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Archive for the ‘creativity’ Tag

Thank You All So Much   Leave a comment

This one will be short but sweet.  Yesterday I crossed a milestone with my blog here on WordPress.  I now have over 100 followers.  I enjoy putting posts up on here but there really wouldn’t be much of a point if it wasn’t for all of you following me and reading (and sometimes watching) them.  I am eternally grateful for your support and truly hope that what I am sharing with you is helping you to be the best versions of yourselves.  Have a great day today.  Peace.

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Your Invisible Council   Leave a comment

This isn’t my idea.  Far from it.  This idea was put forward in a book 33 years before I was even born.  That book was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it.

In the book’s chapter “The Sixth Sense” he described his “Invisible Council.”  This was a council inside his mind composed of the nine men he respected most and felt had qualities he wished to instill in himself.  Those men were Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Luther Burbank, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Paine, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Napoleon Bonaparte.

To save time, if you wish to know why he picked them I’ll just refer you back to the book.  What’s important for this discussion is how he made use of his council.  Right before going to bed he would, using his imagination, call a meeting of the council.  There he could seek the advice of these men on any issue that came to mind.  Or even guidance on what mental paths he should be following.  Also, by distinctly visualizing each member of the Invisible Council in his mind he began integrating the traits he admired of each man into his being as well.

He created these precise visualizations of each man by researching each of them in his spare time to gain as clear a mental picture of them as he could.  In fact, as he points out in the book, he did such a good job of recreating these men in his mind at one point he spooked himself into temporarily stopping the process out of concern for how “real” it was getting for him.

What could you do if you had access to your own Invisible Council?  What questions or issues in your life could you tackle with the help of the people you respect the most?  The best way to answer those questions is to form your own Invisible Council.  So how do you go about doing that?

First, you have to pick your mentors.  This can be as easy as it can be hard.  It’s easy in the fact that we all have a number of people that we admire or have a certain degree of hero-worship for.  People we’d gladly trade places with.  It becomes hard when you try narrowing it down to a handful you can start with.  Hill had 9 members originally and only as he became more proficient with the technique did he start adding dozens more.

A good starting point for picking your council is to first decide which qualities in your life you are most interested in building up or enhancing.  Say you’re trying to get into better shape.  Who do you admire most from a fitness perspective?  Maybe it’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  Or Tom Brady.  If you’re looking to get more buff it could be a classic bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Frank Zane.  If being more creative is your focus you could pick Michelangelo, or Bob Ross.  Who you pick is up to you, I’d just limit your initial council to 5-10 people who embody the qualities you’re looking to develop in yourself.

Here’s a fun point to consider.  When picking his council Hill used real people he greatly admired.  The thing is, this is your imagination so you can pick anyone you want.  They can be living or dead.  Male or female.  They can even be real or fictional.  As an example when I first started my council I was looking to have a more ordered and logical mind.   For my council I picked Seneca and Marcus Aurelius who were both real.  I added Sherlock Holmes, Spock (as Leonard Nimoy from the original series), and Temperance Brennan (from the Kathy Reichs book series and TV show “Bones”), who are all fictional.

After you’ve formed your council, visualize it in action.  The idea isn’t to just think “What Would Jesus Do?” and just go with whatever thought comes to mind.  The idea is to visualize actually interacting with these people.  Close your mind and picture it as clearly in your head as you can.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfect at first or your visualization seems lacking.  It will get better as you go.

Where you visualize the meeting is up to you.  It could be a dinner together at a big table.  It could be in a special council chamber you’ve created in your mind.  It could be a secret garden you all hang out in.  Just pick what seems most natural to you.  One key point on this is that you’re the head of this council, so pick a setting where you feel you can direct the meeting.

The specifics of how you conduct the meeting are up to you as well.  Whether it’s a friendly discussion, or more of a think tank, is a matter of personal preference.  Just always keep in mind that you’re running the meeting.  I personally like to call the meeting to order and throw out the topic of the night, whatever it is, and open the table for discussion by saying “Thoughts?”

Like Hill, this works best the better you study and learn the members of your council.  The more you understand them the more real they become and the better the answers they give.  So for me that means reading the writings of Seneca and Marcus, the books of Doyle and Reichs, and watching the live action portrayals of Spock and Dr. Brennan.  Hill mentioned that he got to know his council members so well that they actually started to take on specific behaviours and mannerisms.  That’s the quality you should aim for in your visualizations.

The last step is to listen.  Don’t worry about where the information is coming from.  It isn’t as important as the information itself.  In his book Hill stated he felt the information came from the sixth sense (hence the title of the chapter).  Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.  It could be that you’re just using the council members in your mind to flesh out your thoughts in a creative way.  Nothing supernatural about it.  Wherever the information comes from, though, listen to it.  Dwell on it.  Toss it around in your head.

At the end of the meeting, though, remember it’s your council.  They are providing the information to use as you see fit.  This is all for your benefit.  Like most things, the more you do it the better you’ll get at it.  The better you get at it the better it will benefit you.  It’ll benefit you with great information, better visualization skills, and greater creativity.

So decide today what you’re wanting to improve about yourself.  Staff your council with the best minds (no more than 10 to start).  Then call your first meeting to order and let the personal growth begin.  You have many a great conversation ahead of you.  Enjoy your meeting, and have a great day.

200 views   Leave a comment

I wanted to put out a quick thank you to those of you who have viewed my YouTube vlogs.  I reached 200 views today.  While that’s well under the 10,000 views I need to monetize my channel it still represents a good start to me.  I was anticipating a slow start and didn’t figure I’d get to 200 until early 2019.  Now, with a couple of weeks to go, I’m already there.  If you haven’t watched any of my videos feel free to scroll down through my feed and check them out.  If you have any comments or suggestions leave them here, or on the video posts, or even on the YouTube channel itself.  There are still plenty more videos to come as I promised myself no matter what I’d put at least one video out a week for a full year.  So here’s to hoping as I move forward I’ll be thanking you for 500 views soon enough.  Have a great day.

Be MacGyver   Leave a comment

One of my favorite shows to watch as a kid was MacGyver.  If you’re not familiar with the show, Richard Dean Anderson played the lead character MacGyver.  MacGyver worked for the Phoenix Foundation and would go around the world problem solving as only he could.  He found himself in all sorts of trouble each week and had to find creative ways to get himself back out of it.  And there in lay the appeal of the show.  You actually looked forward to things going bad for MacGyver because he would come up with the most amazing solutions to the problems he found himself in.  And best of all he’d explain it to you in a voice over so you’d understand the principle behind how his escape contraption worked.  The show was so popular that people started referring to creating unique tools for unique jobs by saying “I’ll MacGyver something together”.

We should all aspire to be MacGyver.  Now I’m not suggesting you get yourself caught by criminals once a week.  Or fly to a foreign locale and get captured by spies.  I’m just saying we should adopt the qualities that made MacGyver the hero every week.

Primarily, MacGyver was just smart and knowledgeable.  Remember that episode where MacGyver spent a lot of time in front of the tv?  Me neither.  However there were episodes that revolved around MacGyver learning more or participating in scientific experiments.  MacGyver clearly liked to learn and apply what he learned to make himself better.  So instead of catching up on your favorite show by binge watching a whole season this weekend, pick up a book on a topic you want to know more about.  Or research stuff online.  Maybe learn a language, or how to knit.  MacGyver liked to learn because he realized everything he did was a tool in his tool bag he could use later.

Another great MacGyver quality is he didn’t complain.  When he got locked in a meat locker and could have frozen to death he didn’t bemoan the fact that people were being mean to him.  He didn’t spend any time wondering why this kind of thing always seemed to happen to him.  No, he immediately got to work figuring out how he could prevail by using what he had at hand to improve his situation.  Complaining wasn’t going to open the door.  The piece of railing going from the light to the door lock, plus some ice he could melt into water using the light bulb, which would then re-freeze and expand popping the lock would.  None of which would happen if he stood around with a “woe is me” attitude.  He just took the situation as it was and did what he had to.

MacGyver never waited for the ideal conditions.  When a madman left an explosive device on a ship he didn’t sit there until he was brought the proper bomb disposal tools.  He used what he had on hand on the ship, like some common cleaning products mixed in a frosting tube to act as a neutralizer to a chemical in the bomb.  He acted with what he had, and used those tools to the best of his abilities.  Therefor every situation was ideal for MacGyver because he saw the possibilities in everything, not the limitations.

He also never gave up.  Plan A sometimes didn’t fix the whole situation.  But you never saw MacGyver saying “Hey I gave it my best shot, oh well.”  No, he went straight to formulating Plan B.  He was trapped in the Phoenix Foundation once with thieves.  He had to improvise a number of devices to get out of that situation.  And he kept making them until the job was done.  Best effort wasn’t good enough for Mac, keeping on keeping on was.

The final trait I’ll mention is the one I loved the most about him, and I mentioned it earlier.  MacGyver always explained what he was doing.  The television is a visual medium.  On the A-Team when the boys got in to trouble they just slapped whatever they could find together and made weapons.  They didn’t explain it, they just did it.  So why did Mac always do the voice over to explain what he did?  It was for the same reason he was always getting himself into trouble.  He was always looking to help others.  He explained because he wanted you to be smart like him.  He explained because he wanted you to think in possibilities, not limitations.  He explained so you would be better too.  And that’s the best trait of all.  Living a life that makes others better as well.

So hopefully in the next week you aren’t stuck fighting an onslaught of ants on a farm.  Hopefully your old buddy Jack Dalton doesn’t drag you into another business deal that gets you both in over your heads.  But there’s a decent possibility some situation will come up needing you to handle it.  So be like MacGyver.  Be smart.  Be resourceful.  Look for the possibilities, not the limitations.  Don’t ever give up.  But most importantly, live a life that makes others better as well.  Have a great week.

Book Update   Leave a comment

Tonight’s post will just be a quick update on my keto book.  I’m happy to report that the 1st draft is done.  It took a bit longer then it should have to get to here, but I did get here.

The next few steps will take a bit because some of them will require outside help.  The first one is to give the book a day or two off so I can come back in a little while and look at the book from a fresh perspective.  That will help me in my first revision.  If you revise the book right after you complete the 1st draft you remember too much of what you were trying to get at.  So when you read the text it may appear more coherent and easy to understand than it actually is.  Giving the time off allows for a more honest revision.

After I finish the revision I’ll give a copy of the book to a few of my friends for review.  The trick here is picking the right friends.  Friends who are supportive of your writing efforts are great, but they don’t always make the best editors.  They want you to succeed, which is a good thing, but that often means they won’t critique the book thoroughly enough.  So I’ll have to make sure to hand it off to friends who meet three criteria.  First, they care enough to be honest in their review, even if it’s to point out problems.  Second, they know and understand me well enough to get that I’ll only be upset if they aren’t completely honest with me, even if it’s bad.  And third, they can do all that in a timely manner.  Of course I have to be a little negotiable on the last one as I can’t exactly claim to have been exceptionally timely myself.

Once I get their feedback I incorporate their corrections, criticisms, and ideas into a final draft.  I’ll have them give that a quick once over and if it passes muster I’ll finalize the book.  Then I’ll need to design a cover for it.  After that it seems to be an easy process of putting it all together and up for sale on the Amazon Kindle store.  I say seems because the instructions are simple enough to follow, but this will be my first shot so who knows if “looks easy” and “is easy” wind up being the same thing.  Once the book is live I’ll post about it here.

Not sure what the time frame for all this is as it’s my first book, but I’m hoping all done by the end of the year.  My intention is to offer it as a Kindle Unlimited book and for $0.99 if you want to buy it outright.  I don’t see myself charging more because it’s a small book.

So that’s my update on the keto book.  Hopefully more updates to come soon, especially the going on sale update.  Hope you’re having a great day and see you soon.

Posted 11/16/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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Making Things Keto   Leave a comment

Invariably when someone suggests you try this diet or that diet the first thing you want to know is “What am I going to have to give up?”  The keto diet is no different.  Fitting your eating around less than 50g of carbs makes the list of things you’re giving up quite long in fact.  Event things that used to be considered ok to eat on other healthy diets.  Things like sweet potatoes, which are ok on the Paleo diet, just won’t fly on Keto.

So one of the strategies to deal with what you’re giving up is to start finding ways to make “keto friendly” versions of the foods you want.  Overall I’m ok with this strategy.  After all if you’re sticking to your diet, what does it matter if the foods you’re eating are designed to remind you of the things you aren’t supposed to have.   Having said this, when it comes to starting with keto I do recommend a month of strict keto before you start looking to work around what you aren’t supposed to eat.  The reason is that if you’re including things in your meal plan that remind you of foods you loved to eat before you’re fully adapted to keto you run the risk of indulging on the real deal.  If you feel that you can do these keto alternatives without the temptation, though, go right ahead.

This isn’t going to be an exhaustive list by any means, just a short one of a few adaptations I’ve made or used.

My first one, to replace rice, is riced cauliflower.  It isn’t a perfect alternative though as it has what I call a temperamental window.  It’s easy to not cook it enough so that it’s too hard to give the same mouth feel as rice.  It’s also easy to over cook it and your riced cauliflower quickly becomes mashed cauliflower.  Here’s how I typically use it.  I usually buy it riced instead of chopping it up myself.  I’ll microwave it in 30 second intervals until it’s warm but not hot.  I’ll then cover it with whatever I would have used to cover the rice with.  The heat and liquid content of that usually heats and softens the riced cauliflower from warm to just right.  Again, it’s all about getting the right mouth feel.  A nice dish is to brown some sausage, add a small amount of Rao’s Tomato Sauce, and serve it on top of the riced cauliflower with a little shredded mozzarella on top.

My next one is a breakfast alternative.  If you like McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with egg there’s a keto alternative.  Cook an egg on the stove while browning some sausage patties in the oven.  They do sell rings to make the egg circular like McDonald’s does ( http://a.co/d/ffxvpVO ).  Instead of using muffins you just use two sausage patties, placing the egg and cheddar between them.  It’s a little messier but so delicious.

If you really just need bread though there are recipes for that too that are keto friendly.  My favorite is Fathead Dough.  Here’s a link to a recipe from Keto.Connect on it ( https://www.ketoconnect.net/fathead-pizza-crust/ ).  Once you’ve made the fathead dough it’s easy enough to use it to create different things.  You can wrap it around some sausage and cheddar and then bake it in the oven at 350F until golden brown and you have delicious sausage bites.  You could form them into buns to use with hamburger patties to make keto hamburgers.  You could wrap it around a hot dog.  Lots of options.

And the final one I’ll list today is noodles.  You can make keto noodles with a spiralizer and a zucchini.  You can get the spiralizer pretty cheaply on Amazon ( http://a.co/d/dNrkDiu ), although you might be able to shop around locally and find one.  It’s easy to use, and if you get the model I linked it offers the ability to vary the way the noodles come out.  Once you’ve spiralized them though I’d use them quickly.  You can basically use them in any recipe you’d use noodles in.  Just keep in mind that like noodles the more you cook them the mushier they get.  If you can, to maintain a more al dente type noodle, use them raw or only slightly heated.

So there you have it, a short list of ways to create keto alternatives to foods you enjoyed before keto but can’t have now.  Again, this is a very small list.  If you’d like to hear about specific foods you like that yo’d like to make keto just leave a comment below and I’ll try and find an alternative for you.  There are tons of keto alternatives out there, including sweeteners and desserts.  Some require you to cook, some come premade.  But that’s for a later post.  Hope you’re all having a great day and I’ll see you soon.