A Fresh Idea for 2023: Your Time is Not a Democracy

As a new year unfolds, here’s an idea that I think it’s worth reflecting on: your time is not a democracy.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode on The Chase Jarvis Live Show entitled “Your Life is Not a Democracy“. I thought about the same idea, but applied to time and how it’s our responsibility to make the most of it to live a fulfilling life.

Time can be tricky. Time can be a blur. There isn’t enough time for everything at once.

Some days, you wish you had more hours to work on as many projects as possible; however, other days, everything just seems to be moving slowly, and momentum fades away. Regardless of what any given day brings, it’s you the one deciding where your focus is.

Then again, your time is not a democracy.

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Creating Habits: Ask Yourself Questions to Move Forward

If you’re looking for ways to create new habits, especially as we’re getting closer to the end of the year, it’s worth reframing the way we look at this specific action.

You will find a ton of information on the Internet on how to do it. The advice will be useful, without a doubt. You can get information from a variety of sources and make your own plan to proceed and improve your life.

My suggestion: ask yourself questions that require a mindful answer.

This idea comes from James Clear when he was interviewed for The Chase Jarvis Live Show. When Chase asked him about creating habits, James proposed going inwards to develop what you need.

This makes a lot of sense. You are the expert of your life; therefore, you are the only one who can tailor your habits to advance your career, improve your craft or your life quality.

I came up with a list of questions to help you get started.

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What’s the value of your time? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with money

As you get ready to start a new day, let me ask you: what’s the value of your time?

Something that may come to mind is “I’m worth $25 an hour”, or maybe more dollars depending on your occupation and experience level. While that’s a valid answer, time goes beyond the value of money.

One thing you can’t buy more of in this world and that is time.

Minimalismmadesimple.com

The relationship between money and time is peculiar. When you have some cash in your hands, you can either spend it or save it. The same thing happens with the way you use your time. However, unlike money, you can’t get back the time you’ve spent.

Therefore, the value of your time is higher than you can imagine. How are you currently managing it?

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Imperfect creativity: good is enough

Imperfect creativity is natural and good enough.

Anything that requires creativity has a human touch and humans are imperfect. This idea is still hard to assimilate. At some point in our lives, we’re taught to avoid mistakes and get flawless results.

Recently, I thought about my literature teacher in high school. Our discussions in class tended to lead to all kinds of random topics. One day, he expressed his frustration at some students that were obsessed with getting perfect marks. His words were unforgettable:

“In this life, you have to deal with the fact that you’re not perfect.”

He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Maybe that statement sounded too harsh at the time, but the wisdom is there. If you think about it, life itself is imperfect.

So why is it worth hanging onto perfection?

Perfectionism is connected to your self-worth and is something you probably have to keep working on to overcome.

Creatives Doing Business

That’s another hard pill to swallow. In the Western culture, this is a constant struggle. Aim to be perfect or go home. On the other hand, in other cultures of the world, embracing imperfection is normal.

For example, there’s the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi. Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, defines it as “the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”

I love the idea of finding beauty in the imperfect. There’s value in creating, doing your best to give it form, and releasing it to the world and let it be in its full glory with glitches included.

Creations are never complete. There’s always an improvement to make or a new version to start from scratch. After all, wabi-sabi is based on the cycles of nature, which are constantly changing. No creation ever stays the same.

With this concept in mind, how can you embrace imperfect creativity in your daily life?

 

Declutter your mind: creativity lies deep within you

Declutter your mind, and creativity will flourish.

Now, this may sound a bit confusing. When hearing the word “declutter”, you might immediately think of cleaning your house or work space. However, tidying and organizing also takes place in your head. This a more complex task to work on.

Yes, aesthetics is an important aspect to feel that you are in a healthy and pleasing environment. Therefore, if your space is uninspiring or doesn’t reflect “you”, then a redesign might be necessary.

To declutter your mind, though, actions have to go deeper. It takes time, energy, and willingness to dismantle barriers that inhibit creative expression.

Let’s go through a couple of key points.

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The creative process to write books: a series of changes

As I published Kaleidoscope Eyes, I’ve been thinking about the creative process to write books.

There’s all kinds of strange highs and strange lows. On the most challenging days, blocks fill you up with negativity: “Is this good enough?” “Is anybody going to be interested in this?” “Why would someone want to read an unknown author?”

While writing my novella, I went through stages where I thought my work had no potential. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish the job for not having a compelling story. Self-doubt was a huge obstacle.

However, part of the creative process to write books involves finding ways to overcome those blocks and stay tuned to your creative seasons. I’d like to share my experiences here.

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Creativity and inhibitions: a deadly combination

When thinking about creativity and inhibitions, a couple of questions come to mind:

What blocks creativity? Why is it that, at times, we feel that we can’t use our full creative potential?

We are going through some difficult times in all aspects of our lives. Creativity is one key factor that can help us figure out our next steps in what we’re trying to solve. However, if we’re mentally blocked, it’s going to be challenging to move forward.

I recently came across an article on the top 10 common factors that inhibit creativity. This is an eye-opening read, and it caused such impact on me that I decided to expand on three of them:

  • Laziness
  • Fear of failure
  • Keeping your work to yourself

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Por qué escribir en inglés #AlgoPersonal

¿Por qué escribir tu primer libro en inglés?

Fue parte de la espontaneidad del proceso creativo. Todos los escritores tenemos historias en nuestras cabezas, y muchas veces, ciertas decisiones surgen de la curiosidad por experimentar.

En mi caso, empecé a escribir “Kaleidoscope Eyes” en el verano del 2016. Estaba de vacaciones con mi familia en México y en septiembre de ese año regresaría a Canadá a seguir estudiando. Como estaba muy decidida a publicar este libro, y como en ese momento el idioma inglés se había convertido en lo más cotidiano para mí, mis escritos resultaron en este idioma.

Al mismo tiempo, me pareció buena idea probarme a mí misma que tenía la capacidad de desarrollar una idea de principio a fin en un idioma distinto al mío y seguirlo aprendiendo.

A partir de esta experiencia, veo grandes posibilidades de expresión en dos idiomas que han sido parte de mí.

Las posibilidades del lenguaje son infinitas y hay que sacarle el máximo partido.

 

There’s a time to flourish: creativity at its best

There’s a time to flourish and a time to be dormant.

A time to play and a time to rest.

A time to socialize and a time for introspection.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant something and a time to pluck it up.

Creativity is no different. Each step of a process comes with a season, in which times are more active, and others are more contemplative. Contrary to all the ideals of productivity, it’s unrealistic to expect outcomes nonstop.

It is a mistake and a misreading of nature to think that you, a living creature, will be flourishing all the days of your life.

austin kleon

Therefore, it’s crucial to know when to do things.

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A garden in your mind to cultivate ideas

Did you know? You have a garden in your mind. It’s possible to plant ideas like seeds and watch them grow as you water them everyday. Fred Rogers, creator, showrunner, and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, puts it more beautifully:

You can grow ideas in your mind. You can think about things and make believe things and that’s like growing something of your own.

fred rogers

It’s basically like gardening, and it’s no trivial pastime. It’s more than the growing of plants. It’s actually the expression of desire.

Have you ever wondered why certain thoughts are more recurring than others? It’s worth examining why they’re around frequently and under what conditions they tend to pop up the most.

Ideas, like plants, can be dormant in certain seasons. They’re waiting to be activated.

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