Why was I jealous of a dancer?


She was able to do amazing things. Handstands, headstands, tricky samba-like steps; she was fast, flexible, elegant, attractive. Her movements were impeccable. She was an outstanding Capoiera dancer. Stunning. Jaw-dropping. I was impressed. (What a euphemism.)

We were at the concert of a band Shokoto (music from Ghana) and she was a guest. The dance she performed was Capoiera, combined with elements of samba and African rumba. Wonderful synergy. My cup of tea. I enjoyed every second.

However, I was jealous. A lot. My throat was burning. My eyes filled with tears. I know that feeling. Jealousy. Capoiera dancer made my night and ruined my night. But why? What made me feel envious?

Read this when you don’t know what to write about


Blank page stares at me again. Or I stare into it. One way or another, no action is happening. I feel blocked.

I wasn’t writing for almost a month. I haven’t exercised my idea muscles as intensely. Now I’m trying to come back to arena. And it’s hard. I get distracted easily. I am confused. I feel enormous resistance. And I don’t know what to write about.

I want something big and cool. I want something spectacular. (If I was silent for a month, now I’d better have something big. Which I don’t.) Blank page is still empty. Infinite possibilities behind it. (Most probable possibility is that I’ll check my Facebook once again.)

My question: ‘What should I write about?’ could be the answer. Thus I made this idea list. To help you and me and everyone else get unstuck. To start moving fingers over the keyboard in search of something. Will it be good? Who cares. Beat the Resistance today. That’s what Steven Pressfield taught me.

Next time when you don’t know what to write about, choose one of these 10 things and execute. Don’t judge. Just do it.
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Creativity in 10 words

One of my favorite topics. Creativity. Described in 10 crucial words. With explanations. And nice quotes. That are tweetable. When you read it, you will know exactly what to do.

You already are endlessly creative. Here are the instructions how to start using your inherent skills. BLABLA. Let’s get started.


Blank page, screen or canvas. Silence. Fear behind it. Freedom to choose. To challenge the status quo. Feels awesome. Feels intimidating.

Blank space can turn into anything. Love poem or manifesto. Satire or SF. Deepak Chopra says that the blank space between the two thoughts is the field of infinite possibilities. ((Tweet this!)) Any thought can pop up after the blank space. Blank space is powerful. It is the promise of creation.

“Music is the space between the notes.” Claude Debussy ((Tweet this!))


Sparkle in the dark. New thought. New relationship between well known entities. The truth. Said in different voice. Something crazy. Something useless. Something smart. Provocative. Sincere. Something that everyone knows but no one says out loud.

Ideas will oftentimes startle you at weird places (yoga mat, shower, drive). But it can be overestimated. Ideas are not rare luxury. Ideas are the currency of 21st century, claims James Altucher. ((Tweet this!))They are not the privilege of chosen few. You can train yourself to become an Idea Machine. Start making ideas today. Share them. Lighten the world with your sparkles.

“Be less curious about people, be more curious about ideas.” Marie Curie ((Tweet this!))


Steven Pressfield writes the word Resistance with capital R. The ultimate enemy of creativity. You know the feeling when you sit down to write and all of a sudden you notice that you need to clean your room, check facebook, twitter, email and call a friend to see if she still needs help with dog grooming. That is Resistance. Procrastination, rationalization, overeating, time wasting on social networks, TV, fundamentalism, criticism, self-doubt, drama, fear. Resistance in many shapes and forms.

Resistance is the very thing that shows up when we accept the inner calling for creative, selfless, spiritual project, anything that requires courage and anything that has even a slight chance of failing. Resistance infallibly shows up. It is good to be aware of it. Enemy is the powerful teacher.

“If you’re are paralyzed with fear it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.” Steven Pressfield ((Tweet this!))


You know what is your work. (Not your job and not your household chores.) Your inner calling. The thing you were brought here for. The very thing that you would do if you didn’t worry about money and time. That! Creative process tends to be seen as romanticized. In fact, it is a work. Labor. Getting your hands dirty. Showing up again and again.

Your mind will tell you that you are not ready. That now is not the good moment. That everything has already been said or done. That you need more practice. BS. Resistance. Don’t believe. Steven Pressfield allows you to read 3 books on the topic. That is enough. Start working. Work is indispensable.

“Nothing works unless you do.” Maya Angelou ((Tweet this!))


Creative process takes time. Yes, ideas can sparkle in shower, on yoga mat, during the walk, but creative process itself requires time. Devotions. Yes, the Muse exists, but she has to find you working, said Picasso. Meaning that you have to devote time. Not every now and then. Consistently. Every day. In order to be able to produce good work, you have to do a lot of it. 10 000 hours. Maybe more.

Time for creating won’t just appear miraculously in your calendar. You have to make it. Creating is not urgent but rather important task. No one will chase you to do it. It’s not as the bill you have to pay until the certain day or deadline that your boss imposed. Creativity is all about self discipline and creating time. One hour before work and one hour after dinner. Or something similar. Muse has to know where and when to find you.

“Forever is composed of nows.” Emily Dickinson ((Tweet this!))

6. NO

Powerful word. Above mentioned Altucher even wrote a book about it. Danielle Laporte has a theory that every NO hides bigger YES. No to distractions, energetic vampires, mindless time wasting, endless social obligations. Yes to non distracted time, devoted to the act of creation. It is not easy to say NO. Blank page is scary. Resistance has already awaken. Self-doubt chatter is ringing in your head. Facebook is crying your name……

Say NO. Mindful, graceful NO. You know what is your work. Say NO to everything else. Invest in the future.

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” Mahatma Gandhi ((Tweet this!))


Western culture glorifies team work. However, creative work happens only in the solitude. Yes, brainstorming and idea exchange happens in team, yes, artists have to cooperate. But the very core of creative process happens in solitude. No one will do your work for you. Being alone is scary and uncomfortable for most of the people. But there is no way around it. You will never meet your Muse and find creative genius if you are running from one event to another or with consistent TV noise in the background.

Don’t let it scare you. There is a catch. Time devoted to creating is magical. When you turn off all of distractions and let yourself immerse, time will warp. You won’t be alone. You will be with your work and with your Muse. Don’t get surprised once you look at the clock. Dinner already?

“In order to understand the world one has to turn from it on occasion.” Albert Camus ((Tweet this!))


I didn’t understand this aspect of creativity for a long time. I was afraid of running out of the ideas, things to say, ways of expression. I had a fear that I will catch all the fish from my tiny pond. Opposite is true about the creativity. The more you create, the more ideas you have. The more ideas you produce, the more of them will be generated in your mind.

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw ((Tweet this!))


One of the big creative blocks is self doubt. And question “Is this good enough?” How can you know in the middle of creation are you actually doing something worthwhile? And the truth is YOU WON’T. So relax. Be happy that you have beaten the Resistance. Be happy that you have created the time. Acknowledge yourself. And continue.

Your success will be determined by the way you acted in crisis. Choose to persist. One step at the time. The quote that helped Steve Chandler greatly to deal with the addiction was :”Just today.” Don’t let the big picture paralyze you. Do your work today. Persist.

“It’s not that I am so smart. It is that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein ((Tweet this!))


I will admit, this is the hardest part for me. Press the PUBLISH button. Show it to everyone. And you might be criticized. People might not get your point. They may openly disagree. Or they may not care. At all.

But there might be that one person. Sad. In pain. Alone. Waiting to hear just that. Waiting for sparkle of love. You might make her day. Will you steal from her? Hell no. Publish now!

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles on it.” Margaret Fuller ((Tweet this!))

That’s it. Did I miss any important word? Please let me know in the comments bellow!



10 reasons why writing 10 ideas daily is an awesome idea

Ideas are the currency of the 21th century. ((Tweet this!))  In other words, if you want to thrive, you must come up with fresh new ideas daily. But how? You must become an Idea Machine. I have picked up this idea from James Altucher. It is one part of his quest of becoming a luckiest guy on the planet, that I am following now as well. (Check out the previous post and grab the FREE worksheet HERE.) Today we’ll focus on MIND. On becoming idea machine.

Let me explain you the process briefly:

1. Once a day (preferably in the morning), write ten ideas on random topic. I write them in my Evernote, James uses the waiter pad, it doesn’t make any difference.

2. Topics can be anything: 10 ideas for books that I could write, 10 things I’ve learned from XYZ, 10 alternative ways to do XYZ and so on. Claudia Azula Altucher has written a book Becoming an Idea Machine. 1$ in Kindle version. I couldn’t resist.

3. Ideas don’t have to be good. Don’t judge them. Just write.

4. If you cannot come with 10 ideas, try to come up with 20. But wait, it doesn’t make any sense. Yes, it does. It means that you are overthinking the process. Relax.

5. Repeat daily. Idea muscle needs to be trained like any other muscle. Don’t stop.

6. In 6 months you will become an Idea machine.

OK, but WHY? Why would you want to do this daily? What will this idea training bring to you?

A lot. James Altucher has started with becoming an idea machine 10 years ago and he can witness to you that this practice brought him tons of new contacts, networking opportunities, businesses and yes, money. Then most people say: “Cool, I’ll start this today and in 6 months big companies will pay me for my ides.” Well……that’s not exactly what’s going to happen. It might happen, depending on your own circumstances, existing network, business and shoe size. But it’s not certain. And it’s not the whole point.

Here I want to show you 10 definite benefits that this practice will bring you. Subtle changes in your mind. That will translate to subtle changes in your life. That will eventually translate to something bigger. The only revolution is inside-out revolution.

Take a look:


Ask yourself a powerful question and wait for your powerful mind to give you 10 answers. If you are in midst of crisis, write 10 things you are learning from that experience. When my luggage got lost, my idea list was 10 reasons why loosing my luggage was an awesome thing. I felt better about that. (Despite washing socks a T shirts every evening in the sink.)

10 things I can do differently today is another powerful one. Just get outside of your patterns of thoughts. Average person has 60 to 80 000 thoughts per day. 95% of them are the same as yesterday and the day before and the day before. If you don’t do something, you’ll have the same 95% tomorrow and day after that and so on. Got it? New thought is a mini revolution. Mini miracle. That needs to be celebrated.


10 things I can do today to come closer to my dream of XYZ. There is always something. Or 10 things I would do this weekend if I didn’t worry about the money. We often think that our circumstances block us. In fact, we are mostly blocked with our own creativity. Which is limitless. If you know how to use it.

Lists like 10 meals I can make of the ingredients I already have in my kitchen has saved me tons of money and worries. And it delayed shopping for a while. 10 outfits that I can create of my clothes that I’ve never wore before is another awesome one. We have more than we think. And often times it’s just enough.


Isn’t that obvious? 10 books I could write, 10 blog posts that my audience would love and so on. Light up your creativity with the list and use it everywhere.


Creativity is nothing more than connecting old dots in new ways.((Tweet this!)) Seeing common stuff differently. Finding alternatives. If you have tried everything, try writing 10 alternatives. 10 alternatives to college, 10 new ways to find a job, 10 ways to increase blog traffic that I haven’t tried before.

When I moved to the US, my luggage got lost in NY. I spent days calling one office where where no one responded. Then I wrote a list 10 alternative ways that I can try to look for my luggage. (See #7 if you want to know what happened next.)


It’s not the secret that I LOVE LISTS. Lists are clear, organized, easy to read and easy to act upon. This practice is perfect combo of creativity and organization. It will help you improve your To-Do, shopping, bucket and all other lists.


When you lift slightly more than you are used to, your muscles are getting stronger. Idea muscle is no exception. Some prompts will be challenging. Some you never thought about before. Even better. Writing 3 to 5 ideas is easy. But 6th, 7th and 8th are kinda tricky. You’ll struggle greatly to come up with 9th and 10th. Your idea muscle will sweat. That’s all good. That’s what I call the workout.


You don’t need to execute on your ideas, but you can, depending on prompt and on what inspires you. When I wrote 10 alternative ways I can try to look for my luggage (See #4), 5 of them were silly. I tried 4 of the other ways. One of them worked. I got my luggage back. It was possible. Victory!


Oh this is a big one. James used this to connect with Amazon. You can use it to connect with anyone. Send me an email with 10 posts that I would love to see at missstrangelove. (At the moment I am preparing my own list of 10 posts I would love to see for my most favorite bloggers and writers.) Send someone 10 ideas on how they could improve their business. For free. Connection is worth so much more.


Soon enough you will start thinking in terms of 10 ideas. When you decide to invite your friends for a dinner party, you will list 10 meals that you could prepare. When your boss asks you for a suggestion, you will write 10 ideas, instead of tossing the first lame thing that comes across your mind, just to get over it. Claudia writes feedbacks in form of 10 ideas. I write all my I LOVE LIST posts like that. It is the new way of creative thinking.


The last but not the least, the process is very playful. I had tons of fun writing list of 10 names for wine brands (Eclipse for red and Pink Floyd for rose wine, just to name two). Chances are I will never own a wine company. But that doesn’t stop me from creating this list. Who knows, maybe someone will use some of the items from my list. Write a list 10 things I would incorporate in my airline company. 10 cakes I would sell in my pastry shop. Or adventures I would pursue if I had million $. Play. Explore. And…..who knows….

Your turn. What are your biggest takeaways from this BIG idea? How can this practice contribute to your life/business/happiness? Share it with me in the comments below.



P. S. Cookie of wisdom: “When someone says to me, “I don’t have any good ideas . . . I’m just not good at that,” I ask them, “Do you have any bad ideas?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is no. Finding good ideas is surprisingly easy once you deal with the problem of finding bad ideas. All the creativity books in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame, and even dangerously bad ideas.” Set Godin, The Linchpin  ((Tweet this!))