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Thursday, September 1, 2016

THE 3 BEST REASONS TO WRITE SHORT STORIES

THE 3 BEST REASONS TO WRITE SHORT STORIES

             

Reason 1: Authors have the capability to alter lives. It’s only through fiction that one can understand reality. What does that mean? Stories are catalysts in defying the natural laws of gravity. Readers, as if on a magic carpet ride, are lifted to a higher level of awareness where the unclear suddenly becomes obvious. A story’s thematic resonance has the power to change paradigms, shift priorities, and offer clues to help solve the mysteries of life.

            Reason 2: The act of sharing thoughts and imagination through story indicate your recognition that all living creatures are united in the indisputable triptych of being­—birth, life, and death, regardless of geographic location, monetary solvency, education, race, and creed.

            Reason 3: A recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled, Why Good Storytellers Are Happier in Life and in Love, states, “Storytelling is one way couples bond when a relationship is young.” It goes on to say, “According to new research, published this month in the journal Personal Relationships, women rated men who were good storytellers as more attractive and desirable as potential long-term partners.”


            As you can see, there is ample reason each of us must write stories. Literary expertise is not required. Proficiency can come later with study and practice. At this point, simply sharing your story is sufficient to make you an all-around better person, and I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than that.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

THINK (-OUTSIDE) WITHOUT THAT FREAKIN’ BOX

“Discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and
 thinking what nobody has thought.”

—Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893-1986)
    Hungarian physiologist

Here's a post that focuses on the value of thinking outside without the freakin' box: List all the ways that these words relate: Sand, Hand, And, Wand, Land
Yes, there is the obvious—all the word contain the word ‘and.’ What else? Here’s a hint: Stack the words differently.
Sand
Hand
And
Wand
Land

Notice anything? No? Here’s another hint: Your grandma wears one. Get it yet? No? Okay then, let’s copy the first letter of each word and see what we have.

S – H – A – W – L
            Since childhood, you’ve been taught to recognize patterns. Our brains look for patterns. You’ve been programmed to think in patterns. It’s therefore understandable that when you looked at the words above, you immediately recognized the apparent relationships among them. The ‘and’ word stood out and eclipsed all else. The solution was solved, your brain was happy that it didn’t have to work hard to distinguish the relationship and then it shut down.
When I was a child, my parents advised: "Don’t believe everything you read." Today, with the advances of science, software technology, and Quantum theory, we must now say to our children: "Don’t believe everything you read, hear, or see."
Quantum, along with software, has changed the way we perceive our existence, and as the science and technology develops, the paradigms of life change, not only in this country, but around the globe. Nearly everything you were taught in grammar school will one day be irrelevant.
So, where does this leave you? How does the advancement of scientific theory and technology fit into your world? Twenty years ago, life was like a game of chess. It was played on a flat checker board and you moved your pieces backward and forward, from side to side, and diagonally. You tried hard to move without opposition, but sometimes battles ensued—some you won; some you lost.
Today, the rules to the game of life have been altered. Your life-pieces no longer remain on the board. They float in the air in a playing field that’s undefined. Like before, the checkerboard runs horizontal and vertical, but it now also has layers of depth. Your deep-rooted thought patterns, once the backbone of your existence, are no longer practical in this new environment. You need a broader approach to how you live your life and how you solve problems. The old rule book is obsolete, and in order to be successful in business and in life, you must think in new ways. Life no longer travels in a straight line. Change your paradigms or you will be trampled by those who follow the bends in the road of life.
This week, begin a new path. Challenge yourself and invite new ideas. Search for new ways to solve old problems. Resolve with flexibility, and think collectively, meaning without prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Enjoy each new challenge and rejoice in knowing that you are now living in a way that will allow you to reach new heights both in business and in life.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

LIVE AND WRITE WITH DISTINCTION

“One sees clearly only with the heart.
Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”.

                                               Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) French writer and aviator; from The Little Prince

As a adjective, distinction is a word seldom used today to describe a person’s character. As a verb, it is seldom seen. Look around. Cultural similarities, predictable behavior, and conventional attitudes snuggled together within the walls of shopping malls across the country are perfect examples. Brand has replaced handmade specialty products. More and cheaper has replaced less and finer. Moreover, we’ve lost the insistence that our leaders, writers, entertainers, manufacturers, and neighbors bear the banner of distinction.
There is safety in numbers and it remains easier and far more secure for a writer to travel the path of the unadventurous than to journey down the road less traveled. That’s not to say that every writer is living a life of cowardly indifference. No one would argue that life is anything but a straight line. Challenges and struggles turn up almost every day. The prize goes to those who have the courage and desire to fulfill their dreams and reach their full potential, regardless of the struggle, as opposed to, or in spite of the society in which they live.
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Teddy Roosevelt summed it up when he said, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
The history of America is dotted with great men and women who’ve lived their lives with distinction and have enjoyed an exhilarated and exciting journey, carrying with them an abundance of self-esteem and self-respect, which comes as a result of living a meritorious life. Follow closely in their footsteps and you will discover, firsthand, the thrill of an adventure that no materialistic ingredient can come close to offering. You have the power and the ability to be the producer, director, and star of a real-life drama, with a script that only you have fashioned. Why not make it an adventure story. Live life with distinction.
Below are “10 Principles of Distinction.” Follow them and you’ll begin a journey that mirrors the lives of heroes past. As a bonus, your adherence to these principles will greatly increase the likelihood of your success in business and impart a greater happiness in your personal life.

10 Principles of Distinction
1.      Question all that you read, hear and see.
2.      Surround yourself with people whose perspective on life is different than your own.
3.      Maintain a childlike curiosity and imagination.
4.      Never complain—seek solutions.
5.      Let go of limiting paradigms­—the restrictive thought patterns that prevent you from seeing an alternate course.
6.      Study religions other than your own.
7.      Pay your dues, settle your debts, smile when you pay your taxes, and welcome new opportunities to pay more.
8.      Use fear; don’t let it use you.
9.      Spend one hour a day getting to know and learning to enjoy people.
10.  Choose a mentor, living or deceased, whose life and values, when emulated, will improve the quality of your business and personal lifestyle, then act in accordance with their principles and standards.

This week, take action on the “10 Principles of Distinction.” Fold them into your life. Add five more principles that are personally important and will impact your life. Copy these fifteen principles onto an index card and read them aloud, every day, until you live them by heart.