The Art of Self-Renewal: A Timeless 1964 Field Guide to Keeping Your Work and Your Soul Vibrantly Alive

>”The self-renewing man … looks forward to an endless and unpredictable dialogue between his potentialities an the claims of life – not only the claims he encounters but the claims he invents.”…

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I see now, I travel and learn new things as a way of keeping creative, fresh, alive and young. Here’s a great summary of how to live fully and avoid becoming fixed and rigid both with our individual selves and as a society. Much to learn here.


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Looking for the Q?

Q squashQ ringQ Paint

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The thing about creativity is that it really is a state of mind. One of the simplest ways to engage with your creativity is to get out there and observe. Observation may seem so innocuous but it is the cornerstone of how we might get that innovative spark. What others miss or overlook we can see. What genius. So simple a concept, so powerful, yet many people are completely blind to it.

I took this challenge to go out and look for the Q. Today I went out without a particular place to go. All I had in mind was to keep my eyes open and to find letters in my surroundings. I thought about where I could find objects or things that resembled this unique letter. My first thought was “What could possibly look like a Q?” My mind wasn’t tuned in yet and I drew a blank. But as I mulled it over in my mind, exercising that creative muscle, what I thought was going to be difficult, in fact wasn’t so hard when you think about what a Q really is. It’s just a circle with a stick. That could be anything. So off I went.

The first thing I saw was a those plastic pull tags that seal around the cap of a milk jug or juice bottle. It looked just like a Q. It was right there in front of my eyes. Everywhere I looked I started seeing all kinds of letters– in tree branches, in railings, in floor tiles, and benches.

The secret to being more creative is first to look and see. How observant are you? Are you missing out on opportunities because you are too wrapped up in your own mind. Get out there and start looking for found letters. Make a project of it and do the whole alphabet. It will really get you seeing what is already in front of your eyes.

For more fun seek out adventures


Years ago I came upon Michael Bungay Stanier who put together The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun. As I was clearing out clutter that mysteriously seems to build up, I again came across my notes on these irresistible principles of fun.

Between you and me it was the promise of more fun that really drew me in. If it’s not fun then what’s the point.

You can check the 9 minute video on YouTube but here is a rundown on the 8 principles.

Get focused

  1. Stop hiding who you are. Find out who you are, then turn up the volume and be yourself.
  2. Start being intensely selfish – What impact or legacy do you want to have? Don’t waste your time on anything else.

Be creative

3.  Stop following the rules. Pretty much all rules are negotiable. It’s about what can you do.

4. Start scaring yourself – explore, be bold, outrageous. Seek out adventure.

Use your wisdom

5. Stop taking it all so damn seriously. It’s not life or death. Lighten up.

6. Start getting rid of the crap, the things, habits, memories, attitudes, people who weigh you down.

Take Action

7. Stop being busy. It doesn’t mean you are on the right track. If your digging in the wrong hole, stop digging.

8. Start something. Don’t wait for permission. There are always reasons to procrastinate. Just start.

"Fun, off the job keeps him on the Job&qu...

So many of us get so wrapped up in our work or the dramas that encircle our lives that we forget why we are here on this planet. I’d like to think we are here to experience everything life has to offer and a good part of that should be fun. I hope these 8 simple steps inspire you to just start something and have a helluva good time doing it.

Share your scary parts and your crap-giving-up parts. Tweet to #morefun


How I can help you:

Whether you are looking for a new perspective or tackling a challenge, as a Certified Coach Practitioner coming from decades of consulting as a CPA, I combine my knowledge of business processes, leadership and creativity with my unique creative problem solving framework to help you be creative, grow, transform and succeed. I’d love to chat with you today.

How to make your dreams come true


Every now and again we may dream of something wonderful, a travel destination, a new fulfilling job, a meaningful relationship. Oh, how we wish it to come true. Then what happens? We may dismiss this as daydreaming never truly believing it could come true. We may unwittingly feel fear of uncertainty or change and unconsciously decide it’s safer to do nothing. Slowly and surely this cycle of self-doubt and fear starts welling up.


At first glance we see a large insurmountable gap between our current place in the world and the dreamed about state. Certainly there is a gap since there is always a space between being here and getting there. Between fear and doubt we begin to feel discouraged. This type of thinking, if kept unchecked can result in a life unfulfilled. We end up not going for our dreams but accepting what others decide will happen to us. And without fueling the activities that fire us up and create passion, with self-doubt and insecurities getting the better of us we may find ourselves sad, depressed, even bewildered. But of course we don’t admit this because we tend to rationalize our behaviour and thoughts. We become disconnected with ourselves and stop being a creative human being and become more of an existing and doing automaton.

Let’s turn this cycle around. If you are dreaming you are a creative being. Here are some of my antidotes to help cure these ills:

Fear: We experience fear when we don’t know what will happen or feel we have no control. In actual reality we have absolutely no control of our future, of what will actually happen. What we can control is our thinking and reaction to it and its events. We can only feel some control in situations that are familiar to us. Antidote- Take baby steps in what you fear to familiarize yourself how it feels. Remind yourself that you can only control yourself and your mindset, everything else is just someone’s perception of reality.

Doubt: In any new venture you may feel doubtful of your abilities. Perhaps you are a perfectionist or fear embarrassment. One thing is for certain; no-one starts out being an expert. Babies don’t gracefully run, they waddle then try to walk, and try again, and try again, and try again. Antidote: By the very act of just doing it, regardless of how good you feel about it, will quickly make you better than before. So recognize your doubts are just fear whispering to you and just do, and do it again, and do it again, and do it again.

Elixir (album)Here is a keynote speech I recently watched on How to make your dreams come true.


How I can help you:

Whether you are looking for a new perspective or tackling a challenge, as a Certified Coach Practitioner coming from decades of consulting as a CPA, I combine my knowledge of business processes, leadership and creativity with my unique creative problem solving framework to help you be creative, grow, transform and succeed. I’d love to chat with you today.

Hiding behind Busy

Dry Stone Wall English Peak District

It’s a rainy grey morning here in Montreal. Today I don’t have any firm deadlines to meet. My mind wanders to what I could tackle next and inevitably I land on reading through some blogs. The word “busy” percolates to the top of my mind. In one bloggers words as it relates to her dating approach, she says “I guess I have never made myself available in the past, masking the fear of responsibilities and commitment of having a relationship with the word ‘busy'”. I began to think this insight not only applies to ones’ success with dating but really to work and life in general. Think about it. How many times have you asked ‘how are you’ to a friend or colleague only to hear the reply “busy” or “busy busy” as one of my former colleagues used to say. If you catch yourself replying with the word busy, stop! and then add on “but not too busy to talk to you” or my favourite, “but I have all the time in the world”.

What is busy anyway? We all have a million things to do and how we choose what to act on now is a conscious or unconscious choice based on our priorities, or how we feel. Notice how I didn’t say priorities of importance. While it would be nice to do the important things first, generally we end up working on things we feel like until the 11th hour and a firm deadline. If you have never read the 7 habits of highly successful people and First things First by Steven Covey, I recommend them. He shows you how to organize your time into four quadrants; 1) urgent and important, 2)not urgent and important, 3) urgent and not important,  4) not urgent and not important. We spend a lot of time in the 4th quadrant which includes things like too much T.V. or social media and other time-wasting activities. We spend too little time in the first quadrant which includes the planning, preparation and creating our path.

What is your busyness approach? Are you hiding behind that word so that you don’t have to reveal how you feel or today’s challenges. It may not even be toward others but to yourself. You may be feeling overwhelmed and believe you are so so so busy. This busyness attitude may actually feed into your feeling of self-importance as well. Only you can do this task, or do it this well, you may think. We can actually create our own stress based on what we believe we must do and the self-talk we listen to. Don’t let you busy self stress you out. I find it amazing that some people can seemingly do everything with ease and some of us struggle to find time for one thing. Part of it is just perception and your envy coloring the picture. In reality we are all living our lives, full of activity and ups and downs. The secret is you have the power to chose how you want to live, how you want to think and how you want to feel. This power comes from what you tell yourself first then what you tell others. Those with the “busy” mindframe may miss out on some of life’s greatest adventures since they seem to have their minds buried in the busy pit.

Consider the next time you hear someone reply they are busy. Realize that they may well be masking their fears and hiding behind all those bricks called ‘busy’ that eventually creates a wall. Try to poke a hole in it, make a connection. Ask a question or invite them for coffee. Sometimes the busy ones feel a bit trapped and would welcome a helping hand out.

3 Steps to Overcoming Your Self-Doubts – Huffington Post

See on Scoop.itSociety, Life and Creativity

3 Steps to Overcoming Your Self-DoubtsHuffington PostFor me they were: relationships, creativity, and social life. Now ask yourself, “Are these the three areas where I spend most of my time?” I’m guessing not.

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