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Embrace mess

Side steps. Mistakes. A missed call. Broken code. Messes are often where innovation is found; the places we release control and let go of “perfection” is the space the unexpected is allowed room to breathe.

Julia Margaret Cameron’s smudgy photographs became her hallmark. Navajo rug weavers intentionally left imperfections in their work. Wabi sabi ceramics celebrate imperfections. Silly Putty wasn’t meant to be entertainment, and Potato Chips were the result of a complaining customer.

The next time you feel like you’ve made a horrible decision or dropped the ball, see if you can reframe the moment as an opportunity.

Have any of your mistakes worked in your favor? Tell me @redheadlefthand.

turned off laptop computer

“Can coaching help me?” 7 questions to ask

Is coaching worth the investment?

Coaches can be the spark plug you need to move towards goals and become more aware of sabotaging patterns. A trained coach holds you accountable, charts your progress, and cheers as you make professional and personal strides. But how do you know which coach is right for you?

Before you choose to enlist a coach for extra support, get clear on the help you’ll receive. Research your coach’s background, training, and past success. Many coaches offer a complimentary session before you commit to working with them. Use that time to better understand the training and offerings of this professional. Here are a few questions you can start with:

Have you worked with other professionals in my industry?

Do you have a process for your work with clients?

How would you describe your coaching style?

What can I do to get the most out of our time together?

What is the most common struggle you see with clients?

Tell me about a time you helped a client and felt proud of their progress.

Do you provide outside resources — books, podcasts, worksheets?

Have you worked with a coach? Let me know @redheadlefthand.

What keeps you going? (4 ways to spark curiosity)

I’ve been asked what keeps me motivated. The question echoes when I pick up a book, stop at a piece of art, choose a film, or marvel at a friend’s project. What drives passion and fuels excitement? Curiosity.

What keeps you going?

I understand when life becomes disenchanting and hard, curiosity isn’t a natural tendency. The ability to become and remain curious is something like a well; a source that gives back with the right attention. Here are four ways you can spark your own curiosity:

Prepare yourself

Curiosity, like creativity, requires space and intention. You have to invite curiosity into your life. It starts with awareness and depends on your ability to observe not only the world around you, but yourself.

Get active

Curiosity requires participation. When you become curious, you no longer passively gaze at photographs or mindlessly consume shows. Curious individuals wonder. They wonder why certain topics are triggers and think of questions to ask creators.

Lose your pride

Curiosity demands that you set aside “expertness” and search for that which you do not know. You might feel silly or out of place, but your questions will direct you to new territories of understanding.

Aim for overexposure

Search for a variety of sources: Books, people, professionals, amateurs, stories, news, programs, Google, teachers, friends, art, songs, podcasts. The more sources you confront, the richer your experiences become.

How do you feed your curiosity? Tweet me @redheadlefthand.