Category Archives: Learn to succeed

repost: the unfair truth about how creatives succeed

Sharing is caring, this is by Jeff Goins

Creativity: a systems approach

What makes a person creative? As human beings, of course, we are all endowed with the ability to create. But, what is the difference between that kind of “little c” creativity and the world-changing “big C” creativity that changes industries and leaves a legacy for generations to come?

In his decades-long study of creativity, management psychology expert Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi described what he called a “systems approach.” Since “creative” work tends to be subjective, he posited a model that included three systems:

  • The domain
  • The field
  • The individual

In order to be considered creative (in the sense that it offers some kind of enduring work the world remembers), a work must satisfy all three of these areas. Here’s how it works: First, an individual must master his or her craft in a given domain (art, science, mathematics,etc.). Then, this person must offer the creative work to a field of influencers in that domain who are trusted experts. Finally, those gatekeepers must decide whether the work is worth being accepted into the domain as being authoritative.

That’s the systems approach to creativity. And as much as I initially winced at the word “gatekeepers” when considering what makes creative work succeed, once I started reading biographies of famous artists, scientists and musicians, Csikszentmihalyi’s theory made a lot of sense. Talent is only part of the equation. The rest is networking.

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We gather strength as we go

Having a conversation with my daughter about how she and her friends treat one another can be such a challenge. Middle school girls are almost impossible to deal with. Typically involves crying and me taking a lot of deep breaths before I speak and offer any kind of wisdom 

High school and mean girls was my living hell. What I know know is that none of it mattered except how those interactions formed my personal level of confidence and self worth. 

My mom worked a ton and my Dad was away for work a great deal. So I floundered and made grave mistakes. 

Today I try to express to my kids this when they are facing mean girls or overly competitive boys talking smack: “transform fear into prudence , pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” Nassim NTaleb

These are things we practice all our lives and may never achieve perfection. We can certainly become better people than we are currently. That’s all I want my daughter to know as she goes back to the lunch table and faces off with snarky comments. I told her to not back down and don’t lash out. Stay positive and smile. Stoics had a great idea. We all need to practice the philosophy more and be kind to one another. 

Under the comb the tangle and the straight path are the same.   -Heraclitus

Reading “the obstacle is the way”, validating what I already believe. We can run from our problems, if we don’t see a way around them, then it is best embrace our situation and we find a way through them. 

To be good you may need to look good

 

I think we feel better when we look better any way. The point I want to make to you is that you need to take your success, your level of play seriously. You need to take seriously how you portray your image to everyone. Its fine  to say you don’t care what any one thinks of you and really you shouldn’t especially if you know you are putting forth your best effort.

The idea that I want you to grasp on to is that if you value yourself worth so will others. When you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror and say I dont feel like shaving, putting on any make-up, combing my hair, really I dont feel like putting any effort into myself, then how do you expect anyone else to put any effort into you either.

 

It’s funny, if I am sick I typically put more effort into my appearance and I feel a little better. I find when I show up to work, even if it’s in my back yard, I have a  dress and nice shoes on, I perform better, I get more done. Seriously if you think about it, you never know who you are going to run into at Publix or the gas station. The last thing you want to do is be in your Walmart sweatpants and end up pumping gas next to Mrs Rockefeller who you just gave a $10,000 proposal to. What will she think? She may think she’s not sure she hired the right person.

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On the  other end of the spectrum, dont over do it. dressing like a hoochie mama sends all the wrong messages. When you dress like a hooch it shows you value your sexuality more than your ability to produce good work. Unless that’s what your selling, sex, then dont dress like a hooker please. Skirts no more than 4″ above your knee, absolutely no platform any kind  of shoe, no boobs popping out.

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Take pride in your appearance, that’s the easiest place to start. Get a hair cut, shave daily, get some new shoes, please!!! Your professional appearance sets a tone for your day, for your attitude and for your path in life. I always say act as if you were already successful in your career, I mean dress like it too, its a great place to start going better places.

The Simplest Way to Take Control of Your Life 


“99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses” George Washington Carver 

The simplest way to take control of your life is to take responsibility for everything that happens to you. 

If you find yourself saying things along the lines of “Bob is always getting the good projects at work and my boss never gives them to me.” You are making excuses for your own behavior. Turn your language around. “What can I do to show my boss I deserve the best projects, how can I earn his respect…” 

The reality is no one is doing anything to you . This is only your own perception. Take control of your life. I would challenge you to change Any statement you make to blame someone else to blaming yourself. 

I can’t loose weight because my wife brings home junk food from the store. (Excuse and blame)

I am doing the grocery shopping at least once a month and buying healthy snacks.  (Taking ownership and responsibility)

Wasn’t that simple? I can tell you simple is not always easy. Practice practice practice the language you use. Stop yourself and make the correction on the spot. 

You can’t hit a target you can’t see: 3 steps to set a goal

disney

Just the other day my son was in the East Coast NSSA Championships. He is a good little surfer, competing is a whole other ball game though. These kids come from everywhere and they are amazing. Kai really wanted to do well. One thing we tell him as part of his training schedule for soccer and surfing is to follow these 3 steps. It is a process that everyone who has accomplished  a tom in their lives has practiced.

Visualize. See what you want in your mind. Use your imagination to define what you want in great detail. When Disney World opened here in Florida, Walt Disney’s wife was there for the ribbon cutting. someone leaned in and said, “it’s  a shame Walt couldn’t be here to see this.” And Lillian Disney replied, “”he’s already seen it, … or it wouldn’t be here.” The power of imagination is the key.

Write. Write down the detail you imagine in what you want to see come to fruition. writing has a way of sealing the deal with the universe and God. It means you mean business.

Repeat. Yep, keep it going, keep seeing in your minds eye what you want to achieve, the steps you need to take will start to come to you and you will see a way to make it happen.

3 Things To Say No To: Are you hunting antelope or field mice.

newt-gingrich-quote-lion-field-mice

 

Are you going after big game or are you starving yourself on the easy pickins. “Newt Gingrich was the one that originally came up with this question. A lion is more than capable of killing and eating field mice. The problem with this is the caloric energy required to catch a field mouse is more than the caloric content gained from eating the field mouse. If the lion would eat field mice all day, then it would eventually die of starvation. A lion needs to hunt big animals like antelopes to survive. It takes more time and energy to take down an antelope, but it offers a feast for the entire pride” (http://brandongaille.com/blogging-questions/).

When we start out we want the big game, but not sure how to get it, we go for the field mice every time. from my experience unless you are super blessed and lucky, this is how it has to start. I look at it as practice runs for the real race.

At some point though you have to stop or you will starve.

1: Stop waiting for them to come to you. Go out and find who you need to hunt. start at the top and work your way back. be sure this target is part of what will get you to your goals and serve you best in the long run.

2. Just cant give up the little guys? Hire someone to handle them with you. Just be sure what they bring in will cover the expense of payroll. I hired a draftsman to take on the little additions and remodels that come through, they more than cover his salary and now he can help me with the production work that goes into serving our larger clients more efficiently. And I have to say some of those field mice can become antelope.

3. At some point you will have to let those mice go and say “no, thank you” stick to the idea the those big fish are circling you now and you dont need any catfish muddying the waters.