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The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Somestudiessuggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, butothersshow that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with somestudiesshowing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, butothersarguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said fast…

Journaling Is Great Exercise: Here Are 25 Journal Prompts To Motivate You

Every single private coaching client who comes through our company’s doors gets the assignment to get a journal and write in it. It sounds basic and it is, but sometimes we need to get back to basics. We live in our heads. We have six or eight conversations and projects going on in our heads at any moment. We have our normal to-do list and then another list behind that one, called When I Get To It.
We have our big goals and dreams to mull over and of course the daily fires that break out and have to be stomped out or drowned with buckets of water. We have way too much going on in our heads. We don’t have enough time even to register what comes into our mental inbox, much less deal with it all.
I get lost in my head and my kids say “Mom, are you listening to me?” and I say “What?” which is mom-speak for “No, I’m not listening, I’m replaying a conversation from three days ago.” That’s no good. The here and now is more important than the conversation from three days ago. Kid-time is precious and so is friend-time and sweetheart-time and pet-time.
Journaling is a great way to organize your thinking and get the million ideas and topics swirling around in your head out of your brain and onto the page, where you can deal with them.
You can get any kind of journal to write in, or even a school notebook.  You can get two of them for a buck at a dollar store. Get whatever kind of pen you like to write with. Don’t put pressure on yourself. You don’t have to write the great American novel in your journal, but you certainly can if you want to, and why not?
Here are 25 Journal Prompts to get you going. Choose the prompts you like best from the list below or use them to spark ideas for other topics to write about in your journal. If you can write a few times a week, that’s great. You’ll see that you can’t wait to get home to your journal and write about the ongoing saga of your life and career whether you’re job-hunting, working in your dream job, working in a so-so job or working for yourself. It’s all part of your amazing and triumphant movie.
Get your thoughts out of your head and see where your imagination takes you — your journal can nudge open a rusted-shut door to the creative side that you’d forgotten you had. Maybe you’ll envision the life and career you want as you write in your journal. Maybe getting your journal and beginning to use it will turn out to be the pivot point that got you taking steps to make dramatic and wonderful changes to your life in 2016!
25 Journal Prompts
Write in your journal about…
1. Your life and work situation now. Where do you work, or what kind of work are you looking for? What do you do at work, or how are you running your job search?
2. Your day. What did you eat, where did you go and who did you talk to? What did you think about today?
3. Your to-do list. What are you working on at work or in your job search, and at home? What’s on your plate? Get your to-do list out of your head and write about it. What could you shuffle around or push off to a later date in your to-do list, and how will you reward yourself when you’ve accomplished each item on your list?
4. Your plans. What are you planning to accomplish and experience in 2016? What are you excited about for this new year?
5. Your hopes for 2016. What elements of your life and career would you like to see change in 2016, and how would you like them to change?
6. Your future. When December 31, 2016 arrives, how would you like your life to be different than  it is now? Where do you want your life and career to go in the following year, 2017?
7. Your concerns. What’s bugging you or stressing you out? What are the biggest stress factors in your life right now? Write about them and look at them. What steps can you take to ease your burden this year and make your life easier and more rewarding than it is now?
8. Your health. How are you and your body getting along these days? What would you like to see change in your health, and how can you take steps to gradually make those changes?
9. Your relationships. Who is important to you at work and at home, and how do you and they support one another? Who do you rely on at work, and at home?
10. Your creative life. What do you do for your creative spirit, or what can you begin doing this year? Maybe this journaling practice is the start of something really cool in your creative expression. How can you make small changes to allow more of your creative side to shine through in 2016?
11. Your memories of 2015. What events, people, learning or experiences in 2015 made an impression on you and affected your feelings and/or your path going forward?
12. Your career path. Is your current career path still supporting who you are and want to be, or is it time to look at your path from a higher altitude?
13. Your long-term goals. What do you want from your life and your career overall — to experience, to accomplish, to learn, to teach or to bring about? This is the high-altitude view from the Cloud Level. What is your life about, and if like most people you’re not sure, how could you begin that exploration?
14. Your memories. Lots of us live our lives and then seldom if ever think about the past, but your path so far is a goldmine for understanding of yourself, other people and the world. Write about your memories from childhood, from your school days and from the days since then.
15. Your tastes. What are your favorite movies? Who are your favorite musical and visual artists?  If you are a theater-goer, dance aficionado orlive music buff, what kind of theater, dance and music do your like most? What have been your creative influences so far in your life?
16. Your intellectual life. What do you read if you like to read, and what do you listen to on the radio or online? Who do you share ideas with and formulate your viewpoints with? How do you get the intellectual stimulation you need, and if you’re not getting it now, how can you begin to do so in 2016?
17. The news and current events. What kind of news do you follow and what ar your thoughts about events and people in the news?
18. Fun. How do you celebrate good news and how do you relax and have fun? Do you relax in a boat on a lake or in a movie theatre or doing yoga on your dining room floor? What is a fun day in your opinion, and how can you arrange one of those very soon?
19. Ideas.What ideas swirl around in your head — ideas for your life or parties you’d like to throw or the screenplay you want to write or that crazy idea about getting a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. Write about your practical and out-there ideas. Look at them and ask “What is this idea telling me?” Maybe you are meant to get a puppy after all.
20. Your journey. It isn’t easy being a grownup. There are way too many things to deal with. How are you holding up in your journey? What are you thinking about? What’s in your way, and how can you tunnel under it, vault over it, make a hole through  it or sail right by it?
21. Dreams and signals. Write about your dreams and daydreams, the images and sounds that catch your attention and the little synchronistic things that happen in your life and give you a little buzz, like static electricity. The more awake you get to your own existence and your path the more you’ll notice interesting coincidences and themes emerging. Write about them!
22. Your persona. Who are you at work, and who are you with your friends? How are those people different? Are the differences healthy and fun for you — like playing different parts in different plays at the same time — or are the gaps between your home-self and your work-self stressful for you? How could you bring yourself to work in 2016 and speak with your own voice?
23. If you knew that you could choose any career you wanted to and knew you’d be successful at it, what career would you choose?
24. If you could choose the lifestyle you wanted and design it down to the smallest detail, what would that lifestyle be?
25. What is stopping you?

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