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

All Roads (Should) Lead To Happiness

Posted: December 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Thought Starters | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Why are you doing what you’re doing now? Maybe you’re doing it for fun. Or for the experience. Or because there’s nothing better to do.

There is a host of reasons for being in the job that you’re in. When starting out, the answer is often experience – you value real world experience in an industry to act as a foundation before you start building your career. You grow your book. You prove to people that you know what you’re doing and learn the on-the-job lessons.

The easiest answer is money – the job pays you what you need to get by and live your life the way you want it. Some people value free time over money – the job allows you to leave at an appropriate time so you can spend time with your family or skateboarding or travelling.

But there’s also power – the ability to reign over others and have your opinions heard. And then there’s recognition and celebrity – it’s nice to have your ego stroked and be known as one of the “leaders” in your field. To wield that star power has an intoxicating allure.

And the list goes on and on. But reasons all have something in common – they lead to happiness. Money gives you cash to buy the stuff to make you happy. Experience gives you leverage to create a happy career. Free time gives you the opportunity to spend time doing the things that make you the happiest.

There can be a lot of reasons why you work at your job right now. But they should all lead to happiness.

If what you do everyday isn’t enabling happiness in your life, then what will?

- Christian

Be Offensive

Posted: December 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: On Ideation | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I’m on Hugh’s mailing list. Today, it linked to an art piece that provoked me.

“Not much happens when you’re trying to make everyone happy, as Lenin is often credited with saying: “If you want to make an omelet, must be willing to  break a few eggs.

People tend to overreact these days when they are confronted with ideas that they find objectionable. Paradoxically, it is only those ideas that push the boundaries and wind up effecting change.

We are trained not to offend, to be politically correct, and not to disrupt the status quo.

The next time you hear an idea that offends, or to which you immediately answer in the negative, stop and think about ‘what if’ and see if there is a way that idea could make sense.

Pushing the edges is what nudges progress.

Word. I agree with pushing the boundaries, being confident with your ideas and being okay with offending people (especially if it’s with the truth). But there’s a limit. Namely, they have to be good ideas. If the idea is craptastic and you’re just an asshole, you do not have the right to offend. However, if people are resisting it because it’s new and different and they don’t comprehend it, offend away.

Be offensive with your ideas, not your behaviour.

- Christian

5 Creative Gifts To Give (Or Gifts That Require Creativity)

Posted: December 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Idea Drunk's Ideas | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Last year was the first time that I made Christmas gifts instead of just buying them. Let me point out that I’m not a naturally crafty person. I’m not the  guy who enjoys making homemade thank you cards. Or bake goodies for everyone.

But I will enjoy the occasional side art project that allows me to create something that I can’t buy in stores. Something that only exists in my imagination. And mostly, it’s for an inside joke. Or for self-amusement. (But I guess that’s an inside joke with just one person on the inside – me.)

I’ve written before about the Top 10 Gifts For A Creative Person so I thought we would switch it around. There are times when you’re wandering the mall and can’t seem to find the perfect gift for that someone special. There’s nothing that expresses exactly what you want to say. Nothing pops out to showcase how special they are to you. And that’s when it’s time to get creative. To harness your creative energy to make them something unique and special. Here’s the list:

1. Write a short story about them. Make them the hero. Create a grand adventure. Incorporate references that only they would know. Make it personal. Make it epic. Show them fulfilling their greatest dream. Because everyone likes to be the hero. And it’s even more awesome when it’s on paper.

2. Make them a customized skate deck. Go to your local skate shop and get a blank skateboard deck. If they don’t have any there (or they’re ridiculously expensive), but a cheap one from Wal-Mart or Toys R Us and paint over the designs with a couple coats of white paint. Then paint it how you want it. A deck is an awesome canvas to display art. Even if the person that you’re giving it to doesn’t skate. It’ll still make them feel cool and it’s a dope piece of art.

3. Design an “inside joke” t-shirt. This one is an oldie but a goodie. Pick something that only you and the person that you’re giving it to know about. A funny event. An inside joke. A crazy secret. Then put it on a t-shirt. I’ve definitely done this in the past – there’s a t-shirt that I have that only two people in the entire world know exactly what’s going on in it. It’s basically a t-shirt with my friend’s kid on it. At the time, we were trying to convince him to name the kid “Baby Carlos” because of The Hangover. So basically, it’s just a picture of his kid and some text over it that says “Not at the table Carlos.” It’s awesome. And everyone asks me about the t-shirt when I wear it.

4. Knit them something. I’m not really a knitter. But I can respect a good knit job. But when knitting, don’t make them something lame like a scarf. Skip the boring. Knit them something with a cool design. Something that’s either hilarious or creative. Personally, I’m a big fan of ugly holiday sweaters. Hilarious. Warm. And good for the holiday season.

5. Create a movie poster for the story of their life. Like I said with the short story idea, everyone loves to be the hero. Consider this is the same gift as #1, but for someone who is a better designer than a writer. Get it printed and framed and you’re done!

The great thing about making a Christmas gift for someone special is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. People value the personalization, the insight and the story behind the gift. I used to cope out and just buy a DVD set of their favourite TV show. Not anymore.

- Christian

Dreaming Right

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Thought Starters | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I don’t spend enough time day dreaming with my imagination going wild. I spend most of the time thinking about places I’d rather be. Places like a sunny beach. Or my bed. Or on the top of a mountain.

Instead, I want to get the creative juices flowing. I want to dream about things that don’t exist yet. Or are impossible.

I want to stretch my imagination to day dream like a kid. Where you invent animals. Or a language. Or places. And they only exist in your imagination.

I want to dream of things that aren’t real yet.  Instead of real things that already exist that I’m not doing right now.

Like flying.

- Christian

What Would __________ Do?

Posted: December 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Brainstorming Techniques | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

A Brainstorming Technique.

The easiest way to solve a problem is to have someone else solve it for you. Everyone has mentors, heroes and such. What would they do if they faces your problem? This brainstorming technique is designed to leverage your imagination to find just that.

Think of three people that you admire from different parts of your life. Pick at least one:
- Famous politician
- Childhood friend
- Celebrity
- Successful billionaire
- Person from one of those “top 100 ____ people of 2010″ lists

Now put yourselves in their shoes. How would they tackle your problem? What would their experience tell them? How would they use the resources that they have? (Whether it be fame, experience, money or connections.) What would they do? Why? Then figure out if you can apply it to your situation.

Sure, you may not have the same access to resources as the mentors you picked. But some lateral thinking may unlock ideas of how you can achieve the same on a smaller scale. And then you may find yourself looking at a solution rather than a problem.

- Christian

I know that these posts have become somewhat rare on Idea Drunk as the blog evolves, but I found a whole bunch of them in an old notebook and was thinking of bringing some of them back. Let me know what you think. Good? Or boring?