Are You Stressed?
So, are you stressed? Are you able to relax and experience stress relief? Do you have time to play? Do you sleep well? These are some essential questions, because if you’re overly stressed, not able to relax, not taking the time to play, and not managing stress well, you’re also most probably not sleeping well.
And if you’re stressed and not sleeping well, you know what that means? You’re living life in the fast lane, the lane in which you’re burning your candle at both ends and the candle is just about flamed out. You know what you call this: that’s right, that’s living the High Density Lifestyle, a lifestyle that is not conducive to healthy living and health and wellness.
So where do I start when talking about stress?
Teenagers and Stress
How about this? I’ll tell you that if you’re stressed out when you’re younger, you’re setting yourself up for a High Density Lifestyle adult life. Habits that we learn when we’re younger follow us into adulthood.
And getting stressed out when you’re younger is a nasty habit that if you don’t change, will affect you adversely when you’re an adult, because you’ll have a harder time managing stress and experiencing stress relief.
Teenage Stress and Heart Disease
A recent study found that teenage stress can lead to physical problems in adulthood and put adults at risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers found that a greater frequency of stress in teens was associated with higher levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein, or CRP. CRP has been identified as an indicator for the later development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
When you’re a teen, there are a lot of stressors that come at you, and most teens are ill-equipped to deal with them. And just think, if you’re ill-equipped to deal with them when you’re younger, then the adverse reactions your body has to stress will follow you all the way to when you’re grown-up.
Peter Panning It
Now you can take the Peter Pan approach to growing up, and basically refuse to grow up, but, and I hate to be the one to deliver the bad news, until science develops a cure for growing up, it ain’t gonna happen.
What researchers found was that daily interpersonal stress experienced during the high school years was associated with elevated levels of inflammation, as measured by higher levels of CRP, even among normal, healthy teens.
“Our findings are consistent with the emerging body of evidence that points to the link between stress and increased inflammation, which places individuals at risk for the later development of cardiovascular disease and could have a significant impact upon long-term physical health during adulthood,” was the summary of the research.
So the bottom line is, getting immersed in living a High Density Lifestyle can start in your younger years and follow you along when you become an adult.
This is no way to live, so the best bet, if you’re not a teen anymore, is to develop the self-awareness of what stress is doing to you, so that you can be better at stress management and get yourself onto a Low Density Lifestyle.
And that’s when you really start living. The good news is that healthy living will be a beneficial byproduct of this.
For the next few days I will talk about stress and relaxation. Stress is both a symptom and by-product of living a High Density Lifestyle, while being relaxed and calm is something easy to do when you’re living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Relaxation is one of the ingredients in the acronym FREE, which if you remember, stands for Flow/Relaxation/Effortless Effort. Living FREE means living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Life in the Fast Lane
When you are living life in the fast lane, you are putting your body under a lot of stress. There is only so long the body is capable of operating at a maxed out level—you can only burn your candle at both ends for so long, and then the inner flame starts to be extinguished.
Stress is all-pervasive in our modern fast-paced culture. I will return to this category time and time again, and I will also return to the category of relaxation many times over. Why, you may ask? Because it can’t be talked about enough. Stress puts you smack in the middle of living a High Density Lifestyle, and the longer you live that way, the worse things become.
So let’s look a little more in-depth at what stress is.
A Brief History of Stress
The term stress was coined by scientist Hans Selye in the 1930s based on his careful observation of physiological responses in laboratory animals. Selye later broadened his findings to include the human response mechanism to a perceived threat, or “stressor.”
Selye found that when he exposed various lab animals to unpleasant or harmful stimuli, there were three general stages of reaction. He called these the General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS. The three stages were Alarm, Resistance and Exhaustion.
By the end of the third stage of GAS, Selye found the animals depleted of their body’s most important resources: their adrenal glands were fatigued, their autonomic nervous system was misfiring and their immune systems were burnt out.
Furthermore, it was found that this type of reaction played havoc on the feedback loop that constitutes the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure.
Not everyone reacts to stressors in such a detrimental fashion, and there are times when stress can have positive attributes (Selye called stress that enhanced function eustress). But most people don’t cope well to stressors because they are on system overload, bombarded by stimuli and overwhelmed by life’s demands. Living in this manner is truly a major impediment to a Low Density Lifestyle.
Can You Imagine? Can You Use Your Creative Intelligence and Vision? Can You Dream, Can You Vision?
Today, for the series finale on Creative Intelligence, I present you with a video that I hope will inspire you and move you to continue to use your Creative Intelligence, and to Dream, Vision and Imagine.
In words and pictures, the video will tell the story.
See you next time……
What happens if a company determines that they want to encourage Creative Intelligence and Visionary Thinking in all their employees? What could possibly result from it?
Before I tell you who the company is and some of the results of the creative intelligence of the employees, I just want to say that imagine if all companies cultivated creative intelligence and vision?
And how about schools? Imagine if creative intelligence and visionary thinking was the guiding force behind the education process? (Hint: creative intelligence is not cultivated in the education process and is usually squashed.)
So if all companies—and schools—truly cultivated creative intelligence and vision, all I can say is: Wow! This would be a world of creative thinking visionaries, people who were willing to dream up big ideas and put them into practice.
It would be a world filled with people living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Ok, so now back to about that specific company. You may have heard of them. Their name: Google.
Google allows all employees to spend 20% of their time on whatever endeavors they fancy. They are totally allowed the free rein to do whatever they want with their work time, and to dream up ideas and then to see if they can come to fruition.
And this is why the folks at Google have created a cutting edge company that is never at a loss for new and fascinating ideas. By letting employees truly use their creative intelligence and by encouraging them to live a Low Density Lifestyle, they are a rich resource of original thinking.
How do I know Google encourages employees to live a Low Density Lifeestyle? Google offers a free dining facility for their employees that serves organic whole foods, offers free massage services to their employees and has places on their campus where employees can go to take a nap. These things are part of the 12 steps to attaining a Low Density Lifestyle.
And so, whether you are a technophile or technophobe, it’s worth checking out some of the really cool things Google employees have developed, thanks to the corporate climate of encouraging creative intelligence. It may not be your inclination to think up these kinds of things, but I just wanted to show you the possibility of what can be done, if it is cultivated and encouraged, in order to inspire you:
IGOOGLE: At iGoogle (google.com/ig), you can dress up all that white space with useful miniboxes containing additional info. Hundreds of useful displays are available: a clock, local weather, movie listings, incoming e-mail, news, daily horoscope, to-do list, Twitter updates and whatever-of-the-day (joke, vocabulary word, quotation, Bible verse and so on).
GOOGLE READER: Why spend your time finding and navigating to the Web sites that cover your favorite topics? They can all come to you — all nicely congregated on a single page, called Google Reader (reader.google.com).
You type in a topic, inspect the search results, and click the Subscribe buttons that look interesting. After that, Reader displays the first paragraph from each site or blog; click to read more. Star items to read later, or pass along your favorites to friends.
FLU TRENDS: Google figured out that whenever people get sick, they use Google to search for more information. By collating these searches, Google has created an early-warning system for flu outbreaks in your area, with color-coded graphs. Google says that Flu Trends (google.org/flutrends) has recognized outbreaks two weeks sooner than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has.
GOOGLE MAPS: You probably know this one, but it’s still worth pointing out (maps.google.com). Choose the directions you want: by car, by public transit or on foot. Drag the path line with your mouse around construction sites or down interesting streets. View current traffic conditions. Turn on Street View to see actual photographs of your destination.
GMAIL LABS: Gmail is already the world’s best free Web-based e-mail service, with terrific organization tools and a superb spam blocker. But if you click Settings and then Labs, you find a huge list of on/off switches for cool enhancements.
There’s Text Message in Chat (send text messages to your friends’ cellphones from within Google Chat or Gmail); Offline Mail (work on Gmail when you’re not online); Canned Responses (build a menu of stock answers to your mail); Multiple Inboxes (manages mail by auto-creating multiple mail folders); and Send & Archive (one click sends your reply and removes the original from the list).
TRANSLATOR: Translate any text or Web page to or from 40 languages (translate.google.com). It’s not perfect, but you’ll get the gist of that spam from Russia.
800-GOOG-411: Possibly the best voice-recognition cellphone service in existence. Call the number, say what you’re looking for (“comedy clubs, Chicago” or “Domino’s Pizza, Cleveland”), and Google’s auto-voice reads off the closest eight matches. You can speak the number of the one you want, and he’ll connect your call automatically — no charge. You never know or care what the phone number was; it’s like having a personal secretary.
Or you can say “text message” at any time to have the address and phone number zapped to your cellphone in one second.
GOOGLE SMS: Send a message to GOOGL (46645). In the body of the message, type the sort of information you want: weather report (“weather dallas”), stock quotes (“amzn”), movie showtimes (type “slumdog millionaire 44120”), definitions (“define schadenfreude”), directions (“miami fl to 60609”), unit conversions (“liters in 5 gallons”), currency conversions (“25 usd in euros”), and so on. Five seconds later, Google texts back the details.
GOOGLE SETS: At labs.google.com/sets, type in several items in a series (like “cleveland browns” and “dallas cowboys”); Google fleshes out the list with others like it (all the other football teams). Great when something’s on the tip of your tongue (a kind of fruit, president, car, holiday, currency) but can remember only something like it.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR: You can search all published academic papers at once, at scholar.google.com, for whatever subject you are interested in.
SECRETS OF THE SEARCH BOX: Usually, whatever you type into Google’s Search box is treated as a quest for Web pages. Certain kinds of information, however, get special treatment.
For example, you can type in an equation (like “23*9/3.4+234”); press Enter to see the answer.
Think of Google, too, for conversions. For example, type “83 yards in inches,” “500 euros in dollars,” or “grams in 3.2 pounds”; then press Enter.
The search box can also serve as a dictionary (type “define:ersatz”), package tracker (type your FedEx or U.P.S. tracking number), global Yellow Pages (“phonebook:home depot norwalk ct”), meteorologist (“weather san diego”), flight tracker (“AA 15”), stock ticker (“AAPL” or “MSFT”), and movie-listings (type “movies:10024,” or whatever your ZIP code is).
And there’s more, but that’s all space allows.
That’s one company with mega amounts of Creative Intelligence and Vision.
Come back tomorrow for a final article on Creative Intelligence and Vision. It will be a video that will move and inspire you.
I’ve been talking for a few weeks about Creative Intelligence, and the last few days about Vision and how being a Visionary is something innate we all have brewing within.
So today for some inspiration I would share with you quotes of some noted visionaries of the 20th and 21st centuries. I hope this gets your wheels turning and encourages you to start cultivating and evolving your own vision.
Words of Visionaries
Muhammed Ali: To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich.
Winston Churchill: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Albert Einstein: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Anne Frank: Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
Buckminster Fuller: Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.
Mohandas Gandhi: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Vaclav Havel: Genuine politics—even politics worthy of the name—the only politics I am willing to devote myself to—is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.
Helen Keller: No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
John F. Kennedy: The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.
Robert F. Kennedy: There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Dalai Lama: With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
John Lennon: My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
Nelson Mandela: I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Rosa Parks: I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Pablo Picasso: The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Jackie Robinson: A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
Eleanor Roosevelt: Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer: By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep and alive.
Dr. Benjamin Spock: Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel fulfilled.
Mother Teresa: It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
Desmond Tutu: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Kurt Vonnegut: Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
Every person takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. – Arthur Schopenhauer
High IQ doesn’t guarantee being a visionary and a leader. It takes a different type of intelligence. It takes using your VQ – your Vision Intelligence.
When you live a Low Density Lifestyle, your Vision Intelligence will naturally be higher.
For most people, having a vision and being a visionary is a learned skill, even though it is innate in everyone. Over the years, the various impediments of life that stop us from using our visionary capabilities and also stop us from freeing our mind and tapping into our genius nature get in the way.
Here is a self-quiz, a VQ test, to see if you are using your visionary abilities. Actually, it’s not so much a quiz as much as a listing of the traits of a visionary. You can make it a quiz by asking yourself if you have each of these traits, and then score each trait that you have on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
There are 10 traits. Score it this way:
60 and under: Your vision hasn’t yet manifested.
61-70: You occasionally are able to see in a visionary way.
71-80: You are starting to become a visionary.
81-90: Your visionary abilities are shining through.
91-99: You are someone who has a strong vision.
100: You are a true visionary.
1. Mindfulness - Do you know who you really are? How much of the time are you present and fully aware?
2. Idealism – Are you an idealist and someone who prefers to live a principled life?
3. The Capacity to Face and Use Adversity – We all make mistakes and we all face adversity. Do you own your mistakes and use adversity and the pain that goes with it to learn?
4. Being Holistic – Do you see the interconnections between everything?
5. Being Open – Are you open to new ideas, to things that are different? Or do you just have a knee-jerk reaction when something comes your way that is not the same-old same-old?
6. Thinking with Head and Heart – Do you integrate critical thinking with what your heart tells you? In other words, do you think with both your head and heart?
7. Courage – Do you have the courage to be independent, to not do what is expedient or what the group wants you to do? Are you willing to stand on your own two feet for what you believe in, and to do the right thing?
8. Asking Questions – Do you take things at face value or do you want to know more, and to get at the heart of the matter, in order to form your own opinion and to think for yourself?
9. Re-Framing Ideas – Do you take things you are presented with and put it into a larger context of meaning, something that has practical value for you and others?
10. Spontaneity – Do you make decisions and react to things based on fear, so that you have an immediate and negative knee-jerk reaction? Or are your responses based on the situation at hand, so that your response is appropriate to the situation?
In Friday’s article, which was Elizabeth Gilbert talking about genius and the creative process, I said that was the end of the series on Creative Intelligence. But as I thought about it over the weekend, I decided I wanted to extend the series a few more days, because I wanted to talk about how Creative Intelligence is so closely related to Vision.
I also have received a lot of positive feedback on this series, so that also made me decide to stretch it out a few more days.
Vision is the ability to see the world in the largest way possible. Living a Low Density Lifestyle is something that will help you develop your visionary capabilities.
You can use vision to to find happiness, love, prosperity, a successful career, fulfilling work or to change the world.
You can vision small or large, and you can make the vision a reality. Many have done it before us, and many will do it after us. And most importantly, many are doing it right now. You have the power to be one of those who are doing it now.
To vision you need to learn to think different (and that should sound familiar, one because it’s the theme Apple Computer uses, and secondly because that’s what Creative Intelligence is about), to add space in between your thoughts, and to let go of your current way of thinking in order to see something new.
In other words, you need to interject a certain amount of dreaminess into your thinking, whether it be daydreaming, gazing into space or applying your night dreams to situations that arise during the day.
I believe John Lennon’s song “Imagine” strikes such a resonant chord because it is a song about the power to vision, and it empowers us to vision the highest calling of humanity — living in a world of peace (which, sad to say, is such an elusive thing — could that be because so few people know how to vision?)
And so, the question is, What is Your Vision?
It might be something you’ve never thought about before, primarily because it is a quality that none of us are encouraged to cultivate. But what and who are we without a vision? If you have a vision, then you have a dream to live by, and it becomes a passion, something that can fire you up and inspire you every waking hour of your life.
And when this occurs, your actions in everyday life will be performed with effortless effort.
So ask yourself, What is My Vision?
Take some time to ponder that question. It’s not a test. Come back to it. And your vision can change and evolve, so what you come up with now may change tomorrow, next week, or next year.
I will continue on with Creative Intelligence and Vision tomorrow.
As a finale for the series on Creative Intelligence, here’s an excellent talk given in Feb. 2009 by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert about the creative process.
In the talk she states the same thing I have been getting at in this series on Creative Intelligence – that we are all geniuses, and that it is not just something that is bestowed on a select few.
We all have an inner Einstein, an innate genius lurking within. You just have to tap into its potential. The best way to do so is by living a Low Density Lifestyle.
By the way, this talk on Creative Intelligence and the Creative Process by Elizabeth Gilbert comes from the TED conference.
The TED conference is an annual conference that brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes.
Deepak Chopra on Quantum Physics and Consciousness
Where does creative intelligence come from? Yes, I know it comes from the mind, but it’s a different mindset to think in a creative fashion than it is when you are thinking logically.
When you use your creative intelligence, you are accessing the dreaming mind, the aspect of your mind that taps into a greater world.
You are actually accessing the world of quantum physics when you use your creative intelligence, a world that tells us of a vast and unlimited universe, a world of infinite energy, infinite potential and infinite information.
This is where the source of the creativity lies.
The Zero-Point Field
Quantum physics tells us that the source of all matter is what is called the Zero-Point Field. It lies at the core of the universe and it is where matter emanates from.
When you dream and use your imagination, you are tapping into the place where consciousness, stillness, breath and wisdom originate from, the place that Eastern philosophies call Universal Mind, or Big Mind. This might sound mystical, but you have to remember that the source for most famous ideas throughout history have come to their originator in a flash, often when they were least expecting something. The inventor Nicola Tesla said, “Creative ideas come to us like a bolt of lightning.”
To access the Zero-Point Field, it is a matter of being still and calm, and feeling your center. In other words, you become light of body and mind. And you know what we call that—that’s right, that’s the Low Density Lifestyle.
When you are in that Low Density Lifestyle mode, you don’t have blockages that impede your ability to access the Zero-Point Field in order to use your creative intelligence to your utmost potential. When you are living a High Density Lifestyle, you have too much static and densities in body and mind, blocking your ability to fully utilize your creative potential.
This is why when someone gets a creative thought, a new idea or new insight that comes to them, it comes when they fully relax and allow themselves to just be in the flow. That sounds familiar, right? That’s because, as I’ve said before, to get into a Low Density Lifestyle, you have to be FREE—you have to Flow, Relax, and do things with Effortless Effort.
In the above video, Deepak Chopra explains the world of quantum physics. After watching the video, you may understand these heady ideas better.
As I have been saying throughout this series on creative intelligence, we all have it. We all have tremendous innate genius potential, it’s just waiting to be utilized. So start right now.
In tomorrow’s last installment from this series on creative intelligene (I know, I know, all good things must come to an end) we’ll hear from Elizabeth Gilbert, best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love on genius and the creative process.
One Idea That Was Rejected Was a Bunch of Blokes From Liverpool
I told you about Creative Intelligence and New and Visionary Ideas that were rejected in yesterday’s article. Because the list is long, I will tell you about more rejections.
It takes creative intelligence – which is a mix of creative and logical thinking and the imagination – to come up with new and visionary ideas. But it takes no creative intelligence whatsoever to reject them. People who reject them are too stuck in a High Density Lifestyle to recognize brilliance.
So let’s examine some more of the things that have become commonplace that were rejected at first.
How Could They Tell Them No?
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” — Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962
In 1938 Chester Carlson invented xerography. Virtually every major corporation, including IBM and Xerox, didn’t think much of his idea and rejected it. They felt that since carbon paper was cheap and readily available, no one would buy an expensive copying machine.
U.S. Patent Office
In 1899 Charles Duell, the director of the U.S. Patent Office, suggested that the government close the office because everything that could be invented had been invented.
“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” –David Sarnoff’s Associates in rejecting a proposal for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” –H.M. Warner (Warner Brothers) before rejecting proposal for movies with sound in 1927.
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” –Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
“You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can’t be done. It’s just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training.” –Rejection letter to Arthur Jones, who invented the Nautilus Fitness Machine
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”– Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
The Personal Computer
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olsen, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
Tomorrow I’ll look at where creative ideas come from, and tie it in with ideas from quantum physics.