Monday, December 30, 2013

Creative Risk-Taking: The Art of Designing Disorder

As the year comes to a close, it’s often a time of reckoning:  what is the gap between the ideal and the real?  Have I too often clung to “b.s.” (“be safe”) security over risk-taking uncertainty; am I willing to dig deep for genuine growth opportunity?  My first offering for the New Year, the revised first two-steps/two-pages of “Creative Risk-taking:  The Art of Designing Disorder” from the upcoming book, The Stress Doc’s ™ Resiliency Rap.  (If interested, email for the entire poetic essay.)
The second (soon forthcoming) communique outlines three classroom/Stress Doc workshop programs derived from The Stress Doc’s ™ Resiliency Rap.  These programs are:
1) “Stress, Loss and Change Resiliency”
2) “Creative Expression/Emotional Adaptation”
3) “Core Curriculum Standards Model
If you know any teachers, professors, or administrators in a high school or college/university setting that might be interested in knowing more about the Stress Doc resources (including a video on “Overcoming Procrastination,” please consider sharing the email.
As I like to say, “Take up the dare; to good adventures for the New Year.”  Peace!

Creative Risk-Taking
And the final “R” for “Burnout Recovery”
Learn to develop a “Risk-Taking” strategy.
Here are four steps for surviving and thriving
When you’re engaged in on the edge living
Forever smoldering is not forgiving.
Grasping liquid ideas at an uncharted border –
Creative Risk-Taking:  The Art of Designing Disorder:
Step 1.  Aware-ily Jump in Over Your Head
High anxiety comes with the territory
When landing with awkward uncertainty.
While there may be some initial dread
Take a few breaths…quiet that voice in your head
Focus on rapid learning, instead.
Try saying a prayer or trusting your gut
The opposite of risk – being stuck in a rut.
Characteristics of Productive Risk-Takers
While you may truly want to confess
Actually, it is time to assess:
How do expectations square with reality?
Ready to handle learning curve vulnerability?
Can you convert anxiety to laser beam energy?
As for skills and resources:  do you have all the horses
For jumping through hoops, for running obstacle courses?
Still admitting gaps without playing “Taps?”
(Hey, focused risk-taking is not shooting craps.)
Finally, can you maintain basic composure
In the face of your “Intimate FOE” –
That long dark shadow…Fear of Exposure?
Step 2.  Strive to Survive the High Dive
Now that you have bravely jumped in
Avoid making it “lose versus win.”
You are a learner, no way a loser…
Please consider this uncommon mantra:
Strive for the high and embrace failure.
“Rigid consistency,” as Emerson did find –
"Is the likely hobgoblin of a little mind.”

Remember, inside each humbling error
Often stirs a pregnant adventure.
With open eyes and a trusted mentor
One even defies the lonely crowd censure.
But, as matter of fact, the most meaningful crack:
No more running from that “all-knowing” mirror.
Either Learn to Fail or Fail to Learn
Rethink what it means to fail
Were you chasing the Holy Grail?
Failure no longer is a scarlet “F”
Forever leaving you seeming bereft
A tattoo of shame one can never erase…
Imagine failure as a transitional space
For recognizing what you could not see
For leaning on others so you might be
For giving old voices the third degree
For fighting convention and assumption
For discovering steely determination
To close the breach, seemingly out of reach
Between current position and true aspiration.
Placing Failure in Time Perspective
Of course, it’s not just a matter of rhyme
Embracing failure will take some time.
Consider these two slogans of war
For sorting the chaff, for probing the core:
1) Founding a beachhead, no matter where you stand
Is not the same as securing the island.
2) Many battles are fought and lost
Before a major victory is won.
So do not run…but do reckon the cost.
The Stress Doc’s TLC
As you swim and tread to who knows where
Please don’t forget to come up for air
Taking time out for mentor or peer
With whom you will play “Truth or Dare” –
One having the courage to fill your ear with
Tender Loving Criticism & Tough Loving Care!

[For the entire poetic essay, email]