Author, Speaker, Mentor

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Take time to sharpen your mind and rest your body.

You will need to stop regularly and take time to sharpen your mind and rest your body if you want to be truly creative in your life and work.

In the bogs of East Galway there was once a contest between two turf cutters. Whoever could cut the most turf in twelve hours would be the winner. With shiny, sharpened sleáns (the tool used to cut turf), the two contestants approached their designated bog areas.

From the moment the contest began, one turf cutter cut continuously. For the entire twelve hours, he never once stopped cutting turf. The other contestant cut for an hour and then stopped to rest for ten minutes. And then, like clockwork, he continued to do this for the rest of the day. At the end of the twelve hours, the number of pieces of turf that had been cut was counted to see who had cut the most. It was the man who rested every hour who won the contest by a dramatic margin.

Amazed and confused, his fellow contestant inquired about the winner’s secret. Without hesitation, the winner freely told him: “Every time I stopped to rest, I sharpened my sleán.” This meant it stayed sharp and cut the turf quicker and easier, unlike the other man’s sleán, which got blunter and blunter as the day wore on.

This is true for ourselves, too. We all need to stop regularly to take time to sharpen our mind and rest our body if we want to be truly creative in our life and work. Getting creative will empower you to move in an upward spiral of growth, change and continuous improvement. It is important to identify what works best in helping you to rest and relax, thus renewing yourself and enabling you to be creative and have the stamina to achieve the life you want to live.

A good place to start is to allocate some quality time to thinking about the life you are living and the life you want to be living and then thinking creatively about how you can bridge the gap. This is all about knowing where it is you want to bring your life and getting creative about how best to get there. It means having the courage to take time out to build up your energy and let your creative juices flow in the pursuit of the life you want to be living. One of the best ways to do this is to know what activities give you energy and what activities take your energy. Then you can see what to spend more of your time on in order to build up your energy and creativity.

If you do want to follow up on what has been written here and living a life of true and real success for you please check out my books – available from Amazon.

Image by A_Different_Perspective from Pixabay

When was the last time you were really rested and relaxed?

When was the last time you were really rested and relaxed? Was it at the end of a holiday or maybe when you had something cancelled at the last moment and had some unexpected time for yourself. How did you feel – more confident, less stressed, clear-headed, even creative and more energised?

You will need to feel all these things if you are going to set out the life you want to live, and then have the courage and determination to make the changes needed to see it happen.

Take some time to answer the following questions:
What stops you from taking time out to rest, relax and get creative?

  • Is it that you would feel guilty because you have so much to do and it wouldn’t be getting done?
  • Or do you not feel worthy of taking time out for yourself as you have to keep going to meet the demands being placed on you by everyone around you?
  • Could it be that if you took some time out, you might just really get to see how your life is and that’s not a nice thought for you?

So, go on and answer the question – what is really stopping you from taking time out to rest, relax and get creative? We can’t change something unless we know what that something is. You need to first identify it. Only then can living these traits help you overcome what is holding you back. What would help you now to take some quality time out, giving yourself the space to reflect on and set in motion ways of becoming a self-leader in your own life and working towards the life you want to live?

Might it be getting up a few minutes earlier in the morning or just switching off the television a little earlier in the evening to give you some quiet time to answer the questions and do the exercises in this book? Would buying a writing pad or a Dictaphone (if you prefer not to write) to record your thoughts and ideas help you? If so, just go and do it. We all have our own strategies for how best to do this – see what works best for you. Once you have identified the best strategy for you – go for it!

Is it that you don’t know how to take time out to rest, relax and get creative? It might take a lot of trial and error to discover what does work for you when it comes to resting, relaxing and getting creative. Only it really is worth putting in the time and effort to truly discover what it is that does work for you.
Taking time out will allow you to keep on learning how to live and make the most of the life you are living. Self-leaders allow themselves the time to be silent, and so they begin to cultivate the power of the imagination, which helps them move towards what they want their life and work to be about. For you, this time out may only be ten to fifteen minutes once a week. This is a great start and will give you something solid to build on. Make the most of this time and use it constructively. It is not about looking back over the past and digging up regrets and mistakes or just day-dreaming about the future. Look at where you want to go and what you are doing about it.

So, with this in mind truly am grateful for the opportunity to be here in Vilnius to launch The Six Traits Of Self-Leadership, give a presentation on Personal Leadership and Goal Setting as all as to get to take some time out to relax, get re-energised, upbeat and creative for the year ahead.

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