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

5 Things To Stop Doing For A Happy And Creative 2012

Posted: January 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I’ve already posted 5 things that you can do more of to help you stay happy and creative in 2012. A layover in the airport thanks to a certain service challenged airline allowed me to recognize that there are also things that we can STOP doing in order to better equip ourselves for an awesome new year filled with great work and creativity.

1. Stop aiming for perfection. 
There is such a thing as good enough. It’s better to get your work in market than to waste precious resources trying to make it perfect. There’s a standard lifecycle of adoption for new products, services and ideas. The early adopters don’t need a product to be perfect. They just want it to be new, cool and to address a need. Stop using perfection as an excuse to get your work to market. 

2. Stop waiting for opportunities. 
Chase them. If you see something that you want, be bold and go after it. Don’t stands there in a coffee shop waiting for the girl that you like to do something that creates the perfect opportunity for conversation. Just go up and talk to her. Same thing with projects at work. If you hear about a pitch that you want to work on, go talk to someone to get yourself on that project. Does it take balls? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.

3. Stop driving everywhere.
Walk. Bike. Take transit.  Leave the car at home. Get some fresh air. Interact with people. We spend so much of our lives in cars, cut off from the rest of society. Stop confining yourself to a little metal box on your commute. Stop having to worry about traffic. Stop getting stressed about parrallel parking on a busy street with everyone watching (my own personal fear). Stop driving everywhere and allow the journey to be time for yourself.

4. Stop hoarding ideas.
You see this sometimes in creative industries. Some people are afraid of competition and so they hoard their ideas. They hide them from the rest of the group and show them only to their boss. These people are under the impression that you have a limited number of good ideas, so they guard them for their exclusive use. But the truth is that creativity is like a muscle. The more that you use it, the better it becomes. Give your ideas away for free. Let people build on them. Listen to a different perspective that you wouldn’t have considered. Your brain can only hold so much. You need to make room for all of this year’s new ideas.

5. Stop making excuses. 
Accept reality. Understand the challenges. The limits. What you can and cannot change. And then deal with it. Stop making excuses. Stop putting it off. If you want to do great work, do great work. Don’t complain about the budget, the brief or the client. Work your magic with the cards that you’re dealt. 

To be creative, you need to get your work out there in the real world. That’s what makes you a creative person. That’s what separates the artists from the people who simply own a Mac with Photoshop. As Steve Jobs said, real artists ship. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to get out there. Let’s make 2012 the year that you ship your best work yet.

- Christian

5 Things To Do To Keep You Happy & Creative in 2012

Posted: December 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I’m a firm believer in the fact that every year coming up is going to be better than the one that just passed. As I reflect on the relationships, the opportunities, the failures, the people and events that made 2011, I feel fortunate to experience what I have.

If you haven’t had the greatest year, it’s easy to get bummed out. Stay positive and work had to make the next day, week, month and year better. Here are a couple of things that you can do in 2012 to keep you happy and get those creative juices flowing:

1. Read more.
Put down the TV remote and open a book. Read. Read the classics. Read books that inspire you. Read books on entrepreneurship. Read about history. Read about interior design. Read about interesting people. Just read more.

2. Sweat more.
About a year ago, I was feeling pretty shitty about life. I was in a new city with a new job and it was tougher that I thought it would be to adjust to a new social setting. And I got saw less than 30 minutes of sunlight a day, which is depressing unto itself. And then I joined a gym and started going every day. Running, biking, lifting, playing basketball. It feels awesome to sweat.

3. Smile more.
Smile. Smile a lot. Even if you’re not happy. Two things will happen. (1) The act of smiling will make you happy. Fake smiles lead to real smiles. Trust me. It’s science. (2) People will reflect happiness back at you. When you smile on your commute, at the mall, in the hallways, people smile back. And that definitely makes you feel good. Plus, the world could use more smiles.

4. Write more stuff down.
We all have ideas, but they tend to come to us at the most inopportune times. Like on the toilet. Or when you’re sleeping. Or when you’re watching a movie. But then we forget them. Inspiration is fleeting and can come at any moment. Get into the habit of writing stuff down. Whether it’s a “to do” list, a random collection of inspirational articles to read, business ideas … it doesn’t matter. Write it down. It’ll make your life less stressful.

5. Dance more.
Dancing is fucking awesome. The world needs more dancing. Dance in the morning. Dance into the night. Dance by yourself. Dance with a partner. Dance with your friends. Do a fist pump (I won’t judge). Do the white man shuffle. Do the Carlton. Be suave. Be stupid. Be sexy. Just have fun and dance. I’ll be honest. I’ve had a couple of one-man dance parties in 2011 and they definitely got me to a happy place.

Remember, if you’re reading this, you’re on a computer that’s connected to the internet. You have a roof over your head. You can afford to connect with people. You also have the gift of creativity. Don’t be afraid to use that gift to make stuff. Let’s make 2012 an awesome year!

- Christian