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365 Ways to Start Over: Day #39 – Create Your Purpose from the “End of the List”

If you want to change some things in your life you have to change some things in your life. Start by changing the way you look at your challenges. Use creative thinking to make a long list of possible solutions to your challenges and then critical thinking to narrow down the most effective ideas. You can apply this to problem solving in business, defining your life purpose, finding love, team building around an issue and much more.

The List that Rocks!

    Creative Thinking:

1. Make a long and extensive list of every single possible crazy wild idea that describes “WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE” as it relates to your dilemma. No judgments. No closed off thinking. No “I can’t becauses.” Come up with at least 50 solutions. Cluster these into theme areas and combine.

2. After this list is created – keep going. Throw out the most outlandish ideas you can think of. This “End of the List” list is where revolutions are made, new industries are created and wild ideas become things like Facebook, Groupon and iPad. Empty your mind for unless it is emptied, it cannot be filled with new thoughts.

    Critical Thinking:

3. So what is the real question you need to have answered? Do not let your mind wonder to solutions. Just define the question. Is this question different than you originally thought?

4. Generate useful answers by narrowing down your list. Prune down the ideas from numbers 1 and 2 in this exercise to uncover the most effective solution to answer your question from number 3.

Lists help you realize things that lie beneath the surface and un-vetted. Create your lists without inhibition and watch your possibilities take off. Start now!

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Mary Lee Gannon is the president of StartingOverNow.com and Gannon Group – an executive coaching and consulting firm that produces higher individual and organizational performance through Executive Leadership Coaching, Organizational Development, Board Retreats, Visioning, and Planning. Mary Lee’s personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother, with four children under seven-years-old, who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where within a short time she worked up to the level of CEO. Her book “Starting Over – 25 Rules for When You’ve Bottomed Out” is available in bookstores or at Amazon. Get her FREE ebook – “Grow Productivity – A Leader’s Toolbox” on her web site at www.StartingOverNow.com.