Tag creativity

The power of should


Have you ever heard the phrase, “stop shoulding all over yourself?” I remember the first time I heard it. I was a teenager and I wanted to fit in. This was followed by a barrage of shoulds.

  • I should try out to be a cheerleader.
  • I should enroll in athletics.
  • I should be on the yearbook staff.
  • I should have a boyfriend.

The word “should” has historically been knocked down in my life. I was told that I was beating up on myself, that I was expecting too much, and that I SHOULDN’T say SHOULD.

What I have found is that should, framed with a balanced mindset could be easily (and powerfully) replaced with the word LONGING.

  • I long to be a cheerleader – which meant  to me, to be seen, heard, and matter.
  • I long to be in athletics – which meant to me, to be healthy, fit, and accepted.
  • I long to be on the yearbook staff – which meant to me, to make a permanent difference in as many lives as I could touch.
  • I long to have a boyfriend – which meant to me, to have companionship, love, adoration.

Today, as an adult and coach, I recognize that every should I give myself has a deeper longing behind it. The POWER of that should is this.

When I put action behind it, I take steps to fulfill my longing. 

I choose to be part of charitable projects: Which means I contract with myself to: bring my full creative self to the project and any project where I can make a difference, to see this project to the end, and to honor the work I do and the work of others as we create together.

Result: I fulfill my longing to make a difference and more projects begin to manifest to expand the ripple effect of my presence in the world.

All that from a teenage longing! The word SHOULD is so powerful! And don’t forget to look within as well as outside, because both the inner and outer world have the potential to fulfill a longing. Creating inside first makes that outer expression so much more powerful and lasting!

Daily Exercise: What have you been shoulding yourself about? Do the exercise below.

  1. List your shoulds.
  2. Unroot your longing.
  3. Pinpoint one focus area which, when worked, will meet that longing.
  4. Take action and witness the results in your life.

Did you complete this exercise? Comment below on what works for you.

Bored? Get Brilliant!

I remember my FUNimation Entertainment days, where airport delays were frequent and convention schedules were booked back to back. I kid you not. I had a $20,000 expense report once! (How I got CitiBank to give me an AAdvantage card with a limit that high at age 28, I will never know.) During our delays, we wouldn’t just sit in the corner and read. Oh no! In fact, my brilliant coworker Lance Heiskell started a mini airport convention and turned it into a viral campaign! It didn’t get as much publicity as Richard Dunn’s recent lip synch of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” in the McCarran International Airport (fabulous Las Vegas) – but it was a great use of time. In fact, any time you can turn time you would have spent bored off your gourd into brilliance is time well spent. In this case, jumping on the viral opportunity and publicizing this bit of work has given McCarran International Airport more ink in a single day than most minor celebutantes.



If you haven’t seen the video, click here and enjoy.

Now, back to the brilliance. To create brilliant things in your downtime you must have one of the following items – but the more the merrier: 1) business cards to network wherever you are bored (really, you can meet a client anywhere), 2) something to take notes – a genius book of sort to write down wild and crazy ideas as they come, 3) a phone or laptop – something connected to the Internet to either capture or get the idea out there and happening.

I have done a lot of work in airports. Some of my best ideas have come to me while walking, sitting doing absolutely nothing, or talking to a complete stranger. One day, I met a client on an airplane that turned into a $5,000 coaching contract. I’d call that profitable boredom, wouldn’t you?

I’m not a reporter. So I don’t know if McCarran orchestrated this video or if they just grabbed the bull by the horns and promoted it like crazy. Maybe some fine reporter can dig and find that tidbit out for us. But one Facebook search on the trending topic of McCarran International Airport brings up coverage from FOX, NBC, Thrillist, The Huffington Post and other A-Listers of media. I would call that a success any way you slice it.

Daily Exercise: Go somewhere alone, aiming to be bored. Take at least two of the three suggested items above with you – making sure at least one of those items are your business cards. What happened? What results did you see? Report back in the comments below.