Thinking Magically™ | What Everybody Ought to Know About Kindness . . .

August 17, 2014 4 comments

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies.
My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
– Dalai Lama

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DISASTER STRIKES OUT OF NOWHERE
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Occasionally, the unimaginable happens.

On Saturday, August 2, our daughter, Jordan, had the wedding of her dreams. On Sunday — at the start of her mini-honeymoon — she and her new husband learned of emergency weather conditions that were threatening their new family home. Their happy celebration of Life ended as they rushed back to their dogs and their home. What was supposed to be the start of an amazing, red-hot life became a nightmare. An unforgiving mudslide had attacked their home, killing both of their dogs, and inundating their yard and back of their house with debris, boulders, and water-soaked mud.

But it got worse . . .

The kids had to undergo the added hurt of digging their dogs’ bodies out of the muddy deluge.

And then they discovered that their insurance company would not cover the damages in any way or at all.

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HERE’S WHERE IT GETS AMAZING . . .
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Despite all my social media sharing with you, I hesitated even telling Jordan’s and Jake’s story. Ordinarily, I view these types of events as a private, family matter. But then I realized . . . this is not the time for such selfishness. There’s an amazing story to share with everyone.

As you know, I’m a big proponent of achieving kick-ass results and for setting impossible goals so that you can knock them down and make your dreams a reality. Jordan has done just that. While family is rallying around the situation and providing comfort, care, physical help, and money, Jordan — rather than simply giving up and succumbing to what others might see as impossible conditions — also decided to raise funds on her own.

No one likes to ask for charity. But Jordan faced her fears and her pain and her dread . . . and she did it.

She asked for help.

And the truly awesome and inspiring part of all this is that people answered the call.

With pick-them-up physical labor.

With comforting and selfless donations.

With prayers and blessings from all types of religions and beliefs.

And with much-needed, gentle words of love.

Perhaps what has manifested is best summarized by a friend of mine, Bill Riechle, as he also wrote about Jordan’s and Jake’s situation:

If it were me, I think I would be having that very human response of shaking my fist at the universe – wondering what I did to deserve this. And then on my better moments – I might be looking at the kindness of strangers and wondering… what did I do to deserve this.

All too often we stop caring about others. As a society, we are barraged everyday with invented disasters and manipulated headlines because those “in the know” know people need bad things to grab attention. And so the internet is filled with conjured up drama, overreactions to half-truths, and emotional roller-coasters. We don’t even know what’s real anymore.

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THE REAL-LIFE LESSON WE ALL NEED TO REMEMBER
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Jordan’s and Jake’s story is not make-believe. Life became overwhelming for them very fast. Like many of you, they are good people who are going through sudden and unexpected bad times.

Yet, they are young.

And this, too, shall pass.

And they will be stronger for it.

But what they have discovered most and the reason I am writing about this all here is this lesson:

REAL PEOPLE REALLY DO CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER . . . REALLY

When you understand their story, you discover that people are amazing.

You discover that people still empathize and sympathize.

You discover that when bad things happen, it’s okay to reach out just to make certain that the world will touch back kindly.

And you discover that Life is too short and that things can change in an instant despite all your best planning.

With those lessons comes a new perspective on . . .

. . . what really matters

. . . and what really doesn’t.

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THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A GIFT, TOO
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This article, by the way, isn’t just about Jordan and Jake. It’s about me (and you), too. Because I’ve been reminded and learned from all of you, as well.

Thank you.

For confirming that there is real kindness in the world.

Thank you.

For being good souls.

Thank you.

For offering your help and sympathy to total strangers when the world simply got to be too much.

Thank you.

For all of you who’ve donated money to two kids you don’t even know.

Thank you.

For all of you who’ve sent me private messages and emails, re-posted the donation link, and even called me offering sympathy, physical labor, and even more money for the kids than their original fund amount.

I already knew you were incredible. You have taken that belief and made it a reality.

So . . . Thank you.

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SOMETHING WE ALL SHOULD DO — GRAB LIFE BY THE THROAT
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The events of Jordan’s and Jake’s life have proven that it is possible, with the help of friends, family and even complete strangers, to go out, grab Fate by the throat, refuse to let it go, and bend it to your will.

People survive. And people thrive. And we learn from what’s thrown in our path.

Because the real secret of success is that each morning you must get out of bed, put one muddy foot in front of another muddy foot, dig out from whatever personal bomb has been dropped , and raise a middle finger to the obstacles that challenge you.

When you find someone in need, remember these lyrics from the Frank Sinatra classic, “Cycles:”

I’ve been told and I believe that Life was meant for living’
And even when the chips are low there’s still some left for givin’

There is nothing more precious and valuable than your heartbeats. You don’t get those back. And when you choose to share those with others, you are the essence of what Kindness is all about.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

Thinking Magically™ | Building a Reality That Finally Works (Pt 2)

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.”
– Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Last week, I described some self-limiting beliefs that plague us. This week, in part two of “Building a Reality That Finally Works,” let’s get down and dirty and discuss some specific steps you can take to change your perception of yourself and the world; a transformation that will necessarily empower you in ways you didn’t think possible.

Would you like to be sexier?

Would you like to be wiser?

Would you like to be more athletic?

Would you like to have more energy?

These are some of the things that people want more of. Naturally, genes and age play a role in all this. However, I’ve also found that your own limiting beliefs can be the most cumbersome hurdle to deal with. Today, we’re going to talk, then, about rebooting your internal mental programming so you can finally start getting what you want out of life. Think of this as the human equivalent of CTRL-ALT-DELETE (for you PC users) and CMD-OPTION-ESC (for you Mac users). We’re going to FORCE QUIT your current thinking and replace it with more satisfying options.

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BUILDING A REALITY THAT FINALLY WORKS

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Here are my suggestions for you to reprogram yourself so that you open up to a whole new world of possibilities and successes.

STEP ONE. REALITY ISN’T IMPULSIVE – YOU SHOULDN’T BE EITHER. In Part One we discussed how most of us are already living very impulse driven lives. Slow down a little. By delaying your reactions you can start responding in tune with your dreams and desires. When you are responding – rather than reacting – you remain in control and, most importantly, you continue to act congruently with your overall game plan. When you react, you’re always letting someone or something else dictate what happens.

STEP TWO. CHECK YOUR REALITY CONSTANTLY. When you feel, experience, think, and intuit something get in the habit of immediately asking yourself: Is this [whatever you’re feeling, experiencing, thinking, or using intuition upon] true? By asking this question, you will begin to check whether you’re simply telling yourself a story or not. By the way, this is one of the components to Buddha’s suggestion: “If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” I suggest you expand that concept beyond speaking to just about everything.

STEP THREE. RUMINATE ON REALITY. Take all the time necessary to really think out what you want your reality to look like, feel like, smell like, and sound like. I suggest you even go so far as to write out your perfect reality in all its glorious detail. There’s power in the written word and in getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper (or a computer screen). There’s also something marvelously freeing when you get your thoughts about reality out into the world and make them concrete by putting them on paper or on a screen.

STEP FOUR. IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR REALITY, WHY SHOULD ANYONE ELSE? Here’s something novel for some of you: stop giving other people so much power over you. Stop caring what others think. Perhaps this quote from James Frey will help drive home my point: “If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner.”

STEP FIVE. BE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR REALITY! If I told you to ACT excited right now, could you show that to me? Go ahead. Do it. Now stop and ask yourself: What you DO to be excited? Not what you felt. Not what you thought. What did your body DO to be excited? Once you are able to fathom out the small actions that add up to big results, you will have built yourself a model that can be replicated all the time.

STEP SIX. REWRITE REALITY. Most great storytellers, writers, playwrights, and screenwriters will tell you that the most important part of their craft is REWRITING. Oh, some of them might just get out a perfect draft the first time. But the chances are even they have been editing in their heads first. Take the time to really focus on where you are right now and give yourself the freedom to change course if your life story needs some editing. And it’s even okay to reinvent yourself from time to time. Some of our most successful role models have done just that. By the way, you don’t have to destroy everything you are all in one fell swoop. If there’s some new role you want to try on for size, do just that. You can be a new person and have a new reality for a few minutes, a few hours, or even a few days to see if this “newness” suits you.

The real goal of building a reality that finally works for you is to give you back control and allow you the freedom and power to participate in your own success. The six steps I’ve given you can be used together or one at a time. Just make certain you keep reminding yourself that reality is yours to fine-tune, adjust, and correct. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

Thinking Magically™ | Building a Reality That Finally Works (Pt 1)

Harry Potter isn’t real? Oh no! Wait, wait, what do you mean by real? Is this video blog real? Am I real if you can see me and hear me, but only through the internet? Are you real if I can read your comment but I don’t know who you are or what your name is or where you’re from or what you look like or how old you are? I know all of those things about Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter’s real and you’re not.
– John Green

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WHO’S IN CONTROL OF YOUR REALITY?

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Have you ever asked yourself: Who’s in control of my life?

If the answer isn’t “you,” then you’re in for some serious, long-term demands. You see, the challenge is that most people are really impulse buyers of what their particular Life has to offer. They live unplanned lives and make decisions right before something is about to happen in order to either avoid pain or gain pleasure. They let their emotions and feelings drive their course from moment to moment. This leaves them open to exploitation by others.

I’m all about you living passionately. But I want you to be passionate in moving towards a chosen goal or outcome, not be the victim of various distractions and chaos.

And here’s the most cursed thing about living an unplanned life: you are continually deluding yourself in order to justify the impulsive decisions and reactions that you make and have. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to break unless you take control of your life back.

So, take a moment and consider where you are in your life path right now. Has your life mostly been a series of spontaneous and sometimes whimsical decisions? Have your choices been driven by Chance? Have your spontaneous pleasures and preferences plopped you smack dab in the middle of a maze of confusion?

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YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER YOUR PERCEPTIONS

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The Matrix

Inception

Limitless

Each one of these movies essentially involves the same foundational theme – the same situational promise, if you will: We each have the power to control our perception of reality.

Let’s admit something . . . right now, you’re living a life inside a box. And it’s a box built of thin, frail walls of your own making. And you’ve likely constructed those walls based on the thoughts, dreams, expectations, and modeling of others. That’s right: your life may just be a representation of something you learned (incorrectly) from someone else.

If you’d like to change your life for the better, it’s time to step outside of that dishonest box, kick it to the curb or throw it in the trash, and start living a wild and exciting “real” life outside the box!

How do you start?

By not just looking for more; it’s about knowing what you want more of. There’s strategic action to be planned that comes from all of this. Then you take massive action to get precisely what you want. It’s also about having the grit, determination, and backbone to keep moving forward. Think about it for a moment . . . every powerful hero in any of your favorite movies is actually defined, in whole or in part, by an equally powerful enemy or obstacle. And it’s also about looking fear in the eye, as Pink wrote in her song, Glitter in the Air, and saying, “I just don’t care.”

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A NEW PERCEPTION REQUIRES YOU TO REALIZE YOU’RE NOT A VICTIM OF ANYTHING AT ALL

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A successful and consistent magician is neither a finger-pointer nor a cry-baby. Those who have learned to shape their reality and bend it to their will are not hapless casualties of circumstance.

Quite the contrary.

When faced with obstacles, they adopt the Hannibal quote: “I will either find a way . . . or make one.”

And they know full well the import of Kurt Vonnegut when he said, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

One of the first things you can do to create a reality that finally works is to start ACTING precisely how you want to be perceived by others. If you want to be happy, then you must ask yourself what you have to DO so that others see you as a happy person. If you want to be kind, then you must DO kindness that others see. Then and only then does your self-perception begin to twist and mold and shape and form into happiness or kindness or any other thing you want.

Let’s deconstruct this powerful strategy for a moment so you understand what’s really going on and how you’ve been programming yourself with viruses and bad commands for a very long time.

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YOU PERCEIVE WHAT YOU TAKE WITH YOU
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Until now, you’ve likely woken up in the morning, noticed (consciously or subconsciously) how you’re feeling, let the results of whatever chemical reactions are going on dictate how you interpret what you just noticed, and then you draw usually false connections between something that has already happened or is about to happen with how you “feel.” In other words, we make continuous mistakes about the outside world and what that outside world means. And these mistakes are driven by a defective programming: that what we see “out there” is something “objectively real” and so it must be “so.”

In physics there’s a concept called the Observer Effect. Simply, it pertains to changes in an event, consequence, or outcome because of the act of observation, itself. Think about the ramifications of that theory.

The mere act of observing can change what is being observed.

This is very similar – for you Star Wars fans – to the exchange that takes place between Yoda and Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi. Yoda is commanding Luke to enter a cave.

Luke: What’s in there?


Yoda: Only what you take with you.

When I talk about DOING happiness or DOING kindness, then, it forces you to “take” the happiness or kindness out into the world with you. It begins as a mental construct – a trick – to get you around, over, and through your own deception of what the world has been and meant up until now.

Notice, too, that I’m not referring to happiness or kindness as something you feel. I’m concerned only with how you ACT. One of the primary ways you move to seeing the world (and yourself) in a new and potent way is to start paying attention to your deeds instead of your feelings.

Next week, we’ll finish up with Part 2 of our strategy for building a reality that finally works. Until then, contemplate the following:

Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”
– Cobb, from the movie Inception

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

The Deck of Shadows | A Review of The “Dynamic Spreads Deck”

I am the only one of us who brings in any money. the other two cannot make money fortune telling. this is because they only tell the truth, and the truth is not what people want to hear. it is a bad thing and it troubles people, so they do not come back.

- Neil Gaiman, American Gods

For those of you who give readings: “Keep the people who come to you riveted to what you have to say by finally giving a reading that uses a spread/layout that makes profound sense to their particular situation. And keep them coming back because your readings aren’t the same thing over and over again.

Wouldn’t you like that?

And wouldn’t you like to be as emotionally invested in what you are doing as you were when you first got started in the crazy business of fortune telling?

Of course you would. What reader wouldn’t?

You’re unique. Your reading layouts should be that unique, as well.

Well, we’re going to take a brief respite from my normal “Thinking Magically” articles because I’ve found something that will help you do all this . . . (and for those of you who aren’t into readings and who follow me for the motivation, transformation, and success tips . . . read on ’til the end . . . there’s even something compelling and perceptive for each of you) . . .

Many of you already work with “The Deck of Shadows“ (my oracle deck) and “The Vitruvian Square” (my unified theory of divination). Well, I’m now adding the “Dynamic Spreads Deck” by BK Reichle to my own magical toolkit. And with great delight!

When working with oracular techniques, the cards, lines, signs, and objects are essential parts of what you do. But we sometimes tend to overlook the importance of the SUBJECT of the reading and get into a rut using the same layout or reading spread time and time again and forcing that technique into the real needs of the person sitting opposite us.

The truth is . . . a well-designed, unexpected, and unusual spread/layout is just as important, as well.

And a spread that is tailored to a particular participant or setting allows you to do something else.

What is that something else?

You create a reputation for yourself of being unparalleled and incomparable. THAT’S HOW YOU MOVE FROM DABBLING TO CREATING A BUSINESS!

BK Reichle has created, in my opinion, a genuinely terrific tool for taking your practice to a more profound and profitable level.

One more thing. I am not an affiliate for this product and don’t get a commission on any sales. I’m a consumer like everyone else. I know what I like and what I don’t like. And I’m all about passing on information on other people’s creations that I think deserve a place in your success repertoire. This is one of those creations.

DYNAMIC SPREADS DECK by BK Reichle

PROS: Beautiful packaging and design! There are 105 different cards – full color backs and various topics, themes, subjects on the face of each card. There are mini-cards included that can be used to differentiate options in a reading and set some timing parameters and scope. There is also a companion 50 page book that explains, in detail, how to use the Dynamic Spreads Deck. The cards come in a very well-made recipe-type box with flip lid, tabbed category dividers and even a loop at the top of the lid to hold your grease pencil or pen.And there’s a small white Post-It Note™ type pack included. The whole product comes packaged in an even larger and impressive game box. This just looks enticing before you even dig into the contents and opportunities.

CONS: The coating on the cards makes them sticky initially so they don’t spread easily on first use. That’s remedied by simply spreading and working with the cards a bit before your first formal use. Personally, I would have liked the cards to be a bit smaller for easier carrying. But . . . those of you who work with standard Tarot-size cards will love the dimensions.

The Dynamic Spreads Deck was delivered to my office and the first thing I noticed was the weight and size of the package. This wasn’t something lightweight or trivial I was holding in my hands. Once the mailing material was removed, I found the Dynamic Spreads Deck neatly protected in clear shrink wrap (this is heavy material, by the way . . . get your fingers or your scissors ready).

I removed the clear covering and found the box of spread cards neatly tucked between two cardboard spacing units. Behind all of that was the Companion Book. I’m not going to go into more detail because you can actually see pictures of these here:

http://dynamicspreads.com/gallery/

Having produced my own oracle deck, I applaud Mr. Reichle on a JOB WELL DONE! I work with success-minded people and his cards will fit right in with their mindset. The cards simply LOOK GOOD. That’s important to me. That should be important to you.

The Companion Book is nicely laid out. It gives you a Quick Start Guide and then moves into a more detailed explanation of using the cards the way Mr. Reichle intended.

Here’s the interesting thing about this deck: the creator talks about Tarot cards and even gives examples within the pages using that particular reading tool. However, he and I have actually discussed how his product is more expansive and can be readily and powerfully used with ANY TYPE OF ORACLE device. That’s right. I don’t care what type of reading system you use, the Dynamic Spreads Deck can be used with your forecasting and, to quote James Wanless, your “fortune-creation” tool of choice. You see, this deck provides you FOCUS and DIRECTION no matter what tool you prefer to use (even if it’s your own inner vision and imagination).

For me, the MOST POWERFUL benefit of the Dynamic Spreads Deck is your ability to use the product as an reading device, itself. And, if you don’t do standard readings, this deck also helps you TELL A STORY by simply following the wording in a sequential manner (much like I designed The Deck of Shadows to accomplish).

Take all of the larger cards (not the mini-cards) out of its cardboard house, remove the category dividers, and treat the whole thing as an oracle, itself. That’s right. I want you to treat the Dynamic Spreads Deck just as you would the Deck of Shadows, Lenormand deck, or Tarot cards. Shuffle the cards so they are completely mixed (you might have to break the cards into several smaller packs, shuffle those together, and then combine the whole lot depending on your experience handling cards – think of this much as you’ve seen dealers in Vegas or Atlantic City handling large groups of cards). And then create a spread from the face-down deck using your intuition, imagination, and intention.

Many times people will come to us seeking an answer to a question they think they “want” answered. As often as not, however, what people “need” to hear about it not what they really think it might be.  The Dynamic Spreads Deck provides you an elegant way to actually figure out what needs to be discussed and the exploration and discovery can lead to some very, very intense readings without turing over one Tarot card. In fact, I’ve already done some reading in just this manner. Here’s a sample:

I had someone who had just transitioned from a very high-powered management position to a startup company. She’s very intense and people-driven (that’s why she was hired). But, she doesn’t own the new company and wants to make certain that she’s incredibly successful with her new employer. I shuffled the Dynamic Spreads Deck and pulled three cards:

LEAD  /  FOLLOW
NOTICE THIS  /  WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
TALENTS/GIFTS I’M AWARE OF  /  TALENTS/GIFTS I’M UNAWARE OF

How perfect for just this person’s situation! Can you see how this is a reading all by itself?

Of course, the Deck of Shadows and Tarot cards can then flesh out the balance of the reading.

Okay, for those of you who aren’t into readings but who would like to take your lives, careers, and businesses to the next level of success, this part’s for you:

One of the most important things a successful business person can do is to keep asking questions. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the work of everyday life, we forget how we got started, overlook what’s really motivating us to get up in the morning, and shy away from the bigger concerns by rationalizing we have another day to think about them. Forget fortune telling. We just want to flourish. (And for those of you in the counseling and executive coaching fields, what I’m about to say is PERFECT for you!)

I want you to imagine a deck of cards that forces you to mediate, contemplate, ruminate, and come up with answers that actually make a difference . . . to you, to your employees, and to your loved ones.

Who doesn’t want that? Right?

The Dynamic Spreads Deck can also be used as a meditative and thought-provoking business tool.  Here’s what I mean:

I have used Roger von Oech’s “Creative Whack” and ” Innovative Whack” packs before as additional creative strategy tools. Now, the Dynamic Spreads Deck gets easily added to that workflow; not just as a creative strategy tool, but as a tool for forcing me to think about those things we all should be thinking about. You’re not going to be using anything “woo-woo.” You’re just going to select a random card and apply it to your business AT THE MOMENT, and YOU’RE GOING TO PROVIDE THE ANSWERS OR ROUND OUT THE THEME.

For example, let’s assume you pulled the following three “random” cards:

RESPONSIBILITIES

COMMUNICATION

THE SOURCE OF MY ANXIETY

Can you see how these now force me to consider my business in a new light? Perhaps I need the answer to the following question: “What is my responsibility for the way my business communicates and is that communication (or lack thereof) the source of concern?” I don’t care who you are or what business you’re in, that type of deep inquiry into the mechanics of your career will have an impact.

My experience with the Dynamic Spreads Deck has been truly impressive and positive and expansive. I put this deck to use within minutes of opening the package! I intend to keep using it in a wide variety of roles.

Yes, it’s that powerful and useful.

I highly recommend that you obtain this product. I just know it will add new impact, new dimension, and new significance to any reading situation or business setting. But . . . you’d better hurry if you’re going to be the one who’s unique. I predict others will start using this and then you’re just going to look like you’re copying someone else.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Of course, you can see more about the Dynamic Spreads Deck here:

http://dynamicspreads.com/

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

Thinking Magically™ | I’m Scott Grossberg and This is How I Work

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs

For some time, the wonderfully entertaining and informative site, Lifehacker, has been running a “How I Work” series. Various people are interviewed and together they explore learn about what makes these people tick . . . From their favorite apps to their preferred gear and, of course, how they work. Lifehacker hasn’t gotten around to asking me to be part of this series, yet . . . So I thought I would do it myself. Many of you have asked how I accomplish my day-to-day magic. Well, here’s a sampling.

Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA (just outside Los Angeles)
Current Gig: Creator (that should nicely encompass me being an author, public speaker, executive coach, attorney, and magician)
One word that describes how you work: Passionate
Current mobile device: iPhone 5s (Space Gray)
Current computers: iMac (with dual display), MacBook Pro (Retina Display, 15-inch), iPad Air (128GB), and iPad Mini (128GB)

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why?
I live in either iThoughts HD (for iPad and iPhone) or XMind (for my desktop and laptop). Both are mind mapping tools that sync with each other. These tools mirror the way my brain works and allows me the greatest flexibility for my workflow. I still long for Lotus Agenda and I’ve now created my own Lotus Agenda replacement with these mind mapping tools.

Next would be Notesy (for iPad and iPhone) and Notational Velocity or nvalt (for my desktop and laptop). These are how I capture quick thoughts, reminders, and even record my time.

I’ve started using Siri a lot more. I probably dictate about 30-40% of the time now. I find it truly effective and efficient to dictate several emails in one Notesy entry and then break them apart later into more formal email transmittals. And when Apple’s iOS 8 is released, Siri is going to be even more compelling and omnipresent.

GoodReader is my filing system for my iPad and iPhone. It’s really the Swiss Army Knife of apps.

My handwritten notes are usually captured in a Moleskine (yes, I keep a terrestrial journal) or in an app called Noteshelf.
Naturally, I work a lot in my calendar – it’s how  manifest what I want to accomplish. So I am going back and forth between my desktop/laptop Outlook program and Pocket Informant Pro on my iPad and iPhone. They sync back and forth and make my life easier.

What’s your workspace setup like?
My office kind of looks like Mission Control. I have a dual monitor iMac setup. Dual monitors make me much more effective and efficient. I may even move to three screens at some time. I also have a Wacom tablet hooked up so I can draw digitally or make notes as needed.

I also have a standing desk. My MacBook Pro usually sits on that so I can move freely around without losing time.
Naturally, my iPad goes everywhere with me. When I’m traveling, my workspace is made up of my iPad, iPhone, personal hotspot, Apple TV, and extra batteries for the iPad and iPhone.

My workspace really isn’t complete without workout equipment (I like to keep moving). I have a Bosu ball, TRX suspension cord, a large stability ball, and a medicine ball in my office. I make it a habit to periodically take breaks and exercise.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
Planning, scheduling, and actually participating in my own success. I find that most people spend most of their time mostly reacting to what Life mostly throws at them. I like to plan, plan, plan. That doesn’t mean that I’m not flexible. But, I know what I want to create and accomplish on any given day. And I’m ruthless about not participating in and eliminating anything that doesn’t further my grand designs. I like structure. And I like routines.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I keep a Moleskine journal that is carefully configured to track my to-dos. For more complex and fluid projects, I will use iThoughts HD and XMind (mentioned above) to create elaborate action item workflows and deadline tracking.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My iPod. I still use the old iPod Classic. It’s got 160GB of storage and holds my entire music library. I must have music around me.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?
I’ve been told that I’m very organized and have a systematic way to make certain that things happen when, where, and as they should. I think that’s really a manifestation of my ability to see patterns in just about anything and everyone. I look at those patterns (even my own) and connect them to what I want to have happen.

Results are very important to me and my clients. That means I start with the desired result, first, and then systematically create a workflow and flight plan that will take me (or my clients) from where I am to where I want to be. It’s a very scripted and structured progression that has improvisation time built into it (no matter how much you plan, Life has a way of throwing you surprises).

What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to all kinds of music. Neil Diamond is my favorite artist. And I’ve really become enamored with Delta Rae lately. I usually set up custom listening stations on iTunes Radio.

I have been experimenting with ambient noise, as well. Take a look at coffitivity.com, rainycafe.com, and soundrown.com for some ideas of what I’m talking about.

What are you currently reading?
I’m notorious for reading three or four books at a time.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield; Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Sir Richard Branson; It Worked for Me in Life and Leadership by Colin Powell

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an introvert who’s learned to be an extrovert. Many of you have heard the story before: I used to hide under my bed when I was little and I was afraid to go into stores. I’ve developed a strategy – a system, if you will – that guarantees the superpower of being sociable. Still, I need my alone time to regenerate that superpower.

What’s your sleep routine like?
Sleep? What’s that? Okay, seriously, I don’t usually sleep through the night. It’s more like a series of naps. Cumulatively, I get about 4-5 hours sleep a night. Sometimes a little more.

There are times when I’ll take a power nap of 30-45 minutes during the day if I know I have a late night ahead.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
Albert Einstein, Neil Diamond, and Jesus

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My parents constantly reminded me that I could be, do, and have anything I wanted. The best advice from them was actually not a saying but their actions. My father was insanely entrepreneurial. My mother is the role model for being a bohemian. When you combine those two traits, you have magic.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?
The world is moving so fast and technology is changing so quickly that many people don’t think they can keep up. I promise you that by just employing a few, simple systems and creating a habit of success you can achieve what others think is impossible.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

Thinking Magically™ | Life is a One-Legged Event

My movements, ma’am, are all leg movements.
I don’t do nothing with my body.
– Elvis Presley

YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE RIGHT QUESTION FIRST

In preparing for the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon I was fortunate to have access to a wonderful running coach, Chris Heuisler.

Right from the beginning, Chris asked me: “Is running a one-legged or a two-legged activity?

What the hell,” I thought. “This has got to be a trick question.” But he seemed earnest in asking me so I thought about it a moment. Then the answer was clear: “It’s two-legged,” I proclaimed.

It’s a one-legged sport,” Chris corrected.

If it was a two-legged sport, it would be called jumping.”

Think about it.

He’s right.

And Chris’ repartee with me is also a great lesson in Life, itself.

For most of us, life is about putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time.

Oh, I know that we all periodically leap from one goal to another. And there are times we all feel like a rocket on a trajectory to a desired success point. But . . .

JUST MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT PLUMMETING SOMEWHERE

Let’s start with some distinctions.

When you walk, you’re placing one foot at a time in front of the other. And only one foot leaves contact with the ground at a time. And there are times when both feet are touching the ground at the same time. It is the most common way we all get around.

When you run, you obviously move faster than when you walk. And there are points in the activity when both of your feet are off the ground at the same time. Here’s the interesting thing about running: because of its unbroken nature, there is really no part of the actual activity that is considered a “beginning.”

When you jump, you are catapulting yourself into and through the air. Jumping is different from running (and certainly walking) because of how long you stay in the air and usually you land in one spot and that’s it. (I know there are creatures who get through life by hopping about – but humans aren’t know to do that.)

The reason Chris was so adamant about marathon training being a one-legged activity is that, as opposed to jumping, you have a starting point, you move forward, you keep moving towards a specific goal by walking or running or some combination of the two, you pass the finish line, and you keep moving. There is always one foot on the ground at some point to keep you stabilized and your momentum assured.

When you’re setting goals for success that are consistent and sustainable, you want to be in a one-legged activity – moving forward one foot at a time, constantly able to shift your course and speed as may be needed, and able to move on to the next goal once the initial one is achieved.

THERE ARE ALWAYS HURDLES TO BE OVERCOME

I was on the track team in high school. Periodically, I was asked to participate in hurdling to help round out the team. Hurdling involves both running AND jumping (it’s really called hurdling – not jumping). There are a sequence of barriers set up and runners must pass over these obstacles. The ideas is to hurdle correctly so you’re not just jumping over an obstacle and landing. Rather, you want to run, pass over the obstacle, AND KEEP GOING.

The last thing you want to do -TRUST ME – is crash into the barrier. You’re not going to finish, let alone win, the race. And you just might get hurt.

And without the proper training as to the technique you should be using, you can overcome a hurdle only to find that you’ve injured yourself because you’ve landed wrong on the other side.

And you don’t want to focus on the hurdle. That is nearly a guarantee you’re going to hit it.

Rather, you want to be confident in your training, your stride, and your technique so that, when the obstacle appears, you seem to just magically glide over it and get back to the race.

Life certainly has a way of surprising us, doesn’t it? When that happens, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve taken the time – ahead of the surprise – to determine some well-planned steps that you can rely upon to get you to, over, and through your obstacles?

If you will spend your passion and energy on planning your steps toward your goal, then you will be able to spend the least amount of that passion and energy getting over Life’s obstacles.

START YOUR ONE-LEGGED TRAINING TODAY

Nothing will destroy your pace through a race (and Life for that matter) than an injury to one of your legs. I know that most trainers have you concentrate on bilateral exercises and strength training. However, whether you’re participating in a marathon or going through Life, you will only have one foot on the ground for most of the time.

For racing, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each leg and foot. That means you should be doing some one-legged exercises to strengthen your core, stance, and enhance your performance.

For Life, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each step along the way to your dreams. That means you should be constantly training and learning new concepts and workflow ideas to strengthen your resolve to reach your goals and enhance what you do along that path so you are fulfilled when you finally “get there.”

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

Thinking Magically™ | The Most Important Thing You Can Be Clear About To Achieve Your Goals (Pt 2)

What’s important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems.
If the customer isn’t satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale,
if the shelf isn’t right, or if the offerings aren’t right, it’s the same thing.
You manage it like a small organization.
You don’t get hung up on zeros.
– Jack Welch

Today we continued to transform you from just being results-oriented to also being systems-oriented. (As a reminder, you will still focus on being results-oriented once you wrap your head around a system-for-success-type of focus so you can ensure the attainment of whatever goal you have.)

STARTING OUT: THINKING ABOUT THE PROCESS RATHER THAN THE PRODUCT

Let’s begin with an important concept that you’ve probably not really considered before – without YOU you can’t have success. YOU are the one who determines what success means at any given time. And YOU are the one who has to do something to make that success happen.
That means what YOU do is the foundational element to all success.

If you’re ever going to have consistent and sustainable achievement, you have to develop a system for success that works for YOU.
And here’s the real profound secret to all this . . . because it’s all about YOU, there isn’t a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to a system for success. Rather, this is all about finding out what works for you and how you do that success. From there it’s simply a matter of being mindful to the system you need to adhere to and following the steps.

SYSTEMS WILL GET YOU THE SUCCESS YOU WANT

This quote from Michael Basch, a founding officer of FedEx, says it well: “Ordinary people working with extraordinary systems deliver extraordinary results.” I like to paraphrase it like this, though: “Extraordinary systems used with extraordinary purpose will make anyone extraordinary. The results will follow.”

What does this all mean for you? If you want to change your results, change the way you get them.

If I could sit down with you and immerse you in the reprogramming for your success, most of the time we would essentially be creating and embedding “if-then” commands. There would be a whole bunch of conditional constructs that go like this: “IF this [whatever event you might imagine] happens, THEN I will do this [whatever action you want to happen] or ELSE I will do this [whatever alternative action you will take if the imagined event does not happen].”

With this simplistic system, you quickly learn that you can program yourself to respond to challenges in a way that furthers your bigger goal. This subtle program takes you from being re-active to pro-active. I wonder how many of you have ever actually done this: sitting down and actually programming now you will specifically and powerfully and meaningfully respond in a variety of situations. I can tell you that most of the people I encounter simply react to what they view as the uncertainty and whims of Life. That makes them – and perhaps you – the pawns of those who know what they want. I don’t think this latter scenario is the way you really want to go through life.

YOUR JOB IS TO FIND THE RIGHT SYSTEM THAT WILL GUARANTEE YOU THE OUTCOMES YOU WANT

Then, and only then, is it time to actually implement your master plan.

The formula is easy: ENVISION. PROCESS. EXECUTE.

I promise you that, if you will just obsessively follow this formula, you will FEEL BETTER. And . . . you’ll start seeing the results and impact and significance that you desire.

But you have to take the time to fathom out what the right system is for you. So, again, look back over your life and make a list of those things you do that bring you the best results or the best returns on your investment of time, energy, and money. Then, deconstruct what you did in the past and turn that into your own personal success system.

SIX SIMPLE STEPS TO SYSTEMATIZE YOUR LIFE (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SANITY OR BEING TOO RIGID)

If you still need a little help figuring out what the right system for you might be, here’s a possible outline for you to expand upon:

1. Write down what you want to achieve. Not the little day-to-day victories. What’s your one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (from James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies)

2.  Compare where you are with where you want to be. Be brutally honest. Really dig and find the gap that exists between now (where you are) and then (what you wrote down in Step 1). This is the gap that exists for you.

3.  Give your monster a name. Ask yourself: What’s keeping me from having what I want right now? There’s something (or someone) keeping you from having what you want most in life. What is it? Until you give a name to your monster, it will control you.

4. Fill in the blank. If I could be, do, and have anything I want to destroy what’s keeping me from having what I want, this is what it would be: ______________________________

5.  Brainstorm ways to destroy your obstacles. Again, take careful and complete notes of the system you need to put in place (the strategy and tacts you must follow) to eliminate your nemesis.

6. Fix the gap by implementing your system. Don’t just mind the gap. Don’t just give your gap lip service. And certainly don’t ignore it (if you do that, it will eventually gain on you and bite you in the butt on the way). You’re going to ACT. You have to carry out the plan you have devised step-by-step.

7.  Reassess where you are and what you want. Every time you make a decision or achieve a smaller goal, your bigger goal (what you want to achieve) might change. Be ready to start with Step 1 every step of the way.

As Ian Malcom said, “Life finds a way.” Now you can, too!

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you click below to share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com
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