"We gather knowledge faster than we gather wisdom." - William Bell

Carpe Diem

Posted: June 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Inspiration can be found in the most random of places. It could be from watching a kids movie or getting some unsolicited positive reinforcement from a stranger on the street. It could be from swimming in a lake. I was overly fortunate this past week. My inspiration came in the mail.

My sister sent me a card in the mail (the kind with a postage stamp) that detailed the most irrelevant and hysterical parts of her life. But that’s why we’re siblings. So we can share the goofiest sides of ourselves and not be judged. After all, we share similar DNA, so to judge your sister is to judge yourself. However, somewhere in between all of the random thoughts circling the card, she wrote an awesome quote:

In short … carpe diem. Seize the day. There are not an infinite amount of chances. We have a limited amount of days on this earth, so why not experience them to the fullest? Why not take leap before thinking and see where you land? You have to ask yourself what is holding you back. What you would want to do if you had only a year left to live. And then ask yourself why you’re not doing it now.

Unfortunately, for my sister, her answer to this was “watch the new Karate Kid movie.” But hey, life is short and we all make mistakes.

- Christian


Johnny Drama On Confidence

Posted: June 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Pitching Ideas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

When it to comes to pitching, it’s all about confidence. Whether you’re selling yourself in an interview, presenting an idea to a client or convincing your friends to see the movie that you really want to see. People need to believe that you can get it done. That you can deliver. That you trust yourself.

Like Johnny Drama, everyone goes through periods where they doubt themselves. Times when the market is interested in a different look. Times when people don’t consider your skill set as valuable and unique. Times when people tell you that you’re too old to compete.

But as long as you have the drive and believe in yourself, you have a shot. You may face rejection, but if you are willing to persevere, adapt, and improve yourself then you’ll succeed. You’ll sell your idea, you’ll get the job and you’ll find success. The key is to remain confident and learn from your failures.

And remember. You are the fucking game.

- Christian


Pharrell – Idea Drunk Version

Posted: June 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: On Ideation | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

When you’re trying to focus on something, it’s crazy how everything you see, hear or experience seems to relate to it. When you break up with a girl, every single song, magazine article or movie seems to be about love. When you’re building a business, every contact, newspaper article or TED talk seems to be about growing opportunity. When you’re spending so much of your time trying to draw out your own creative inspiration, you start seeing it everywhere.

Thanks for It’s Amazing for the original quote.

- Christian


3 Things Ultimate Frisbee Taught Me About Creativity

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: On Ideation | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Chris Loat in his “action pose.”

For most people, the arrival of summer means relaxing in the sun, enjoying beers on a patio and maybe even weekends away at the cottage with their friends. For me it means running around outside chasing a plastic disc. That’s right. Ultimate season is back. Which means my body is going through a glorious combination of muscle pain, exhaustion and (of course) a wonderful t-shirt tan.

I’ve written before about how my team’s experience at Ontario Regionals a couple of years ago was able to highlight life lessons. And Chris Loat claims to still read that post when he needs a pick-me-up. Here’s a couple of things that I’ve learned since then:

1. Planning Only Provides The Framework
I moved from a system of ultimate that was more free flowing to one with a lot more structure and set plays. But it’s easy to get lost in the complexity of play-calling, positions, and roles and forget what you’re out there to do – score. The set plays only provide a loose framework to get things started. After that, it all turns into flow. You just go with what the defense is giving you and where the open opportunities are. You can’t predict everything on the field, so why try? The same thing applies for brainstorms. You can provide a starting structure to a idea session, but that’s it. Don’t try to control it after that. Just let things ride. Because you never know where an idea is going to go. All you can do is point everyone in one direction and see where it leads.

2. The Best Team Doesn’t Always Win
You can have a team of superstars with a lot of experience and skill. But that means nothing. A team who wants it more and is willing to bust their butts to put it all on the line can overwhelm and upset a top seed. Because with a top seeding come arrogance and complacency. They are already the best and expect people to be intimidated. I was playing on a men’s pickup team at nationals last year. We were seeded last and had literally never practiced with each other before. Our second game was against the first seed in the tournament. We came out with a ton of energy and started the game by going up 3-1 on them. They nearly shit their pants.

The exact same thing can happen with creative. Hard work and putting in the hours will give you better thoughts, ideas and creative. Even if you’re competing against the smartest people in your industry, if they’ve become complacent, you have a shot. You may not have the skill or experience, but if you can exploit their arrogance with hard work, then you’re golden.

3. You Need An Asshole At Practice.
You need someone to push you to run through a hellish fitness program. To yell at you when you drop a disc. To make you throw 100 perfect throws in a row. Because that’s what makes you a better player. Developing your creative skills requires the same motivating asshole. You need someone to criticise your work. To poke holes in your ideas. To trash your creative. Because that’s what pushes you to be better. It’s what forces you to grow your thinking and deliver better ideas.

That’s it. Thoughts?

- Christian