these questions are scientifically proven to help you live a better and happier life. And it’s making me wonder if these practices are something that I should be asking my coaching clients to take on. I notice that I really shy away from giving a lot of homework because I hate homework. I think that comes from a really self-limiting belief that I don’t do homework. In elementary school, I would be sent home with these little blue notes that I was supposed to give to my parents that said “ Guess whose goose is cooked?” And I would put them in my backpack, which was just a pile of disorganized paper, and eventually a stack of these blue notes would fall out and I’d give them to my parents. Luckily, my parents were pretty cool about that. I did well in school, but I wasn’t into homework.

This self-limiting belief is also rooted in scarcity. That there’s not enough time, that I don’t have enough time, that my clients don’t have enough time to do all of these things. And I don’t want to reinforce that in them. So I’m really going to pay attention now to how are my limiting beliefs about myself impacting the way I interact with clients, and am I challenging them enough? I think coaching is super powerful. I know that they see huge changes in their lives through the insights they get and the assignments I do give them. But in terms of habits and daily practices, I think I could really ramp that up. Because there’s so much evidence that these things really work: gratitude, meditation, exercise, getting enough sleep, drinking water first thing in the morning. It’s low hanging fruit. I’m inspired to make a menu of different habits I can offer my clients that they might volunteer to take on and check in with me about.

I’d love to hear if any of you have healthy habits or have worked with a coach or trainer or a program to develop them. There’s lot of tools and programs out there, and apps. I want to see what works for you. And I will check in and let you know what I’m doing.

Have a great Fourth of July!

The 10 best arts and culture TED talks

Link: The 10 best arts and culture TED talks

Includes David Byrne: How architecture helped music evolve(via hydeordie)

How To Pitch Ideas like Don Draper & Why to Think About It Early

When it comes to turning creativity into innovation, how an idea is pitched is probably more important than what the idea is.  Creators often want to spend time perfecting the idea and run out of gas when it comes to developing the presentation.  I’ve seen it happen time and again in my work facilitating product innovation teams.

Visualizing the pitch during the idea generation stage is essential. Thinking about how to frame your idea will help you make your idea simpler, tighter, more coherent, and more valuable. Imagining your pitch is a very useful constraint during the creative process.  So don’t wait until you’ve decided on your idea to start thinking about how to sell it!   This is especially if your audience is likely to perceive your idea as a risky departure from the status quo.

This video shows Mad Men’s beloved Don Draper pitching an idea nearly perfectly.  Memorable story line?  Check.  Metaphor?  Check.  Characters?  Check.  Personal?  Check.  Emotional?  Check.  Vivid?   See for yourself….

(I used this video when David Reimer and I taught a workshop on pitching and presenting ideas – something we called “The How” – for Haas@Work, the Applied Innovation program at the Haas School of Business. –> If you’d like me to write more about pitching and presenting please contact me or write a quick comment below.)

TIP: If you need to pitch ideas to make innovation happen, I highly recommend Chip and Dan Heath’s book Made to Stick. Tons of free resources are available on their website to supplement the book, including the first chapter if you register.  Happy pitching!