Active Life Choices Are The Key To Making Changes In Your Life

by Richard Furleigh

Conversations with different important people in my life combined with my own recent frustrations with not feeling like I’m creating as much as I want have led me to a deep reaffirmation of the following: anything you want to do has to start with an active choice.

When I say an active choice I do literally mean something that is an action (or lack thereof) in your life. Putting on your shoes and walking around the block, eating a carrot instead of chips, not buying that new game that just came out, putting pigment on that brush and applying it to the canvas. As long as it is something that physically moves you toward your final objective that is the crucial first step. It shows that it isn’t impossible to start, that accomplishing small tasks as part of the whole is do able, and even if it’s as small as going on that walk to start your diet you can point to it and say “I did that, and I can do this”

Recently I’ve been struggling with feeling like my time has constricted itself to the point that I have no time to be creative, to really create new content and art that I feel is important. So I’ve made two changes that I know will help me. First I’ve looked at other things that I have done this semester. I may not have made any “art” per say, //

A silly little thing I made, I call it “Penguin Execution”

but I have broadened my horizons with blogging, and making the couple videos for other classes. These are still very valuable skills to have in creative creation and framing that in that way has helped me feel a little better about it. Second I’ve decided that I will begin writing or editing a piece once a week for a minimum of 30 minutes without interruption, which means no cell phone! This is my actionable goal, and honestly I have to stick with it, just to get things down. I’ve told myself I’m not shooting for Shakespeare here, just getting words on the page is important because especially in the creative process sometimes you don’t know what you’re putting down is good until after it’s already there. I could also just write utter crap, but that could be the crap that spurs the golden thought, or the groundwork for a great scene after editing it. Honestly it doesn’t matter, just getting something done to progress my goal is the key to get things going.

When it comes to life and our choices it really does boil down to “if you always put in what you’ve always put in you’ll get in return what you’ve always gotten.” If you want to change something about your life then find one thing, it doesn’t even matter how small, and start there. Maybe you’re trying to write the next big movie script but can’t seem to get past character and world development. Cool, just writing even one line of dialogue a day is a start. The key here is to make a change that echoes across your life, to pull the trigger on something that is actionable to you.
So what is it that you have been putting off because it seems too daunting? What is that thing that you know you should do but just haven’t got around to it yet? Well, this is the time to do it. I’m not asking you to plan every tiny detail, but get a rough idea on where you want to go and start with one item. One task that will move you in the right direction. Once your done with that one, make another, and another, and…. But for now, just one, small, task, to finish is all you need. If someone needs a little advice, help them out, share this with them and offer to help them be accountable for their task. We can help each other grow and learn too. Until next time Pengminions!

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YOU Can Be the Key to Innovation

It is not always easy to be different but it

is important to embrace your different. No one has your exact story or your experiences in life. You should bring those with you on any project or any job that you do. You have a unique story so don’t forget to utilize your differences to bring something new to the table no matter what you do. We are all different but our experiences aren’t so far removed from someone else’s that they aren’t relatable on some level.

You could also be bringing a perspective that a particular group had not thought of, based on their individual histories, but would be important in order to reach more people or create a better idea overall depending on what you are pursuing. Innovation cannot happen without a ‘different’ thought.

Innovation involves deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values from resources, and includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products…”

You have to be willing to put yourself out there in order to help the collective. No one can share your story but you. No one knows your perspective if you do not share it with them. This can be in art, business, relationships, ect. In art, theatrical arts for me, we are story tellers. If we are not willing to give of ourselves the stories fall flat and become a hollow shell of the power that they could have had. Or we could miss out on creating the next Hamilton because we were unwilling to share our unconventional ideas. In business, that new product or service may never be thought up if we are not willing to change things up or share our experiences. In relationships, with any and all people we encounter, we could be missing out on new or deeper connections.

I know we talk about innovation in terms of business often but really I think the opportunity to innovate in all aspects of your life is endless and we are the key if we are willing to put ourselves out there and share who we are. I challenge you to stop doing all you can to blend in and not makes waves; MAKE WAVES and share your thoughts. Where do you plan to start sharing more of YOU? Let us know down in the comments. We love hearing from you. Til next time Pengminions!

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5 Things to Inspire Creativity

~Kristen Furleigh

Sometimes the pressure to BE CREATIVE can be overwhelming. At times this makes you feel the least creative when you feel as if you must. First, take a breath and remember it is not the end of the world if in a particular moment you aren’t able to come up with a grand masterpiece. We have to take the time to recharge our creative juices from time to time. Here are a few ideas that might help you; which I can remember to use too when I’m putting pressure on myself to “create.”


1.) Take time to get outside: One of my favorite things that almost always gets my brain going is going for a walk or hike. Even a walk around the neighborhood can be revitalizing. You don’t have to go into the backwoods on a soul searching journey to become inspired. Find a local park and feed the ducks. Check out your local botanical garden. Anything with some fresh air.

2.) Listen to music: Music can be just what the creative doctor ordered when you are feeling stuck or uninspired. Create playlists that make you feel. You can even break them into particular feelings, moods, life moments. Maybe just a mix/hodgepodge, radio station, or new to you music works for you; do that. No one person’s recipe works for everyone. Apps like Pandora, Slacker, and 8Tracks are perfect. One of my favorite playlists is called Listen to the Grass Grow or I have a few old CD’s that take me back to certain times that I find inspirational that I will pop in from time to time.

3.) Work on something completely unrelated: When we are feeling the pressure to create a particular thing and have exhausted our faculties in a particular moment we need to take our mind off of it and absorb ourselves in another task. This can give our minds the break it needs to become inspired. I cannot tell you how many times my ideas come about when I stop obsessing over them. It can be frustrating because we want to be able to be creative on demand but sometimes you just have to go with how it comes to you and give yourself these opportunities rather than trying to force them.

4.) Use what you know: Often times we forget to utilize the tools and skills we already have. What do you already know how to do and how can you tweek it to help in your current creative endeavor. Our past accomplishments can be a spring board for our future ones as well. Even look to skills you have that may at first glance seem unrelated; there is often a connection you can make between what you have done and what you are attempting to do. Capitalize on this knowledge.

5.) Know when to use Technology or disconnect: When you are overwhelmed technology can be a great resource to get your juices flowing. Just Googling can get you pointed in the right direction. Stumbleupon is an awesome resource because you get to choose interests and it stumbles through the internet to find you related sites. I highly suggest photography, nature, and any offbeat sort of interest to heighten the potential of finding inspiration. On the other hand know when technology is more of a hindrance and learn to disconnect. With the overabundance of social media sites we can get sucked in or constantly distracted by notifications; give yourself permission to turn it off.

**Bonus Tip**  Other People: Spending time with other people can get your mind off of the task at hand allowing you to rejuvenate. They could also be a sounding board for potential ideas. They can help with a brainstorming session or just give you the support you need to recharge.

I hope these tips are helpful to you the next time you are feeling static. What helps you out when your creativity is just out of reach? We would love to try some of your techniques; we are always hoping to learn more! Leave them in the comments. Til next time Pengminions!

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