Shadows

Photo by Brantley Neal on Unsplash

Linger in places
We dare not
Look, and

Yet they continue
To follow, like a
Mirror

Top to bottom

You move this way
It moves that
Way-

-ward toward another
Glimpse of beauty
In repose
Of

The splendor at
Your door

Afraid to answer
One and all
And, yet

The call comes again
And, again,
Without
A

Forestalled lingering
Imagination
Full
Of

Contemplation, and, yes
Even remorse
And, of
Course

Alone you are not
In your journey
Toward the
Lighted

Hall
As your shadow
Dances at the ball
Intertwined with

You,

Hand-and-hand
Just like a
Prefect

Symphony
As they play their
Last tune, and the
Music fades to black

The shadow is part
Of you, friend,
Embrace it
With a

Fervor of no
Compare
And, rest easy

In knowing this
Dance will last

As the shadow plays
With light in
A splendid
Contrast

#poetry, #beauty, #dark, #imagination, #journey, #life, #light, #love, #mirror, #poem, #poems, #shadow

Nature

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blake-richard-verdoorn-cssvezachvq-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Blake Richard Verdoorn on Unsplash

Is profound in its bounty
A real and exquisite
Truth

Set
Before our
Very eyes,

As we continue to
Reconcile the truth
And become wise

Of the mystery
Hidden in plainview

Take, the flower,

Petals mirroring
Each other, and
Working

Together
While shimmering
In the bristling dawn

Of a new sun

Held together
By a single
Stem

One
Like all the rest

Imagination separates
You and I, yet
We are just like the flower

Where our power is
In the recognition
Of our hidden
Vision

Of a new structure
Like the stem
Only ever
Our

One true gem

The web
That connects us,
My friend, is as real

As you and I

A single beating heart
Pumping a life force
Some call God

It matters not
The Name
For it is
The

Reverence we hold
That’s the aim
Of our quest

For our true
Nature,
Not the nomenclature

It’s the feeling
Of that connection
That besets us upon
The road toward our very

Nature

Have a wondeful weekend, everyone.

#poetry, #connection, #imagination, #life, #love, #nature, #poem, #poems, #questanddestination, #writing

4 + 3 = 7 Ways to Become A Transformative Change Agent Today

Photo by Joshua Hibbert on Unsplash

Have you ever considered becoming an agent of change; or, considered, how to move yourself into the realm of transformation? How about considering what leadership, change agency, and transformation have to do with each other?

Well, right now I’m in the middle of the transformation video series, of which the post, Developmental Growth and Transformation: A Distinction is a part.

An important distinction.

Simply, the distinction is that transformation is internally driven, whereas development is externally driven.

And, of the former, becoming a change agent as a leader is transformative. Why? Because when we move on the leadership spectrum away from the status quo and toward becoming an agent of change, we create the possibility of transforming ourselves and everyone around us.

Alright, let’s take a look at becoming a transformative change agent as a leader. There are two parts to this conversation, and they are as follows.

  1. 4 things you can to do to move into the realm of transformation; and,
  2. 3 things you can do to become a change agent.

Ready? Let’s go.

Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

4 Things You Can Do to Move Into the Realm of Transformation

1. Question All of Your Current Beliefs

When we are living in and for transformation, we always question what we know. Why is this important? Good question.

Because if we know everything there is to know about a particular topic or subject, we can’t learn more. And, when we are closed to learning more, we are also closed to transformation.

The entire realm of transformation occupies the unknown. Why? Because when we live today as we did yesterday, which is essentially what happens when we are closed to learning something new, we simply reproduce today as we lived yesterday. Not transformative.

However, when we are open, and question all of our beliefs, we immediately create a space where learning is possible. Yep.

Now, though learning is possible when we are open and we question our beliefs, we must also be willing to let go of our beliefs. Questioning our beliefs is the first step, and we must also learn how to let go.

Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

2. Let Go of the Beliefs that No Longer Serve You

When you begin to question your beliefs, the next step is to let go of those that no longer serve you. Can be difficult. Why?

Because we are socialized to think and act in certain ways. And, socialization is powerful. However, when you begin to question your beliefs, you will see there is much to learn. And, it is often necessary to let go of our previous views. It’s okay.

Letting go of beliefs that no longer serve you is not a problem. You don’t get a demerit for letting go. Know also it’s not a sign that those that taught you what you know, were wrong.

It’s not about right and wrong. It’s about knowing that letting go is a natural process of growing, first, and, second, letting go is necessary and needed to find your transformational path.

Once you question your beliefs, and begin to let go of those that no longer serve you, it’s time to begin re-creating your belief system.

Photo by Oluwakemi Solaja on Unsplash

3. Recreate Your Belief System as Often as Needed

People interested in transformation, are actively interested in recreating their belief systems. They are always searching for new ways to learn, to develop, and to be.

Though development and transformation are different, they are related. Development is a wonderful platform to gain the knowledge necessary to enter into the space of transformation.

Recreating your belief system simply means that you are open to doing the internal work necessary to transform.

When we are quiet and do the internal work necessary to question all that we believe, and then let go of the ideas, concepts, and emotions that no longer serve us, we automatically create the space needed to recreate our belief system.

Know that in a space of transformation this process is continuous. It becomes a daily practice. And then? Well, then you are ready to act from a new space, with new beliefs.

Photo by Grant Watkins on Unsplash

4. Taking Action From Your New Belief System

When we question our beliefs, let go of the beliefs that no longer serve us, and then recreate our belief system to fit our current transformative iteration, we automatically take action from that new belief system.

We begin to act from a new space and in a new way. Does it happen all at once? It may, yet often it is iterative, which simply means, as was aforementioned, that it is a continuous process.

Transformation is a continuous process of inquiry, investigation, and in some cases interrogation.

Old beliefs, habits, and patterns can be hard to let go of; yet, with practice, and guidance as needed, new beliefs, habits, and patterns can be created.

Yet, because these beliefs, habits, and patterns are so deeply ingrained within our beings, it takes being intentional.

Much like development, you must want to transform. You must create and set the intention to develop, and you must do the same with transformation.

Alright, once you’ve intentionally embarked into transformation, there are three more things to consider in order to see the connection between leadership, change agency, and transformation.

Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

3 Things You Can Do Today to Lead as a Change Agent

1. Create Your Future From Your Future

When we create our future from our future, we recognize that to do other, is to create our future from our past. Happens often. It’s not a demerit.

However, to really create change, we must move into a space where we let go of the past, and stand in a reality that is being imagined as a future concept of a reality we want to live into. Important. How, you ask?

Imagine. Dream. Create. Repeat.

You have within you all of the imagination and dreams that have been present for, well, possibly, your entire life. Time to let them out.

Once you have, you can begin to create the future you want to live into. Create? Meaning, you can begin to take ideas and put them into systems and processes to see them realized. Concept meets execution.

Three simple steps, ready?

  1. Put your imagination to work. Get those dreams out of your head and heart and into the world somewhere, anywhere. Write them down. Don’t limit yourself. Just write them down.
  2. Create a map of those ideas, connecting the ones that are connectable, and then categorize them, or prioritize them. What do you want to create first?
  3. Now, one at a time, create plans and associated actions to see these dreams into reality. Doesn’t matter how “big” or “small” these dreams are. What matters is that you put them into a system to make them a reality. Try it.
Photo by Tim Collins on Unsplash

2. Don’t Worry About Barriers, or People That Don’t Understand

People that actively work to create change in the world are often met with barriers, and people that say it’s not possible. Normal. Why?

Because the status quo is more comfortable, and it’s what people know. People are fearful of what they don’t know, and don’t understand. You will be met with resistance.

However, when you are aware of this, you can meet those barriers and people where they are at. No judgment. And, no problem.

Where there is a barrier, or a person that says what you’re doing is impossible, there is another path toward the realization of your dream. Truth. Often, there will be several other paths, you just need to be patient.

They will show up. How do I know? I’ve experienced it many times. When you are creating change in the world, you are in action, you are pushing on systems that have been in place, in some cases, for years and years.

Yet, they are changeable. All of them. With a little persistence without resistance, you can create the change you want to see in the world.

3. Be Persistent Without Resistance

In the post, Persistence Without Resistance: Getting Outside of Your Comfort Zone, I write about understanding an important distinction. Have you ever worked so hard at something that it almost felt as if you were forcing that something to happen?

Well, sometimes that force can also feel like resistance. Like we are resisting our current reality by trying to create something new to supplant our current reality. It can be subtle.

Or, have you ever just plain resisted your current reality? Maybe, more common?

Either way, when we resist our current reality, we are, in effect, creating more of that reality. Paradox? Yep, yet it is true. There is another way.

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Be persistent without resisting your current reality. Meaning, accept your current reality, just as it is, with all that you enjoy and dislike. Then? Begin to create from that space. A space of no judgement about all that is in your life. Can be difficult.

Yet, in a space of persistence without resistance, we have the best opportunity to actually manifest the reality we are working so hard to create. Yep, just like that.

Alright, so we’ve now discussed 4 things you can do to move yourself into the realm of transformation, and we’ve also covered 3 things you can do today to lead as a change agent.

And, there, then is 4 + 3 = 7 Ways to Become A Transformative Change Agent Today. As I’ve written in many other posts, we need more transformative change agents. In fact, I would argue, we need every one of us to step up, and work to create the change we want to see in the world. Why?

Simple. Because you deserve it, we all deserve it, the whole world does. We all deserve to live in a world where dreams, imagination, innovation, and positive change are regularly created by each of us, you and me.

A Question

What will you create next?

#beliefs, #beliefsystems, #changeagent, #changeandtransformation, #createyourfuturefromyourfuture, #creatingyourfuture, #developingourselves, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #dreams, #imagination, #innovation, #lettinggoofourbeliefs, #newhabits, #newpatterns, #persistence, #persistencewithoutresistance, #questioningourbeliefs, #recreatingourbeliefs, #selfinquiry, #takingaction, #transformation, #transformational, #transformational-life, #transformationalleadership

An Inquiry and Invitation Series 1: Imagination, Innovation, and Sociology?

Photo by Alejandro Benėt on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about how the imagination works? I’ve not considered it overmuch, yet have been considering it more recently.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world is working to conceptualize new businesses, lifestyles, relationships, organizational structures, and staffing models.

There really is no safe haven from the need to innovate continuously right now. If you find yourself in a situation where creating new ways to conceptualize the aforementioned is unnecessary, I believe you are in the minority.

If you find yourself in the situation, like many, where the need to continuously innovate is your ever present reality. Breathe.

I’m thinking that a cursory look at imagination and innovation within a sociological context is an important inquiry. And, I think this inquiry is more important today than ever before. Why?

Because innovation is hard work. You can find yourself, as happens to me often, feeling frayed around the edges, and very tired. Yet, you must continue to persist.

Why? Because persistence inside of innovation is necessary and needed. The imagination, you ask? The imagination makes it all work.

Alright, so what does sociology have to do with the imagination?

As we’ve discussed in other posts, sociology is the study of group behavior. It is the study of how groups, and people within those groups, understand their place in a social and or cultural context. How they move, or are limited in movement, how they adapt, change, grow, work, and live.

Inquiring into imagination and innovation from a sociological perspective means taking a look at how innovation and imagination works in groups. Here are a couple of questions to get our inquiry started?

  • How do groups use their collective potential to utilize imagination in unique and innovative ways?
  • What are some strategies people can use to get the most out of their own imagination; and, harness the groups they belong to, to create innovative possibilities?
  • What does sociology have to do with imagination and innovation?

Okay, let’s start with these, and see what we get.

How do groups use their collective potential to utilize imagination in unique and innovative ways?

Though I can only speak to groups I’ve been a part of, I believe they probably function quite similarly, with some variance in the amount of creative output dependent on the members of the group.

For instance, in my current workgroup, we went from somewhat creative, to more creative in about 2 years, to very creative in year 3, and now, hyper-creative. Why the latter? Necessity.

As I’ve mentioned, the current state of reality right now demands it. You must stay on top of innovation, and your own personal and professional imagination is the gateway.

Here are some ways groups use their collective potential to imagine and innovate.

  • Share ideas with each other, all of them – often people are shy or fearful about sharing their creative potential, their own imagination to innovate. Don’t be. Share, and create, it is an awesome process.
  • Take people’s ideas further – when you are working with someone on a project, and they have an idea, take it further if you can. Step outside of timidness, and give all of your imaginative power to the project. You will get more innovation this way.
  • Step into ideas that live at the edge of what’s possible – live in a limitless space when you are imagining and innovating. Stay away from limits. Putting limits on your imagination, limits the project’s possibility.
  • Continue to reflect – even when you are not directly working on the project, continue to reflect upon the last conversation. You may get more imaginative insights, which will make your project more innovative.

What are some strategies people can use to get the most out of their own imagination; and, harness the groups they belong to, to create innovative possibilities?

There are many strategies you can use to kickstart your imagination. And, there are also various strategies to keep your imagination moving. Meaning, strategies to keep you open to more possibilities in the realm of the project you are working on. Let’s take a look at some of these.

  • Just get those ideas out – any way you can, get your ideas out of yourself, and into the world, somewhere, anywhere. Where and how matters less, than simply getting them out. An aside – once my oldest son came into my office, which was plastered with very large whiteboard post-its, and both white board walls were also full. He felt a little uneasy. He is now at a local company doing a computer science internship, and just recently shared with me that he understands the process of pouring forth your imagination in a whole new light. Get your ideas out.
  • Invite others to give you their insights – when you have your ideas out, have other people give you their insights. I find collaboration inside of imagination and innovation highly productive. You will find that they will take some of your ideas further, and then, guess what? You will take their additions to your ideas even further. A wonderful gift.
  • Let the ideas sit for a little while – one strategy I employ everyday inside of using my imagination to innovate is to let the newest ideas sit. Then I take time to reflect upon the ideas to see what other insights I get. Fun. I always get more insight after the initial creative output and collaboration.
  • Create a plan – as I’ve written about in many other posts, in order for your imaginative output to actually create innovative results, you must create a plan to bring the ideas into the world. Create a 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day plan, step 1, 2, 3, etc., to bring the project into the world.
  • Take action – once you have your plan in place, take at least one action a day. In order for a plan to actual bring forth your ideas, you will have to create time to actually work on the project. Too often projects fail, even with great ideas, because the actions to bring the project to life are not followed through on.

There are five very pragmatic strategies that, when used on a daily basis, will bring your imaginative potential to bear, and create more innovation within whatever context you are wanting to develop new possibilities.

What does sociology have to do with imagination and innovation?

How important is it to understand well those people you are in a relationship with? Yep, very. It is equally important to understand the groups you belong to just as well.

You must understand who in the group is the most imaginative and innovative. Why? Because you will know where to go for collaborative insight into the projects you are working on. Important.

And, to understand groups, it is important to understand how groups work, how they function within the greater context that the group belongs to.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

For instance, if you are on a team within a larger organization, you need to know what are the limits on your creative possibilities. How is the group looked upon within the organization? Are they seen as an innovation center? Or, are they required to work within a more strict protocol?

After working on my current team, I can tell you that a mandate for any future endeavor will have to include the ability to imagine, innovate, and create. A must. A dealbreaker for me if it is missing.

However, if you are not thinking about these questions and concepts before taking on a new job, or project, and you are an imaginative and innovative person, you may get stuck in a situation that limits your potential. Not helpful, and can feel quite limiting and restricting.

I should add here that we are all imaginative and innovative. Sometimes that imagination and innovation gets covered up with concepts like adulthood and being grown up. Sad, and unnecessary.

The most productive and timeless contributions to history are made by those with no limits. Who take on their work and their projects with a sense of play.

Creating possibilities through their imagination and innovative ideas, while also bringing those around them into the conversation to take their playful ideas even further. Wonderful, exciting, and really being alive.

An Invitation

Alright, your turn. I know well that we all think differently, and use different strategies to imagine and innovate, so I would love to hear from you. And, here is a question you can play with, or feel free to create your own, which would be very much in line with this post.

What do you think about imagination and innovation, and their relation to sociology, and understanding well the groups we work with?

#creativity, #group-behavior, #imagination, #innovation, #innovative-possibilities, #innovative-strategies, #inquiry, #invitation, #play-at-work, #possibilities, #sociology, #work-as-play

Inspiration, Imagination, and Innovation: Unlocking Your Creative Potential

Photo by John Tyson

I used to believe that inspiration, imagination, and innovation were all concepts that you needed to find. Similar to my post on motivation, I believed these concepts lived outside of me. As if, I could find them somewhere in the world.

And, it is true, we can see something that inspires us to imagine and innovate, however, what we see has very little to do with what we are actually seeing, it is, rather, the filter through which we see that matters.

What we see, and how we see, are products of how we think. If we believe the world is full of inspiration, we will find and see inspiration. If we believe the world is uninspired, then know matter how hard we try, we will not see inspiration.

Obviously, if we find and see inspiration, we will be inspired. And, conversely, if we do not find and see inspiration, we will be uninspired. If this is true, then, we can never really find anything outside of ourselves. What we see is a mirror of how we think. It all starts with us.

Finding inspiration is a process of looking inward. And, looking inward is the only real place you can find anything. It is the process of developing oneself, and creating inspiration that gives birth to imagination and innovation.

Funnily enough, when you find your inspiration, and you begin to imagine, dream, and innovate, these actions double back on themselves. Meaning that once you find inspiration within, your creative capacity is unleashed, and the imagination and innovation that comes forth breads more inspiration. A full circle, if you will.

Photo by Nadine Shaabana

At this point, you may ask, how, then, does one find their inspiration? Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how to find your inspiration, yet can tell you how I found mine, which may serve as a catalyst for your own search.

Finding My Inspiration

Finding my inspiration began with a personal quest to understand my own suffering. It started about three years ago when I took a job that, at the time, I was not fully prepared nor developed enough for.

Every morning I would awake to the “I can’t do this” mantra, and after 6 months of this kind of thinking, and a great deal of less sleep than is optimal, I began to question my thinking. At that time, questioning my thinking simply meant that when I had the thought, I can’t do this, or this isn’t working, I would question whether or not that was actually true.

Questioning my thinking, and remembering that the context I was working in was but one aspect of my being, not my whole being, began to shift my thinking. Additionally, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, I began to start seeing a life coach once a week, and did two powerful leadership development programs.

The ability to question my thinking, even then at a very minimal level, seeing someone once a week, and developing myself, created a space for me to start creating new thinking patterns.

Photo by Ashley Batz

During that first year, I also worked on my diet, and began, what I called then, breathing. This breathing was my first foray into meditation, which I continue to practice today.

All of these choices helped me be more open, flexible, adaptable, and resilient. These choices also gave me more clarity, which, when working on a dynamic team, in an ever changing and fast paced environment is very important.

Being more open, flexible, adaptable, and resilient, allowed me to take, and give, feedback in a more constructive and healthy way. And, letting go of the notion that I should know the answers to every issue that would arise, opened me up to learn more about myself, and to learn more from all of the people around me.

When you begin to truly understand yourself, and begin to take in all that people have to offer, you find that inspiration is everywhere, and in all things. Again, it is the inspiration you find within yourself, that then translates into “finding” inspiration in all things.

Finding inspiration is a matter of how you think about who you are, what you do, and how you relate to everything in your environment. If you believe that you matter, that your relationships to those in your environment matter, and that ultimately your impact matters, you are doing inspiration. You will also find that inspiration goes out from you and affects others. We can call this reciprocal inspiration. It is infectious, and wonderful.

Unlocking your Creative Potential

When you are inspired, your imagination will become more active, which will, if you are open to it, translate into more innovation or creativity. It is also important to understand that this renewed, or new, creativity comes with a requirement to continually be open to all new experiences, even if they feel uncomfortable. Meaning, that it is in the unknown where the most creative and innovative works can be realized.

There is so much freedom that comes from this kind of thinking. Freedom from the constraints and limits that humans typically put on themselves, which, of course, constrict inspiration, and the corresponding imagination and innovation.

When you are ready to live a life full of inspiration, you can take the necessary steps to live that life. Living this kind of life does not come without difficulty, yet it is inside those things that are difficult that personal growth, and transformation can take place.

You can only realize your fullest potential by going outside of your comfort zone, finding your own inspiration, and then letting that inspiration fire your creative potential. You are a creative being. We all are. You simply have to be open to being all that you know, deep down, you are capable of being, and trusting that inner knowing.

Inspiration, imagination, and innovation, live within each of us. These qualities are everyone’s, not just a select few. They are, after all, human qualities, and you are a human, so you have them, and only you can unlock them and realize them for yourself.

#creative-potential, #creativity, #imagination, #innovation, #inspiration, #life, #self-development