Developing a Blank Page Mind

“Regardless of your past, your tomorrow is a clean slate.” (Zig Ziglar)

With regards to Ziglar’s statement, I have limitless opportunities for this article — I’m not bound to my past. Obviously, it is not as simple as that. Since we are undeniably shaped and influenced by many factors e.g. society, time, and personality. However, let’s assume that I have the endless opportunities of a blank page right in front of me. You are probably quite familiar with this situation in real life: With the recent development in technology and prosperity, more and more people struggle to choose and due to the fear of missing out (FOMO) overconsume. But actually, you should stop for a moment and rethink the essential questions. In too many situations I have experienced that people are rushing too quickly to an answer. As Stephen Covey said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”. Deep-thinking is becoming more and more a rarity.

So, what means thorough thinking/deep-thinking? And how can it help us in life?

It starts by getting to the fundamental and essential “trues”. It starts with overcoming your past knowledge and bias and getting to a new more accurate understanding. As an example, if I asked marketers what is marketing, I would probably get the following answer (or let me just google it): “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising”. Now that is a great example of a short-thought answer. This answer is very vague and it doesn’t offer any insight or recommendation for future actions. Instead, Steve Jobs, when he defined his first marketing strategy for Apple after his comeback, he started his famous speech by saying: “To me, marketing is about values”. From there, he derived that any great brand like Disney, Nike, and Coca Cola should not focus solely on the product and its attributes but rather on its core values:

“But the best example of all, and one of the greatest jobs of marketing that the universe has ever seen is Nike. Remember, Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes!!! And yet, when you think of Nike you feel something different than a shoe company. In their ads, as you know, they don’t ever talk about the product. They don’t ever tell you about their air soles and why they are better than Reebok’s air soles. What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes. And they honor great athletics. That’s who they are, that’s what they are about!” (Steve Jobs).

This example shows you how to navigate through this “noisy world” rather than stating the obvious e.g. Apple’s computers are better than Dell’s. You should create an ad that celebrates creativity and innovation like Apple has done with “Think different” — showing geniuses that thought differently.

“Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future” (Zig Ziglar).

However, any great idea is only as good as the action that follows it. Once we create a “blank page mind”, it becomes easier to renew our minds at the beginning of each day and taking ownership as the architect of our life. To achieve more you need to be more aware of yourself and start being more accountable. That means keeping track of your progress. Like the stock exchange, there will be volatility but if you focus on your fundamentals you will outperform the market in the long run. Focus on the things that you really want to achieve and if a method is not working for you, recalibrate. Steve Jobs offers great advice to ask your self the essential questions and how to recalibrate:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something” (Steve Jobs).

Achieving happiness becomes easier once you create awareness for yourself and your environment. Becoming more aligned with your goals and activities, becoming less destructed by the vast ocean of information and time-consuming activities. Happiness is a state of mind. A state in which you realize that it makes sense to write this article and to develop an open mind that realizes the unrealized potential of a blank page. Unleash your true potential.

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