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

Don’t Underestimate The Importance Of A Partner

Posted: October 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of catching Jay-Z’s live streamed performance at the newly minted Barclays centre in Brooklyn. The concert itself blew me away. It was the celebration of a hustler, artist and entrepreneur realizing his dream. What made the concert so impactful was the look of genuine joy on Jay-Z’s face. It was the happiness you see when a kid wakes up on Christmas morning. There was no more anticipation, worry or work. His decade old dream was now real.

But as the entire borough of Brooklyn had their eyes on him, there was one set of eyes that beamed prouder than any others. His partner. As cheesy as it may sound, Beyonce joining him on stage for final performance and the two of them walking out together highlighted a universal truth – the importance of a great partner.

There are different partners for different elements of your life. You can have a partner in business, in creativity, on the sports field, in life and in love. If you’re lucky, you may find all of those things in one person. But the role of a good partner is the same – it’s to make you better.

The best partners allow you to elevate your game. They’re a person who will allow you to slice through the defence with a no-look pass. They’re a creative sounding board to bounce ideas off of. They’re a critic that will call you out on your bullshit when everyone is too polite to do so. They’re the person standing there, holding your hand when you’re about to leap into the unknown. They’re the one who is genuinely excited for you to realize your dream.

All of this – honest feedback, support, trust and unspoken understanding – is what raises your game. It pushes you past limits of what you can achieve on your own. The right partnership can turn you from good to great. And we all want to be great.

Finding the right partner is challenging. The reason being is that everyone’s perfect partner is different. It’s not about checking off a list of specific qualities. Every person needs something different. The key to a successful partnership is that they complement your style and personality. In the words of Jerry Maguire they “complete you.” Often, it’s not about finding someone who is exactly the same as you. It’s about partnering with someone who has the talent that addresses your blind spots.

But as I mentioned, this is different for everyone. Each person has different blind spots and different needs in a partnership. The most important criteria for a partner is that they make you better. They don’t drag you down. You are a better athlete, creative or person when you’re with them. They bring a positive energy that allows you to exceed your personal potential. Choose the right partner and life can be awesome. Choose the wrong one and you’ll spend too much time worrying about the partnership instead of enjoying life.

The benefits of a great partner are simple. You produce better work. You are more productive on the field. You accomplish more in life. You are happier with the time that you’re spending together. In the simplest form, a good partnership elevates your game.

The support, the honesty, the inspiration and the motivation that they provide puts you in a better mindset. The better mindset produces a better lifestyle. The best part? Once you’ve achieved those goals, you have someone to share a beer with.

- Christian

The Creative To-Do List – Why You Should Have One

Posted: September 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Idea Drunk's Ideas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

I have a friend whose favourite thing in the world to do is to create lists. She makes lists of chores. Lists of places to travel. Lists of groceries. Lists lists lists. All neatly printed and colour coded in some insane organizational system. But in this myriad of lists, I discovered one list that was very interesting – a list of things to accomplish before she turned 30.

It was a wish list of activities, purchases, adventures and memories that she wanted to have before the her 30th birthday. Interesting. It started me thinking on something else. I should start a creative to-do list.

A creative to-do list is the wish list of things that you would like to accomplish creatively. Instead of a normal listing of chores or mundane tasks, it’s an opportunity to catalog all of the creative outputs you want to produce. Put plainly, it’s the list of things you want to make.

People sail through life and get inspired to make things. But that inspiration lasts a couple of minutes. And then we get distracted by something else. So that desire to CREATE something gets buried. Which is why I’ve started to write all of those things down on a list. I call it my creative catalog because it contains everything that I want to accomplish creatively.

Here’s what I have so far:

- Build a piece of furniture
- Write a book on creativity
- Build an app
- Restore a Triumph motorcycle
- Design a poster
- Film an inspirational short based on ultimate frisbee training
- Design a pair of shoes
- Decorate a bar
- Write an article that gets published in a (print) magazine
- Develop a unique cartoon style of drawing

Now, I want to make it very clear that the LEVEL of the final product does not matter to me. The key is actually going out and doing it. Trying it once. I could find out very quickly that I’m an awful craftsman when it comes to building a coffee table. That’s fine. The purpose is to try it out. To see if you can do it. And if you can’t (or you do a crappy job), the point is then to gain an appreciation of the level of skill, dedication and learning that goes into the art of creating.

Creativity comes from gaining new perspectives and trying new things. The most creative person in the room is not always the person who has mastered one specific craft. Often, it’s the person who has tried many things and can bring the the learnings from all of those experiences together.

But you’ll never know until you start trying. And the first step is to write down your creative to-do list. What’s on yours?

- Christian