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Get Ahead by Getting Out

step_outQuite a while ago, we heard an interview with Bjorn Ulvaeus, one of the members of the band Abba. He described how he came up with the idea for the song, Take a Chance on Me.

He said he was out jogging. The rhythm of his steps just kept screaming these words to him …

Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance, chance, chance.

Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance, chance, chance.

His time away turned into a song!

You just never know where a great idea is going to come from. Isn’t it funny how many times it will happen in a place that you’d least expect – like in the shower!

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Mix it up

Sometimes it pays to vary your routine. If you always follow the same routine, you can get stale. The answer is simple – mix it up!

Take a different way to work. Get to work later. Take lunch at a different time. Hang out with a different group of people. Whatever it may be, variety can spark new ideas.

Get out

Mixing it up is a great preventive measure. But what do you do when you’re already stuck?

We’ve noticed that getting out is a great way to get unstuck. So try changing your scenery – go for a walk, move around – even if it’s just for a short time.

We’ve found even just a few minutes away – from our computers, from our desks – sometimes leads us to the answer for which we were looking.

Even Beethoven needed to do it

As incredibly creative as Beethoven was, even he would get stuck every once in awhile. To get ahead, he would get out. In the book, Beethoven: The Man And The Artist As Revealed In His Own Words, authors Friedrich Kerst and Henry Edward Krehbiel quote the great composer:

“You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty; they come unsummoned, directly, indirectly, – I could seize them with my hands, – out in the open air; in the woods; while walking; in the silence of the nights; early in the morning; incited by moods, which are translated by the poet into words, by me into tones that sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.”

If Beethoven were alive today, maybe he would add “at the coffee shop” to his list! 

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Don’t Wait Until the Cougars Get Hungry

By Dana Mancuso
Bigg Success Contributor
05-28-08

Life Skills

cougar 

There were two cougars. Somehow they had killed a tiger and eaten it.

Never mind that this was in a hotel that I was staying in and that the scenery kept changing.
And never mind that I was walking past these two cougars on tip toes down the long stairs to the lobby to call 911 on my cell phone. In fact, ignore completely that this was a dream I had, because there is a point coming up that makes more sense than cougars eating a tiger or being in a hotel.

So in this dream, I called 911 and told the man who answered about the two cougars on the loose. That they had eaten a tiger and were just wandering free around the hotel – scaring guests nearly to death.

Long story short, I had to hide in a hotel tub (which was now outside) and put some type of board over my head to keep away from the cougars. While in the tub I called the folks at 911 again. When are you going to come get these cougars? At least send someone to stun them!

Okay, here comes the part that will later make my point. They asked me if the cougars had eaten anyone else.

NO, I told them. Well then, they didn’t think they needed to come get the cougars yet. The cougars had just eaten a tiger, so they should be full for a while. 

As often happens in dreams, this one ended without any resolution. But come on, this one needs some resolution. Someone has to come get the cougars before they get hungry, right? And someone should have recognized on the other end of the phone that even full cougars are dangerous.

As I thought more about the dream, this seemed like a classic procrastination story. Wait until later. No need to tackle this problem now. The cats are fat and sassy! But wait a minute; how long do cougars stay fat and sassy once they’ve eaten? Most things in life aren’t going to jump out and eat you if you don’t deal with them. But not keeping up can really take a bite out of your day or your ego.

This dream made me look at procrastination (which I am great at in some cases) a little differently. I had never looked at procrastination as something dangerous both now AND later, like the cougars.

  • It is dangerous now because putting something off robs me of my sense of accomplishment. It robs me of peace of mind. Even if I put it off now and “put it out of my mind”, I still know it has to get done. And so it nags at the subconscious.
  • Later it robs me of time because I have to rush to get it done.

Dreams can help you work out your “awake life”. This one was a step in the right direction for me. Instead of siding with the 911 voice, I strongly opposed putting off catching the cougars and wanted to take action now. Not a bad anti-procrastination statement! Maybe next time I can catch the cougars and conquer procrastination forever? I’ll tell you what I find out. Anyone have a stun gun I can borrow?

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