18 – Find your What & Shatter inherent Mindsets with David Kinigson
If the muse, inspiration, creativity ‘leaves’ you how do you keep flow and get unstuck? How do you shatter inherent limiting beliefs to uncover possibility? How can you focus on strategic What question to tap into purpose and creation?
These are just some of the compelling topics David Kinigson and I discuss on this episode.
About David Kinigson
David Kinigson, author of “What is Your What?” “Mind Set In Action,”. With more than 40 years experience as a leader in personal development and transformational education. A practitioner in a variety of arts, academics, and disciplines, David’s methodology draws from his diverse background, studies and life experiences. He has held numerous positions including: creative director, education director, author, performer, stylist, artist, photographer, consultant, mentor, ghost writer and career coach. Get in touch with David at @DavidKinigson or DavidKinigson@gmail.com
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*This Transcript is Autogenerated
Hey there and welcome to the high-low sewer show. I'm your host sewer Al Naimi. On this episode, we are joined by David Kingston, writer, guitarist and hairdresser. After having a reunion after 14 years, we really got into this conversation of what is it that powers his creativity. Also how we, as individuals can put mindset into action, how we can find the cuddles that help us identify our purpose.
These are the areas that we are going to cover in this conversation. So let's get stuck in .
David, welcome to the show. Thank you, sir. It's a pleasure to be here and been looking forward to it to me too. So I was really excited for all this moves, to be able to share a little bit of the conversations that we were privileged to have. And that was really around your creative process.
And also you have written this amazing book and, it's, I'm really thrilled for you to be able to share with our listeners some of the. The learnings and aspects that you share in the book. So wherever you feel is intuitive to begin, that's the best place to start? I think, interestingly enough, the best place to start is something you just said at the very top of the call, you said, people are interested in accessing their why.
And as my book is About asking what, ask what is my watt? Because you might start with why, but you'll always follow up with asking what is my purpose? What is my vision? What are my goals? What are my challenges? What actions do I need to take? What's next for me? And no matter I have found in my background of 45 years in personal development, that asking why is it okay?
Entry-level question, but the questions we will ask are what questions. And so I wrote a book. Asking what is my wife? Yeah, that's amazing. And it's very counterflow to what I read on a regular basis because everyone was talking about the Y.
Yeah, it is rocking the boat. Why S what is my, why is trending right now? And as you so it's not a stay and like many things that are trending, they lose their meaning. It, for instance yoga is a wonderful practice, but, with all due respect, most people aren't studying Hilda today.
They're so studying yoga size and asking why. Is an easy, simple way to get into a conversation, but no matter how altruistic, no matter how profound, no matter how generous your, why is it falls short, just like a child futilely asking why is the sky blue day? Why is that daddy? Why and why gives us reasons I've listened on, for instance, clubhouse for quite some time now, and people are tossing around phrases, like a mindset and a, what is my why, but when they, once they say it what is your, why, what is your mindset as you listen to the conversation?
They're hardly using mindset. Accurately. And if you give it a good listen, you'll hear that. What they're saying is what's next. If you have to know why because in the matter of your life, because in the matter of your experience, but it is what questions, nobody ever said, why.
F they say what the F what is a considerably more powerful question. It gets you into it. Why questions give you a reason? And what questions initially bring you to an incident, a happening and occurrence. What happened? You don't ever ask anybody. Why were you late to death? People would be taken aback by that.
You would ask what happened? So what questions are more profound? And they are more compassionate and they open up a dialogue that is one for taking effective action. So let's bring this to life because I think that would be really helpful, especially if somebody is not familiar with asking these kinds of questions, how can somebody access the power of wallet in their life?
The power of what is multifaceted.
It, obviously asking what questions and those questions are best used in something in a system or a method that I call mindset in action. Like I said, people will use mindset in a in a very maybe like freshmen, like novice, like way. So for instance, here's an example of how people will often use.
I'm feeling really disappointed and hurt. My girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife broke up with me and I'm really hurt. I'm really disappointed. And a compassionate friend might be heard to say. You need to change your mindset. You need to shift your mindset, and I'm going to suggest that perhaps they don't need to shift their mindset.
Perhaps what they need to do is allow themselves to feel hurt, allow yourself to feel sad and disappointed, allow yourself to feel what you're feeling. And when you are done expressing that, and it might take an hour, it might take three weeks. I don't know how long each individual person needs to experience the emotions and feelings and internal chatter.
That they are having with themselves about the traumatic experience they just went through. But when they are done, they can take that experience and leave it behind in the past and not carry it forward into their next, in this case relationship. But none of that is shifting your mindset. People equate today, shifting your mindset with positive thinking.
Now there's nothing wrong with positive thinking. But no amount of positive things.
Ever made anything happen. Muhammad Ali could say, I am the greatest all day and all night, but if he did not take an action called train like a mother, then he would not have become the champ. So mindset in action is starts with the understanding that mindset. Is a verb. And and when you ask what questions like identifying what are my goals, or if you're more ambitious, what is my purpose in life?
You can then. Come to know yourself about that purpose or goals. It's all about taking a moment after you have identified. What my goal is to investigate with yourself. What limitations do you pose on yourself? What do you already know to be true about that? For yourself and when you've done that.
Then you can move on to what are my challenges to accomplishing that goal. And that's the kind of thing I coach people in, because if you didn't have challenges to accomplishing your goal, why you would have accomplished your goal already. So you take the time to distinguish what are your challenges?
And then again, you take a moment to reflect, to become aware, to actually become authentic about how you relate to it, your challenges, what are your postures? What do you know to be true? What's your internal conversation? What are your breathing patterns like? You come to know, oh, yourself. And when you have, you can then move on to what actions.
Will I commit to taking that. If I took those actions, I would develop new habits, overcome my challenges and accomplish my goals. In that way. You're shifting your mindset. You're tapping into your authentic self, the one without the pretenses, stopping you from getting what you want out of life. So that's, a practical.
That's an explanation of the mindset in action and how you would apply the what questions, what am I goals? What is my purpose? What am I challenges? What are the actions I'm going to take? And what do I already know to be true? So when we talk about, they S when somebody says, what is my purpose? How would somebody go about uncovering that for them?
That's a brilliant question. We want to start by distinguishing what is the difference between a goal, an area of growth and and the purpose. So a goal as many of us know by now is a. Is something out in the future that you want, that you don't have now that's doable, but perhaps there's a little bit of a stretch.
It's specific, it's measurable and it occurs by a particular time. So my goal might be to learn how to use mindset. Within the next three months, I would, my goal is to learn how to use mindset effectively in my life within the next three months. And that would be a very good goal to have an area of growth might be to be able to eloquently.
Share about mindset. I not only want to be facile with mindset, but I want to my goal is to be able to speak about it in a way that others can. Understand mindset and that would be an area of growth, or maybe I'd like to be able to apply mindset to other areas of my life. Let's use that. My goal is within six months within a year, I want to be able to use mindset in action in many areas of my life, wherever I have challenged.
And that's a wonderful area of growth for myself. A purpose is bigger than yourself and there's always more purpose to go. So for instance, if my purpose is to have mindset in action in the school system, So that young people can benefit to accessing their inspirational mindset. You can begin to hear that's way bigger than me alone.
And no matter how many students, no matter how many schools I'm in with mindset and action, there's always more mindset in action to go. So a goal is much more fine. And a purpose continues well past it's almost not. It's always more to go. There's always more purpose to go. There's always more children to reach.
So how would somebody identify that piece of purpose? So what. What are some techniques that somebody could tap into to identify what their path is? It would almost always be in a conversation and almost always, it would be in a conversation with a coach or a consultant, somebody who is committed to listening to you.
In a way that has empowers you to see what you're not seeing much the same way as a world-class athletes have a coach. Oftentimes the athlete is better at playing the game. Then the coach, I'm sure I have no doubt in my mind that Serena Williams is able to beat her coach handily every time they get on the court together, but that's not the coaches function.
The coaches function is designed to see or listen in the conversation. Wants to be heard and then distinguishes that. So I don't know what your purpose is or anyone's purpose is, but if I were in a conversation with you, I would begin by asking what is important to you? What is important to you?
What do you see as possible for yourself? What do you have an affinity for? And inside of that conversation, a purpose will reveal itself that will, that is outside of yourself in the future. It's it's something in the future that gives you inspiration, gives you passion, gives you being sense of purpose now, and it's something that's worth waking up for every day.
That's how you know, you've got a purpose. It feels like a lot of detective work. And it sounds like there's a bit of noticing on the part of the person looking to identify purpose, but also there's an element of objectivity. Somebody that is not you that can provide a reflection of you.
And really listen, because if I'm in the jar, I can't see the label on the outside of the jar. So it's nice to have that outside perspective. So it sounds like it might be a good idea to get together with someone that would be willing to listen and maybe doesn't know you that well.
So there'll be all asking those questions that perhaps to somebody that knows you very well, they seem very often. You're spot on. See, here's the thing. Many people have an aha moment. They have an insight and they know what their purpose is. Something happens in their life and they now know what their life is about, what they're here for.
However, if you listen to people, when they're talking, many people are finding themselves, they're figuring it out. And if they want to figure it out on their own time for however long it takes, just carry on. But if you really want to know who you are and what your life is about. You can expedite that by speaking to someone who yes.
Listens to you and converses with you objective and in that profound listening and speaking a conversation that's designed to. Discover what my purpose is inside of that objective conversation, because we're subjective. We mostly don't say nice things about ourselves to ourselves. And when we do, it's like a positive thing.
On top of all the negative thinking. So we're very subjective with ourselves. A coach is objective, right. And having a coach can expedite us getting to that aha moment of. That's my purpose. I've often been asked about milestone moments in my life, whether positive, whether I perceive them to be positive or negative.
And then sometimes those provide the the ingredients for identifying Papus right? Like this certain things have impacted us that bring to life. What you mentioned earlier, like what's important to you. Yeah. Yeah. What's important to you is what is important to me is one of the best questions you can ask.
You sit with a paper and a pencil and, what's important to me and people will mostly start. Family is important to me. My health is important to me being well off so that I don't have to worry about my bills. That's important to me. Then once you get past those. Self centered.
And I don't say that in a negative connotation, it one should know what's important to me like me alone. There's nothing wrong with that. But once one gets past that, then the thinking really begins and one wants to discover what is important to me that is worth giving my life. Two or four. And you mentioned earlier, this idea of it's worth waking up for, and I identify that with, if an opportunity presented itself at 11 o'clock at night, I would just be like, yeah, I'm doing this.
I wouldn't think twice about engaging in whatever that thing was. It's not like a labor it's of course I'm going to do this. And so these can be great clues, right? If someone's investigating and noticing. He's a great clues of if my energy is just flowing vastly is it becomes a should.
Absolutely. See, in my book I distinguish two additional types of mindset. I've been studying personal development and neuro educational learning, and many different disciplines and practices for over 45 years. And over the last six years I've been working with mindset in action.
And beta testing my system of overcoming challenges, developing new habits, overcoming your challenges in a company, completing your goals with small groups of people. And when we talk about mindset, There are two common mindsets that Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford university distinguished, and they are fixed mindset and growth mindset.
And I referenced her because she is considered the the leading and 4runner of the preeminent thinker. Mindset. Fixed mindset limits. Learning is it's a mindset where you think you're stuck the way you are more or less than you, there's not, you're going to learn that can change your, you can't teach an old dog new tricks and growth mindset means you understand the power of growing and learning and putting the work in.
But there's two other mindsets that I distinguished and they are inherent mindset. And inspirational mindset and both are generally created when we are young and an inherent mindset is one we create when we're young and it is the background of our lives. So for instance, myself, I grew up in a family where we were critical thinkers and we were literate, but when it came to artistic expression, We were told we're not artistic, we're not creative.
And we can't sin. We're not musical where listeners, the world needs listeners. And I grew up wanting to play guitar, wanting to sing and knowing based on young experiences that I had from kindergarten through my teens. I just can't learn that way. I just can't learn that way. This is not the way I learn.
And when we create an inherent mindset, it's almost always when we're young. It's almost always after some sort of traumatic or series of traumatic incidences where you make a decision and that decision is generally begins with I can't, I won't, I'll never I'll always, and it's limiting. And inspirational mindset is very similar to an inherent mindset it's often created when we're younger, but the biggest difference, the distinguishing difference is that it's a future that inspires you.
You can hear that my inherent mindset is a future that's limiting, but an inspirational mindset. Is the one that's created by all the people that we admire, whether it's Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Madonna, lady Gaga, Beyonce, Serena Williams, Bruce Springsteen, tiger woods. The young lady, I think her name is Alison Carson.
She's 18 years old and she's scheduled to go to Mars. Every one of them. Did not see their inherent mindset was not an inherit mindset. It was an inspirational one. It was a singular mindset about the future. This is where I'm going. Nothing will stop. And then they constituted themselves. They invented themselves in a way to overcome every single challenge life presented itself, because nothing's going to stop them from getting to their goal, your inherent minds.
Is the one that you've got to overcome. And most of us don't, how do I know that I just have to look around and see that most of us resign ourselves to the life. That we became this as well. This is just the way I am. I'm just not a morning person. This, this is the way that I am an inspirational mindset is one that you can create it any time and you can create it by recognizing your inherent mindset.
And then. Engaging in a mindset in action conversation to develop what that future is. That gives you being lights you up one that's worth waking up for every day. The one that gets you out of bed at 11 o'clock at night or two o'clock at night to quickly take down a note because you've immersed yourself in a project.
And yeah, so it is possible to overcome your inherent mindset by creating or inventing an inspirational mindset. I have a friend who used to say that he would sit with his counsel and he had created a council in his mind. The comprised of I believe it was Michael Jordan and Oprah. His brother who had committed suicide.
And so he had maybe 10 people on his council. And so whenever he was faced with a decision, but he needed. He would sit with his counsel and have conversations with them and they would recommend things to him. And I thought that was genius. These different perspectives or personas to propel us forward depending on what situation we're in.
So yeah, that really. He's got coach exponentially in place, that's much like the wisdom of the collective, whenever I'm stopped at any point where I find myself up against it and my own ability to get myself out of it. Isn't working. I go to one of my coaches.
It might be a family member. It might be a coach that I've hired. It might be a colleague, but it's somebody who listens me and doesn't buy into my my pretense doesn't buy into my inauthentic being but rather listens may in such a way that they can return me to my purpose. I was also really curious when I was asking you about how you went about writing the book and you shared with me your process of continually tapping into things that inspired you.
And I thought that was very inspiring. So would you mind sharing that story with all this news? Sure. Not at all. Creativity. So clearly I overcame my inherent mindset and many years ago. And I have lived a creative life. I'm a published author. I write songs. I am a creative director for photo shoots.
I'm a hairdresser known for creative stage presentations. So I've not been limited. I painted I've drawn pictures pastels or watercolors. Creativity is a life I live. And that is something that I developed from the time I was 19 on. And and like I said, it can happen at any time if you tap into your inspirational mindset.
But when we talk about creativity, and inspiration often tend to be elusive and fleeting, even for the most creative people. And I've found that creativity. Is tapping into the energy. That's all around us. It's being open, being inspired and being able to express that inspiration in whatever your medium of choice is.
We're generally inspired by something outside of ourselves, whether it's a story that we're going to write, that story is, we're thinking about it. We're inspired something, you made me think, Sarah, you made me think of something that I'm going to write a story about, or I'm going to.
This song about. So we're generally inspired by something outside of ourselves that allows us to tap into that part of ourselves that we call creativity or creative, or self-expression. When we're inspired, we're expressive and we're not. When we are not inspired, the expression stops and that's what we call a block.
And that's really, nobody is worried about being creative when they're creative, but when they have a block, that's when the worry comes in. That's when the trouble comes in and being a writer we're most familiar with the expression writer's block. So the idea of thinking outside the box where creativity lives is to get out of our mind that part of ourselves, that internal chatter, that inhibits self-expression the minute you're typing and you go shoot.
I can't think of anything. I hope this passes. Oh, no, don't tell me I'm blocked. And we're now going down a conversation that Doesn't produce the desirable effect that we want, which is to have our creativity flow. So the trick is to not be inhibited by our internal conversation or the familiar, uncomfortable feelings that inhibit us.
The trick is to keep that energy flowing. But as many people would say that's easier said than done. And so when I look to Children are always, or the better part of always in a state of awe and wonder and discovery. They haven't yet learned to shut themselves down. So the trick is to be inspired by what I call.
The everything. If we give up our judgment of what is inspiring to us, you enter into a constant state of inspiration, just like a child. So in practice, what I do is when I'm working on a project, whether it's writing a book or writing a song or doing a keynote. Talk for a corporation, when I'm working on a project, I immerse myself in that project.
I become the project. I constitute myself as that. And like you alluded to, I wake up with the project on my mind. I think about it throughout the day I fall asleep. I thinking about it, I dream about it. I take on the practice of a child because that's what a child does. If they are in once they know they're going to Disney, they're every poor, their, every breath is about that future, which is giving them being in the presence.
So I take on that practice as a child. And when the words stop coming, rather than dwell on the block. Here's the action now, all of that works action too, but here's the practical action. I switch creative gears and move to another medium. So if I'm writing a book or I'm writing an article and no more words are flowing, I don't dwell on that.
I go and I pick up my guitar and I play for a while or. I'll watch a movie. I'll take on some mindless activity that I can get out of my mind and the ideas can come to me because every creative knows that they're a vessel and they want to be an open vessel for the ideas to flow through. So if you're a, if you're walking around, inspired by the sun and the flowers and the building.
Even when you're not writing, if you're inspired by the guitar playing you'll, that mindless activity will open you up so that the ideas can come to you. And when it does you put that guitar down, you rushed to your keyboard and you start writing it. Everyone's had that experience. We tend to think of cool things.
When we wake up in the morning, when we're in the shower, when we're driving in our car, PE people do that, they think is stuffed. And that's the idea you get out of your mind and you access out of the box thinking. Yes. We talk about being in a state of alpha. The things that you mentioned about the shower, or going for a run, these, just these moments, they open up the doorway to our subconscious and that's when we're able to access all these ideas and our subconscious mind.
So that really resonates. And I love that. You have so much compassion for yourself and knowing, because you're like, okay, now I'm going to play guitar. Or now I'm going to go do this versus sitting at your desk. I don't know, grabbing it, your hair and getting frustrated. Which just gets you more into that stock place.
So I think a great practical is like the energy of, okay, this feels creative and inspiring, and now I'm going to go do something else that's creative and inspiring. And then that just keeps that flowing right until you're ready to come back to that. Yeah. And you used a really great phrase, compassion for myself.
Now, compassion for myself is not to be miss miss identified as being a procrastinator slacking off and not getting anything done, but that's not that's not compassion for myself. That's laziness, but compassion for yourself. Is what I call coming to know your process or recognizing your comfort zone, knowing yourself, see everybody.
We know that out of the box thinking happens when you get out of your comfort zone. Everybody knows that, but nobody really knows how to get out of their comfort zone. In a moment's notice, even those people who are very creative when they're in their comfort zone. If we say, get out of it right now, it could be a little difficult, but the access to getting to act outside the box thinking is to know the box is to know the comfort zone and the comfort zone is made up of, as we know, familiar.
And comfortable feelings and everything's working. It's all working. I'm comfortable. Everything's good. Don't rock the boat. I'm doing terrific here, but that's only one half, one flip side of the comfort zone is what I call the discomfort zone. And that's all the uncomfortable feelings, all the uncomfortable thoughts.
So when I'm creating a keynote presentation, for instance, and I know what my topic's going to be, and I start thinking about it and I'm creating the slide presentation, I will start to at some point, think of. This is going anywhere. What if they already know this? What if they don't like this? What if I don't get my idea across holy crap.
Aye. I and I drive myself crazy as many creatives do, but the trick is. To not sit in that, not dwell in that for too long, but to come to know, remember I said earlier, come to know your internal conversation, come to know your body sensations. When, oh, here I am pulling my hair out of my head again. Ah, oh, that's just me.
And why it's your comfort zone is because it's familiar. And if it wasn't comfortable to be uncomfortable, you wouldn't keep returning to it. So when you know that these uncomfortable thoughts and feelings are familiar and you returned to it, you can know yourself, pause, and then choose a different action.
One that will give you the results that you want as you do that you develop new habits in your own creative process. So much richness. You asked some great questions. I love talking with you. Is there anything else that you want to share with our listeners? I just I'm just, I feel like when you have very rich food, you want to just take little bites at a time, so you can really appreciate what it is that you're experiencing.
So is there anything else? And also the obvious question, which is how can our listeners get in touch with you? Wonderful. So how people can get in touch with me? My name is David. K I N I G S O N. And I am accessible at David Kennison will find me on Facebook. It will find me on Instagram. And I'm happy to give, if you just add at GMs.
Dot com you can send me an email directly to me and avoid social media, which is fine with me. So that's how you get ahold of me very accessible. And I love engaging with people and please be on the lookout for my new book, which is called ask what is my what? And and then finally what I want to leave people with is that.
It's never too late to overcome what any of your challenges might be, no matter what your upbringing was, no matter what your inherent mindset I'd like you to consider that nothing is fixed, you are not hopeless. What's what is possible is what's possible for you. If you can think it, you can accomplish it.
So begin now because our brains can be rewired, neuro educationally speaking. It's been proven that we are not. Machines that can't be rewired. We might be machines, but we can be rewired to tap into what inspires us and what our purposes, what our goals are. And we can develop new actions to accomplish what we want to accomplish in life.
And even if you don't, it makes the game of life. Worth playing. Thank you, David. Thank you so much. And listeners, I will put all of those contact details in the show notes as I always do. Thank you so much for listening and until 📍 next time I am your host, Sarah I'll maybe