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Silence as a medium

Silence can be uncomfortable, and it can be tempting to rush to fill “dead air.” When silence falls upon a meeting or lands abruptly in conversation, it can be unsettling and anxiety-provoking. You may question the efficiency of communication or worry that your message has been misunderstood.

But silence is one of the most powerful communication tools we can use. When harnessed, silence allows room for focus, self-reflection, empathy, and introspection. Sometimes, silence is exactly what is needed for a creative storm to follow.

The next time you find yourself in a silent standoff with a friend or among colleagues… pause. Invite silence into the space and watch what blossoms.

“Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Words come out of the void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.”

Wayne Dyer

Dealing with fear

Fear stops relationships from growing, businesses from booming, and projects from shipping. But to deal with fear — to dance with it — you have to first recognize the role it plays in your creative process.

Fear is natural. It’s not going anywhere.

It’s much better to learn to see it and confront it so you can put it in its rightful place.

Don’t shy aware from fear. Dance with it, instead.

Tell me what helps you manage your fears @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.

Miracle Questions

Miracle questions can be helpful when you are trying to power through roadblocks or identify the direction of your truest dreams. Social workers and therapists around the world use miracle questions as tools to help clients solve problems creatively and positively.

These types kinds of questions help shift an individual’s perspective from one that is problem-centric to solutions-focused:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do?

If you woke up and no longer had to deal with ____, what would your day look like?

What would be a sign that you’re feeling 100%?

For more on miracle questions (and how to use them), check out the following links:

Who are you watching?

Check your browser history. Which sites claim most of your time? What pages are you visiting regularly? Whose stories do you tap? And when do you stop scrolling?

The people you watch, the photos you admire, the videos you pull up — they all say something about who you are and who you aspire to be. Notice where you are directing your energy and focus.

Time is currency. Spend wisely.