If only I had a crystal ball…Guess what? You do.




Will meditation mats replace the dusty treadmills in the office gym?

If only I had a crystal ball, my life, my business would be so much better…. What if you had the same crystal ball as the “world’s most famous trend-spotter?” Futurist, Faith Popcorn says you do.

When asked how she has been able to predict future behavior with 95% accuracy, Popcorn tells IdeaCity 2010 that the secret is intuition and observation.

“The way to figure out the future is to pay attention to your instincts. It’s listening to your third eye, your heart, (whatever you prefer to call it).  It’s trusting what you’re feeling, seeing, tasting, listening to.  Our firm simply pays attention and we look for patterns.”

She also warns clients (the world’s biggest brands) against basing decisions on the past.

“The past does not repeat itself.  It’s like a wide tie.  You can’t just save the old one, the new ones are always a bit better.”

I’m not sure…it’s just a hunch, but it sounds like cultivating intuition, or the art of listening within, is as vital to our livelihood  as the art of social media. Maybe meditation, the practice of quieting the mind so we can hear that voice within, will one day be encouraged as much in the workplace as Tweeting, blogging and lunch-time jogging.

While that may be a few years down the road… we can start by paying attention to the 17 trends in BrainReserve’s Trend Bank. The company’s mission is “lifting ourselves and others into our best future.” All we have to do is to look at these and ask ourselves what does this mean to me, my life, my business?

What do you see in your crystal ball?


Graceful transitions

"Dance" sculpture in Phoenix, Arizona

So, I’m thinking about what’s next… It amazes me how when you have something on your mind, related things, people, messages come into your life. Check it out:

  • Last Wednesday afternoon, I’m at the library, Googling around and discover 3 blogs and 5 articles, all written by architects, all with the same message I’d been trying to convey in Inside The Exterior.  I was so excited and inspired because I had been struggling, wondering if my message was connecting with architects (the intended audience for James Hardie’s blog.)
  • Wednesday night, I stay up until 1 am writing 3 architects + 5 articles = all the answers, tweeted it to all 3 architects, all 3 responded, thanking me for continuing the conversation. I wasn’t sure how we’d collaborate, but thought there was possibility…
  • Thursday afternoon, I received a call from  James Hardie’s marketing department  saying they needed to end the blog.  My only thought was, “Hhhmm, how am I going to continue the discussion with architects?”
  • Friday, I didn’t have time to think about it… I had other deadlines.
  • Saturday, I skipped yoga, went for a hike, then watched my nieces fearlessly dance their hearts out at a recital.
  • Fathers Day started on the back of my dad’s motorcycle, with a ride to Starbucks, followed by the A-Team and In-N-Out burgers. (It was the least I could do after all the girl movies and tofu he’s endured for me.)
  • Monday, I wrote the “Goodbye” article.  I’ve struggled with the timing of this because I have architect interviews scheduled for the blog.  I still want to get their stories out but I’m not sure how to make that happen.
  • I remembered a passage from Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart (a book dedicated to, “people on the path of discovering and trusting their soul… and those involved in creative endeavors, including artists, writers, healers” (and I’d add architects):

“It’s okay not to know what we want, what’s next, or what we think our lives will look like down the road…sometimes the reason we don’t know is that what’s coming is going to be very different from anything we’ve experienced before. Even if we knew, we couldn’t relate to it, it’s that new and that different. It’s a surprise.”

  • Tuesday night,  What is Design?, by Jody Brown of Coffee with an Architect arrived via email.  He compares design with ma” a japanese word for the interval of time between two things. I thought it was interesting that in the West , we don’t even have a word for this. We’re expected to push forward, with a plan in place, an outcome firmly in mind.  Wikipedia calls not having a word for this space, a  “serious omission.” I agree.
  • This morning, I woke up at 3 am with this article and  graceful transitions on  my mind.   In the yoga that I practice, all the poses are connected, we move from one to another, with intention, slowly, not rushing, with smooth, steady breath. It’s the transitions that give the practice its comfort, grace, ease.

So, I’m not going to worry about what’s next.  Instead, I’m going to slow down and focus on graceful transitions.  I’ll transfer my efforts to my site (the one I’ve been neglecting). I’ll keep writing about creativity and connecting with humans vs “consumers.”   I’ll stay grounded in gratitude for the opportunities I’ve had and everything I’ve learned. I’ll stay open to grace and look forward to the possibilities (and surprises) ahead.

I hope you’ll join me at ThoughtfulContent.org ;
Be my friend on Facebook ;
Follow me on Twitter ;
Let’s connect on LinkedIn

Commit to ship

“What you do for a living, is not be creative. Everyone is creative. Your job is to ship,” says best-selling author, Seth Godin. In this video, he argues that the biggest obstacle to shipping is our own lizard brain.

Why does it work this way? Why do humans sabotage their own work? In his new book, “Linchpin,” Seth Godin says we’re like chickens. And, chickens are like lizards. The lizard brain’s only concerns are, “How am I going to survive? How am I going to have kids? And, ‘I’m uncomfortable, How am I going to get out of here?” He suggests that while we may have started with a lizard brain, fortunately, we grew a bigger brain on top of it. That brain is concerned with sharing, loving, breaking tradition casino online – all of the things that make being a human great. We love living in that dreamy part of our brain.

Creativity isn’t the problem. The problem is every time we get close to delivering on our great ideas, the lizard brain speaks up. It says, they’re going to laugh at you, you’re not good enough, you’re going to get in trouble. So we don’t do it, we sabotage it, we thrash it with edits, additions and deletion until it’s beyond the point of recognition, past deadline and over budget.

Creativity isn’t the problem.  It”s getting our lizard brain to shut up long enough to ship.  We like having the list of reasons to not go forward. We’re comfortable there. But, if you’re aware of the lizard brain, you’ll welcome the discussion early in the process and listen to all the reasons you shouldn’t do it before you invest a lot of time and money.  You’ll either agree and let it go. Or, you’ll commit to ship.

You don’t need more ideas. Remember, everyone has them. But, only a select few commit to ship.

Forget change. Focus on possibility…and accountability

I know change is the buzzword right now… I understand that it’s necessary, inevitable, and that I need to “be the change I want to see.” I just don’t like it. It makes me think I’ve been doing it wrong and I need to be fixed.  I’m probably going to have to let go of something I enjoy.  It could take a really long time and be really, really hard.

I’d rather accept that everything that’s happened until now has been part of the process and focus on what is possible. What can I do, what do I have control over, how can I make my world better? This is not the same as positive thinking or sitting back and hoping. This requires an objective reality check and some effort.

That’s why this blog is not about change, it’s about possibility… and personal accountability.  What stops you from embracing possibility?

Waking up…

I love these posts from Seth Godin, Welcome to the frustration decade and Seven Years Gone because they’re reminders that every day we wake up and choose the point of view from which we see life. We can live each day blaming others or being accountable for our current state. I hope 2010 is a year of waking up, taking responsibility and recognizing our potential to build the business, have the relationships, live the life of our dreams. What will you choose?

Contemplating possibility, watching the sunrise, Maya Tulum, Mexico

Contemplating possibility, watching the sunrise, Maya Tulum, Mexico

Optimism + 5 Big ?’s = branding opportunity

Change is Now

In Porter Novelli’s “Change is Now”, they say Optimism is the message people want to hear and change is the one thing we can count on, for better or for worse.

“By its very nature, change is a state of chronic questioning, in which people are prone to playing out catastrophic scenarios in their minds. Anxiety will begin to subside only when people start to believe in a new kind of success, set long-term objectives and look for strategies for moving toward those objectives.

Rebooting isn’t about getting everything back to the status quo, it’s about
moving toward a smarter status quo with a new understanding of what’s desirable,what’s possible and what needs changing.”

“Change is Now” also offers insight into these 5 Big Questions… issues to ponder as you’re planning a meaningful communication platform for your business.

1. Will lifestyles, needs and expectations change in the wake of the economic crisis? What will be the chief drivers of consumption?
2. Is “change” more than a buzzword? How are attitudes, behaviors and relationships changing – especially generational and gender dynamics?
3. In an age of less is more, how radical are we willing to get with change? What will our collective mood be?
4. In the thrify, post-crash, always-tuned-in world, where and how will we find personal refuge?
5. Now that we have experienced a systemic failure firsthand, how will we address the looming health care crisis?

Porter Novelli offers insightful publications, and an Intelligent Dialogue blog.

Curves, shifts and crisis – barriers making us better

As a marketer and reluctant, Optimist, I’m intrigued and inspired by the changes technology, the economy and our mindset are forcing us to deal with. While we used to be able to push through and just do what everyone else is doing, genuine barriers like

– learning curves (the blog’s up, now what am I going to say?),
– power shifts (media to corporate; corporate to consumer),
– identity crisis (you can’t fake it anymore)

are forcing us to reflect on who we want to be, how we market and how we engage our targets (also known as “humans”).

While change is hard, regardless of experience or budget, embracing instead of resisting it can create some pretty great realities. Here are just a few:

1. Opportunity. Anyone can participate regardless of budget or size.
2. It’s not about you. It’s about them. You have to care. Genuinely.
3. Creativity and individuality are considered good things.
4. Forced reflection vs typical reaction. Those jumping on the bandwagon without a true strategy will struggle. Another opportunity for differentiation.
5. It lets others sell for you. And isn’t that so much more powerful (and rewarding) than having to sell yourself?
6. The bright light it’s shining on the need for meaningful marketing content. Everyone has it, you just have to uncover and unleash it.

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