Ep. 109 - Increase Your Success By Planning Intentional Time To Think

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What You'll Hear in This Episode

[spp-timestamp time=”02:26″] – Taking Time to Think and Create


[spp-timestamp time=”13:10″] – Steps to a Successful Retirement


[spp-timestamp time=”25:23″] – Properly Organizing Your Estate


[spp-timestamp time=”31:41″] – Michelle Howard – Founder of Living Learning Libraries


[spp-timestamp time=”45:04″] – Cyrus Wall – Michael’s son on the importance of classic books for kids.

About This Episode

Resources Mentioned

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Taking Time to Think & Create

As humans, we're creatures of habit, which is something that works in favor most of the time. Eating, working, even playing is something we must make into a routine for us to live a  healthy and balanced life. 

For most people, the day starts with an alarm clock and from then all the way through the workday and into the evening routine, we follow the pre-scripted routine of our day. One task or appointment rolls right into the next one, without us even thinking about it.

In today's world, with all of the automation were blessed to have, this can become even more. . . well, automated. When we're not in a task, we're picking up our phone to see what task is next, or to check-in on social media to see what tasks others are doing today. 

We Never Stop Receiving Information

Our hands almost always have our phone in them and that's a firehose of information flooding our mind. We move from the phone to our computers and from our computers to our televisions. We even have automated smart assistants giving us information when we want it. "Alexa, when do I get to take a break from all of this?"

Years ago, we didn't have all of these devices feeding us everything we need to think about and more. Don't get me wrong, these gadgets we own are a tremendous blessing and we're all achieving more because of them.

External Information vs Internal Creativity

The information we're flooded with is all externally sourced. A calendar invite from a friend, a video from our favorite teacher or coach, a new podcast episode to help us set goals, or an email from our client. All of this is consumption of information and ideas. When do we go from consumers to creators?

Creativity is something which comes from within us. Sure, we may be inspired by something we see, feel, hear, taste, smell, but that's not the inventive creativity we need to create new ideas. Those all come from our incredible mind or thoughts within us. 

Years ago, we didn't have all of this information coming our way. This gave us more time to pause and reflect. We had time without television to sit outside and look at the stars; when is the last time you took more than a passing glance at the heavens above us?

Innovation Requires Intentional Planning

The innovators of today are the ones who are pausing and just letting uninterrupted thought flow into their mind. Creative people are sitting at the beach, watching wave after wave roll up onto the sand, without interrupting that rhythm for the sake of another selfie. 

Today, it takes you making an intentional effort to put down the phone, set aside the Kindle, and turn off Netflix. Today, you have to schedule silent moments into your calendar or their just never going to happen. Use the technology which distracts us most of the time, to remind us to not be distracted.

When you are intentional about creative down-time, you'll find new ideas show up more often. You'll have more moments of reflection and gratitude for everything we're blessed to our in our lives. When you're grateful and filled with creativity, you'll find your life accelerates with almost effortless action towards new opportunities which lead to a more enriching and rewarding life. . . for us all.

This Week's Challenge

Press pause and put intentional down-time on your calendar. Start small with 2 to 3 times per week for only 10-15 minutes. You'll notice, as soon as the cloud of busyness clears your head, you'll have creative thoughts and ideas flood your mind. Keep a piece of paper nearby so you can write down all of the ideas when you're done. 


Michelle Howard

Author, Speaker, and Librarian

Listen to the interview with Michelle Howard at [spp-timestamp time=”31:41″]

Michelle Howard started Living Learning Libraries in an effort to create a space where kids WANT to read, learn, and be inspired. Originally started in Michigan, Michelle is now working on a second library in Florida with plans for additional libraries filled with thousands more rare books. Michelle is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama, with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Communications.

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