Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Which is better: structure or flow?


You need both.

If you think of yourself as a creative, visionary, intuitive and/or spiritual person, you might feel more comfortable with moving towards your big vision by "going with the flow." It allows you to come up with amazing ideas, have big aha's, experience incredible synchronicities, create prolifically, and feel connected to something greater than yourself.

Flowing puddle with reflection

Going with the flow can also make you feel confused, overwhelmed by possibilities, disorganized and like you're going around and around in circles rather than towards your big vision.

whirling rain

Maybe you're naturally a more structured person. You create lists and plans and milestones and systems to track how you're spending your time and money. These tools help you to be organized, productive, grounded and able to see how you are making progress towards your goals. You feel in control of your destiny.

yellow stripe path

But then something happens and your plans don't unfold the way you'd mapped them out. Unforeseen events or expenses make it impossible for you to stick with your schedule, budget, action plan, or time line. When life doesn't fit within the structure you created, you might feel anxious, scared, powerless, or stuck.


Whether you naturally lean towards going with the flow, or creating structures, you need to go back and forth between the two to realize your big vision. As one wise friend described it to me: a river needs banks to guide it to the ocean.

stream after rain

What feels more comfortable for you? Structure or flow?

Would adding a little more of one or the other help you realize your big vision?

All photos by me.

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website,  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How do I find time to ___________?

Many of us feel time-crunched. Like we need more spaciousness in our lives for all kinds of things, including working on our big vision.

Now sometimes, "I don't have enough time," can really mean, "I'm exhausted and need more sleep," or "I'm afraid," or "I don't want to fail," or "I don't want to have to make a decision and focus on one project." But when time is truly the issue, we have two choices:

1. Eliminate some of the things that have been taking up the space we need to create.

2. Adapt to the space we have and embrace our limits.

For example, let's say you were hoping to sit down at the beginning of this year and map out a BIG plan for your life. You were going to make a 1-year plan, a 5-year plan and a 10-year plan. You were going to create timelines and to-lists and "figure it all out."

But now it's already February. And your days are filled with work and family and friends and laundry and commuting and, oh yeah, you had the flu for a week in January, which threw everything out of whack, and the kids have spring break in March, and you have a wedding to go to in April (what will you wear?) and you keep getting those postcards reminding you to go to the dentist. It doesn't seem like things are going to slow down any time soon. Aaaargh!

If we can't eliminate any commitments from our lives right now, we have to adapt and embrace our limits. We need to use the time we have to do what we can rather than waiting for "someday" in the future when we think we will have luxuriously long free chunks of time. That someday may come, or it may not. In the meantime, we have to work with what we have, even if it's only an hour a week.

Limits can actually increase our creativity.

According to the New York Times article, Route to Creativity: Following Bliss or Dots? researchers found that:
"[N]othing stifles inventiveness and artistry more brutally, than too much freedom, too much wiggle room for the imagination. Instead, they argue, the real source of productive creativity may lie in art's supposed bugaboos: rules, structure, even the occasional editor or two."
The Lifehacker post, Challenge Your Creativity with Limits, Not Freedom, reminds us:
"Dr. Seuss famously bet that he could write a children's book [Green Eggs and Ham] using only 50 unique words. That book went on to become a best-seller."
And in the TEDBlog interview, Can limitations make you more creative? A Q&A with artist Phil Hansen, Hansen says:
"It’s hard to get people to focus on plan B when plan A is working so well. Now we are in a place where lots of 'plans As' are no longer working. Being forced to reevaluate is allowing us to see this connection between limitations and creativity that has always been right in front of us."
Someday may never come, but today always will, so let's try to see the restrictions on our time as opportunities and love our limits!

Flickr photo credits: Pickles in Skippy's basket by walt eis; d-in-baset by Aaron Weber; Puss in Hannah Basket by Greengirl24; Toolie waits by Linda Tanner

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website,  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of

Monday, February 02, 2015

One question for you

As I make some changes to my business, Big Vision Consulting, I want to know:

What challenges are you facing around your big vision for your work in the world?

Some normal obstacles that come up when you are pursuing your dreams are:

  • Lack of clarity around your vision.
  • Haziness around the required action steps to reach it.
  •  Fear of failure.
  •  Lack of time, money, skills, energy, or other resources.

I would be honored if you would share the challenges you're experiencing as you work towards your big vision either in the comments of this post, or on this anonymous form.

Thank you!

Photo of fern unfolding by me.

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website,  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of