Monday, June 4, 2012

Harnessing the Power of the Five-Minute Brainstorm

I can distinctly remember lying under the stars as a teenager, wondering how I was ever going to break out of my small town bubble to travel the world and have adventures. Sigh...the hopelessness. Then there was that time in the autumn of 2004 when I lay on my couch feeling like I would never get out of the job I didn't love and into one I did. And the countless times I sprawled on my back, staring at the ceiling of my apartment, trying to regain the hope that I would ever fall in love.

There's something about hopelessness that just makes you need to lie down, isn't there? 

Feeling like you're stuck and you can't alter your circumstances is emotionally exhausting. But I've learned that if you pull yourself up off the couch or the floor, grab paper and a pen, and set the kitchen timer to five minutes, you can usually come up with a heaping list of ways that you could change your course and potentially open yourself wide up to new possibilities, new opportunities, new reasons to be hopeful.

Don't believe me? Try it.

When I was single and frustrated and feeling like I wasn't meeting any guys even close to what I thought would be my Mr. Wonderful, I sat down and brainstormed a list of things I could do to put myself out there.

It's sort of like answering the question, "If I REALLY wanted to go all out and open myself up to all possibilities, what would I do?" 

At the time, I think my list included things like "go to the coffee shop before work," "take trips to the museums around LA," "sign up for an outdoors class of some sort at REI," and the scariest one of all, "join an online dating site."

When I did the same exercise for changing my job situation, my brainstorm list included, "spend 15 minutes each day checking job boards," "send out 3 resumes a weeks," "reach out to contacts from past jobs," and "quit my job and try to freelance."

Both of those particular lists contained about 20 additional steps I could take to unstick myself. And the funny thing was that I ended up jumping to the scariest item on each list and it led me to the biggest and most positive changes.

But perhaps the more important thing each five-minute brainstorm did was restore my hope.

Knowing that you haven't exhausted all your options—that you have an arsenal of catalysts that could propel you toward the man or job or travel adventure of your dreams—can be amazingly hope-inducing. 

And hope breeds positivity. And positivity is the foundation of manifesting your desires.

Ready to set your alarm to a five-minute countdown? 

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