Category Archives: Learn to succeed

Design is transcendent but business is necessary

This is an excerpt from a book I wrote a few years ago. I am revisiting it and adding more insight in to the the business aspect of running a creative based business.

This first book was all about how we use our language as creative to succeed in our endeavors. I wanted to revisit and make sure I still had it right. I’m trying to work on this blog from my iPad. Of course everything has changed on how to execute a blog post from how I do it on my computer. Please bear with my editing capabilities on iPad.

Design is Transcendent

We know that Universal thought has for its goal the creation of form, and we know that the individual thought is likewise forever attempting to express itself in form. We know that the work is a thought form, and a sentence is a combination of thought-forms; therefore if we wish our ideal to be beautiful or strong, we must see that the words out of which this temple will eventually be created are exact, that they are put together carefully; because accuracy in building words and sentences (and art work or any creative modality) is the highest form of architecture in civilization, and is a passport to success.͟ Kojin Karatani Architecture and

Metaphor

Baba Hari Dass, an Indian Yogi says the best ways to really learn something is to teach it. As a busy working Mom and wife this can be a challenge. When I decided to go back to school with small children I did not realize just how challenging it would be. Now 7 years later with a new direction in my life and children becoming more and more self-sufficient, I can return to what I missed. When I first started my design firm I was trying to kill two birds with one stone. I wanted to offer something to potential clients and get the word out about my new business. At the same time I want to integrate the design principles more into my soul. I wanted to know these principles so well I would use them inherently with everything I created. It was something

I felt I had been missing for years as a professional artist who was not formally trained. I was certainly creative enough, but never knew the basis from which to work and create and therefore really take my work as an artist to the next level of refinement. So I threw myself into studying the principles and created a seminar on them, presented them a few times to small audiences and then got so busy with work I could not continue with the seminars.

Principles are our foundation for success in Life and Art/Design

It has been a few years and our firm is doing very well, again I am looking to remind myself of my artistic principles with which to work from and sinking back into really defining and deconstructing the thought process I came to realize that these principles are the same intrinsic ways of thinking that create abundance and prosperity in our lives. The thought process that goes into designing, creating homes and spaces, artwork and developing our business all stem from the same system of principles and thought. If we continue to practice these principles in a systematic way our lives become more abundant, our work reaches new levels of excellence and brilliance, our relationships become more deep and meaningful, and we gain a sense of discernment for what is good and hopefully what is great. In the process of all of this happening we also gain an understanding of how important it is to gift what we have learned so our entire community can rise to a higher level of consciousness and abundance and our lives full of integrity can reach out and touch others and encourage them to walk with a light in their heart as well.

When we talk about what it is to have principle, we are talking about a manner in which

someone acts or a system of beliefs by which they live their lives. A set of principles is almost a

systematic approach to making all the little decisions in our lives that will shape our future. We

can have great principles and create an amazing life. We can lack principles and use little

judgment and create havoc in our lives. Living our lives based on a set of principles allows us to

act with integrity without any effort. This ability frees our minds and our hearts to create and

share with more people on a higher level.

Using Principles for art or design and creative endeavors works in a similar fashion. If we use

a set or group of principles for design we can create something that is unlimited, creative,

sensible, stimulating and serves us well. We should run our lives with the same goals, to create

a life that is unlimited, creative, sensible, stimulating and abundant as well as being of service

to others. This is a full life, this is an amazing design. The language is almost interchangeable.

I believe that the language we use to speak of Design and how we choose to live our Life

are transcendent, they are one and the same. Our lives are inter-dependent and are woven,

intermingled with people, experiences, places, time, etc. We can use the terms we use in

design as well as art to relate to our lives; In design we speak of scale, how the use of the size

of something, a pattern in a wallpaper or a sofa in a room, in life we measure the scale as we

compare what we believe our lives to be in relation to those around us and what we want to

achieve in our lives. There is proportion in our experiences. We try to achieve balance with how

we spend our time with emphasis on differing things over time. All of these principles will

create Harmony in our lives. These are the same principles used in Creating great Art and

Design.

We use the elements in a design to affect our principles. These are a finite and can be used

in very specific ways, far less conceptual. Elements are used more like tools. In design, element

refers to shapes, line, form, mass, texture, pattern, light and color. When I speak of success, the

elements I will use are the small tools that will allow us to manifest our principles. What I have

found is in the breadth of our lives there is always design. We are building our life with the

choices we make. We build our life with whom we choose to spend our time, with what we

work at, as well as all of the everyday smaller choices, like what we had for breakfast. We are

working from a blueprint of how we were raised, our paradigm. Architecturally metaphorically

speaking, all of these day to day choices we make are the building blocks, the 2×4′ s that are our

walls , and rooms, sections of our lives; they are the canvas on which we create our

masterpiece. .

Sow a thought, reap and act,

Sow an act, reap a habit,

Sow a habit, reap a character

Sow a character, reap an eternal destiny

Great Success and Great Design are based on layering of Principles. Like a great cake

each layer gives you more to enjoy. Success and Design work the same way. You have to add

layers to achieve a level of excellence and discernment. My goal with this set of principles for

design and success is to create a foundation of thought. This will be the foundation from which

you will make choices for your home or work space to elevate your design and so elevate your

experience. We will learn to work from a set of principles to create a foundation from which to

make our life choices that will generate abundance and much more in our lives.

The success system I have put together for you will guide you to be able to create not only a beautiful space

to live or work in but also to create a life of abundance, clarity, health, creativity and service.

This is a system of principles that if practiced regularly will get you everything you want in your

Without reviewing how we have lived, practicing self-reflection, how we will be able to

recognize what works and what isn’t working, we are doomed to continue our not so great

pattern of choices we make. We all have issues. There is no perfect life, at least not these days,

and not even on t.v. We have moved from the June Cleavers to the shows like ͞The Middle͟. I

don’t want to really spend a whole lot of time rehashing what we already know about our lives,

but if you are sincere about making it to your goals you need to be real about what you do, how

you do it and with whom you are doing it.

I have already introduced the idea of the paradigm

or blueprint. This is an idea that through our childhood experience we are more or less trained

to think, be and act. We are heavily influenced by not only our parents, but also our friends,

teachers and society at large. The expectations and rules we are taught, if we are uber blessed

or even a little lucky is healthy, supportive and encouraging. I would say that for the majority of

us, not so much. I would say the majority of us have backgrounds that are relatively

dysfunctional; at the least we have some complaint about our original situation. What I am

saying to you now is that you have a choice. I am officially informing you that you have all the

power in your life to make it what you want. You have to believe!! You have the power to

change your blueprint!

11 perfect ways to recognize your authenticity: Now own that sh*t b*&tch

“Personal authenticity is a daily expression of your core beliefs and your personality. These are the character traits you exhibit every day.” I found this on the web, if you own it, say so….

At times people will judge  and scorn you. I see it, but I make a choice to recognize it peripherally. Then I let it go. This is simply because what others think does not define me. What I actually DO with my life is what defines me, especially when I think of what will be said at my end of life ceremony, get down groove party. Think of that time and you instantly become authentic. Get it right because we are all gonna die.

That is the practice part, to think of what people will say of you and your actions at the end of your life. To get to where you want to be practice these basic actions….

  1. Become self ware, write down what your moral values are, what is your moral compass. I suggest all the things you say about your neighbors and your friends goes here. Ie: “I cant believe she goes out all night without her husband”… equals… I believe time in a relationship should be spent together growing trust and getting to know one another. Think about what is important to you based on what you see happening around you. This is the easiest place to start.
  2. Have an open mind. Greet new things and old things with a smile. Even if you are judging in your mind say out loud, “hey wow, that is so awesome!” My daughter catches me on this on a regular basis. Just yesterday after the little freeze we had here in FL she went outside in the morning and saw everything was covered in white. “Mom, it snowed outside, come out and see!” I go out and simply say thats not snow, its frost. “Mom you are no fun, you are so negative.” I’m thinking snow would be way worse and I was being positive. But I need to practice more to see things with an open mind and a child’s eyes to better appreciate what God has given us in or limited days on this planet.
  3. Have goals. Writ these little boogers down. What are your goals and priorities. What or who are your real actions serving? Are they serving your true goals or are they serving everyone elses goals? Take time to do some self evaluation, figure out what you really want and start taking small steps to go in that direction. What I have found through this practice is if you measure a thing, break down your goal into smaller tasks and set a deadline you will make it happen.
  4. Trust your intuition. I believe true intuition is Gods voice in us. It takes practice to listen calmly and quietly to begin to recognize the difference between that voice and the crazy little voices that pop up in our minds that encourage us in the wrong directions. When you are in a situation you are not sure how to act on, sit in quiet solitude and listen to the different voices that are coming and going. You will start to recognize the calm firm voice that is your intuition, you will sense your own reaction to it with a clear energy like no other. The quiet solitude piece is most important, its easy to make a wrong decision and listen to the wrong voices in our minds when we are too busy.
  5. Don’t Lie. Duh… but it’s harder than you think. We have to first stop lying to ourselves about who we are and what we are capable of. Becoming self aware is a first step. Once we stop lying to ourselves we can stop lying to everyone else. Think before you speak and don’t qualify anything with excuses. Just speak the truth.
  6. Don’t try to be perfect or be someone else. Envy is a hard thing to get away from. Comparing yourself to the Jones’s is never getting you any further in life. We are wasting our energy on trying to mirror something that may not even be true. Usually that person is a total hot mess and we just don’t know it. You are an individual. You are the only you. You are an original, that means there is no else just like you. That idea is so amazing to me. I have this conversation with my kids all the time about not comparing themselves and doing all they can to really live up to their own potential. As adults we should remember the same lesson. Nothing really changes after middle school. We still need to work to live up to Gods potential in us. And it is limitless and abundant.
  7. Be present and pay attention. We all know how to do this, its just whether we choose to do it or not is the question. This means when someone else is speaking you need to put down your phone, get out of your own thoughts and your own agenda and focus on what the other person is saying. Staying present also means focusing on the task at hand and giving it your utmost attention. With all the distractions of technology and the expectations that our phones are constantly on our person, that we should be available immediately, it is a true challenge. Self Discipline is a practice that is not just daily, but a minute to minute practice.
  8. Express your own ideas and opinions. Self expression is key to the health of our creative self. To express our ideas to others takes a great deal of courage and thoughtfulness. writing this piece I realize what a shame it is that so many of us don’t have the courage to speak up in front of others for fear of being judged or shunned. It does take practice to put your own ideas into words, to articulate what you want to say in a meaningful way that isn’t harmful to anyone. What I practice is preparation. Before I go before a client or walk in to a meeting I spend time preparing for that meeting, I gather all the information I possibly can and I have even written down what I want to say so I can edit it and practice before I even walk in the room. I have been shot down before or have been the target of an interrogation unknowingly walking in to a trap. Afterwards I suck it up and shake it off and fix what went wrong. It has usually been a gift that someone was showing me a better way to do things or how to be a better person.
  9. Prioritize what’s important to you and voice it. Finding your voice throughout your life is a journey. So is figuring out what you really want out of your life and setting those priorities. Truth is they change occasionally based on your age and what stage you are in in life. Kids are all about instant gratification, young adults are more about preening and setting goals for college. Then there is marriage and children for a lot of us. And finally retirement and watching your dollars more closely. Setting your goals and deciding how to get to them is immensely important. So is voicing them to others, so their agenda is not yours. If you in a family voicing your priorities is super helpful. You may find that those who care for you will invest in your goals emotionally and try to help you get there faster.
  10. Don’t sell crap. This applies to your job as well as your self image. If you’re in a position where you don’t believe in what you are doing, or you are not happy with your position, you are the only person responsible for making the changes necessary to change the outcome. And if you can’t change your position, find a way to make it better, add value and reality to your situation or change your mind set. And if are in sales, don’t sell crap.  I usually have to argue with at least a couple potential clients about what I charge for my services and the cost of the materials I select for a home. You get what you pay for, you want to pay cheap prices, you get cheap crap. I don’t sell crap. Cant win ’em all.

Personal authenticity is the daily expression of your core beliefs and personality-  its a practice you have to keep at daily.

Own your beliefs and desires and values and you will find that you gain not only respect for your self but respect form others. You will become more of a leader and not a follower. re-read this article occasionally to remind yourself you are important and what make you more important is that you are true to yourself.

repost: the unfair truth about how creatives succeed

Sharing is caring, this is by Jeff Goins

Creativity: a systems approach

What makes a person creative? As human beings, of course, we are all endowed with the ability to create. But, what is the difference between that kind of “little c” creativity and the world-changing “big C” creativity that changes industries and leaves a legacy for generations to come?

In his decades-long study of creativity, management psychology expert Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi described what he called a “systems approach.” Since “creative” work tends to be subjective, he posited a model that included three systems:

  • The domain
  • The field
  • The individual

In order to be considered creative (in the sense that it offers some kind of enduring work the world remembers), a work must satisfy all three of these areas. Here’s how it works: First, an individual must master his or her craft in a given domain (art, science, mathematics,etc.). Then, this person must offer the creative work to a field of influencers in that domain who are trusted experts. Finally, those gatekeepers must decide whether the work is worth being accepted into the domain as being authoritative.

That’s the systems approach to creativity. And as much as I initially winced at the word “gatekeepers” when considering what makes creative work succeed, once I started reading biographies of famous artists, scientists and musicians, Csikszentmihalyi’s theory made a lot of sense. Talent is only part of the equation. The rest is networking.

read more…

We gather strength as we go

Having a conversation with my daughter about how she and her friends treat one another can be such a challenge. Middle school girls are almost impossible to deal with. Typically involves crying and me taking a lot of deep breaths before I speak and offer any kind of wisdom 

High school and mean girls was my living hell. What I know know is that none of it mattered except how those interactions formed my personal level of confidence and self worth. 

My mom worked a ton and my Dad was away for work a great deal. So I floundered and made grave mistakes. 

Today I try to express to my kids this when they are facing mean girls or overly competitive boys talking smack: “transform fear into prudence , pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” Nassim NTaleb

These are things we practice all our lives and may never achieve perfection. We can certainly become better people than we are currently. That’s all I want my daughter to know as she goes back to the lunch table and faces off with snarky comments. I told her to not back down and don’t lash out. Stay positive and smile. Stoics had a great idea. We all need to practice the philosophy more and be kind to one another. 

Under the comb the tangle and the straight path are the same. -Heraclitus

Reading “the obstacle is the way”, validating what I already believe. We can run from our problems, if we don’t see a way around them, then it is best embrace our situation and we find a way through them. 

To be good you may need to look good

 

I think we feel better when we look better any way. The point I want to make to you is that you need to take your success, your level of play seriously. You need to take seriously how you portray your image to everyone. Its fine  to say you don’t care what any one thinks of you and really you shouldn’t especially if you know you are putting forth your best effort.

The idea that I want you to grasp on to is that if you value yourself worth so will others. When you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror and say I dont feel like shaving, putting on any make-up, combing my hair, really I dont feel like putting any effort into myself, then how do you expect anyone else to put any effort into you either.

 

It’s funny, if I am sick I typically put more effort into my appearance and I feel a little better. I find when I show up to work, even if it’s in my back yard, I have a  dress and nice shoes on, I perform better, I get more done. Seriously if you think about it, you never know who you are going to run into at Publix or the gas station. The last thing you want to do is be in your Walmart sweatpants and end up pumping gas next to Mrs Rockefeller who you just gave a $10,000 proposal to. What will she think? She may think she’s not sure she hired the right person.

36-WTF-photos-made-at-gas-stations-015

On the  other end of the spectrum, dont over do it. dressing like a hoochie mama sends all the wrong messages. When you dress like a hooch it shows you value your sexuality more than your ability to produce good work. Unless that’s what your selling, sex, then dont dress like a hooker please. Skirts no more than 4″ above your knee, absolutely no platform any kind  of shoe, no boobs popping out.

work-to-flirt-dress_pGijE_279

Take pride in your appearance, that’s the easiest place to start. Get a hair cut, shave daily, get some new shoes, please!!! Your professional appearance sets a tone for your day, for your attitude and for your path in life. I always say act as if you were already successful in your career, I mean dress like it too, its a great place to start going better places.

The Simplest Way to Take Control of Your Life 


“99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses” George Washington Carver 

The simplest way to take control of your life is to take responsibility for everything that happens to you. 

If you find yourself saying things along the lines of “Bob is always getting the good projects at work and my boss never gives them to me.” You are making excuses for your own behavior. Turn your language around. “What can I do to show my boss I deserve the best projects, how can I earn his respect…” 

The reality is no one is doing anything to you . This is only your own perception. Take control of your life. I would challenge you to change Any statement you make to blame someone else to blaming yourself. 

I can’t loose weight because my wife brings home junk food from the store. (Excuse and blame)

I am doing the grocery shopping at least once a month and buying healthy snacks.  (Taking ownership and responsibility)

Wasn’t that simple? I can tell you simple is not always easy. Practice practice practice the language you use. Stop yourself and make the correction on the spot.