Mastery Unleashes Creativity

Gaining mastery of a certain skill or task allows you to release your mind from thinking. You get to hit the auto-pilot button. When you get to ride out the storms on auto-pilot, you get to unleash the creativity that exists below the surface.

As an example we can all relate to, consider the task of shoe tying. Maybe you were so young that you do not even remember learning to tie your own shoes, but you can certainly see in your own children or in the children around you that basic shoe tying used to take all of your focused effort. Each of us once had to take our time, concentrate, start over and over again, to tie our shoelaces. Now, as adults, shoe tying is easy. We may do it several times a day without much notice. And, you may even think this is a terrible example of mastery vs. creativity because, c’mon, it’s shoe tying! However, we’ve mastered the basic skills of tying our shoelaces, and that allows us to even find creativity in that. Now, we add a double-knot, or we tuck the laces in, or we lace our shoes up different ways for reasons of appearance, efficiency, or even injury prevention. Some take their shoe tying creativity to even greater levels in designing new, better lacing options to keep shoes tied better or look more fashionable. Clamping devices are designed to make our shoelaces more secure, or accessories are added to our shoelaces so that we don’t have to go on a jog while holding our keys or people know our key identifying information in an emergency. This, my friends, is mastery unleashing creativity…even in something as seemingly basic as tying one’s shoes.

Consider, now, the countless tasks you have already mastered in your life, whether you’re 20-something or 80-something. Think of the ways you have naturally evolved that basic knowledge of how to do a certain task into the skill of doing it without thinking, and have moved beyond that skill to a level of creativity. Perhaps you are great at maximizing your efficiency of tasks so that the basic day-to-days don’t eat up most of your hours. Maybe you have seen a flaw or wished there was a fix for this problem or that frustration, and you actually came up with the solution, the re-design, the better model. Maybe you make the best pot of coffee every single time you brew because you’ve mastered it, you’ve balanced just the right ratios of coffee to water, you grind your own beans fresh, you blend a little of this region with a little of that, you use only distilled water and never tap, you do something that takes your coffee to the next level. You take your coffee beyond mastery, to creativity.

This concept–this truth–stretches across large and small things. You don’t have to cure cancer or paint the next timeless masterpiece to be creative. So, even if you’ve never thought of yourself as particularly right-brained, know that you are brimming with creativity which you uncover as necessity and focus evolve into mastery.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Life is Simple

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucious

Why do we as human beings live our lives bound and determined to make everything harder than it needs to be? Why aren’t we better at walking in a little bit of faith and really living in a way that “lets go and lets God?” Even for those who aren’t necessarily religious but work to live their lives in a way that lets life unfold before them, just to take firm control at a moment’s disruption. We’re the ones who make life so darn complicated.

Today, my goal is to continue to put one foot in front of the other, continue moving forward along the path I have set for myself, but to do so with mindful steps. While I am talking with my children about their first day of the new school year, I am going to be present with them rather than distracted and thinking of 10,000 other things. While I am sitting at my desk designing beautiful pieces of jewelry (which takes the form of staring at tiny details on a computer screen for hours at a time), I will focus completely on each detail of the design. While I am fixing dinner tonight or running on a trail, I will be there, then. For me, this is the first simple step in getting out of my own way, and allowing life to be a little more simple.

So, here I am with you now, encouraging you to also focus on being a smidge more “present” today, to get out of your own way and work on going a day without muddying the waters of life with stuff that doesn’t really matter or that will resolve itself in time if you will just insist on allowing life to unfold naturally.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Downsize Redundancy

REDUNDANT

re·dun·dant
adjective
not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
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Do you know what I’m finding especially redundant these days? Social media marketing on every scale. The ones who are doing it right post unique, true-to-the platform content across each media outlet. The ones who are doing it wrong put out one piece of content and then replicate it across the board. The Snapchat picture saved and posted to Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram. The Periscope video loses so much when not viewed on its native platform. The Instagram photo is lovely, but friends on Facebook or Tumblr are likely also your friends on Insta, so they’ve seen it.
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So, with so many social media options, how do you choose where to really focus? Marketing experts will tell you that you need to be putting out that social media content, specific to each family or theme that encompasses the platform. However, that means keeping in the middle of the constant stream that is Twitter; taking and editing lovely photos of joy and beauty for Instagram; writing great long-form content on Medium, as well as your personal or business site; streaming worthwhile and polished-but-not-too-polished videos on Periscope and Meerkat; and constantly disconnecting from real-world events in order to capture them (or yourself experiencing them) on Snapchat. Vine, Musical.ly, Tumblr, LinkedIn…the list goes on and, meanwhile, every single hour someone is attempting to build the next great social media platform that will take the world (and your time) by storm.
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When I find, as an example, a YouTuber I really enjoy watching, I then look them up and follow them on every platform I am currently into; pretty typical social behavior. The problem, then, is that I end up seeing the same image, the same funny quip, the same political rant, the same socially aware statement, the same everything across every single platform. So, really, I would have only had to have kept up with ONE of these platforms to have known what was going on.
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Personally, Facebook has become the “necessary evil” lately. I have so many friends on FB and am following so many people, businesses and organizations there that I check it pseudo-frequently. When I do, I usually click off more annoyed than fulfilled because instead of seeing real content, real news of how my friends are doing, real family pictures and goings and doings, I see that XYZ Friend went on a “sharing” binge and all I see are regurgitated posts with some strong social or political opinion for miles of newsfeed.
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Twitter is so packed with info, and is constantly moving (yes, even while I am scrolling and it resets and starts me right back at the beginning…), complete with the actual people I follow AND the people who pay Twitter to suggest that I follow, or the constant ads meant to look like normal Twitter feed items.
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Instagram, in my opinion and even with the latest update, has remained truest to its origin, and generally if I get an ad pop up on my feed, it legitimately applies to me, my interests, and the things I enjoy following on Instagram. In fact, it is so finely tuned, there are many times which those Insta-ads pay off as I follow the paid ad person or business or state or organization.
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Snapchat…snapchat, snapchat, snapchat. Listen, I know Snapchat is the biggest thing going right now, I know it’s fun and I love the filters (especially when Snap isn’t trying to make me pay for the filters, which I absolutely will not do). However, Snaps are meant to be 24-hour, snap-it and forget-it shares that aren’t meant for all social media sites. I understand that since Snapchat doesn’t have an explore option to find others you would like to follow (outside of your current address book), so there’s a certain level of HAVING to seek out and share your snaps or your code to get more followers and share with more people. But, every time you take the moments to snap a pic or a video, caption it, draw on it, apply the filters, or whatever…then, share that same picture or video across other outlets, it equals redundancy. Share your snap code…if others want to follow you, they will. If you share every snap you take across every media outlet, there’s no point in following you on Snapchat, also.
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All of this being said, what I would like to see in my utopian social media world are:
1) unique posts shared only on the social platform that best fits that particular post,
2) focusing on the platform you excel most at or that your style best fits into and own it, and then
3) don’t water down that great message by sharing everything everywhere.
Additionally, 4) that when we are introduced to someone we would enjoy following, take the moment to decide which platform we get the most out of, and follow that person, business, organization, etc. only on that platform.
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I am working on following my own set of suggestions, as well. {What good would it do to not practice what I preach, after all?} Until next time, my friends…
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Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Focus on Your WHY, WHAT & HOW

 

You may be thinking right about now, “Really, Marilyn? Two posts in a row about making comparisons?”

To that, I respond with a simple, “Yes.”

Hang with me a moment…

When you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see other people posing with their new cars or in front of fancy houses or sharing news of landing their dream job with the accompanying insane salary and bennies…do you EVER think, “that could have been me,” or “I work my booty off every day and am stuck and struggling, everything they touch turns to gold,” or “is she EVER going to age?”image

It’s one thing to see completely unattainable and unrealistic Photoshopped magazine covers staring at us over our overflowing grocery carts; we don’t know the celebs smiling back at us. However, when it’s our friends, our family, or our classmates sharing perfect snapshots of their perfect jet-setting life with the perfect kids, still married to the perfect high-school sweetheart and more in love than EVER…It’s a little more difficult to resist the temptation of comparison. Am I right?

Making comparisons in the business world is really no different. If you have an innovative idea, a new spin on an old idea, or anywhere in between, comparisons can kill your biz buzz. If you focus on what the other guy is doing, you’re focusing less on WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re going to focus on the other guy, just go ahead and let him do the business and you be his customer. If you want to take off and soar on your own wings of innovation, then setting your own path is a big part of the flight plan. Comparison–so it’s said–steals your joy, but it also kills your creativity.

Resist the urge to give a care what the other guy is doing. Resist making comparisons. Resist social scrolling.

You! (…yeah, I’m talking to you…) Do you!!! You know what you do and who you are and what you have planned better than anyone. Focus on doing, being, and creating all that and more!

I believe in you. Do YOU believe in you?

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

P.S. I am still reading Simon Sinek’s START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION. Everyone from stay-at-home mom to CEO’s would benefit from this one. So good!

This is Kelsey

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Today was a milestone day in my teenage daughter’s life, but this is more than merely a proud mom moment, this is a transformation story that I was allowed to watch unfold in awe.

This is my oldest daughter, Kelsey. She is a beautiful spirit of a person, and certainly indomitable. She’s the second born child, which–in a nut shell–means that everything I so easily mastered with my first son was completely turned on its head and proven wrong with my second child. She’s been her very own version of herself since Day 1, even in her persistence to be born…she couldn’t wait a single moment more to get on with this thing called life and insisted on being born two months early, with no residual complications or health concerns to speak of. She is and always will be my “angel baby.”

The road for someone so spirited and creative can be a difficult one. When your ways of doing things don’t quite line up with the societal (or parental…) “norms,” frustrations erupt easily and with relatively frequency. She has gone through periods of time when she held her wildest dreams close to her, not sharing them for the sake of no longer wanting to argue or defend her stance. Other times, she has shared it all, baring her soul and her dreams in the open for those all around her to observe and, consequently, judge. She’s one of those kids who could have gone either way…she could use this uniqueness to her advantage or allowed it to swallow her up in a dark hole that summons the “unique” of our society. Kelsey chose the higher road. She has big dreams and decided not to allow her way of being work against her, but to use it as her fuel for accomplishment.

Her latest great endeavor has been one of great openness and, as of tonight, great success. Kelsey has been writing and creating all forms of artwork essentially her entire life to this point. She’s wildly talented an creative, but–like me–is great at starting things, but for one reason or another tends toward quitting and moving on to another project of greater excitement before finishing the first. Kelsey has begun writing many books, but this time was different. There was something different in her mindset, her preparation, her planning, and her execution that was the turning point between past abandonments and current success. And, each day of this writing journey, she posted on her personal Facebook page what she had accomplished in her writing for the day. Without giving away all of her trade secrets, I will share that her primary writing goal was 2,000 words a day. She often exceeded this goal, but every day she wrote and wrote and wrote. She wrote after a long day at school. She wrote after homework. She wrote in the middle of a chaotic house full of family. She wrote in the quiet of her bedroom. Wherever she was, and however she had the opportunity, Kelsey was able to buckle-down, focus, and let the writing flow through her fingertips.

This evening, she posted this: wpid-screenshot_2015-10-18-22-12-17-1.png

Please understand right here and now that Kelsey realizes that this is just the first step in a very long journey of writing and working to be a published author, but this is still a monumental step for my amazing daughter. Not missing a beat, now she’s worked out her schedule for editing this manuscript, while simultaneously working on the sequel book. I couldn’t be more proud of her perseverance!

Did I mention…she’s only 15 years old.

So proud!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

SUPER LAUNCH! #GettingYoungerEveryDay

Today is a GREAT day in my little corner of the universe as I launch #gettingyoungereveryday!!! 1,000 posts between today and my 40th birthday ALL focused on living life with more youthful enthusiasm, better health, and more overall spring in your step!!! I’m going to be sharing this fun mission across ALL of my social media platforms, so I hope you’ll come along for the ride and get younger right along with ME!

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Click to view on my MarilynHortonDotCom YouTube channel!

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

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Improving 2014

 

2014YellowBrickRoad.jpgIn 2014, I am going to focus on self-improvement so that I can better serve and love my family, my friends, and even those I have not yet met. I am going to take time out for myself this year to help recharge my batteries and refuel so time spent with those who matter most in my world have a happier, healthier, and more balanced Marilyn to be with. 2014 is going to be an awesome year of growth and change and opportunity, so I want to face this new year head-on with fresh, rejuvenated eyes and a clearer outlook. All told, my 2014 New Year’s Resolution is less about changing the little things in life and more about altering the big picture so that I can live the best version of my life that is ultimately possible.

Cheers to 2014!

Make it great,

Mari!yn