ZenStorming

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Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Empathic Empowerment Key to Transcending Innovation-Stifling Environments

Posted by Plish on November 23, 2017

Humans have a limited amount of bandwidth available for innovation.  Stress and creative thinking are intimately inversely related in our brains.  Increase stress levels and creative problem solving capability goes down.

People who live in high stress situations,  who face financial challenges daily, who are constantly bombarded by stimuli that evoke negative emotions, have a difficult time  thinking creatively.  This is because we expend brainpower when we have to cope with stress.

It’s also typically true that the best solutions to problems come from those people who are immersed in those problems.  The ‘insider’ is usually better able to come up with solutions than an ‘outsider’.  But there’s a catch.  Because of this innovation/stress relationship, if ‘insider’ people are overly stressed, they can’t come up with solutions to the problems that surround them.  So, the best solutions are prevented from materializing by the very environment that needs to be changed.

The first step then to  creatively and successfully solving problems in high stress environments is to help individuals deal with the stress.

A non-profit called EMPath is doing that by using brain science to enable people to deal with life’s pressures and take control of their lives — even if it’s one small step at a time.

When people are more in control, then stress levels go down.  Stress goes down, the brain energy bank doesn’t get depleted, and creative problem solving ability can go up.  The result is that people can now think of ways to improve their lives, their families and their neighborhoods.

During this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s make  a point of living our thankfulness by living with empathy, empowering others, lessening the burdens that people feel.

The result is more clarity, more peace, more potential unleashed to make the world a better place.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Posted in culture of innovation, idea generation, innovation, Innovation Tools, problem solving, Social Innovation, stress, The Human Person, Wellness, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Giving Thanks, Changing the World and the Sacred Time Paradox

Posted by Plish on December 1, 2013

I wrote before on the Sacred Space Paradox.  The paradox is that as we set aside certain spaces like nature preserves and designate them ‘sacred’, by default we say that the rest of the world isn’t sacred in the same way.  As a result, instead of treating the entire world as a nature preserve, we relegate certain areas to ‘museum-esque’ status – meant to be interacted with in very controlled manners.

The corollary to the Sacred Space Paradox, is the Sacred Time Paradox.  We designate certain times as sacred and hence we behave in a certain manner in those times, but as a result, we de facto act in different ways during those ‘profane’ (not sacred) times.

Thanksgiving.

That special day in the year when we give thanks for all we have.  We give thanks for the bounty of harvest, for friends and family (and I am especially thankful for you, the reader!)  It is a time for togetherness and sharing.

So why do we make a point to be thankful but once a year? Is there anything that we do on Thanksgiving that we shouldn’t be doing every day?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing to have a communal holiday that highlights giving thanks (at least in the ideal.)  But it’s important to be cognizant of the Sacred Time Paradox so that we can create a better world.

This weekend while relaxing post dinner, I came across this little blurb from Dear Abby in the local paper:

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Irrespective of the religious tone, each one of the lines is a great reminder of what it means to be truly thankful for something.  It’s not just about remembering, but about service and designing and innovating for others, to make their lives better.

That’s why I’m also including my “Thankfulness Process“.  I developed this flow chart to help us better understand what we’re thankful for and help us ponder ways in which we can transform that thankfulness into action.

thankfullnessprocessmichaelplishka2009

Let’s make a point to not fall too deeply into the Sacred Time Paradox.  Let’s reflect on what we’re thankful for more often, and more importantly, let’s use that thankfulness as an impetus to be more, and do more good, in this world.

Today, and every day, try and spend a few moments being thankful.  Not only can it help you be healthier, my wish for you is that it empowers you to create a better world for those less fortunate.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in culture of innovation, Design, innovation, Philosophy, Social Innovation, The Future | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Working For Peace (From a Thankful Place)

Posted by Plish on November 21, 2012

As we here in the United States get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that even with the disagreements we have, we can still go to sleep and not have to worry about missiles landing on our homes.  In other parts of the world, people aren’t as fortunate.

In the Middle East, things are particularly sensitive right now.  Nevertheless, there are those that are working for peace in the midst of turmoil.  Wednesday morning (in the US), peacemakers and educators in Israel, Gaza and Palestine will gather together in a non-violent dialogue.  You can listen and be a participant by visiting the website here.

Let’s all share from our plenty.

~peace~

 

Posted in Human Rights, innovation, Politics, problem solving, Religion, Social Innovation, Social Responsibility, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Being Thankful Helps Your Health and Creativity

Posted by Plish on November 23, 2011

There is a recent study that says that giving thanks helps reset our emotions and actually makes us feel happier.  Feeling happier and more centered means we’re coming from a more relaxed place, and it’s from these happy places that creativity flows more easily.  The article gives a great suggestion for making sure that we keep a thankful disposition: A Thankfulness Journal.   This is something that I am going to make a concerted effort to focus on more frequently.

I also want to share this post from two years ago.  It’s about changing the world via our thankfulness.  It’s also a great tool to use in conjunction with a Thankfulness Journal.   It’s called the “Thankfulness Process for Designing a Better World.”  

Click for Full Size

Click Image for Full Size

 Thank YOU for your support through the years. I truly am grateful.  May you all have a wonder-filled and joyous Thanksgiving Holiday!

Posted in Creative Environments, creativity, Emotions, Health Concerns, Nature of Creativity, Research, stress, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Innovation Occurs With L.E.F.T.O.V.E.R.S

Posted by Plish on November 25, 2010

After Thanksgiving we often have to deal with the leftovers.  While we view the Thursday meal as the culinary focus, it’s the leftovers that result in innovation.  So, I created an acronym for the innovation process from the word “leftovers”.  It can apply to cooking a meal from leftovers or designing a new product.

L ook at the situation and define the problem (I’ve got a few people over for a party, leftovers in the fridge and beer chilling and people will be hungry.  In what ways can I feed them?)

E ntertain possible combinations of solutions (I could order pizza…hmm, looks like an awful lot of turkey left, some stuffing, stuffing croquettes maybe?, gravy and a lot of cranberry sauce, a little pumpkin pie,  some spicy  hot mustard looks lonely in the fridge…hmm…I yell out some possible food combos to get feedback)

ocus on the best solutions  (…turkey sandwiches with cranberry mustard sauce – sweet!)

T est the best (throw together some cranberries and mustard in a shotglass and dip my finger in…niiiiice…grab some bread and start toasting it, try nuking a little turkey…)

O bserve and learn what works and what doesn’t  (The microwave dries out the turkey too much, I heat up the oven and warm the turkey in there. Noticed that there’s too much juice in the bottom of the cranberry container- it’s making the mustard too watery…)

V alidate the results with more testing and feedback (Finished mixing the bigger batch of cranberry mustard and let my wife try it – she dunks in a piece of warm turkey from the oven and bites a piece of bread- amazing!!)

E scalate the scale of the implementation of the solution (Slice the bread, call the friends into the kitchen and have them build their sandwiches)

R eflect on what worked and what didn’t (Sandwiches were a hit, but the beer might have been too hoppy for that dish.  Red meat only may actually have worked better, maybe chipotle pepper in the mustard for some smoke…)

S avor the Successes…

So there you have it – innovation from the leftovers!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in creativity, Customer Focus, Design, design thinking, Food, idea generation, imagination, innovation, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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