If you could supercharge your brain, increasing your mental output - both quality and quantity - by 50%, but it would sacrifice 20 years off your life; would you do it?
"Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently, “I cannot make bricks without clay!”
— Sherlock Holmes
I love this article. I shared it last week and I still keep coming back to it.
Creative people sometimes operate most effectively on the outside of the collective. They often find themselves rejected by the group, and at times, they take the initiative and reject the group themselves. They may seem, at times, to be more entranced by their own thoughts than whatever problem the collective is trying to solve. Isn’t that the world of the creative geek?
There’s increasing evidence that a sense of social rejection actually fuels creativity, which makes things even harder for a leader trying to inculcate some sort of esprit de corps.
This isn’t true for everyone. It does hold true, though, for those with a so-called “independent self-concept”—those who don’t need the group to feel whole and self-confident. The authors write that “for individuals with an independent self-concept, rejection will reinforce their desire to differentiate themselves from others, and that mind-set should, in turn, lead to more creative outcomes.”
Creatives aren’t necessarily loners. They still need social validation, they just need it from other creatives, not the teams they work with. This is the classic, hipster “cooler than you” mentality.
Even if you’re not dealing with hipsters, most successful creatives have long ago come to accept (and thrive with) the notion that they don’t fit in. This makes it hard to manage them because they don’t respond to the normal forms of social pressures and team building.
Bottom line: Break patterns. Take breaks. Go for walks. Get up. Get out.
My review of Grant McCracken’s new book, Cultermatic.
It is my life’s goal to know and associate with people that make these kinds of lists. So I need you to step it up and help me make my dreams come true. I’ll be waiting over here. Let me know when you get there so I can ride your coattails.
Good stuff in this article but here’s my favorites:
You wanna build your IQ higher in the next two years? Be uncomfortable. That means, learn something where you have a beginner’s mind. Stay on the uncomfortable path and you will find that you can get smarter.
Trust Your Ideas
“Innovation is hard. It really is. Because most people don’t get it. Remember, the automobile, the airplane, the telephone, these were all considered toys at their introduction because they had no constituency. They were too new. And what you’re working on right now may in fact fall right into that. And if you see clearly, the pathway to the future, stick to it.
I’ve noticed something over the last few years. The more my job relies on being creative and coming up with ideas, the less time I spend on my computer. If you know me you know I have a childish bent. My desk is littered with LEGO, Star Wars and Nerf but I also spend a significant amount of time writing, outlining and mind mapping in my Moleskine or with Post-it notes.
When I am on my computer I’m often surfing my social media layers looking for inspiration or just letting my mind wander as it works out problems or ideas.
I’ve found I use email on my various mobile devices more because it limits my input and helps keep me out of email, which is inherently un-creative.
When I am actually using my computer is when I’m creating. When I’m building a PowerPoint deck, Word doc, the rare occasions I’m forced to use Excel and then when I need to email or upload those documents to SharePoint.
Between my mobile devices and my
toys tactile tools, I could probably limit my actual computer time to 2-3 hours a day when I need a full fledged keyboard and mouse.