First Things First

I stuffed up.

 

Big time.

 

Of course I still can bounce back…

 

It’s just…

 

I should know better! (Though painful reminders like this should keep the conversationalist in me in check!)

 

Well…I lost the opportunity to connect two people: an entrepreneur who was keen to hear about an organisation, and open to know more how he could add value — and another who is a high-level contact from that organisation.

 

Why did I stuff up? After knowing this important information (one person has something to offer, and I can connect him to someone who needs it)?

 

You see…instead of just holding off chatter…until I found the detail I needed. I got distracted while reading information on his about page (to figure out how I could suggest on how he could add value to the organisation)…and I started to ask questions that would have been best done at a later time (like after I passed on the information I was looking for first!).

 

was about to type in the information I found…and pitch to the entrepreneur one way I could connect him to the organisation…as I had the epiphany I was waiting for!

 

 

Next thing I knew….I was blocked. 😦 Agh…so close!

 

 

Reminder heard…loud and clear. Thanks life. 🙂

 

 

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me via Google+ (click on the hangout button), Youtube (when you’re logged in, and on this page, a ‘message’ button would pop up), or Tumblr (visit any one of my pages, and there would be a button that would make a new window pop-up for you to send me a message) to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

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The Best Way To Reach Me

As I was having a quick look and update on ‘My Cheeky FAQ’ I realised that it might help if there was a specific entry (and I can’t wait to hear from you if this post indeed helped!) that helps you know how to best send me a message.

 

  • Tumblr – I am on there at least once a fortnight (unless intentionally focusing on completing something and my fan tendencies need to be ‘on hold’ because they are a hindrance rather than a compliment!)
  • YouTube – Though sometimes notifications cross over with Google+ — I still find it a handy playform to send (and receive!) private messages.
  • Google+ – apparently there’s a way to send me messages even if I am not ‘online’ (I’ll get your notifications and that would prompt me to check my messages)
  • Form – This comes in handy if you are on a device that you avoid using to log-in to your various social media accounts. Even if you don’t put your email address, as long as you give me your Tumblr / YouTube / Google+ handle, and I can chase you up there.

 

 

What you’ll need in your message:

  • your email address!
  • How I can help you. (Really. Tell me! Don’t worry about sounding all ‘sales-ey’. Because the sooner I find out how I can add value to you, the sooner I am able to generate ideas! It’s as easy as completing this statement: ‘Leigh, I want _____ to happen. Can you help?’ If there are multiple items, take some time to consider what is most important for you to achieve. Whether it be finding someone who is equally smitten by BrainDead, or needing creative juice to improve your interactions with people you serve.)
  • If you have references (such as my tweet or a post), it would help a LOT if you include it too!

 

 

 

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me via Google+ (click on the hangout button), Youtube (when you’re logged in, and on this page, a ‘message’ button would pop up), or Tumblr (visit any one of my pages, and there would be a button that would make a new window pop-up for you to send me a message) to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

Be You

One of the highlights of last week for me was this interaction:

Bryce*: You ever heard of Red vs Blue?

Me: Is that the YouTube Channel one?

Bryce*: …that’s the one lol. It is in it’s 13th season and started out as a gag show done just because. No real plot was put into it until it caught major popularity. Now the plot they have with it is amazing and it is still hilarious.

Me: Ooooh…I have to check that out!

Bryce*: [sends link of episode one]

Me: What would you say is the best show that continues to make you smile and laugh?

Bryce*: Toss up between red vs blue whose line and psych.

Me: [After watching a bit of the episode] I think I might prefer Psych more than ‘Red Vs Blue’

[Mentioned some observations about the series — how the length is different during the early episodes: from 4-8 minutes. And all the while deciding whether to share aversion to excessive swearing…]

Me: Unfortunately I get turned off when there is constant swearing. [frown emoticon]

 Bryce*: Ahhh I didn’t know. Sorry about that.

Me: [relieved]

Note: Though I got Bryce’s — blessing to share our interaction. I decided to change his name, out of respect for his privacy. I’ve also done some edits on the interaction (posting a verbatim version would probably be too much!)

 

 

The main reason of my reluctance was due to a disappointing chat (months ago) with someone who’s writings I enjoy reading. When I asked him what he thought about ‘Whiplash‘, and sharing that I won’t be able to watch it due to my rule of automatically discounting films rated MA or above (another film I wanted to check out was ‘Birdman‘ — because of the use of only one instrument for the score)…he instantly dismissed my personal rule, and told me to ignore the rating.

Thinking back, I now know that it was just their way of answering the simple question: ‘Are you one of my people?’. Bryce might be — and the writer might not.

 

My main takeaway: Don’t compromise your choices just because you’re scared of loosing a connection.

 

Looking forward to hear about your stories! 🙂 How did the interaction end? And what have you learned? Were there instances that you wished you shared a tidbit about yourself (like me you might have been stuck with giving Bryce the impression that I didn’t mind excessive swearing)? Or are you the type who wouldn’t hold back?

 

 

 


 

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

Fired Up

I’ve heard it multiple times: ‘Thoughts affect mood’ — and one other thing I’ve been reminded recently is the effect of what I expose myself to. Whether it is people or media.

Did my thoughts just take me from disappointment to despair? Or disappointment to thankfulness (having learned something from that experience)?

In my quest for ‘less is more’ (aka minimalism), I aim to steer clear of things (Film, TV, Articles…) that make me less motivated to take little steps towards my goals. If I do find myself sliding back, I’d turn to my library of links, notes and books that bring me back to the right frame of mind.

 

 

Love to hear about the things (articles, videos, quotes…) that help you get to the right frame of mind! 😀

 


 

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

FAQ #2: A Swift Kick

Stop staring at your to-do list (or maybe a goal you have on a sticky note that keeps staring at you each morning)! Bust out your highlighter, take fifteen minutes and take that bit of action now!

 

You know the feeling right? Seeing that task list…that goal…

 

And then promising yourself that you’ll do something…later…tomorrow…

 

Then one year goes by and you’re still saying the same thing!

 

Hey…whoa…no feeling guilty there. 🙂 It’s not too late.

 

Some Actions (Small Steps!) you can take:

  • Find someone to bug you relentlessly (preferably someone who is in your trusted ‘inner circle’).
  • Spend 10 minutes watching something that you’ll know will get you going (maybe something inspirational like Tony’s chat with John or Aimee Mullins sharing stories about her journey as an athlete)
  • Spend 30 minutes writing out your task list for that goal (it’s okay if you don’t finish — just start a draft! If you already have something written down — arrange it from the ones that you’ll have to do first.)

 

What worked for you? Keen to hear! 😀

 


 

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

Experiments in Crowdfunding

After watching AJ Leon talk about his fear about his crowdfunding project (on Kickstarter) failing, I got my ‘AHA moment’ about failure: “If I try out a couple of things on Kickstarter, I’d have a couple of public failures on my belt”

I know! (Insane!) The idea of actually failing publicly was so enticing (I must have been brainwashed by all those entrepreneurial talks I’ve been watching — and the whole notion of the importance of failing often seems to make sense), because it would be so easy to point them out if I get asked the question (oh…examples of some of my failures? let me email you a URL…).

After I had that option stewing at the back of my mind, in went Scott Adams’ comment about no one knowing a good idea when they come across it. My idea for approaching crowd-funding came together nicely: ‘I churn out ideas and see how they go.’

Thing is, because I had so many ideas (all transferred on paper — in a binder to flip through), it was difficult to choose which one to go first (and by this time I had a tinge of wanting to back out…and…well…not to it at all!). I just chose something that could fit (I had a video that I could use…and though it still took hours to type down the content — my brain was sweating).

For your viewing (and reading) pleasure (!?). You can find it here.

Although I didn’t have as great of a fear as AJ had that my Kickstarter project would fail, I still wanted to give it (and future projects) the best chance of succeeding. I read a couple of articles from Entrepeneur and Fast Company.

I just felt deflated when I realised that I wouldn’t have the resources to get to a 100% success rate (or close to it) each time I start a new project. But then…

I read this! And was instantly lifted up! (Actually…that’s not true. I was about halfway through the article, then I jumped on to create this entry)

 

I dare you not to crack a smile when you:

 

Need some fear busting? Maybe crowdfunding may be your solution too! (Okay…maybe you’re not out to kick fear out to the kerb. How about just to start something. Or maybe just to work out your idea muscle?)

 

 

 


 

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

‘AHA’ Moments (Guest Post #1: Bryan Roth)

“The difference between writers and everyone else? Writers remember what they were thinking about in the shower.”

 

I have no idea where I first heard this or where it came from, but it stuck. The Shower Thought, that moment of clarity where nothing else really exists in the world around you except the flow of hot water, steam filling the room and a clear mind. It’s in this moment, countless times, I’ve been lucky to experience an epiphany of creativity.

 

The hardest part is holding onto that memory, lest you lose a serendipitous opportunity to craft something new, and if you’re lucky, unique.

 

The trick is to not let those thoughts marinate too long, simmering in your brain instead of slicing, dicing and preparing them to share with the world. The easiest way? Write every day.

 

That habit has helped me not just become a better writer, but become more efficient in how I write. Inspiration can be so fleeting, it’s pivotal to get pen to paper or fingers to keyboard in order to hone your moment of clarity into something tangible.

 

Take, for instance, a recent post on my blog from a Friday in mid-February. All week, friends and I had been discussing the topic du jour in the Beer World – an inflammatory article about how one person decided craft beer was dead to them because a style they didn’t like has become popular. There was a lot of huffing and hawing about the usefulness of such a clickbaity piece, so it was stuck in my head.

 

Then, on Friday morning, as I got ready for work, I let my mind wander to all the weird places a companion post might go … Could I write about craft beer being “alive” like a person? Could I take apart the author’s argument piece-by-piece? No – I’ll take the post for face value and think about why *I* would want to write something like that.

 

I’ll “apply” for a job at the website.

 

So I “did.”

 

I kept that thought flowing, never letting it leave the forefront of my mind. I scribbled some notes on paper and as soon as I sat at a computer, I started typing and didn’t stop.

 

In all, I probably spent about 60 minutes working on the piece, but it was that initial spurt of imagination that got me started. Because I let my mind drift in the shower.

 

This is not to say a shower is the only place to find revelatory thoughts. Exercise is a great distraction for the body that I’ve found lets my mind wander, too. The important part is to not let those thoughts drift too much, otherwise instead of being a writer, you’ll just be “everyone else,” letting your shot at creativity float away like the steam in your bathroom.

 

Bryan Roth is a freelance writer and the man behind ‘This Is Why I’m Drunk’. Follow his random thoughts on Twitter at @bryandroth and his pursuit of “beertography” on Instagram at @bryandroth.

 

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

Distracted by Corgis?

The problem with having all the good intentions of ‘time management’ by tracking down each task, is at times, other tasks meld into it (like looking at pictures/videos of cute faces of dogs, puppies, and cats).

 

When it happens to me, my time tracking sheet ends up looking like:

  • 1:32 PM – 1:45 PM – Check WNE Facebook responses
  • 1:45 PM – 2:10 PM – Lunch
  • 2:10 PM – 5:45 PM – Check email (whoops! got distracted a LOT here!)
  • 5:45 PM – 6:10 PM – Exercise Time

 

Because I tend to have multiple tabs open at a time (those ideas have to be caught when they drift in!), I’ve found myself getting a thought…wanting to watch a quick video (to make sure it is the one I wanted to forward)…then ending up losing an hour or two while on my ‘check mail task’.

 

My solution to minimise this happening is to set a 20 minute timer, and to make sure that I vary my tasks between 20-40 minutes (to avoid sitting for long stretches of time). This way I can escape the hold of those cute furry faces (or even an interesting article or essay — as I would be best to catch up on it later).

 

…of course sometimes it doesn’t work as well…and I drift towards…well…what ‘feels good to watch’ (again…like cute furry faces that make you smile and go ‘awwww…’)

 

If I get frustrated when I have those moments when I realise that I’ve lost track of time or have not invested it wisely. One of the quotes I’d turn to would be from a review of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ — which was written by Mark Hughes:

 

 

Need me to be your timer (maybe not every 20 minutes…maybe just to check how you are doing)? Say the word…um…I mean…send me your message here! 😀

My Q&A cheat-sheet…

…or at least one of them. 🙂

Seriously though, there couldn’t be any one checklist (or ‘a checklist’) that I could use to help me get each Q&A draft to a point that I’d be ready to submit a text version for approval. Because if I did that, I’d be risking not finding more of what makes that person unique.

I do have my guide questions. And in past Q&As there have been core questions that pop up frequently. As I have always been nuts for engaging talks and stories, I thought I’d outline a documentary and a biopic — both of which would be helpful whenever I wanted to add a new (or re-introduce a) question or two.

 

Reader Advice: If you haven’t seen Being Elmo or Temple Grandin, and the type that dislikes knowing key parts of a story before you see a film. Stop reading now! Then, click here to send me a message and I’ll be happy to remind you about this post, after you’ve seen both.
Yes, while writing this, I watched both films again. 😀

Being Elmo

 

 

  • Intro/Prologue
    • Height of Fame
    • (Opening Title)
    • Where he is now
    • How much he has touched others lives (The effect he has on others)
  • Beginnings (influences
    • Watched Disney and a lot of TV
    • Environment he was exposed to growing up
    • Why Sesame Street connected with him (Scene with Ernie in introducing Bert to the audience, and directly talking to the camera)
  • Application (Early days, initial )
    • The kind of support he got when he first attempted to make a puppet. (He made a mistake of using a coat to make a puppet before asking permission)
    • Where he first tested his ideas: backyard puppet shows (eventually morphed into bigger crowds)
    • His takaway: it was about finding a way to connect to each individual.
  • Setbacks
    • School Teasing
  • First Break
    • Spotted by a TV presenter
  • Finding a Mentor (to get to the next level)
    • What drove him to find a Mentor? He couldn’t get the stitching so it couldn’t be visible (like the Muppets).
  • Result of being Mentored
    • Things that he learned (the kind of stitching to get the effect that he wanted)
    • Places he was able to visit (The Workshop)
    • People he was able to meet (Jim Henson)
  • Interactions with Peers/Co-Workers
    • Interviews: Puppeteers he has worked with
    • giving suggestions to puppet makers and puppeteers (e.g. for the French version of Sesame Street)
  • Skills required to be a puppeteer
    • Making the puppet look alive (slightly opening the mouth — getting the puppet to look around)
    • Hand movements (as a puppeteer and how the puppet is seen)
  • Joining Jim’s circle
    • Getting invited to the parade (as Cookie Monster)
    • Meeting Jim for the first time (How Kermit Love helped him with the introduction and the first conversation — Reminder of the benefit of a Mentor: Reminder of what set him apart from others who might be considered as well)
  • From High School to Network TV
    • Making a decision to decline Jim Henson’s offer to be involved in a movie (because of prior commitments)
    • Example of what it was like to work with Jim Henson (Story of a difficult sequence in Labyrinth)
    • Timing of being free, just in time to get the offer to do Labyrinth
  • Sesame Street – Early Years
    • Highs – what he felt when he first walked in and coming across people he looked up to.
    • Lows – he did a commercial with Jim Henson and Frank Oz — needing a piece of paper with his line.
  • Elmo
    • Backstory of Elmo (Before Kevin took over)
    • Kevin taking time to figure out how to approach Elmo (and Eureka moment)
    • Co-workers being interviewed about the creation of Elmo (Elmo is not Kevin, but his parents)
  • Additional Life Events
    • Daughter born
    • Tickle Me Elmo Craze
    • Committing to do all Elmo appearances even when there was consideration given to bring in another puppeteer.
    • Jim Henson’s passing (he was able to spend some time with Jim two weeks before)
  • Being a Mentor
    • Reaching out to a possible mentee
    • Full Circle: showing a young puppeteer around the workshop
    • Sharing why he chooses to Mentor others
  • How he contributes to a larger body of work
    • How he embodies what Jim Henson started
    • He gets along well with other puppeteers

Here’s another review by Andy Crump.

 

 

 

Temple Grandin

  • Intro/Prologue
    • Summary of who Temple is (She thinks in pictures – not like other people)
    • Opening Credits (Pictures — and in the commentary Temple Grandin mentions that the drawings were used were hers – just animated. Plus) – nice comedic touch: cow winking at the camera
  • Vacation before College (Aunt’s ranch)
    • First time visiting – A number of scenes illustrate what she likely sees (fire for extremely hot temperatures, imagery that comes to mind when her Aunt uses a phrase to let her know the time they get up)
    • Introduction to her mannerisms (very outspoken and animated when something captures her attention – telling a story to her aunt while on the drive to the airport to the ranch, and reaction about meeting one of the ranchhands) and abilities (very detailed)
    • How she gets her ideas – from seeing how one object works (room vent) and applying it to another (entrance gate to the ranch).
    • Pre-College Struggle – to understand people.
    • Second Mentor – Aunt Ann helps her understand the world and herself more (taking pictures of different expressions to signify specific emotions)
    • The words that may have convinced her to pursue college.
  • College
    • Settling in the dorms accompanied by Mum – flashback on how far Temple has come (echoing what Uncle Mike conveyed), and how much her mum has persisted and believed in her (despite the doctor’s initial diagnosis when she was 4).
    • Aspects of the world that overwhelm her and result in stress.
    • Her idea on making her own hug machine, then method of convincing the decision makers to have her keep the device
  • High School (Flashback)
    • First Mentor and Friend (Dr. Carlock)
      • Being able to convince Temple’s mum (initially hesitant after the visit and interview) to consent to having Temple attend the school.
      • Encouragement while steering Temple with the right challenges and approach to learning (Once he finds out how Temple’s mind works).
      • Someone to turn to even after high school (Temple called Dr. Carlock for advice regarding her report about her hug machine)
      • Getting Temple to be open about going to college.
    • Affinity with horses
    • Lessons
      • Not all people think like her (in pictures)
      • First encounter with death (Chestnut)
  • College (Post-Hug Machine Approval)
    • Interacting with people more (needing to guide her blind roommate to watch The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and sitting at the front row in class)
    • Valedictorian Speech: the realisation that things are accomplished with the help of others.
  • Masters
    • Eureka Moment for thesis
    • Struggle with getting data to complete — and how Temple creatively found a way to get things done.
    • Being proactive (approaching a magazine editor, who ended up liking what she wrote)
  • Writer and Designer
    • Bumping into the right people at the right time
      • Unexpected Opportunity: Feedlot needing to be designed
      • Design an entire cattle processing system
    • Further personal growth
      • Learning to go through automatic doors
      • Getting closer to allowing people to hug her (her mum at Dr. Carlock’s Funeral)
  • Being able to get an opportunity at a conference to talk to others about what she went through, and allowing her mum to hear how much she had helped Temple become who she is now.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Since the talks I’ve chosen as reference are available online (Thanks to Chris #1 and Chris #2!), I might just add a couple of sentences what makes each of them awesome!

 

  • Donald Miller’s WDS Talk
    • I’m in the process of going through WDS talks (Chris has them on his Vimeo account), and this one blew me away. If you are hungry for complimentary talks after watching Dan, one I’d recommend is Simon Sinek’s ‘Why’
    • Looking for awesome books to read? Don mentions some that you might want to take note of at the start of his talk.
  • Q&A with Aimee Mullins
    • Before watching this video, be sure that you are in an environment where you could either smile or laugh out loud because you are in danger of doing either (or both!)  when you get to at this point of the chat: “Aimee, so what if your leg falls off? You pick it up, you put the damn thing back on, and finish…”