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Celebrating Global Green Light Day™

Excerpt: Chapter 19 from GO! How to Think, Speak and ACT to Make Good Things Happen:

Global Green Light Day™ March 21, 2011

Green Light actions are always a good idea. Celebrate with your Greenest spirit on March 21, Global Green Light Day™  (GGLD.) The usual first day of Spring, it is an ideal date for painting a piece of the globe Green! (In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s September 21.) This is the time for us to rally round the planet and Green it up – every way possible. Spread Green Light thoughts, words, and ACTIONS. Make March 14-21 a Green Light week.  St. Patrick’s Day is right in the middle of it, spreading Green big time.

Plan a series of Green Light actions, ending with a celebration of your achievements on the 21st. Honor the friendships expanded in the process. Make plans to continue the efforts throughout the year. Start your day with a Green Light greeting. Before you leave the house sound a “Good morning, world! Good morning, family! Happy Global Green Light Day™!”

Celebrate the day in a bright Green Light Way.

Apply an idea from this book. Get ideas from Earth Day, Arbor Day, and other Green kinds of holidays and events. Go to Asknature.org for examples of biomimicry and see wide-ranging innovative Green ideas to adapt from nature.

Creativity specialist Marci Segal co-founded International Innovation Day, with a focus on everyone creating new ideas for a brighter future. It expanded into Innovation Week, April 15-21. (www.creativityday.org). Check it out for action ideas to adapt to Global Green Light Day™.  Sarah Brown Wessling, a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa, is the 2010 top teacher in the country. Grab an idea from her students’ projects. They write songs, make
public-service announcements, film storyboards, and do grant proposals for their own not-for-profit organizations.

Jane McGonigal, Institute of the Future, Palo Alto, California directs the institute’s game research and development. She says, “Good deeds will become a bigger draw for gamers. Players will undertake missions to help others.” Imagine what games can be created, in a range of forms, for a variety of goals, that promote Green Light actions! Bring ’em forth!

“World Pulse”, a new, vital network connects women worldwide – to each other and to resources, solutions and opportunities. The enterprise uses media to cover global issues through the eyes of women and children, from big
cities to isolated rural regions. Founded by Jensine Larson, World Pulse Magazine (semi-annual) and Pulse Wire (www.worldpulse.com), an interactive web community, bring unheard voices and Green Light ideas to the world.

Green someone’s day. Who might you thank for a favor, gift, or contribution? Who might you call with an uplifting message? What pocket park, parking lot, roadside area, or sidewalk can you clear of trash or beautify? Who might love an hour of two of help – babysitting, running an errand, bringing a cup of coffee, or just being good company? Gather pieces of Green Light news to share with others. Every Green thought, every Green word and Green action Greens up your day and likely many others’ days as well. Know that you are contributing to a global movement.

Recreate yourself in a Green way. Revisit your dreams and take a step in the direction of a favorite one. Take action on a source of suffering in your family, neighborhood, or organization. Communicate your Green Light intentions, words, actions, and meditations. Find Green Light workers in action and commend them; spread the Green news about them. Initiate Green Light conversations. Greenly re-direct a Red Light conversation. Write a compliment or thank you on a business card or note pad and give it to a flight attendant, server, mechanic, or other day-brightener. Send a Green Light message by mail, phone, or email. Inhale gratitude. Exhale regret. Inhale joy. Exhale stress. Spread joy around you.

Serve a worthy cause – the environment, social justice, literacy, animal rights, or other concerns. Volunteer. For more ideas, check out ODE Magazine, “YES!” magazine, the Giraffe Project, the Hunger Project, and similar Web sites. Share Green Light ideas and actions at a hospital, school, or retirement center. Collect books for shelters, inmates, and disadvantaged youth. Support Green Light efforts of Chambers of Commerce, government, professional, and civic groups.

Play “How Green can you be?” Notice your Green thoughts. Catch the Red ones and switch them to Green. Find a Green Light colleague or playmate and make something Green happen. How many smiles can you generate?
How many compliments can you give? On March 21, give the term “Green with envy” a new meaning!

Go Green Light. Become unbeatable, unstuckable, unstoppable. GO!

“Far too many of us have adopted Red Light living as the norm, when actually it is the abnormality,” says Debrena Jackson Gandy, author, international speaker, and business consultant. “So instead of experiencing joy, we’re chasing and pursuing happiness. Instead of experiencing flow, we’re constantly forcing and over-controlling. Instead of experiencing ease and prosperity, we’re experiencing struggle, stress, strain, and lack. Instead of experiencing
ourselves as loving, unlimited creatures of possibility, we experience ourselves as limited, fearful, insecure and unloving.

“The delicious by-products of Green Light living and our natural state of being – ahhh, yes – joy, flow, ease, prosperity, and operating from possibility and our unlimitedness. Shifting to Green also means I am shifting into my highest self and thus my ‘highest way of living.’”

Teachers, invite your students to create art, posters, poems, stories, essays, and other projects that convey Green Light concepts. Consider posting them in class. Create a contest and display the winners in a public area, perhaps
social networks as well. Make a book of the class posters. Keep a copy in the room. Place an extra copy in the library.

If the date for Global Green Light Day were May 4, the rallying call might be, “May the forth be with you.” Since it’s not that date, when you wake up on March 21, sound the call, “March forth – and GO Green!” Issue the call each day -and watch your world get Greener.

Brain on Green Light: VROOM! Give it a GO!

The standard first rule for many groups is “First do no harm.” With Green Light, it is, “First do some good -then do some more.” Extend invitations for folks to put creativity to use – to include it in projects as well as play. As Green Light DO-ers, see how you’d like to turn your creative ideas into reality. Then add the ACTION piece. Do it! Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Spread the Green news. Salutes for your contribution to Global Green Light® Day™ – and for every Green Light act.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love


Perform frequent acts of Green Light, Shine Green beams far and wide.

March 21* The first day of spring. It’s Green time. (It’s always Green time.)

Think, speak and ACT for the most good, in the best way, for the most people, for the longest time. Move toward Ideal Scenarios – toward the 3 Green Light goals.

What can you do today, this week, this lifetime to make a positive impact? GO for it. Thank you.

* In the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of spring is usually March 21, in the Southern Hemisphere, September 21.


What Color Are Your Thoughts?………………………. by Evelyn Clark, The Corporate Storyteller

CAUTION: Read this article ONLY if you want to increase your income, sell your clients on your services, and keep your clients happy. If you’d like to be more effective in achieving such goals, you may need to change the color of your thoughts!

Green Light® thinking, a term coined by author and Seattle-based creativity consultant Marilyn Schoeman, “is putting your foot on the gas and moving forward; it implies you’re already in motion, and usually leads to a win-win outcome,” as she explains it. “The opposite approach to problem-solving is Red Light thinking, which is putting on the brakes, screeching to a halt, and raising doubt that there will ever be motion. Nobody wins; nothing is accomplished.

“In today’s world, Red Light thinkers tend to disappear fast,” says Schoeman, an active member and former president of the American Creativity Association. “Red Light thinking is no longer a viable option; innovative thinking, negotiating and team building are key routes to success.”

To illustrate how to apply Green Light thinking to running a design business, for example, let’s say you’re preparing for a client presentation. Wouldn’t you like to be better prepared to overcome—rather than ignore—client objections to the designs you offer? Wouldn’t you like to know how to be more effective with clients who have strong opinions that you know won’t work?

As described in Schoeman’s new book, GO! How to Think, Speak and ACT to Make Good Things Happen, here are some questions a Green Light thinker would ask when preparing for a client presentation:

  • Why is the recommended design a good idea?
  • What’s my plan to show the client why it’s a good idea?
  • What do I expect the objections to be, and how can I head them off at the pass?

If you think of Green Light thinking as a game—and objections as an invitation to play the game—situations that used to be frustrating will actually be fun (most of the time!).

“For example, when a client says a design is too risky, it’s probably because it’s new and unknown. You need to show them symbols or concepts they’re familiar with that might have seemed risky at the outset but in fact were successful,” Schoeman says. “Also, consider presenting three designs in descending order of riskiness. Because the first one you show is really ‘way out’ and the second less so, by the time the client sees the third one, it’s likely to feel safe even though, by itself, it may be out on the edge.

“Another way to address or accommodate client concerns is to brainstorm new ways to approach a presentation,” Schoeman says. “Ask yourself as many creative questions as you can think of, such as, How could I change the sequence of presentation? Or switch the rationale? (The reason you like it is not what’s important, but rather, why will the client like it?)

“How long will the idea be useful? How can I make it memorable? How can I make it huggable? How can I hook the emotions and put the client into the environment as though it’s already been adopted and been effective?

“Consider ‘futuring’ the idea; start with one and then move to the next adaptation; demonstrate how the approach will be useful for a long time and will be durable,” Schoeman recommends.

You can implement this approach on your own, and there also are tools on the market that will help you generate a nearly endless list of questions and options. Schoeman’s problem-solving product, The Idea Activator BOFF-O!® (Brain On Fast Forward), has generated solutions to an array of challenges faced by a range of organizations. BOFF-O triggers ideas/questions such as the following:

  • How can I promote a global view or a global application?
  • What will “satisfice”? (What is sufficient and also satisfactory?)
  • How do you stop before refining too much or becoming too costly?

(A consideration in “value engineering.”)

  • How can I tell the corporate story through this idea?
  • How does this address issues of diversity and age?
  • How can we add mystery? whimsy? surprise?

Schoeman says the key is to think about various ideas and determine whether it fits or, in a particular case, doesn’t apply. “Green Light thinking first gives you confidence and courage, and then a strategy—a style of thinking—so that you’re better prepared, more flexible, more versatile, and more creative in every aspect of business.”

And, she points out, “The same style of thinking can be applied to your entire life. My wish for you is this: As you pursue your passions, may you see Green Light signals all the way!”


Evelyn Clark, The Corporate Storyteller, has helped thousands of executives, top-flight sales leaders and savvy marketers to identify, create and deliver messages that stick in audiences’ minds. Author of Around the Corporate Campfire: How Great Leaders Use Stories to Inspire Success she is a keynote speaker and workshop leader who has worked with global leaders across North America, Europe and Asia. Visit her website is www.corpstory.com and call her at 1-425-827-3998.

Get a Life – Again!

It’s true. Lots of tough things happen to lots of good people. Nothing new about that. However, we can make matters worse by continually focusing on the tough stuff. Life isn’t so much what happens to us as what we DO about what happens to us.

So what do we do? What action do we take? Grief can be lightened or intensified. Sorrow can be an escape from life or a normal part of adjustment. Anger can be debilitating or harnessed to power great causes. Uncertainty can leave us paralyzed, forever on edge. Or it can prompt us to take new paths, to discover what would have been missed, to make connections we would have overlooked. We choose whether we wake up with the proverbial “Good morning, God!” or “Good God. Morning!”

We decide, consciously or not, thoughtfully or not, to make a good day – or complain about a bad day. Those who make the most of whatever life hands them use the Green Light style. They make the best of every situation. They can also guide others who want a better way. Their Green Light thoughts lead to Green Light words and then to Green Light ACTS. Like a magnet, they draw out and bring together the best of everyone.

Red Light




Short-term view

Failure mode


Green Light




Long-term view

Success mode


In the short term, it’s often easier to give up, to think Red, speak Red, act Red. In the long term, it’s a life sentence of hard labor – short on laughs and long on gripes, short on relationships and long on loneliness. We get GO! How to Think, Speak and ACT to Make Good Things Happen our teeth drilled not because it’s fun but because it’s wise. It’s tough. We do it anyway.

Red Light Focus:Obstacles


Worst Case Scenario

Can we…? NO!

Will it work?

Status Quo

Green Light Focus: Objectives


Ideal Case Scenario

How can we…?

How does it work?

Status? GO!

Do we want to be in charge of our life or host our own pity party? Many will join the Poor Me Parade – but no one will march to Sousa. No one will wear a grin, let alone a big red clown nose. Crowds won’t line the streets to see who floats by.

Red Lighters, like Chicken Little, continually sound the alarm, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Green Light creatives concoct sky-hooks and hold things up. They determine, as best they can, what is the reality of the situation. Then they take the ACTION they believe produces the best outcomes. They also put on a happy face – or at least a stiff upper lip – and carry on.

With incomplete information, with no crystal ball projecting a view into the future, Green Lighters make the best decisions they can at the time. As new data, new circumstances, new options appear, they readjust and again take the best ACTION they can at the time. Action uplifts and encourages. Inaction fosters a feeling of being helpless, discouraged, and adrift.

Red Light pulls us into a negative downward spiral.

Green Light draws us into a positive upward spiral.

Many of us are now much better health advocates for ourselves, no longer expecting the medical profession to do it all for us. We must also be our own life advocate, our own decision-maker, designer of our future. It never was a good idea to trust it to some person or program. Inventing, creating, designing, and directing our destiny – that’s the Green Light style. (Green Lighters

pull themselves up by their light bulbs!) We can always give up. We can’t always change our mind, say, “Oops. I want my life back,” and thus undo the damage.

Green Light Questions

What information do I need?

What shall I ignore? Forget?

What perceptions need to change?

What are the odds I’ll face a major disaster?

What can I control? Influence?

What is my focus?

Auto accidents kill thousands a year, yet people don’t quit driving for fear of crashes. Remaining in the driver’s seat means more control of the destination. Turning the wheel over to fear leads to dead-ends. Fear will never take us where we want to go.

So DO something. Not only will it feel good. It will achieve good – at least for ourselves, often for others. Inaction leaves us even more vulnerable – victims in waiting. Victimhood and feeling vulnerable – twin Red Lights often in the media spotlight. When things go well it rarely makes the news. We never know what nasties we prevent – by our careful choices, kind concern, wise actions. Commend yourself for them anyway.

We can be timid followers or fearful, angry, mindless revenge-seekers. Choose to be strong, caring, generous, unified people. We possess the power of choice. Every day, every moment, we can choose to be fearful or confident, to worry or to do the best we can – and relax. The more we worry, the more we have to worry about. We increase our stress and decrease our health. We perform a disservice to ourselves, to those who love us – and to our world as well.

Green Light Questions that Reveal Insights

What am I undervaluing, misunderstanding, or not communicating?

What people, priority, conflict, or legacy needs attention?

How might I maintain a sense of optimism, control, normalcy, future?

How might I best serve my family, group, society?

What are the things I need to do, not to do?

What is my best balancing act between inertia and frenzy?

Many things are still right with the world. We won’t often find them featured in the media or rising from the masses. Know whom to have faith in, whom to count on for a boost, for ideas and options, for a nudge in a better direction.

Green Light

Ask the questions that:

  1. Prompt the thinking.
  2. Force the discoveries.
  3. Propel the ACTION.

Respond to a question posed here. Choose an action – one that seems especially important right now. Take a few moments to think deeply about it. Notice what you feel about it. We tend either to avoid action totally or to charge into things without thought. That can lead to unintended outcomes and unexpected consequences, painting our world a deeper Red. Think new thoughts. Convert them to new Green action.

Green Light

How might I give someone a laugh? A break? Hope? Who might give me a lift? A smile? Comfort? How soon might I take action on these? When the going gets tough, the tough – and the wise – go Green. Okay, maybe that sounds trite or trivial. If you’ve read this far, you know a Red Light flicked on. (Red: the quick, unwise reflex, the rush to negative judgment). Switch to Green and tweak the ideas to make them work for you.

Red Light

I can’t forget this.

I don’t feel safe anywhere.

I look at everything & worry.

I’m a victim. Life’s a drag.

Green Light

I direct my thoughts well.

I am happily moving ahead.

I choose my view confidently.

I am a victor. Life is good.

Choose your dominant style. Think, “In what ways, places, and situations might I Green Light things?” Put your Green glasses on and look around. Find the good news, great role models, superb creativity, stunning courage, amazing selflessness. Discover and address community needs. Notice new possibilities, opportunities, and urgencies. Everyone is Green some and Red some. How might we promote more of the good (Green) stuff and diminish more of the other (Red)? Take action. Take care of yourself. Then you can also better take care for others. Make a list of:

  • 10 things that make you smile. Smile. Again.
  • 9 memories that make you feel honored. Feel them.
  • 8 gifts you’d like to give. Give them.
  • 7 things you want to read. Read them.
  • 6 people you want to meet. Meet them
  • 5 interesting places you’ve never seen. See them.
  • 4 positive experiences you’ve never had. Have them.
  • 3 favorite childhood activities you still like. Do them.
  • 2 people you want to know better. Reach them.
  • 1 new quality you’d like in your life. Grow it.

So you may not do it all. So you may only do one. Do one. It’s worth a salute. You chose a constructive act and did it. ACTION – Green Light ACTION – one of the best ways out of the dumps and into the mounds – of joy.

What we see is what we get, for the most part. So what do we look at? Is it the upbeat or the downer? The disaster or the good deed? The failure or the breakthrough? The terrible stuff we won’t affect or the need we can address? Red or Green? It’s our choice. It’s always been our choice. What color life shall we choose? Every day presents another chance to get a life – again. Pause, take a deep breath, then go out and Green it up.