We all have resources in our lives to help us achieve our goals. We have our strengths like leadership skills, the ability to negotiate or to resolve conflict, our capacity to work in teams or independently, our intelligence, our confidence, etc. We also have outside resources such as people we model, mentors, bosses, support staff, and our friends and family. We also have physical resources like our laptops, pens & paper, printers, programs, apps and the like. Each of our resources is like a tool in our toolbox. Those who can use their tools with the most amount of creativity have the best chance of succeeding. This reminds me of something my father used to say to me. If the screw driver doesn’t work, get a hammer.
Being able to creatively use our capabilities in a weird way is just another resource. Let’s say you’re a really good negotiator. This is a great strength. So how can you use it in a creatively weird way? What about using this skill to motivate yourself to make those sales calls, go to the gym or save money for retirement? How could you negotiate between the part of you that wants to do these things and the part that isn’t? You are basically using the same skill set you do when you create a win-win with someone else. But now, the person you are trying to get to agree on a partnership is yourself.
What external resources? Do you have a note taking system that you use to jot down to-do lists, things to remember, ideas or something like that? How could you creatively use this note taking system in a different way? Why not turn it into a memory game with a trace file? First, you can either trace items in your note taking device by month or by alphabetical letter. It doesn’t matter what you choose. Let’s say you are taking notes at a meeting and you need to follow up with someone in August. You can either trace file your note in “August” or in “A.” The memory game comes in when you start memorizing your notes by where they are in your trace system. Soon, everything will be at your memory’s fingertips.
I love working with a coaching client and from the dozens of tools I have in my toolbox, I choose one to use in a way it wasn’t necessarily intended. I do this because it will work better for the client. By stirring things up, I keep myself on my toes and bring a breath of fresh air into my own skill sets. I make myself more capable by being flexible with the skills I already possess.
I encourage you to start using your capabilities in ways you never thought of doing before. Let your imagination run wild!