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JUNE 2002 BRAINSTORM

Here is your June e-bulletin. I hope it finds you enjoying the summer. Now let us get started with a useful way of looking at life day-to-day …
Use Eagle Vision
Writer Martha Beck says that in some Native American cultures the eagle is a symbol of a type of seeing that stays above ordinary life, putting everything into a larger context. She advises thinking this way during your daily planning sessions. Two questions will help you: What experiences do I want to have in my time on this earth? And, How do I want the world to be different because I have lived? For each item on your to-do list, ask whether it adds to a positive answer to both of these questions. If not, get rid of it –- dump it, delegate it or, if you have promised and cannot avoid it, do it but make sure you do not take it on again.
Tip: Ease into this by using eagle vision once a week at first, then extend it until you are doing it every day. Once you have decided a task is worth doing, switch to mouse vision, which means giving all your attention to the task at hand until it is done. If you want to find out more about these techniques, see the book "Finding Your Own North Star," by Martha Beck.
Use Doodle Power
Fast Company magazine reveals that the design for the stunning new Guinness Building in Dublin, which looks like a giant glass of Guinness, was sketched out on a cocktail napkin. Adrian Caddy, creative director of Imagination, Ltd., which worked on the building’s design, says, "Most good ideas are born out of a little sketch. A crudely drawn doodle has the power to communicate an idea to a really huge audience without much backup explanation. … You can capture a lot of passion and energy in a small space."
Tip: If you make presentations, try giving up the Powerpoint or the slick overheads and make simple drawings to illustrate your points. If you cannot draw a straight line, not to worry — very few drawings require straight lines. The novelty of your drawings will make up for any lack of technique.
Is it Time for You to Fire Anyone?
In the current issue of Inc. Magazine, Norm Brodsky writes about a lawyer friend of his who recently fired three clients because they were rude to his office staff, or took forever to pay their bills, or were generally disagreeable. At first Brodsky thought this was admirable but fiscally foolish, but changed his mind when his company had to deal with a verbally abusive customer. He fired her, too, although it cost his company a large contract. Life is too short, he decided, and he has never regretted it.
Is there anybody in your life who needs to be fired? It could be supplier, a customer, even a former friend who does not respect you. It could even be a store — all too often, we go back to a store even though the service was terrible. The other day I shopped, for the last time, at a supermarket where the counter clerk was more interested in chatting with a colleague than serving customers. Before you ask why I didn’t complain to the manager, he was standing by watching all this. We all deserve respect, and there are a lot of people out there who will give it us, if we just decide to go looking for them.
Tip: The next time you are dealt with disrespectfully, consider firing the person or company responsible. They may not care — but you will feel much better.
Where Are You Sitting?
I have previously recommended the wonderful book, "The Art of Responsibility," by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander. I also found an interview with them on the Tom Peters website, in which Ben Zander talks about how he notices that when he gives a lecture, some people automatically head for the back row. He says when people go into a room, their tendency, without really realizing it, is to take themselves away from the action. Either they want to observe, or they want to hide, to escape, or to avoid participating in some way.
Sometimes he invites them to come sit at the front, not because it is bad to sit at the back, but because he just wants them to consider the options.
He says, imagine what it would be like in a world in which people did not hold back, that they really just came down to the front. Even if they did not have any idea what was going to happen, and yet they were willing to really risk something … If we all lived our lives that way, what a different world we would be living in.
His point: If you decide to sit at the back, that’s fine, but then it is a considered move, not an automatic one of shrinking from participation.
Question: Where do you sit most of the time (literally or metaphorically)? Are you taking the back row seat in your own life? What might it be like to move to the front?
Tip: The next time you find yourself automatically heading for the back row (again, literally or metaphorically) stop to ask yourself what it might be like to try sitting in the front row instead. I bet you will find an opportunity to do this in the next 24 hours.

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Did You Know that the "Power Trances CD" by Jurgen Wolff can help you relax, generate ideas, and still the inner critic? And that it makes a terrific present that friends can use again and again? For information about content and ordering, send an email to BstormUK@aol.com.
Christmas in June or July
Also on the Tom Peters website was an interview with author and consultant Harriet Rubin.
One of the things she talks about is three ways of giving presents. One is that she always carries around two books, one she’s reading, and one she’s read and will give to somebody she meets. The second is giving unique gifts on particularly obscure occasions, when people don’t expect them. And, finally, when a potential client rejects you, giving them a present as a way to keep the channel of communication open. These are three great chances to create positive feelings or to feed friendships. I especially like the second one, because everybody likes getting presents, and especially when they are unexpected. They don’t have to be big things, either, just a reminder that you were thinking of the recipient.
Tip: This newsletter is about creativity, and one of the best things we can create is good feelings. Think about whom you could delight with a little present this week (you could even give yourself a present …).
And Last But Not Least … A Quote to Think About:
"People often say that this or that person has not yet found him or herself. But the self is not something that one finds. It is something one creates. — Thomas Szasz
Our web site is www.BrainstormNet.com . You might also enjoy my book, "Do Something Different," available now in the United Kingdom from book stores and
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