Just Keep Pushing!

by The Red Recruiter on July 31, 2009

SandDunesThis has been a tough year on a lot of people!

Businesses closing, people

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losing their jobs… more than a few dreams crushed in the process – plans shifted to the back burner. I know that the recruiting industry has thinned out substantially, and I’m sure the same is happening in many other realms of work.

When I look back on my life thus far, the biggest failures really had everything to do with my thinking. I’d get down… frustrated… I’d embrace a sense of defeat. In retrospect, it was very counterproductive. My life never improved when my thoughts were focused on the negative aspects of my circumstances.

So, where is the light at the end of this tunnel? How can we regain focus and purpose in order to see it through to the better times?

Plan Your Thinking

Emotions are hard to control. The whole idea that you can just “think positive” is a load of (insert desired text)! Close your eyes, imagine the good, focus on the positive things… whatever!

If you want to feel good again and gain control of your mind, develop a plan. Develop a strategy around accomplishing your goals. Do yourself the favor of having a strategy and act on it. My old boss would always say, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” He was right. Now that I own my own businesses, I see the importance of this every single day…

So, why don’t more people take their emotions back by planning? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I would usually hold off from planning for two reasons. First, my fear of commiting to the plan. What if something changes? What if I can’t accomplish it? What if my idea is useless? Second… I didn’t like the way that others wanted me to plan. Use this spreadsheet, fill out this multi-tier worksheet, put together this 100 page plan… I’m way too ADD for that stuff! So, I wouldn’t do it.

Mentally mapping out your plans is good, but writing things down will provide more structure. I agree with that, but I didn’t want to do it the same ol’ way… the expert planning way.

Towards the first part of the year, I was working with Alicia Arenas on the organization of SMACK Social Media, a training curriculum that we put together for people in San Antonio. Alicia showed up to the first day of our planning with this big drawing pad. In the center she wrote “SMACK Social Media” and drew a circle around it. What followed involved the addition of many circles and connecting lines… everything leading to an idea, project or task. What resulted was a great way to see the vision, plan and path to execution. What seemed overwhelming, suddenly made more sense in my mind. She called this process mind-mapping.

Here is a “mind map” for my business so that you can see it in action.

mindmapred

Planning as a Method For Coping

So, you may be asking… what the hell is this guy getting to? Good question!

My point is simple. The world is complex right now for many people… perhaps you. I’ve been there and I know how it feels. I’ve adopted a method for organizing my thoughts (thanks to Alicia!) that has drastically changed my ability to reach my goals and envision the future.

I don’t care if you are mind-mapping your scrapbooking plans or your professional development path… it works for almost anything. If you have a pen and a notepad, you can start taking control of your mind. With your mind in check and a plan in place, you are much more likely to adjust your thinking towards progress and leave the realm of negativity behind. Just keep pushing!

Give it a shot, don’t give it a shot… the choice is yours. Just thought I would share what works for me.

So, how do you stay positive? Do you have a ritual? Do you plan? Endulge us with your secret sauce!

  • http://www.upgrade-design.com/ Jon L. Long Sr

    Michael, I think this is worth trying and I can already see it up on the dry erase. UD in the middle and all of the bubbles with spokes pointing into the central core. It looks like a great way to do a quick visual of how things should come together. Thank you Alicia!

  • http://www.upgrade-design.com Jon L. Long Sr

    Michael, I think this is worth trying and I can already see it up on the dry erase. UD in the middle and all of the bubbles with spokes pointing into the central core. It looks like a great way to do a quick visual of how things should come together. Thank you Alicia!

  • http://www.sanerapdc.com/ Alicia Arenas (@AliciaSanera)

    You’re welcome Jon! There are some people who are “linear thinkers” and traditional goal setting works really well for them. But for those of us who tend to be really creative and have lots of random thoughts we want to capture, mind-mapping works really well. Let us know how you do!

  • http://www.sanerapdc.com Alicia Arenas (@AliciaSanera)

    You’re welcome Jon! There are some people who are “linear thinkers” and traditional goal setting works really well for them. But for those of us who tend to be really creative and have lots of random thoughts we want to capture, mind-mapping works really well. Let us know how you do!

  • Jon L. Long Sr

    Alicia: Is there a link I can go to for more on this subject?

  • Jon L. Long Sr

    Alicia: Is there a link I can go to for more on this subject?

  • http://thehumanracehorses.com Michael VanDervort

    There are several types of software that will assist you in mindmapping. One is called FreeMind. Google it. also check out

    http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm

  • http://humanracehorses.blogspot.com Michael VanDervort

    There are several types of software that will assist you in mindmapping. One is called FreeMind. Google it. also check out

    http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm

  • Jon L. Long Sr

    Michael V: Thanks for the link. I will check it out this evening.

  • Jon L. Long Sr

    Michael V: Thanks for the link. I will check it out this evening.

  • http://potpolitics.com/ John Sullivan

    Hi Mike
    I like you and your mindset. I live over by Lackland and I need to get out to these social media events if it means meeting some people like yourself. I also just followed Alicia on twitter you people seem pretty progressive. I have reached out to some people here but it was…… anyway I can relate to the getting down part you mentioned. Actually my blog is doing great but there’s not people here to celebrate that with so I hope to meet you and people like you SOON:)
    thanks
    I like the job you did with the thesis theme also :) Peace

  • http://potpolitics.com John Sullivan

    Hi Mike
    I like you and your mindset. I live over by Lackland and I need to get out to these social media events if it means meeting some people like yourself. I also just followed Alicia on twitter you people seem pretty progressive. I have reached out to some people here but it was…… anyway I can relate to the getting down part you mentioned. Actually my blog is doing great but there’s not people here to celebrate that with so I hope to meet you and people like you SOON:)
    thanks
    I like the job you did with the thesis theme also :) Peace

  • http://www.spahnlawfirm.com/ Lori Spahn

    I sooooo needed this. My brain is on overload and all my life I have rejected planning and writing things down, for many of the same reasons you gave. I will have to take a stab at this!

  • http://www.spahnlawfirm.com Lori Spahn

    I sooooo needed this. My brain is on overload and all my life I have rejected planning and writing things down, for many of the same reasons you gave. I will have to take a stab at this!

  • http://www.cuttingchaiproductions.com Sush

    Michael,

    This is really cool. Thank you for sharing. Alicia good job on the “mind-mapping” strategy ! Its so helpful for creative thinkers like us :)

    There’s a cool free software that is very visual & helps me do the same.. it syncs with blackberry, mac, pc, iphone and even twitter !
    http://evernote.com/

  • http://www.cuttingchaiproductions.com/ Sush

    Michael,

    This is really cool. Thank you for sharing. Alicia good job on the “mind-mapping” strategy ! Its so helpful for creative thinkers like us :)

    There’s a cool free software that is very visual & helps me do the same.. it syncs with blackberry, mac, pc, iphone and even twitter !
    http://evernote.com/

  • http://www.sanerapdc.com/ Alicia Arenas

    Hi John! Looking forward to meeting u too! The Twitter community is great.

  • http://www.sanerapdc.com Alicia Arenas

    Hi John! Looking forward to meeting u too! The Twitter community is great.

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    @John – Hopefully we can meet soon! You should come to MIMOSA next Tuesday!
    @Lori – We should do one!
    @Sush – I’ll check that out!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    @John – Hopefully we can meet soon! You should come to MIMOSA next Tuesday!
    @Lori – We should do one!
    @Sush – I’ll check that out!

  • http://thehumanracehorses.com Michael VanDervort
  • http://humanracehorses.blogspot.com Michael VanDervort
  • http://www.talentculture.com/ Meghan M. Biro

    Great thoughts. So helpful – especially for creative brainstorms. People learn and think so differently. It’s key to visualize ideas onto paper, software, graphs, etc as they occur **before they disappear**

    PersonalBrain is another software option: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PersonalBrain
    http://www.thebrain.com/

    Push on!

  • http://www.talentculture.com/ Meghan M. Biro

    Great thoughts. So helpful – especially for creative brainstorms. People learn and think so differently. It’s key to visualize ideas onto paper, software, graphs, etc as they occur **before they disappear**

    PersonalBrain is another software option: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PersonalBrain
    http://www.thebrain.com/

    Push on!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    @Michael – Thank you for the link!
    @Meghan – Thanks for the comment and the links. I’ll have to check those out 😉 I agree – writing down ideas before they disappear is hugely important!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    @Michael – Thank you for the link!
    @Meghan – Thanks for the comment and the links. I’ll have to check those out 😉 I agree – writing down ideas before they disappear is hugely important!

  • http://www.cardangroup.com/ Quashan Lockett (@qlockett)

    Thank you for sharing this, I can put this to great use. I am a very visual person and the first thing I do when I start working on a new project, is to map it out using a column approach similar to this one:
    http://aptplan.info/images2/HWBrown-Business-plan-6.gif

    My column headers differ depending on the project that I am working on but the first column is usually titled creative brainstorming where I toss out all of the ideas running through my mind. I normally have 4-5 columns but this also differs depending on the scale of the project.

  • http://www.cardangroup.com Quashan Lockett (@qlockett)

    Thank you for sharing this, I can put this to great use. I am a very visual person and the first thing I do when I start working on a new project, is to map it out using a column approach similar to this one:
    http://aptplan.info/images2/HWBrown-Business-plan-6.gif

    My column headers differ depending on the project that I am working on but the first column is usually titled creative brainstorming where I toss out all of the ideas running through my mind. I normally have 4-5 columns but this also differs depending on the scale of the project.

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    @Quashan – That’s an interesting system. So, do you build out in free form if something gets really creative?

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    @Quashan – That’s an interesting system. So, do you build out in free form if something gets really creative?

  • http://www.cardangroup.com/ Quashan Lockett (@qlockett)

    I haven’t, but I am eager to test out the mind mapping system proposed in this post.

  • http://www.cardangroup.com Quashan Lockett (@qlockett)

    I haven’t, but I am eager to test out the mind mapping system proposed in this post.

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    Let us know how it goes… I’d be interested to know how other people’s experiences with it vary. Perhaps there are best practices that we can all learn from. Thanks Quashan!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    Let us know how it goes… I’d be interested to know how other people’s experiences with it vary. Perhaps there are best practices that we can all learn from. Thanks Quashan!

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