Getting what you want often requires you to do things that you have never done before--to step outside your comfort zone.\u00a0 In order to do that in a manner that consistently makes sense to you, you have to get clear about what you want. John Mariotti says, \u201cAll of life is a negotiation.\u201d And if he's correct, then it's time to become a deal maker.\u00a0 In "You Don\u2019t Get What You Deserve: You Get What You Negotiate," John points out that making deals ". . . is a learned skill. Some people are naturally better at it than others, but everyone benefits from learning the principles of good negotiation.\u201d Talk about moving outside your comfort zone: Negotiation tends to scare people. To get you over that hurdle, John refers to several tips by expert Chester Karrass, including training that incorporates role playing.\u00a0 Another tip that I appreciate is doing your homework. Know what you need and want, and what the other side needs and wants, and then come up with an opportunity that serves both sides. It's funny how so much of our businesses (and our lives) are driven by clarity.\u00a0 In "7 Habits That Made Steve Jobs a Success," Susan L. Reid says, \u201cBe true to yourself. Jobs succeeded by following his own 'inner voice, heart and intuition.'" We can do the same once we learn how to uncover the ideas.\u00a0 And that may require you to develop a creative process including the use of a tool like mind mapping. Anita Campbell says, \u201cFor those times when you need or want to generate ideas on your own, mind mapping can be a great solution.\u201d In "To Get Innovative, Harness the Power of Mind Mapping," Anita mentions that this tool: ". . . essentially means representing your ideas graphically.\u201d I use mind mapping any time I think I'm blocked. And when I finish the exercise, I usually have more ideas than I have time to pursue.\u00a0 But why does it work?\u00a0 Anita asks, \u201cWhy does mind mapping stimulate more creativity than simply writing lists of ideas on a whiteboard?" According to the experts, mind mapping (called clustering in other circles) stimulates both sides of your brain and liberates your thinking.\u00a0 I know it works for me. Try it the next time you need to dream a bigger dream. It's time to get clear.