Reading And Taking Action

Do You Implement What You Read?

Many of us have a to-read list for the months ahead. But you merely read or do you implement?

To me, reading lists and book implementation lists are two different things. A reading list is a book list of stories I read to entertain me. They do not necessarily have to be fiction to do so but are more likely to be. Those are the books that I approach with a different mindset than those on my implementation list.

Now, what is an implementation list, and what are these books?

Those books are volumes that I read with the intent not only to learn from them but with the direct intent to take at least one of the points presented and to actively try them out. I seek out these books because I want to learn something, but learning is not enough, it is doing that creates the results. And because I am living in a growth mindset (more on that another time), I am approaching these books with the up-most intend to take an active part from the lessons held within.

For a long time, I was like many people I know – I read, a lot (okay more than the average person), but I never truly followed through on the lessons presented before me. It was easy to say how interesting a particular chapter was but was it enough to change what I was doing, or add a new active perspective into my life? Not really. The truth is, that I meant to take these action, but never followed through.

“Always strive to be better than you were yesterday.” – Tom Bilyeu

But I made a promise to myself that this is no longer an option. If I read a book that has repeatable actions within them, and that I chose to learn something from – may it be because I read a review, found them on a list of a person whom I admire (like this list by Quest Founder Tom Bilyeu), or because its premise leads me to believe that there was value within the covers, I will take at least one of those actions and practice them. Now, I am not expecting to do that if I find myself in the middle of the book and it does not resonate with me at all, of course, but I will do this more often than not, and because I am already picky about what I add on my reading list, which is ever growing, that should not be a problem. Which brings me to my questions for you:

Which book have you read in the last year, and actually implemented something from it – may it be in your personal life, or in your business adventures? What made you take these actions, and why did you pick up this book in the first place?

As we are approaching the middle of January, I am in the middle of implementing some of the goals I have set for the year. I have been lucky to have been encouraged to create some more motivational designs over the last few weeks, and I am especially happy about my notebook collection that ranges from themes of courage to sharing your thoughts with those you love. So check out my truly unique custom notebook collection here. Absolutely, a reason to be grateful. 

It is my pleasure to serve you, so if you have any suggestions about notebooks and journals you want to see in the future, please let me know. I also accept custom orders – and can combine my art with specific messages for you. Simply drop me a line at claudiablanton@live.com or leave me a comment below.

 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Claudia

Far & Wide Collective Home Decor Collection

 

This post is a part of the following blog hops

Thankful Thursday at Pepis Smart Dog

Thankful Thursday Link Up 

No Rules Blog Party 

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Be Inspired

Colds, Binge Watching And Tea

Colds,Binge Watching And Tea

 

Disclaimer: The following post contains links to my own art, and affiliate links, which pay for my art supplies and design programs – opinions are my own. 
Glad you called first before coming over for coffee, because I really do not want to give you the cold. I can send you some cookies if you like, maybe some thumbprint cookies? Those are my current obsession.

I am truly not used to colder weather anymore, after spending years in Florida, and while I hate taking time off, I know that sometimes it is better to step back, instead of producing mediocre designs. Okay, some of the stuff I made today was pretty awful, so I decided to binge watch stuff instead. The designs you  see here today were made last week, so they are actually ready for public consumption.

No, I do not simply watched Netflix or Amazon, and ingest a few seasons of the newest thriller, or mystery (I cannot stomach most comedies out there), even though I was tempted, I thought I could, at least, watch something worthwhile. Hey, who says having a cold is an excuse to not learn something. As long as it does not require physical movement, and I have a hot cup of tea next to me, it is the next best thing to working.

 

Creative Live: 

If you have not checked out Creative Live and their live stream that features anything an artist’s heart can desire, then you have been missing out. You can watch the above-mentioned life stream, but also pick out some of the online lessons you have missed – may it be about photography or content marketing – by purchasing one of the episodes. I try to catch as many shows live as I can – but because of my schedule that is not always possible, so I am happy that they have that purchase option. Check out this wonderful creation by Chase Charvis

 

Inside Quest 

You might know about Questthose bars that taste yummy but are really, truly good for you – but did you know that one of the owners of Quest has this amazing show that features the most successful and creative people on the planet? He interviews everyone from whom we can learn from – starting at Tim Ferriss, and Ryan Holiday. You should really check out this motivational tips and tricks. And eat one of his bars while you are at it. They truly are yummy!

 

Vyrt 

Yup, that is one strange name for a streaming service, but they are truly unique and worth checking out, especially if you are into music. The creation of Jared Leto – yes, that Oscar-winning creative genius, Joker Madman Method Actor and Rockstar – with which he has managed to create a platform for interesting content from vegan cooking tips by Brendan Brazier (Thrive), to their shows, and behind the scene material to other artists and musicians like Linkin Park, Boy Epic and more. Totally binge-worthy.

 

What are your favorite streaming platforms, or youtube channels that you find completely binge-worthy? Which ones do you think I should check out?

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Claudia

 

The above post is a part of the following blog hops:

Weekend Coffee Share

Be Inspired # 190

 

 

Gratitude And Tea

 

It is really cold out there! Perfect time to sit indoors, with a hot cup of tea, a couple of cookies and in front of the computer, contemplating.

I am always contemplating on what-to-do-next. While this habit leads me to be goal oriented, it also has the downfall of creating anxiety, especially when not everything goes they way it was planned, or when the list becomes so large that it is overwhelming.

So taking my time to stop, make myself a cup tea, and focus on gratitude is not only a good idea but a necessity. Exactly that concept of mindfulness and the fact that I need to be mindful in order to function with clarity changed the direction of the book I am working on. Which brings me to the first thing, I am grateful for – the progress I am making with my tea book.

Working title “Happy Tea”, this book demanded to take on a different direction this week, completely unexpected. I thought I would write a book featuring tea traditions, rituals and recipes, but the Universe had something else in mind. Instead, I will focus on the mindfulness of tea, the connection of this beverage within meditation, gratitude and positive living. It seemed like this aspect of tea would serve you better. There are many wonderful books out there, who focus upon the technical aspects of the subject, so I can focus on this direction.

Another thing I am grateful for is the holiday season is almost over.  Yes, celebrations are nice, but they also mean extra work, so I am looking forward to having more time to write.

I am grateful that my daughter gets to see Star Wars with her boyfriend tonight. I am not a fan, but they are, so I am happy for them. I am sure they will have a great time.

I am also grateful for the decorations I have been seeing in the neighbourhood.While people do not seem to decorate as much here as in Tampa, the few who have did a great job. Almost made me want to join in. Then I looked at my to-do list and decided to just enjoy everyone else’s decor instead.

What are grateful for this week?

How do you deal with the holiday stress?

Blessings!

Claudia

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Celebrate The Small Things

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday Link Up

 

 

Grabbing Your Muse By The Throat

Staring At The Blank Page

 

I began this day, knowing that I wanted to write a blog post. Not like I do not have anything else to write, in fact, I really need to spend a few hours working on the many facets of writing this tea book, which is beginning to take more and more shape, but still I wanted to connect with you.

And then I stared at the blank space in front of me, that white piece of nothing that is waiting to be filled, waiting to embrace something meaningful.

Nothing.

There was nothing, no idea, that resonated, no thought that needed to be expressed, no clever point to be made. Heck, I did not even design anything over the last few days, so there is not much to talk about on that level as well.

Nothing.

How often do we encounter these moments, where we are approaching the blank space, trying to fill the canvas with either words or colors, and there is nothing there? What we do in these times, makes all of the difference. We artists have now a choice: To back away and wait until inspiration strikes, to revel in the despair of not being able to create or to grab our muse by the throat and drag it closer to ourselves, making her work for us.

We artists have a choice- To back away and wait until inspiration strikes, to revel in the despair of not being able to create or to grab our muse by the throat and drag it closer to ourselves, making her work for us.

The difference between an amateur artist and a professional is, that professionals will do the latter.

If you are waiting for the muse to strike or the perfect time to express your art, you are doing it wrong. All of us, every single writer, and every artist has a moment (or more) where inspiration does not flow as much as it does when we are in the zone. Those who work anyway, who believe that the act of working creates inspiration will produce, finish projects, and eventually – if they stick with their subjects and are willing to learn – achieve whatever goal they have put before them. There is no time wasted, no sitting idle, no wallowing in the anxiety of the blank page. There is action – deliberate process of creation, with or without a plan, that matters less, but still – there is action.

Only the act of writing or the act of creating will bring forth more creativity – the act of waiting for the muse to speak to you, does not.

So grab her by the throat, and get to work.

Click here for some books to inspire you to create.

Blessings

Claudia

This post is a part of the following blog hops:

Be Inspired 

Amaze Me Monday

 

Words – Typography On My Mind

 

I decided to try something new this week, venture outside of my artistic comfort zone and embrace the creation of some typographic posters. I do this every once in a while, move my focus upon a subject matter or a creative technique I have never tried before, and dive in. Sometimes, I find myself completely lost and drop it like a hot potato, but other times, like this week, I find a new creative outlet I actually enjoy. I enjoyed it enough to open a printable only Etsy store “No Plain Paper”.

These designs, like all of my other art work, are still available in my RedBubble and Zazzle stores, so you can purchase them on the many applications available there, like mugs, or as gratitude journals.

What do you do to push yourself outside of your comfort zone?

This week is the first time I am participating in the To-Know-Me Tuesday, where we are asked to post 10 things about ourselves.

So here they are:

  1. I was born in Germany
  2. My Dad was an organic gardener, in charge of our local gardening club, teaching green gardening techniques. I learned a lot from him on that subject.
  3. I speed read – not as fast as I would like, yet – but I can get through a full-size novel in about 2 hours.
  4. I am a fan of Chase Charvis, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferris
  5. I can not dance – at all. Neither can my husband, so that works well.
  6. I wrote, directed and performed in my first play when I was 10
  7. I want to write the script to a featured film
  8. I am a published Author. One of my books is available on Amazon
  9. I can lip-read in two languages  – German and English
  10. I wish there were 36 hours in the day – then I would probably find a way to fill them all, and wish there were 48 hours, lol.

Your turn!

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Be Inspired Link Party

Amaze Me Monday

Inspire Me Wednesday

Tuesdays With A Twist

Manic Monday

Stop Making Excuses

So dear fellow writers, creatives, and artists, I want to wake up this morning with a little kick in the behind.

Stop making excuses.

Say what?
You heard me right. Stop making excuses why you can not work on your creative projects, goals, and dreams. Stop that right now. Life is too short,  to waste another precious minute pondering upon the reasons why you can not follow through
The list of potential excuses are not going to get any shorter, just because you waited a month, a year, a decade to follow through. So stop, and do whatever it takes –  right now.

I am being hard on you here because I know how debilitating those excuses can be. I lived and breathed excuses. I would blame everyone and everything for why I do not have time, from lack of sleep to lack of resources, to not being good enough, or not having the right connections.

Guess what, if you do not do any of the steps needed to make your dream come true, you still will not have all of those things, and in addition to that, you will have a mediocre life at best. Do you really want that?
I did not think so.

So, say it with me, one more time.

Stop making excuses.

Start by asking questions. How about asking others for resources, or how they did it? How about getting your head away from that tv show and watch a youtube video on how others in your field made it? You will find, that many creatives do not mind sharing their “secrets”, which are no secrets through many platforms. Learn and then do.

I am rooting for you.

 

Blessings!

Claudia

P.S. Are you ready to take action? Then follow me to the free learning network Wealthy Affiliate right now!

Light And Dark

Welcome! Would you like some coffee? The following post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share Blog Hop, and contains links to my artwork, and stuff I actually buy (affiliate links). 

If you were here with me, having coffee – or tea – I got some yummy imported Japanese green tea, if you prefer the latter – I would welcome you to Linzer cookies, and new pieces of art. You would probably notice that this week, I have been working in contrasts – either creating very dark pieces, such as “Anger”, and “Masks“,  or light ones, like “Tree With Roots”. No colorful “in-betweens”, no “something in the middle,” but each on the opposite ends of the color spectrum and theme.

Why, you might ask, would I go from a subject matter such as Domestic violence to something really light in such a short period of time?

My answer to that question is  balance. While I enjoy working on both ends of the contrast, I find myself is automatically balancing my creations, often without noticing, and almost never intentional. I do the same with writing, instinctively seeking the balance that the Universe seems to crave.

It is  concept present in all of the celebrations of this season, no matter which spiritual connection one chooses to follow. The light, peace and hope of what is bright, and warm, piercing through the darkness of the Winter months, creating once again balance.

Do you embrace the contrast of dark and light? Does it show in your creative process, or do you enjoy one side of the spectrum more, when you are being creative? Is that an intellectual process for you, or are you creating instinctively?

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Weekend Coffee Share

Tater Tots And Jello