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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Idea Machine: reflections, changes, recommendations and GIVEAWAY!


I landed on JFK airport on January 5th, 2015, and thunderstruck realized that my luggage is missing. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but I missed an important piece of information. I moved to the US on January 5th, 2015. The lost luggage was my only possessing in a new country where I did’t know anyone.

The office for luggage claims at JFK had 3 operators, they used computers with MS DOS, phones were ringing all the time and no one seemed to bother. They were dealing with real customers. (I saw 1476 unread voice messages on one of the phones.) They promised me they’ll do whatever they can to find my suitcase and asked me to give them a my phone number. “But I don’t have an American phone number. What can I do?” I asked. “Well, try to call us.” “But you are not answering the phones, right?” “Well… try.”

Next day I flew to my final destination, Pullman, WA. I had one mini suitcase with laptop, Kindle, one book, one T shirt, pajamas, 1 pair of socks and underwear. That was all I had. I have never felt so poor. (We are so attached to things, right?) My new roommate gave me his smelly blanket and I was so grateful. And so alone.

In the following days I called JFK via Skype without any success. I was washing my clothes in the sink every evening and wondering if  there was a better way to find the lost luggage. And then I remembered James Altucher’s epic post: How to Be the Luckiest Guy On The Planet (because what happened to me was pure bad luck). Among other pillars of lucky life, he talks about the idea lists. That was exactly what I needed. I have started writing 10 ideas many times before, but I was never consistent. Desperate enough, I knew I needed something radical.

So I wrote the title: 10 alternative ways I can get my luggage back.

And I came up with 10 ideas.

Most of them were dumb. 3 were helpful.

One of them worked.

I got my luggage back after 11 days. I felt rich again. (And wrote THIS post.)

(To explain: the 3 helpful ideas were to get in touch with 3 friends of mine at different airports and in different airline companies. First friend told me where exactly the luggage got lost, second friend gave me the phone number of the third friend, who was able to connect me with someone who was able to find a person in JFK that would answer the phone. The key was to think a bit more and stop doing the repetitive thing that produced no results.)

Was this small miraculous event enough for me to establish my idea process consistency? No. I strayed. But got back on the track by the end of March. I was depressed, lonely and scared, so I needed a radical solution again. I have decided to get serious about the idea writing process, so I bought Claudia Azula Altucher’s book “Becoming an Idea Machine”. Followed every single step. And became the Idea Machine. Woooohooo! (If you want to know more about the structure of the process, read THIS post.) 

Here is how I am different today, thanks to the process:

1. My mind is sharp, quick and prolific.

2. I am more curious about life, other people, books and new topics I knew little about. I know that the more I read and expand my mind, the more material I have to work with.

3. I met the iTribe during the process. That is the small (perfectly sized) Facebook group with the people on the same quest. Sharing ideas with the tribe members brought massive value into my life. We create, share and laugh together every day. That is precious.

4. I have started sharing more confidently. I know I can make a contribution with my ideas.

5. The process became something between my habit, ritual and mind workout.

6. I create a better content and I am not holding myself back, saving good ideas for some special occasion. I know there is always more where that came from.

7. I have practiced my focus and will power. I want to give up very often. I want to write 7 things and say: “OK, this is enough, this list is hard anyway.” And then I pull myself back to finish every single prompt. This practice in the morning makes me more consistent in everything I do.

8. I am happier because I feel that my creativity gets its daily workout.

9. My life has changed a lot and I know this is just a beginning.

10. I feel calm, confident, focused. All the success I get is the reflection of my inner improvement.

Some people asked me how exactly my life has changed. Here are some cool things that happened along the way:

1. First and foremost: my husband has joined me, he has found a job, we have moved to a new apartment, bought a car. This may not seem like anything special to you, but these are all huge changes for us. Our life quality is 200% better than it used to be 6 months ago.

2. I have started my mailing list and didn’t miss to write a blog post and send a weekly newsletter in 28 consecutive weeks.

3. I have started sharing on Medium and got overwhelmingly warm response on a couple of posts.

4. I have started answering questions on Quora with 10 ideas and I get most amazing praise there daily.

5. One of my Quora answers was published on Inc.com

6. I have written mini ebook ‘100 Ways to Be Creative Today’ (in editing phase now) and you’ll get in soon for free.

7. I have got promoted at my work and my group has got 2 new research projects.

8. One girl has printed my list “10 things I wish I knew when I was 25” and put it above her desk. That is a wonderful praise.

9. I have balanced the entire creative process with my research, which is very demanding, more than full time job.

10. I have a number of awesome new projects, so stay tuned.

Enough about me. Do you want to become an Idea Machine? Here are a few of my tips for you.

1. It’s a lot of work, it is challenging, it requires leaving the comfort zone, but it is worth it.

2. You will gain from this process significantly more if you don’t just write the ideas but share them, too. That requires courage but it is the best part.

3. Make your ideas have sex. (Make an atmosphere. Candles, red wine, Marvin Gaye…) Idea sex results in miracles the world hasn’t yet seen.

4. Find an accountability partner. Or the tribe. It is easier, more fun and the motivation is skyrocketing. I made new friends, I am laughing and learning from them daily and I don’t want to miss a day of the idea listing.

5. We all have topics we are knowledgeable or passionate about and writing ideas on these will be easy. Don’t ever avoid the topic you don’t like. That’s where the real growth happens. Do some research, challenge your mind.

6. Don’t limit yourself to the exercises from the book, although they are well planned and pretty challenging. Write idea lists for your work, your blog, your life, your friends.

7. If you miss a day or more, continue as soon as you can. It happens and it’s not a big deal. Make it exception rather than rule. (You’ll see quickly how your brain gets slower and you won’t let that happen too often.)

8. If you are traveling, organize well so that you can write ideas without interruptions. At home I write in Evernote. When I go to trip, I usually write the ideas in a notebook. You don’t need anything fancy, you don’t need a special atmosphere, just find the way to do it. Also, if you forget you Kindle and don’t have an idea prompt, come up with one. The key is to keep the process continuous.

9. Many new coincidences will happen. Writing ideas and sharing them will bring you good vibes. Your life WILL change. Make your ultimate goal to sharpen your mind and connect with others. All the other things are good byproducts. Remember that this process is just the beginning.

10. Get your hands on this book! (Keep reading.) It is awesome, well organized and thought out. I know, people might say: “Hey, but I can write any ideas on my own.” Yes, but it is so much easier and more effective when you have an organized process that you follow daily. Besides, it challenges you to think about things you never thought about before.

I have decided to give away 10 Kindle copies of “Becoming an Idea Machine” books. (Even if you don’t have a Kindle reader, you can read it on your computer or phone.) I loved it, it has changed my life and I want the same for you. Do you want one? Answer the question in the comments below: “What are 10 reasons why you want to become an Idea Machine?” We will announce the winners on October 25th. Good luck and remember: Ideas are the currency of 21st century. ((Tweet this))


Miss Strangelove

P. S. Share the news about this giveaway with your friends! Let’s create together! Write 10 ideas and get “Idea Machine book!” ((Tweet this!))

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!))