Jerry Seinfeld and Bizarro Jerry on Don’t Break the Chain

Jerry Seinfeld and Bizarro Jerry on Don’t Break the Chain

Jerry Seinfeld gets credit for a simple tool. The story goes something like this: Jerry had reached a level of fame and a new comic went up to Jerry and asked him for any secrets Seinfeld knew for getting better as a comic. “Don’t break the chain,” he answered.  The chain he was speaking of …

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Keeping Boundaries the Disney Way

Keeping Boundaries the Disney Way

Robert Dilts, expert in hypnosis and its recent variants, has made a study of the working mindsets of all sorts of people, of the very past and the recent past. He found that Walt Disney had a distinctive way of keeping hard boundaries between stages of creativity and creative production. The boundaries protected one stage …

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Getting to Your Best-Fit Pace

Getting to Your Best-Fit Pace

To do any sustained work, a pace has to be selected. A pace can be very light, say: “I will work on my project on Saturday afternoons from 1 until 5.” Or it can be quite dense: “I will work every day from 10 am till 1:30 pm.” The latter pace is something for pros …

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Who in You Doesn’t Want to Do Creative Work?

Who in You Doesn’t Want to Do Creative Work?

Centuries of introspection has shown that we, for all practical purposes, are made of many “parts.” You know, part of me wants to go to the family event and part of me wants to do anything but that. Part of me sits on my right shoulder and tells me how to be good and part …

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Darwin’s Regret

Darwin’s Regret

Building a Regret “My mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years… Now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry… I have also almost lost any taste for pictures or music… My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large …

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Grow A Buddha

Grow A Buddha

Setting aside the likelihood that this novelty insults some Buddhists (and makes other Buddhists laugh), let’s use it as analogy. First, we need to understand how this novelty works. The “buddha” starts off about 1.2 inches tall when taken right from the package. “Made of a sponge-like non-toxic material”, the small buddha expands 600 times …

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Move Over Willpower, Grit is Here for the Long Haul

Move Over Willpower, Grit is Here for the Long Haul

The word Grit may someday replace the words persistence and perserverance.  Grit has a nice sound to it. It is short and sharp, and has a no-nonsense quality about it. It reminds one of something solid and something down to earth, like a farmer or a coal miner. Of course, we all know the movie True …

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Your Declaration of Independence

Your Declaration of Independence

Sure, we have New Year’s resolutions but what about mid-year declarations? Try making these and others of your own devising, your declaration of independence: I declare that I will begin again, this coming week, in small ways to more fully develop my commitment to myself to bring my creativity into the world. I will start …

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Unsung Music

Unsung Music

“Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so?  Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894)

Fear of Projects – How to handle your megalofear

Fear of Projects – How to handle your megalofear

Thank goodness we have size fear. Imagine visiting the beach for the first time and deciding to swim across the ocean. Imagine looking in a pastry shop window and deciding to eat everything in the display. Thank goodness we have something in us that says “Whoa! Wait. You can’t tangle with that.” Without size fear/respect …

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To Be Thought Foolish and Stupid

To Be Thought Foolish and Stupid

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”– That’s the original from Epictetus (55 AD to 135 AD) Here are some possible updates: “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid by those parts of yourself who are afraid to go against _______________” “If you …

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Bunches of Reasons Not To Commit to Anything

Bunches of Reasons Not To Commit to Anything

To pass from casual creative to productive creative, commitment is required. Commitment that sometimes is hard to muster, painful to carry out, and the last thing you can handle at the moment. Commitment to work, to practice, to make your creativity a big part of your life, commitment to springing back after criticisms and hard …

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The Seduction of Scattering

The Seduction of Scattering

Scattering is wonderful. I have been scattering for the last 40 days or so (evidence: lack of regular posting to this blog). First, I threw myself into an unexpected short-term project. Loved it. Learned a lot, got to present to a brand new type of group. Felt great. Next, some new, great books have been …

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The Forgotten Third “P”, Practice Mastery

The Forgotten Third “P”, Practice Mastery

Quietly, below the surface, from ancient times to the present there has been a vein of creative energy running through select Creatives. In the East this has manifested in the Living National Treasures of Japan, for instance, or the tea ceremony, or zen archery. In the West, the lore of Edison and Steve Jobs as models …

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The Knock-Out Question – Don’t Ask It

The Knock-Out Question – Don’t Ask It

Don’t ask this question:  “But what happens if I _________________ and then it turns out that I don’t have talent?” Oh this question is a tricky one. It seems so, so innocent. Seems so clear-headed, the right question coming from a very careful thinker. Hogwash! Bam! Just because we can ask a question doesn’t guarantee …

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