Intervista Video ad Hubert Jaoui

31/05/2010

Check this post Intervista Video ad Hubert Jaoui from 7thFLOOR» Business Online e Comunicazione Digitale, Web Marketing e New Media, Formazione Coaching per le Imprese e la Cultura:

La creatività è una capacità che hanno tutte le persone a livello potenziale. La capacità creativa non è condizionata nè dal sesso, nè dall’età, nè dal livello di educazione. Può essere bloccata o repressa ma sempre presente, niente può farla sparire. Esistono tecniche che permettono di svilupparla a qualsiasi età.

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If You Don’t Know The Answer…

31/05/2010

Check this post If You Don’t Know The Answer… from Self Improvement:

Confused




From the day that you are born and came into this world, you began to learn. Every single thing that you came into contact with, especially in your early years, taught you something and shaped who you are as a person.

If you were able to learn a language, learn to walk, learn to swim, learn to drive and learn that a hot stove burns your hand if you touch it, why do you ever feel like something is impossible to learn?

Why do you settle for not knowing the answer to something or not being able to do something you would really like to do?



If You Don’t Know The Answer… Look it Up



There was a scene in a movie, I’m pretty sure it starred Will Smith. The scene flashes back to when he was a kid and asked his mom a question that he didn’t know the answer to. She replied with “I’m not sure honey, why don’t you look it up?”.

I suddenly thought of that scene and it gave me the inspiration to write this post.

If there is something that you don’t know…look up the answer. The internet is an amazing thing and an almost infinite resource for finding answers to any question you can imagine. Heck, it’s not even difficult to find answers, all you do is go to Google.com and type in your exact question.

You are never too young or too old to learn something new.

The more questions you have and ask, and the more answers you get and look up, the more knowledge you will have. If you adopt this habit of looking up the answer to everything that you don’t know, over time it will result in you knowing a lot more about the world, life and even very specific concepts than people who have doctor’s degrees from Harvard University.



You Don’t Need A Degree To Do Something



I don’t have a degree. All I have is a high school diploma. If I got $1 for every time someone told me I should study and get a degree it would be a fat sum of money.

You see, the world that we live in today has a tendency to base everything around degrees and diplomas. In western societies it has become the norm to go to college or university after high school to get a degree to be able to get a better job.

Of course this concept has been around for decades, except for the fact that 80 years ago a person would actually learn a craft or a trade and be able to do something after they finished their degree. While I am certainly not speaking for all degrees and diplomas, I feel that a large percentage of people who study for 3,4 and 5 years can actually do very little when they are finished with their study.

  • I have never studied finance or accounting, yet I have worked with accounts of multi-million dollar yearly turnover businesses.

  • I have never gone to a trade school, yet I can build and fix things better than most ‘professional’ handymen.

  • I have never studied engineering or learnt how to be an electrician, yet I’ve repaired cables and circuit breakers on 3 phase power supplies.
  • This is not to brag at all, it’s just to show you what is possible!

    1. As long as you are passionate, interested to learn and persistent, you can learn anything you want.

    2. You can be better at things that others have studied for years and have degrees. A degree is not a guarantee for a skill and neither is not having one an excuse to not be able to do something.



    That being said, there is nothing wrong with studying or going to college, especially when it comes to specializing in things like law, accounting, medicine etc.

    The point I want to stress that it is not necessary to have a degree or fancy diploma in order to be successful or even to be a multi millionaire and neither is it a guarantee that when you get your degree that you will be successful or wealthy.

    So much of success and where you get to in life depends on your passion, interests in life and learning and persistence. Do what you love, set your sights on something and never give up!



    Passion and Persistence Beat Lazy Talent




    Tortoise Hare




    I have a story to share with you and it’s called:

    “The Tortoise and the Hare quit the Rat Race”

    “What a dull,slow,heavy creature, this Tortoise!” said the Hare.
    “Not really dull,but slow and heavy, you are right,” said the Rat.
    “And you Rat”, said the Hare, “Not so heavy,but just as dull. You are weaker than either of us.Nothing but an average rat. Average weight and average smarts. A thin bag of Rat-bones. No hard shell to protect you like the Tortoise has, and no racing muscles as big as mine!”

    “Just because the Rat is average,” said the Tortoise, “doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of great things. It is up to him-to decide to do the things that make one great- just like someone as heavy as me.”

    “I completely disagree” said the Hare.

    “We’ll see,” said the Tortoise, “because I’ll run with both of you for a wager.”
    “Done,” said the Hare, and they asked the Fox to be the judge.

    The Tortoise, the Hare and the Rat debated so loudly that a crowd of rats gathered to see what all the fuss was about. Finally, the starting gun fired and the Hare scampered off far, far ahead.

    The Rat, amazed at the speed with which the Hare hopped,simply stopped a few steps beyond the starting line. “What’s the use?” he said. “I can beat the Tortoise, but I would never catch that Hare! I have better things to do, like digging through garbage cans for an easy prize – one I can taste- a nice, leftover piece of meat or bread.”

    Meanwhile, the Hare laid down midway in the course, and took a nap. “No worries,” the Hare said. “I bet I can catch up with the Tortoise when I please.” But the Tortoise kept jogging until he came nearer to the end of the course.

    The Hare awoke too late to see the Tortoise inching towards the finish line. He scuttled as fast as he could but the Tortoise had already won by a scrawny neck’s length. The crowd of Rats were left scratching their heads with their hind paws. Where had the race gone so wrong?
    Their own brother-Rat had barely left the starting gate, where he remained in silent hesitation. Then again, most Rats never manage to leave the starting gate of life in general.”

    This story is an extract from a fantastic book on psychology and the human mind, called
    The Tortoise and the Hare Quit the Rat Race by Dr Paul Dobransky.

    You may have lots of raw talent and you may be very intelligent, but without drive and without using that talent to become the best in the world, the average guy who is incredibly passionate and never gives up has a very good chance of coming out ahead.



    A Quick Word on Mentors





    A mentor is someone who is good or great at what you want to become good at and who will personally teach and guide you. With the help and guidance from a mentor, the chances are great that you will learn and become better at something at a much faster rate. (Among the reasons are the fact that you don’t need to make all the newbie mistakes or need to discover the right ways through trial and error).

    I believe that it is almost always possible to find a mentor or to find someone who is good at what you want to become good at and who would be willing to mentor you.

    In fact, most people who are passionate about their art / craft / niche and who have a great love for it are willing to help a student out and mentor them. Sometimes the mentor will want monetary reward, but more often that not, he is willing to mentor you for free, provided that you put in the effort.

    Personally, I am more than happy to teach people what I have learnt and I will do it for free. However, what I do not want is people wasting my time by expecting me to do any sort of work for them.

    The mentor is there to guide you and it is up to you to keep all your promises, be on time every time and to do what is expected of you and even more. If you do that, you will almost always find someone good who is willing to mentor you. With the help and guidance of that mentor, you can achieve success and become great at what you want to master very quickly.

    Are you struggling with something? Find yourself a mentor!




    And remember…If you don’t know the answer to something…look it up!




    If You Don’t Know The Answer…

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    Quitting The What If Game

    31/05/2010

    Check this post Quitting The What If Game from PluginID:

    Note: The what if game I discuss in this post involves playing with pieces of the past. The what if involving curiosity and future planning is fair game.

    Do you spend the majority of your day dreaming of what could have been? Do you question the decisions you made, wishing you had taken the alternative path? Does the question of what if consume your thoughts stalling you from enjoying the now? You’re not alone.

    The what if game causes millions of individuals to be unhappy on a routine basis, preventing those who take part from being content. The illusion of being able to change the past is one we too often fall for. While playing the what if game may seem like a good idea it causes far to much pain to be worth the price.

    A Confession

    In my last post, I shared some of what I’ve done in the past year to show how powerful a year can be. But the truth is, I’ve also stumbled immensely.

    For the past year I’ve been a huge player of the what if game, and at times have struggled to find my flow. Instead of accepting what is, I’ve allowed myself to become stuck in the past. I’ve spent countless hours questioning where I would be had I conducted my life in a different manner.

    What if I hadn’t said some of the things I said? What if I had worked a bit harder on various areas of my life? What if I had never began writing for this blog? What if I took a year off college instead of following the traditional path? What if I continued bolstering some of my relationships instead of letting distance get in the way?

    While reflecting on your actions is required for growth, going overboard can do a great deal of harm. I may have a passion for self improvement, but I’m surely not infallible.

    The Present Thief

    Every moment you play the what if game, you’re turning your back on what lies before you. The what ifs soon consume your present and bankrupt you from taking any action all. I know I’m not the first person to suggest this but: The present is all you have.

    By turning your back on the present moment, you’re turning your back on life itself. We are all guilty of this from time to time, but it’s important we become aware of our habits and be fully present as much as we can.

    It’s so easy to question our decisions. It’s simple to say our lives would have been better had we taken path B. What’s hard is accepting what is.

    Who is to say your life would have been better? Each piece of the past made you who you are today.

    Certainty is an illusion. All the what ifs in the world can never accurately predict what may have been. So stop wasting your time. Instead of wondering what if, focus on what you can do now to make your desires a reality. So what if you messed up on your last date? Is there anything you can do about it now? Stop beating yourself up over the blown interview. There’s always a chance next time.

    Obviously, it’s important to learn from your mistakes, and there is no better teacher than the past. But don’t let the lurker in your mind rob you of your now.

    Quitting The What If Game

    How do you quit the what if game? Practice. The what if game can be addicting. Despite making you miserable, clinging to the past gives you comfort. Your mind will want you to ask what if because it gives you a false sense of control.

    If you’re tired of you living in the past make the decision to quit the game. Realize that what has happened is done, there’s no going back. If you make a mistake, accept that you made a mistake. Spend time working on how to improve rather than the alternatives that you had before hand. Each action you take is a potential lesson to learn from. Sometimes your choices will lead you down a path of bliss, and other times it will steer you astray.

    For every what if, you have the option of today. Today gives you the option of mending the bridges you may have burned. Today you have the option of chasing the dreams you slowly let float away. Today you have the option of making the most of what you have. The past doesn’t give you any of that.

    With each path you choose there will always be an alternative path. Will you stay stranded playing the what if game? Or will you begin playing with the cards you’ve been dealt?

    The move is yours.

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    How to Raise Your Hourly Rate

    31/05/2010

    Check this post How to Raise Your Hourly Rate from Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development Blog:

    If you work as an independent professional or employee whereby you get paid by the hour, then your income depends heavily on your hourly rate. So obviously if you can raise your hourly rate, you can earn more money without working longer hours.

    But when does it make sense to raise your hourly rate? How do you know if you’re charging a fair price for the service you provide?

    When Not to Raise Your Rates

    If you’re going to raise your rates, there should be solid business reasons for doing so. In the absence of such reasons, it makes no sense to raise your rates.

    Because you feel like it is not a solid business reason.

    Nor is the desire to earn more money. That’s a nice intention, but it’s not a justification for charging your clients more for the same service.

    When to Raise Your Rates

    Here are some cases where raising your rates may be a wise choice:

    1. You’ve improved your service and/or skills. If you’re able to provide more value to your clients in less time, then raising your rates to reflect your increased quality and efficiency is reasonable.

    2. The supply-and-demand curve for your service has changed. If you’re missing opportunities, becoming overbooked, or having to turn away clients because the demand for your service exceeds the supply, then it makes sense to raise your rates to bring supply and demand into better balance.

    3. You want to work shorter hours. If you want to reduce the number of hours you work with clients, you can raise your rates to reflect the scarcer supply.

    4. You’re testing to gain more information. Testing a higher rate is a perfectly valid business reason. However, before you test new rates, be sure to have a fallback plan in case the new rates meet with too much resistance.

    5. You want to reposition yourself. Positioning or branding are also valid business reasons for raising your rates. However, you’d better have the necessary skills and experience to back up your new positioning. If you want to be a high-priced consultant, be sure that you can consistently deliver high quality results. Otherwise if you charge premium prices for less-than-premium service, you’re essentially scamming people.

    These are some of the most common business reasons for raising your rates, but there are others, many of which are field-specific.

    Common Mistakes to Avoid

    Here are some common mistakes people make when raising their rates:

    1. Not raising rates at all, i.e. undercharging, is a common business mistake. This means leaving lots of money on the table and being paid signficantly less than you’re worth, especially as your skill increases. It’s a suboptimal way to run a business or build a career.

    2. Not testing is another huge mistake. If you never test higher rates, you’ll never know how much potential income you may be leaving on the table. A good approach is to test higher rates with new clients first, but keep your existing clients at the old rates for a while. This way you don’t have to risk losing your old clients if a rate increase proves ineffective and you decide to return to the old rates.

    3. Raising rates beyond what the supply-and-demand curve will bear is a common novice mistake. Some people want so much to be on the same level as the experts in their fields, but they haven’t yet acquired the skills to justify such high prices. It’s best to keep your rates reasonable (even low) until you’ve built up a decent client base. When you reach the point of having to turn away business because you’re getting overbooked, then it’s time to raise your rates. But if you overcharge right out the gate, many potential clients will know you aren’t worth as much as a seasoned expert, and they’ll avoid patronizing your business.

    4. Changing rates too often is a less common mistake but still one to be avoided. If you’re changing your rates every season, you’re going to confuse your existing clients. Frequently changing your prices will make it hard for your clients to see how your services might fit into their budgets.

    Don’t be surprised if you initially see a decrease in business whenever you raise your rates. If the rates are reasonable, business should pick up again within a few weeks.

    How to Raise Your Rates

    Here’s some advice to help you get your hourly rate trending upward:

    1. Invest in improving your service. Keep adding value; don’t get complacent. The more you improve your service and skills, the more you can charge. Note that more knowledge doesn’t always translate to better service. If you want to increase your rates, then focus on building skills with market demand. Don’t waste years learning how to do things that no one needs done (or that can be done at a lower hourly rate than what you’re already charging).

    2. Over-deliver. Provide such outstanding service that your clients feel compelled to talk about the great experiences they had. This will help your client base grow via word of mouth. Let a high quality of service be the central core of your marketing efforts. Violate your clients’ expectations in the best way possible.

    3. Keep non-core work from becoming a distraction. Take the time to establish and maintain good systems for invoicing clients, educating new clients, handling tax filings, etc. Put this type of detailed work on autopilot so it doesn’t become a distraction.

    4. Collect testimonials. When you do good work for a client, ask for a testimonial. Most satisfied clients will be happy to provide them. Then you can share the testimonials on your website or other marketing materials.

    5. Ask for referrals. Ask your clients for referrals to others they feel might benefit from your services. Some businesses even go so far as to “fire” clients who never provide any referrals because such clients are dead ends. If it seems reasonable to do so, formalize your referral program and offer referral incentives, such as by providing an affiliate program your clients can join.

    6. Leverage your strengths. If you do work that you’re especially good at, you’ll be able to raise your rates faster. Switch fields if necessary, but make sure you’re working in the sweet spot of your core talents and skills.

    7. Care about your clients. Treat your clients as real human beings, and they’ll be more likely to want to continue doing business with you — and to refer their friends, families, and co-workers to you. A business is built on relationships. If you treat your clients coldly, don’t be surprised when they respond coldly to your requests for referrals.

    8. Keep in touch. Don’t be a stranger. Check in on your clients now and then. Let them know about meaningful improvements to your service. Don’t spam them with fluff, but do maintain the relationship you’ve built.

    9. Reactivate dormant clients. A client may go inactive for a variety of reasons, and many of those reasons have nothing to do with you. There’s a good chance that such clients can be reactivated, even after a year or more of inactivity. Maybe they had a bad year. Maybe there were some personal issues they had to attend to. Maybe there was a misunderstanding that can be remedied. If you’re open to doing more business with this client, reach out and reconnect. The worst case is that they won’t do business with you again (which is no worse than the status quo), but the best case is that you reactivate a good client who continues doing business with you for years to come, and they may generate fresh referrals for you as well.

    10. Embrace change. The world is awash in change, and change represents opportunity. Don’t be a dinosaur. When you see industry-impacting changes occurring, jump to the front of the line, and look for ways to leverage those changes to provide new and better services. For example, what new technologies are becoming available that are causing surges in demand for software developers and consultants?

    Be Patient

    The best rates for your service will ultimately be determined by the marketplace. Sometimes you’ll be delighted by the results. Other times you won’t like the market’s verdict, especially when it tells you there are few people willing to pay you what you’d like to earn. Realize that this is only a reflection on the social value you’re currently producing; it doesn’t speak to your intrinsic value as a human being. Accept the market’s feedback for what it is, and use it to make better decisions as you move forward. Don’t try to argue with the market — you will lose!

    The nice thing about setting your own rates is that the sky is the limit. You may not be able to control market forces, but you can control how you angle your virtual surfboard and ride those forces. Will you let them toss you to the sidelines, or will you ride them to the top?

    Keep in mind that even if you’re an employee, everything in this article still applies to you. In that case you’re simply contracting with a single client. You still decide what rates you charge for your service; despite appearances to the contrary, that decision isn’t up to your employer. For more on this topic, see the article You Are Self-Employed.

    Get unstuck and leap ahead in your career development, wealth creation, relationships, habits, health, and more. Join us at the Conscious Growth Workshop, July 16-18, 2010, in Las Vegas.

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    Video: Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena: Aleph test the Big Bang Theory…

    28/05/2010

    Check this post Video: Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena: Aleph test the Big Bang Theory… from Offshore Rules:

    Image by Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.  This was the point of contact when Aleph ploughed into Azzurra today at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in la Maddalena. Seemingly having simply misjudged the overlap situation, Bertran Pace and Aleph have been left red faced tonight and with more than a little explaining to do. Both boats sustained significant damage and whilst the shore crews are working flat out to effect repairs, there undoubtedly be knock-on disruption to the…


    The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People

    28/05/2010

    Check this post The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People from Zen Habits:

    “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for contructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May

    Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter or identica.

    Creativity is a nebulous, murky topic that fascinates me endlessly — how does it work? What habits to creative people do that makes them so successful at creativity?

    I’ve reflected on my own creative habits, but decided I’d look at the habits that others consider important to their creativity. I picked a handful of creatives, almost at random — there are so many that picking the best would be impossible, so I just picked some that I admire, who came to mind when I thought of the word “creative”.

    This was going to be a list of their creative habits … but in reviewing their lists, and my own habits, I found one that stood out. And it stands out if you review the habits and quotes from great creative people in history.

    It’s the Most Important Habit when it comes to creativity.

    After you read the No. 1 habit, please scroll down and read the No. 2 habit — they might seem contradictory but in my experience, you can’t really hit your creative stride until you find a way to balance both habits.

    The No. 1 Creativity Habit

    In a word: solitude.

    Creativity flourishes in solitude. With quiet, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, you can focus.

    Of course, there are lots of ways to find this solitude. Let’s listen to a few of the creative people I talked to or researched:

    Felicia Day – wonderful actress perhaps best known for her awesome awesome work on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Guild.

    I was thrilled when she replied to my email asking about her creative habits. One of the things she said: she makes “sure to be creative first thing in the morning, before doing anything for the outside world, really sets the day up for me. It makes it feel that CREATING is my job, not answering emails.”

    Ali Edwards – an author, designer, and leading authority on scrapbooking.

    I was honored with a response from Ali as well. One of her top habits wasn’t exactly solitude, but is related: “Do nothing. I have a habit of welcoming time away from my creative work. For me this is serious life-recharging time where my only responsibility is to just be Mom & Wife & Me. Doing nothing has a way of synthesizing what is really important in my life and in my work and inspires me beyond measure. When I come back to work I am better equipped to weed out the non-essential stuff and focus on the things I most want to express creatively.”

    Chase Jarvis – an award-winning photographer.

    Chase also kindly responded with several of his key creativity habits — see more great ones at the bottom of this post. But here’s one that I loved: “Find Quiet. Creativity sometimes washes over me during times of intense focus and craziness of work, but more often I get whacked by the creative stick when I’ve got time in my schedule. And since my schedule is a crazy one and almost always fills up if I’m just “living”, I tend to carve out little retreats for myself. I get some good thinking and re-charge time during vacations, or on airplanes, but the retreats are more focused on thinking about creative problems that I’m wanting to solve. That’s why I intentionally carve time out. I make room for creativity. Intentionally. The best example of what I mean by a retreat is a weekend at my family’s cabin. It’s a 90 minute drive from my house on the coast. There are few distractions. Just a rocky beach and a cabin from the 60’s with wood paneling and shag carpet. I go for walks, hikes, naps. I read. I did get an internet signal put in there to stay connected if I need it. But the gist is QUIET. Let there be space for creativity to fill your brain.”

    Maciej Cegłowski – painter, programmer, excellent writer.

    Maciej is one of my favorite bloggers, and responded to my email with a classically short answer that to me, embodies a beautiful way to find solitude.

    What habit helps his creativity?

    Maciej replied: “Running up hills!”

    Leo Babauta: OK, I wasn’t going to talk about myself in this post, but I thought I should share some of my previous thoughts.

    The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts.

    My best writing, and in fact the best of anything I’ve done, was created in solitude.

    Just a few of the benefits I’ve found from solitude:

    • time for thought
    • in being alone, we get to know ourselves
    • we face our demons, and deal with them
    • space to create
    • space to unwind, and find peace
    • time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
    • isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
    • quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar

    Read more: the lost art of solitude.

    The Greats on Solitude

    Of course, many other creative people have believed in the habit of solitude. I’ve collected a small but influential sample here. There are many more examples.

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.

    Mozart: “When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer–say, traveling in a carriage or walking after a good meal or during the night when I cannot sleep–it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.”

    Albert Einstein – theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics.

    Einstein: “On the other hand, although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.”

    Franz Kafka – one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Novelist and writer of short stories whose works came to be regarded as one of the major achievements of 20th century literature.

    Kafka: “You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

    Nikola Tesla – inventor, one of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity, best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism.

    Tesla: “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

    Joseph Haydn: A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Hungarian aristocratic Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, “forced to become original”

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German writer and polymath. Goethe’s works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy, and science.

    His magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust.

    Goethe: “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.”

    Pablo Picasso – Spanish painter best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortunes throughout his life, making him one of the best-known figures in twentieth century art.

    Picasso: “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”

    Carl Sandburg – American writer and editor, best known for his poetry.

    He won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. H. L. Mencken called Carl Sandburg “indubitably an American in every pulse-beat.”

    Sandburg: “One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude.”

    Thomas Mann – German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.

    Mann: “Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.”

    The No. 2 Creative Habit

    While it might seem contradictory, the No. 2 habit when it comes to nurturing creativity: participation. This can come in many forms, but it requires connecting with others, being inspired by others, reading others, collaborating with others.

    But how can you have both solitude and participation? They obviously have to come at different times. Finding the balance is key, of course, but it takes a conscious effort: this time is for solitude, and this time is for participation.

    Why are they both important? We need inspiration from without, but we need creation from within.

    A couple of the people I interviewed had habits that relate to this:

    Chase Jarvis: “Devour Popular Culture. Consuming the works of others inspires me. And it’s not just museums and the “establishment”. I devour magazines, books, street art, performances, music, etc. All things that make me think critically (and whimsically) about the world. You get the picture. Inspiration can come from anywhere.”

    Ali Edwards: “Participate. My creative spirit is interested in documenting the wonderful everyday details of our lives. To really get to the heart of the matter I need to be fully participating in my life, in the interactions with my kids and husband and family and friends. If I am just going through the motions or wishing away the present moment for “the next thing” I am missing the blessing of right now. My creativity requires the habit of active participation and daily attention to detail.”

    Other Creative Habits

    There are other habits than those top two, of course, that can nourish creativity. Some other good ones:

    Felicia Day: “When I am most productive I am the most ruthless with my schedule. I will literally make a daily checklist with, “one hour gym”, “30 minutes of internet research,” and “drink 3 glasses of water” on it. For some reason being that disciplined creates a sense of control that I wouldn’t have otherwise, as a self-employed person, and I get the most out of the scheduled hours that I have for writing.”

    Ali Edwards: “Take notes. I am a really good note-taker. It’s essential for me to write down my ideas when they come to mind…otherwise, poof, they disappear way too quickly as I move on to the next task (diaper changes, wiping noses, tending to the stuff of life). I use my phone, my computer, and a moleskine notebook to jot down thoughts and ideas and then I move them into Things every week or so.”

    Chase Jarvis had a few more:

    • Live a creative life everyday. I very much believe in doing creative stuff everyday. For one, I take photos and videos almost everyday. Doesn’t matter the camera. I use my iPhone everyday. Just taking photos keeps me in a creative headspace. Hell, I play with my food and draw and doodle.
    • Moderate Expectations. Make it a habit not to judge yourself on your creative output. Sometimes your creativity is on fire. Great news. Other times, it’s not. It’s hard sometimes when you make art in a professional commercial capacity because you’re paid to be ‘ON’, but you’ll save yourself a lot of greif if you make it a habit to be cool to your psyche when your creative mojo isn’t firing on all pistons.
    • Shake Your Tree. When I’m starting to feel stale, I make a habit of getting into adventures. Break molds. Drive home from work a different way. Stir up my routine. I get active and shake my tree.
    • Find fun.  Doing what you love inspires you to be more creative.  Make time and space for having fun.  All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl.
    • Lastly, being creative means living a creative life.  Expect yourself to have one.  Believe you are creative. Know that you are. Make that the most important habit of all.

    For more on creativity, read my Little But Useful Guide to Creativity.

    “Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman


    If you liked this guide, please bookmark it on Delicious or share on Twitter. Thanks, my friends.



    The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People

    28/05/2010

    Check this post The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People from Zen Habits:

    “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for contructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May

    Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter or identica.

    Creativity is a nebulous, murky topic that fascinates me endlessly — how does it work? What habits to creative people do that makes them so successful at creativity?

    I’ve reflected on my own creative habits, but decided I’d look at the habits that others consider important to their creativity. I picked a handful of creatives, almost at random — there are so many that picking the best would be impossible, so I just picked some that I admire, who came to mind when I thought of the word “creative”.

    This was going to be a list of their creative habits … but in reviewing their lists, and my own habits, I found one that stood out. And it stands out if you review the habits and quotes from great creative people in history.

    It’s the Most Important Habit when it comes to creativity.

    After you read the No. 1 habit, please scroll down and read the No. 2 habit — they might seem contradictory but in my experience, you can’t really hit your creative stride until you find a way to balance both habits.

    The No. 1 Creativity Habit

    In a word: solitude.

    Creativity flourishes in solitude. With quiet, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, you can focus.

    Of course, there are lots of ways to find this solitude. Let’s listen to a few of the creative people I talked to or researched:

    Felicia Day – wonderful actress perhaps best known for her awesome awesome work on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Guild.

    I was thrilled when she replied to my email asking about her creative habits. One of the things she said: she makes “sure to be creative first thing in the morning, before doing anything for the outside world, really sets the day up for me. It makes it feel that CREATING is my job, not answering emails.”

    Ali Edwards – an author, designer, and leading authority on scrapbooking.

    I was honored with a response from Ali as well. One of her top habits wasn’t exactly solitude, but is related: “Do nothing. I have a habit of welcoming time away from my creative work. For me this is serious life-recharging time where my only responsibility is to just be Mom & Wife & Me. Doing nothing has a way of synthesizing what is really important in my life and in my work and inspires me beyond measure. When I come back to work I am better equipped to weed out the non-essential stuff and focus on the things I most want to express creatively.”

    Chase Jarvis – an award-winning photographer.

    Chase also kindly responded with several of his key creativity habits — see more great ones at the bottom of this post. But here’s one that I loved: “Find Quiet. Creativity sometimes washes over me during times of intense focus and craziness of work, but more often I get whacked by the creative stick when I’ve got time in my schedule. And since my schedule is a crazy one and almost always fills up if I’m just “living”, I tend to carve out little retreats for myself. I get some good thinking and re-charge time during vacations, or on airplanes, but the retreats are more focused on thinking about creative problems that I’m wanting to solve. That’s why I intentionally carve time out. I make room for creativity. Intentionally. The best example of what I mean by a retreat is a weekend at my family’s cabin. It’s a 90 minute drive from my house on the coast. There are few distractions. Just a rocky beach and a cabin from the 60’s with wood paneling and shag carpet. I go for walks, hikes, naps. I read. I did get an internet signal put in there to stay connected if I need it. But the gist is QUIET. Let there be space for creativity to fill your brain.”

    Maciej Cegłowski – painter, programmer, excellent writer.

    Maciej is one of my favorite bloggers, and responded to my email with a classically short answer that to me, embodies a beautiful way to find solitude.

    What habit helps his creativity?

    Maciej replied: “Running up hills!”

    Leo Babauta: OK, I wasn’t going to talk about myself in this post, but I thought I should share some of my previous thoughts.

    The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts.

    My best writing, and in fact the best of anything I’ve done, was created in solitude.

    Just a few of the benefits I’ve found from solitude:

    • time for thought
    • in being alone, we get to know ourselves
    • we face our demons, and deal with them
    • space to create
    • space to unwind, and find peace
    • time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
    • isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
    • quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar

    Read more: the lost art of solitude.

    The Greats on Solitude

    Of course, many other creative people have believed in the habit of solitude. I’ve collected a small but influential sample here. There are many more examples.

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.

    Mozart: “When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer–say, traveling in a carriage or walking after a good meal or during the night when I cannot sleep–it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.”

    Albert Einstein – theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics.

    Einstein: “On the other hand, although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.”

    Franz Kafka – one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Novelist and writer of short stories whose works came to be regarded as one of the major achievements of 20th century literature.

    Kafka: “You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

    Nikola Tesla – inventor, one of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity, best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism.

    Tesla: “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

    Joseph Haydn: A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Hungarian aristocratic Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, “forced to become original”

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German writer and polymath. Goethe’s works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy, and science.

    His magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust.

    Goethe: “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.”

    Pablo Picasso – Spanish painter best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortunes throughout his life, making him one of the best-known figures in twentieth century art.

    Picasso: “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”

    Carl Sandburg – American writer and editor, best known for his poetry.

    He won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. H. L. Mencken called Carl Sandburg “indubitably an American in every pulse-beat.”

    Sandburg: “One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude.”

    Thomas Mann – German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.

    Mann: “Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.”

    The No. 2 Creative Habit

    While it might seem contradictory, the No. 2 habit when it comes to nurturing creativity: participation. This can come in many forms, but it requires connecting with others, being inspired by others, reading others, collaborating with others.

    But how can you have both solitude and participation? They obviously have to come at different times. Finding the balance is key, of course, but it takes a conscious effort: this time is for solitude, and this time is for participation.

    Why are they both important? We need inspiration from without, but we need creation from within.

    A couple of the people I interviewed had habits that relate to this:

    Chase Jarvis: “Devour Popular Culture. Consuming the works of others inspires me. And it’s not just museums and the “establishment”. I devour magazines, books, street art, performances, music, etc. All things that make me think critically (and whimsically) about the world. You get the picture. Inspiration can come from anywhere.”

    Ali Edwards: “Participate. My creative spirit is interested in documenting the wonderful everyday details of our lives. To really get to the heart of the matter I need to be fully participating in my life, in the interactions with my kids and husband and family and friends. If I am just going through the motions or wishing away the present moment for “the next thing” I am missing the blessing of right now. My creativity requires the habit of active participation and daily attention to detail.”

    Other Creative Habits

    There are other habits than those top two, of course, that can nourish creativity. Some other good ones:

    Felicia Day: “When I am most productive I am the most ruthless with my schedule. I will literally make a daily checklist with, “one hour gym”, “30 minutes of internet research,” and “drink 3 glasses of water” on it. For some reason being that disciplined creates a sense of control that I wouldn’t have otherwise, as a self-employed person, and I get the most out of the scheduled hours that I have for writing.”

    Ali Edwards: “Take notes. I am a really good note-taker. It’s essential for me to write down my ideas when they come to mind…otherwise, poof, they disappear way too quickly as I move on to the next task (diaper changes, wiping noses, tending to the stuff of life). I use my phone, my computer, and a moleskine notebook to jot down thoughts and ideas and then I move them into Things every week or so.”

    Chase Jarvis had a few more:

    • Live a creative life everyday. I very much believe in doing creative stuff everyday. For one, I take photos and videos almost everyday. Doesn’t matter the camera. I use my iPhone everyday. Just taking photos keeps me in a creative headspace. Hell, I play with my food and draw and doodle.
    • Moderate Expectations. Make it a habit not to judge yourself on your creative output. Sometimes your creativity is on fire. Great news. Other times, it’s not. It’s hard sometimes when you make art in a professional commercial capacity because you’re paid to be ‘ON’, but you’ll save yourself a lot of greif if you make it a habit to be cool to your psyche when your creative mojo isn’t firing on all pistons.
    • Shake Your Tree. When I’m starting to feel stale, I make a habit of getting into adventures. Break molds. Drive home from work a different way. Stir up my routine. I get active and shake my tree.
    • Find fun.  Doing what you love inspires you to be more creative.  Make time and space for having fun.  All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl.
    • Lastly, being creative means living a creative life.  Expect yourself to have one.  Believe you are creative. Know that you are. Make that the most important habit of all.

    For more on creativity, read my Little But Useful Guide to Creativity.

    “Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman


    If you liked this guide, please bookmark it on Delicious or share on Twitter. Thanks, my friends.