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Ask Why

Is "why" the toughest question? It can sound accusatory. It can sound provocative. Used clumsily it can prevent information from being shared. It's a dangerous question. But it's useful. Sometimes as leaders we do need to know why. Stay curious. Not judgmental. When we need to know why, we need to know why. Part of communicating for results is getting the information that we need to make decisions. Hedging is for the stock market, not feedback conversations. It takes courage to ask why, and it takes courage to answer why. Ask it anyway. Ask it because. Why? -- Doug Smith

Solve Those Big Problems

Are you ever tempted to major in the minors? Do you ever find yourself working diligently on things that barely matter? It's happened to me -- a whole day spent answering and reading email. A whole day perseverating over one slide or one learning activity. A night in a new city spent revising the 50th draft of a program I'm already doing. Instead, let's focus on making things better. Let's tackle the big problems, before they make all the little cares obsolete. Big problems need not be ignored. We dare only to tackle them before they bury us. Reform banking. Stabilize climate change. Feed the hungry. House the poor. Eliminate exploitation and inequality. Which problem concerns you the most? What ideas do you have about solving that problem? -- Doug Smith

Creative Notions: Spinning Wheel of Creativity

Do you ever find yourself wanting to be creative but stuck for where to begin? I like to work with random prompts sometimes just to get my creative flow started. Here's one I captured on video while taking my morning walk. Two things occur to me - 1. It's a great way to identify what medium to start your idea in, and 2. I should shave before filming a video. Your spinning wheel doesn't have to be elaborate. It's just a way to get the start of an idea started. You could also substitute the types of creative works for something else random. If your creative works are solely focused on painting, put different styles on the wheel. Or colors to use.  Mix it up. Add an element of chance. And then get started. What's your best creative notion today? -- Doug Smith

Should You Fake It 'Til You Make It?

You hear it all the time: fake it 'til you make it. What do you think? Here's my humble take on the concept: And yes, it might occur to you that I am faking it as a videographer. No, not faking it -- it's quick, it's cheap, it's my creative notion for the day. -- Doug Smith

Quality or Quantity?

When you're being creative, should you go for quality or quantity? That's my question today in my morning walk Creative Notion. What do you think? -- Doug Smith

Fountain of Youth

What creative project are you working on this weekend? Here's a little video written and directed by Daniel Vaughn that I acted in a little while ago. Oh yeah, we made it over a weekend. Create a fabulous, inspirational day! -- doug smith

Creative Notion #1: Landscape, Please

When you make videos with your mobile device, how do you hold the device? Vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape). Here's my thought on that: I know the production values on this video are sketchy but that's not the point. It's part of a series of quick creative musings designed to get you going creatively. Now. Enjoy one wonderful creative and inspirational day! -- Doug Smith

Creative Notion Number 2

Make a video! That's my creative notion. You already know how easy it is. But make one very short video each day to spark your creativity. Here's what I offered during my afternoon walk: Have a fabulous, creative, inspirational day! -- Doug Smith

Grow Through Noble Goals!

Are you growing? Are you learning? Are you excited about what you're working on? We need to keep growing. The alternative is just not appealing. Grow. Learn. Make new roads and set new directions. Here are some goals worth growing for: Achieve peace thru dialogue Reform banking into a fair and stable system Build stronger relationships thru deeper conversations. Develop shared understanding by discovering, exploring and creating art and music. Normalize climate thru conservation and renewable energy Do you need more? That's a hefty list. Call it my wish list. Noble goals all. I have NO IDEA how to achieve any of them, they are all much bigger than me or my influence. But maybe you have a clue. Maybe you have a way. Maybe you know someone who knows someone get the idea. We've got to start somewhere, AND we've got to grow, so why not grow thru noble goals. Break them down. Get started. Grow. -- Doug Smith

Goals Help You Manage Your Time

Time doesn't care. No matter what you're doing, it just keeps moving along. For a large part of my life there seemed to be an insistent ticking going on in the background of my existence. Everything had an urgency about it because any distraction was keeping me from doing what I was meant to be doing. Whatever that was. Because that changed over the years. Goals change, people change, life changes. I have no patience for wasting time, even though it's one of my super powers. It's a gift to never be bored, but that also means that anything, absolutely anything, can become so fascinating that it's like falling down a rabbit hole with no end. Fun, interesting, fascinating, but sometimes (gasp!) wasting time. Goals help me with that. I set goals for every day. What 5 things do I NEED to accomplish today to feel good about how I've spent my time? What will bring me closer to my mission? What do I want to remember this day for? I don't always do it. And,

Get Going!

If you stopped right now, took a walk, then took the rest of the day off, would you have accomplished something meaningful? Would you have achieved a goal? I can get stuck. I can procrastinate. But give me a goal, and I'm all over it. Goals get us going. Get going! -- Doug Smith

Find Shared Meaning

Have you ever tried to get someone to buy into one of your goals, only to have them steadfastly resist? It seems so easy to understand why we'd want to work on our goals, but it's not always so easy for others. What does the goal mean? What benefits are there in the goal? How will things be better? Which problem does your goal help to solve? Once we find shared meaning on our goals, it's much easier to inspire action on them. Figure out what your goals mean to others -- and help them to understand that. If it matters to them, your goal is well on its way toward success. -- Doug Smith