How to Increase Creativity in Anything You Do

 

Creativity is the key to great writing, meaningful work, deep relationships and inspiring leadership. The key to knowing how to be more creative lies in understanding how our brains work. It’s more simple than you might think.

Everyday our brains are scanning the horizon of our circumstances in order to know what to do. Every email we read, each Facebook post we scan, and every conversation we engage, tells our brains what to do next and engages the appropriate behavior. photo_lightbulb copy

Our brains are built to function in one of two ways: (1) Threat or (2) Reward. Everyday we are constantly trying to avoid threat and embrace reward. The more we condition our brains to see less threat and more reward, the more creative we will be.

There is a simple reason for this. Stress and threat release hormones that shut down our creativity called adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. These hormones are good for you when you are fighting or running for your life. But, they don’t work in your favor if you are trying to be creative.

When we see the world through a reward based framework, our brains release “happy chemicals,” such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin. These chemicals help us to feel more creative and motivated. We are more likely to accomplish our goals such as, coming up with a brilliant idea, finish writing the next chapter of a book, excel at your next athletic event, or just simply having an incredible day with your family. (more…)

Why You Need the Michelangelo Phenomenon to be the Real You

Just under the surface of your life is a person able to fulfill your deepest longings and dreams. Someone incredible who is filled with love, peace and joy. It’s who you really want to be when you are completely honest with yourself. This is who you really are deep down inside. But it is difficult to let that person emerge from their shell so they can be fully seen. This is called, ‘the authentic me.’ Michelangelo knew how this felt.photo_artist_paint_copy

Understanding this truth, helped him become one of the greatest artists in the world and he applied this principle to specific sculpture he called, “David.” He is known as the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance and among his other works are the Sistine Chapel frescoes in Rome, Vatican city and Pietà which depicts the Virgin Mary grieving over the body of Jesus who is lying on her lap after the Crucifixion.

The realization of what Michelangelo discovered became known as The Michelangelo Phenomenon.

David was sculpted out of a block of marble that became one of history’s most famous masterpieces. What’s interesting is that this same block of marble was twice rejected by other artists and sat 40 years waiting for the hands of Michelangelo. Like many of us, people lied about its potential and kept in the shadows of false pretenses and unworthiness.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

Everyone of us is like that block of stone, there’s greatness inside, but it has to be released. It has to be carved out through hard work. It has to be sculpted by the individual who can perceive their own greatness. You must recognise it in yourself, but you can’t do it alone. You have to enlist the love and care of others.

Bringing out the Best of Yourself

The Michelangelo phenomenon is about others bringing out the very best of what inside you, in order for you to reach your fullest potential. You are the block of marble containing greatness inside. But you need the people who are in your life to chip away the excess and help shape the beauty within.

The world tells you the lies. You can’t reach your dreams, you are a failure, you cannot be the person you deeply desire to become. The list is endless. These lies are there to greet all of us around each corner of life’s road and they steal the hopes and passions of who we want to become. (more…)

The Truth about Grit and Why You Need to Develop Mental Toughness

I’ve discovered something that is one of the greatest contributors to people’s success. I am deep into the world of sports with my five kids – from ages 10 to 19. There’s barely a weekend that has gone by the last 15 years that we haven’t been to a tournament of some kind. We have walked through a ton of disappointment, failure, tears – championships and successes, but I have always wondered,  “Why are some athletes mentally stronger than others? Why do they stand out of from the crowd. How are they so good at overcoming failure? What sets them apart?” But this discovery isn’t limited to sports. It applies to the game of life. Some people succeed and overcome more regularly than others. They have a greater sense of purpose and they live a more meaningful life. Why? They possess something called grit. photo_kayak_grit_copy

In scientific studies this one characteristic has emerged again and again as a significant predictor of success. This extreme trait of self-discipline is known as, ‘mental toughness,’ or ‘grit.’ The people who learn this skill accomplish truly extraordinary things in life.

What’s interesting is that intelligence is only responsible for around 30% of people’s success. This dispels the myth that only the most gifted and talented succeed. This is good news for anyone who wants to succeed more often because if they excel in grit, there is a very high chance they can outperform those who don’t.

What is grit? According to Angela Duckworth, the researcher who discovered this personality trait, grit is, “Passion and perseverance for long term goals. It’s having stamina, sticking with your future, day in and day out.”

In her studies she discovered:

  • Ivy League undergraduate students who had more grit also had higher GPAs than their peers — even though they had lower SAT scores and weren’t as “smart.”
  • At the elite United States Military Academy, West Point, a cadet’s grit score was the best predictor of success in the rigorous summer training program known as “Beast Barracks.” Grit mattered more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.
  • When comparing two people who are the same age but have different levels of education, grit (and not intelligence) more accurately predicts which one will be better educated.
  • Competitors in the National Spelling Bee outperform their peers not because of IQ, but because of their grit and commitment to more consistent practice.

Understanding and applying grit and mental toughness will give anyone a huge competitive edge in a fractured world.

So what can you do to be different and make grit work for you? First, understand that your brain functions like a muscle. The more you utilize what I’m about to share with you, the sharper you can hone these skills. Building new neural pathways will take time, but once those connections in your brain are built, the results are powerful. You need to stick with it because it will take a little time to clear the cobwebs.

Here are three proven ways that will help you stand out from the crowd. (more…)

6 Proven Ways to Motivate Yourself Every Day

It happened to me this morning. No motivation to write, to get moving, to work on my goals – just an overall state of blah. I felt off. I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of a low-grade funk. What could I do to motivate myself? I decided to go back to the basics of what I’ve learned about motivation. I practiced what I’m preaching below – and it worked.

OUR EMOTIONS CAN BE BIG FAT LIARS

Our emotions are precarious rascals. They can often lead us astray, lie to us, compel us to give up and take the easy route. They can convince us that our dreams won’t come true, we won’t live a happy life, and that the next disaster is waiting just around the corner. That’s what emotions can do when they rule us, but we must rule them. It’s the key to seeing the most important things we desire in life become reality. photo_motivations copy

Most emotions are coming from information our brains are receiving. If we wake up dreading the day or telling ourselves we don’t want to face what is ahead, guess what the corresponding emotion will be? It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The reason this is true is because of the neurotransmitters that spark the chemicals being released in our brains that tell us what to feel. The release of dopamine in our brains is a key factor in the determination of our motivation. Add these things below to your daily morning diet and you will be sure to increase your levels of motivation everyday and feel completely different about seeing your goals and dreams become realities.

Find simple ways to manage your mood.

The mistake most goal setting courses and productivity systems make is this – they fail to consider how our emotions affect every single thing we do. Why is this important? Because of how our brains are structured which I discuss above. This is also why it is so critical to learn how to increase positive emotions in our lives. These 6 simple things can be game changers to increase our motivation. (more…)

You Can Immediately Change the Way You Feel About Yourself and Others

TomDavis_Positivity_HopeChest_2 copyI’ve put together a free video that will help you immediately change the way you feel about yourself and others. This skill will help create more success in your life in almost every area that’s important to you.

Let’s be honest, we live in a negative world. There is no way around it. We have to be PROACTIVE if we are going to fight against the tide of negativity and create a more positive mindset. The benefits are countless and proven by research: a longer life, more creativity, deeper relationships, more joy, increases trust, makes you more resilient – I could go on and on. You have everything to gain when you are more positive and you use this skill. This video shows you how.

But we are already behind the 8-ball. We need to be immersed in over 100,000 healthy, positive thoughts every single day. Most of us are way below 50,000 (scientists count these things not me!) which means that we are not experiencing the quality of life, peace of mind, physical health, connections and relationships we need.

It takes time to change your mind – and increasing your level of positivity is a process. It took many years to develop the mindset you have and it will take some time to create the one you want to have. I am going to help you make simple, small steps to infuse more positivity and authenticity into your daily activities. Every teaching or video is meant to help you understand the mechanics of how your brain functions and learn new skills that help you flourish. I promise you it’s worth every second of your time investment.

This video is free to our community. If you are already a part, simply click the link above (Head over to our exclusive content area) to watch. If you aren’t part of the community, all you need to do is enter your email (above) to become part of the community and have instant access. Thanks for watching and please let me know how this skill helps to improve your levels of positivity – tom@yourpositivitycoach.com

Sustaining Personal Change in 2016

Engagement & Positive Relationships

Have you ever wanted to change something about yourself but you just couldn’t pull it off? The change you created was only temporary and then you slipped back to the old person you didn’t want to be. This has happened to me more times than I can count. Now that we are on the verge of 2016, many of us will, once again, sign up for a goal-setting course or make New Years Resolutions – only to find that in February, we’re back to the same old people we were at the end of 2016. Why does this continue to happen when we are so well-intentioned about change? 
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It’s a complex issue but the reality is that we cannot sustain change unless we change our mindset. Our mindset has to do with the thoughts that flow in and out of our minds every second we are awake, every single day. It’s the sum of our values and beliefs about how we see the world and how we interpret it. It’s our “life-filter” that tells us what we believe about the world, about others, and about ourselves.  The gravitational pull – so to speak – of our old mindset habits are just too strong to break without a holistic and comprehensive approach to how we think.

I’m teaching an online course on this topic in early 2016 – but until then I want to give you something you can use now to begin the process of sustaining change and transforming your mindset. (more…)