"There is no quality in this world that is not
it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself."
The holidays seem to be proof of this quotation. We
continually compare this holiday season to previous
ones, contrasting what is better or worse. All of our
lives are about contrast. Those beautiful sunny days
are so often unappreciated when we have a stretch
of them at a time. Then we long for the contrast of
the rain. My favorite time of year is when we’ve had
warm weather for awhile and a cold front comes in,
providing relief from those hotter temperatures.
Creativity springs from contrasts – colors, sizes,
textures, ideas. Put two existing things together in a
new and refreshing way; think in a contrasting way
from others. You have to exercise the skill. And
sometimes you have to shake up your routine.
I spent the first week of November at a workshop on
a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. The contrast between
that five days and my usual work week was
startling. I didn’t realize how much I needed to
disconnect – from my cell phone and my computer
and everything else going on in my life. The cruise
and the workshop (provided by Virginia Moody of
and Associates) was exactly what I needed.
(I even lost about 7 pounds during the cruise –
apparently eating constantly and doing a lot of
walking was what my body needed. Just 10 more
cruises and I’ll be perfect!) The cruise allowed me
the relaxation time I needed. The workshop helped
me focus on what I truly want to accomplish in my
life. And those sunrises at sea provided a spiritual
backdrop for the whole experience.
Remember when you were in school and you wrote
themes that compared and contrasted two
characters or two short stories or two historical
events? I imagine that the reason our teachers gave
us those assignments was to help build our analytical
skills. The exercise can also help build our creative
skills. Take two objects and compare and contrast
them. For instance, what makes a pencil like a
chair? How are the two objects different? Take any
two objects in your office and do a quick list. Try to
find five or more similar qualities and five or more
Exercises like these can help build both your
convergent and divergent thinking abilities. I know,
with the hustle of the holidays, you don’t have time
to do these silly exercises, do you? But hey, it’s
cheaper than going on a cruise.
The bigger problem is that we don’t allow ourselves
the time to think, to meditate, to pray, to sit
quietly. Contrast fifteen minutes of quiet with what’s
happening in your life in the next few weeks. Try to
find small blocks of time just for yourself and allow
your brain to exercise and to relax.
I hope that this month is filled with the love of family
and friends and small blocks of quiet.
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Okay, it was just too hard. I asked you to find the
logic in this series of numbers: 0, 1, 8, 10, 19, 90,
and then explain why the series couldn't continue.
Here's the answer: The last letter of each of these
numbers provides the first letter of the next whole
number - zerO, OnE, EighT, TeN, NineteeN, NinetY.
Since there is no number that starts with the
letter "Y", the series had to end.
So an easier one this time, I promise. For you
children's literature fans: According to one story,
why is it that L. Frank Baum’s
book, The Wizard of Oz could have just as
been called The Wizard of An?
I have a gift certificate from Entree's
just waiting for the winner. Entree's did my
Thanksgiving turkey and fixings and did a marvelous
job. What a treat!