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On Podcast: Charles Duhigg on Self-Motivation, Mental Models, and Getting Stuff Done – The Upgrade by Lifehacker

March 25th, 2017 No comments

Charles Duhigg on Self-Motivation, Mental Models, and Getting Stuff Done – The Upgrade by Lifehacker

Listen to this podcast

If anyone knows the difference between being busy and being productive it’s Charles Duhigg. The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times and author of The Power of Habit has made a name for himself plumbing the science of productivity, and this week he’s joining us on the podcast.

Charles is, by any measure, a very productive person—he wrote a bestseller while working full-time and raising a family. And even though success begat success, he started to feel like he was treading water and didn’t want to come home every day after work to spend another five hours answering emails.

So he started calling researchers who study productivity as well as very productive people he admired to learn why some people manage to do so much while others struggle to reach the inbox zero promised land. Those phone calls and conversations are what led to his second book, Smarter Better Faster.

In today’s show we talk about many of the key principles Charles detailed in his book, including how pilots used ‘mental models’ to land a severely damaged airplane, how the worst automotive manufacturing plant in the country turned itself around when new owners gave the workers more control, and what it means to be truly productive.

Categories: Business, Careers, Creativity, Education, Podcast Tags:

Do It 2017! A Year of Making, Doing, Creating, and more!

January 12th, 2017 2 comments

Do It 2017

The holidays are a time for gathering together with friend and family AND reflecting back on the year that has past.We attended several parties over the holiday season and many other, smaller, get-togethers for drinks or dinner. In talking with everyone, one statement I heard again and again at these events was the desire to actually and concretely DO something this year.

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Maybe they wanted to do more knitting or cooking or reading. Maybe they wanted to work on their new novel , take more photographs or even get more involved with politics. While the desires were quite varied, the desire to DO something was strong in everyone. Creativity is a major part of everyone’s live and when denied can lead to a life filled with dissatisfaction.

“Zorana Ivcevic measured personal growth by asking people about their continued development and realization of their potential (e.g., “In general, I feel that I continue to learn more about myself as time goes by”). She found that people who scored higher in a “creative lifestyle” (those who engaged in more creative acts in everyday life such as making a scrapbook, visiting an art museum, inventing a new recipe, and taking photographs) were significantly more likely to score high in personal growth.” – Scientific American

I know in my own personal case, when my time is completely occupied with “work” for others, I begin to feel an itch, a concern and, in some cases, an increase in feelings of depression and hopelessness. This is why, when you read my blogs, or follow me on social media, you often see a wide variety of content spanning writing, photography, music, technology, gardening and a hundred other areas. This is my defense mechanism. This is my mind screaming out for something creative, something interesting, something fun and, in some cases, something powerful in my life. I am guessing that you feel a similar pull in your life and similar results when you deny it and I feel this is why I am hearing the “create” as a mantra from so many people.

“Research has shown that creating or tending things by hand enhances mental health and makes us happy.  Dr. Kelly Lambert (www.kellylambertlab.com) explored the relationship between hand use, current cultural habits, and mood.  She found that hands-on work satisfies our primal need to make things and could also be an antidote for our cultural malaise.” – Psychology Today

Therefore,

In an effort to spur my own creativity and execution of those creative ideas, I am starting this series, Do It 2017! I’ll be offering up my own experiences and 100 0177 2creative projects, interesting projects I find on the Internet, and maybe even a few interviews with others who are seeking to make something important this year.

I’d love to hear your plans for the year, too. What projects have you itching to get started? Do you need a little push to take that first step? Are you waiting on something to change in your life before pursuing these new ideas? What roadblocks — both personal and professional — stand in your way? Share your thoughts here and let’s build a supportive community of creators that can help each other move forward, even if just baby steps. I know for myself, taking action — even the smallest of actions — is often the best (and only) way of getting started. Let’s help each other take those small, concrete actions that lead to great things!

Here are a few of the projects (and general themes) I want to move forward in 2017:

  • Return to my guitar, piano and harmonica playing. Play music with others more often.
  • Create useful, cool and fun Internet of Things and other technology projects using Arduino, Raspberry PI and other technologies
  • Open a hackerspace/makerspace where I can share my creativity with other and help introduce them to the wonderful (and powerful) world of making things
  • Create other communities of like-minded people to support and challenge each other to do great thingsP7310559
  • Focus on photography more as both an artistic release and financial benefit by creating products of all sorts to bring more beauty into people’s lives
    • Aso, set up a schedule of regular photowalks to dedicate time to creating new photos
  • Find new food and recipes to add to our Recipes in Rotation
  • Travel more to both new places and places I haven’t visited in a long while. This includes some lovely places in northern California and also exotic places like Iceland.
  • Be outdoors more both in my own garden and in the amazing countryside that surrounds Los Angeles.
  • …and much more!

How about you? What are your creative desires for the coming year? How can I and all the readers here help you in your endeavor?

I’ll be posting a new idea of how I am trying to Do It! this year each week here on the blog. Subscribe here on My Word or follow me on any of my social media accounts to join in!

Dewsig

The Creative Habit and The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide #34

December 4th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

Two excellent books by choreographer Twyla Tharp delve into the creative process and collaborating with others. The books give an in-depth view of both her work and how she creates it. There is lots of great ideas to be found here for anyone seeking to improve their career.

From Amazon.com…

One of the world’s leading creative artists, choreographers, and creator of the smash-hit Broadway show, Movin’ Out, shares her secrets for developing and honing your creative talents—at once prescriptive and inspirational, a book to stand alongside The Artist’s Way and Bird by Bird.

All it takes to make creativity a part of your life is the willingness to make it a habit. It is the product of preparation and effort, and is within reach of everyone. Whether you are a painter, musician, businessperson, or simply an individual yearning to put your creativity to use, The Creative Habit provides you with thirty-two practical exercises based on the lessons Twyla Tharp has learned in her remarkable thirty-five-year career. 
In “Where’s Your Pencil?” Tharp reminds you to observe the world — and get it down on paper. In “Coins and Chaos,” she gives you an easy way to restore order and peace. In “Do a Verb,” she turns your mind and body into coworkers. In “Build a Bridge to the Next Day,” she shows you how to clean the clutter from your mind overnight. 

Tharp leads you through the painful first steps of scratching for ideas, finding the spine of your work, and getting out of ruts and into productive grooves. The wide-open realm of possibilities can be energizing, and Twyla Tharp explains how to take a deep breath and begin…

 

The Creative Habit and The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp

 

Tharp creative habitTwyla Tharp the collaborative habit 

 

More book by and about Twyla Tharp on Amazon.com

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide #29

November 29th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

I have read — and re-read — Do the work by Steven Pressfield and would highly recommend you do the same. In fact, I am thinking that I will make it (and Pressfield’s earlier book, The War of Art) required reading before I will work with any client. Both books have helped me tremendously in my life and work. We all have to start somewhere on our creative adventures and Pressfield’s books are like an experienced guide that can help to lead us through the creative forest. Revisiting them on a regular basis reenergizes me to face the fight that all creatives feel.

Of course, creativity isn’t just the domain of some specialized class of people. We are all creative in unique ways and we all experience the haunting voice of resistance, as Pressfield names the monster that frightens all of us away from big, transformative changes in our lives. Pressfield reminds us of the nature of this beast and gives us the tools we need to defeat it — again and again.

In my work, I meet so many people who don’t realize their own potential. They drastically underestimate their power to change their lives and change the world. They face the resistance dragon and allow it to eat them nearly every time instead of emerging, triumphant, like St. George. It is often my goal to give them the tools — the horse, the lance, the sword — to help them slay the dragon of resistance just as I have to fight against it everyday. Sometimes I can bring them along with me — at other times, not, but I will never stop trying.

So, to repeat my unasked for advice — get these books, read them and then start on your own creative adventure. You can overcome resistance and create something new, something unique and something great!

The War of Art is also available from Amazon and your local public library. Add it to your creative toolbox today!

 

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

More books by Steven Pressfield

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Fancierstudio Professional Digital Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit with Lighting Stand, 3000 Watt | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2016 #15

November 15th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

From Douglas…

Do you have a new media or podcast creator friend? This lighting kit is cheap enough to gift to them and help them raise the quality of their productions.

A couple of years ago we had need to purchase some equipment for a testimonial project and a series of interviews. First on our list was a basic set of video lights that would provide nice, basic illumination and still be easy to transport, as we would be shooting the interviews at the client sites. As we are just starting to move into the video production business (beyond my own personal productions) and not exactly knowing how far this line of work will take us, I didn’t want to invest thousands of dollars only to have to sell the equipment later for a loss.

I did quite a bit of searching online and came across this kit on Amazon.com. I made a point of reading nearly every review available, both positive and negative to see how this kit might fit our needs. Overall the kit has a 4 star rating over 77 reviews. The one item I kept seeing in the reviews was the fact that this was, indeed, a “cheap” kit. That didn’t mean it didn’t work well, only that you had to be careful when setting up and tearing down and you couldn’t necessarily toss it around. Knobs are plastic, although the screws themselves are metal, the nylon bags holding the diffusion boxes are poorly stitched and things like that. Almost all the review said, though, that if you are looking for a good, entry-level kit, this could be it.

Based on these reviews, I ordered the kit and crossed my fingers that it would work out well. Once it arrived, we did a test setup here in the office so we understood how everything went together before we tried to do this under the time constraints of an actual shoot. It took a little time to learn exactly how to best put the lights together, but now that we have down 6 setups and tear downs, we are pretty good and can set up two lights in about 15 minutes.

Since we had the warnings from the reviews, we have been very careful to treat the kit with a light hand and try to keep the abuse to a minimum. These seems to have served us well, as nothing has broken or been damaged over the course of the last 2 months of transport and shoot.

Everything — stands, light bulbs, fixtures, diffusion boxes and screens — fits back into the original carrying case and allows us to move around quite easily from car to location to car. The kit is small enough that it easily fits in the trunk or back seat of all but the smallest vehicles.

Overall, we have been very satisfied in our purchase and while we may move up to more expensive (and expansive) equipment in the future, it has served us well as we grow. Go into this purchase with the full knowledge that is “cheap” and may require a little gentler care than most, but we have found it quite functional for, albeit limited, needs.

Fancierstudio Professional Digital Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit with Lighting Stand, 3000 Watt
 

Lighting system

More lighting kits from Amazon.com

 * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Tip: How to Use a Paper Journal Effectively via SnapGuide

July 10th, 2016 Comments off

A friend texted today for a link to this SnapGuide which I did ages ago. He had started to use this technique when he originally saw this guide and wanted to share it with some of his friends. I hadn’t thought about this guide in a long time, but it is great to see that it is still useful to people.

Snapguide journal

Check out How to Use a Paper Journal Effectively by Douglas Welch on Snapguide.

Categories: Business, Education, Lifehacks, Tips Tags:

Unique Christmas and Holiday Gifts Now Available Exclusively from Douglas E. Welch

December 1st, 2015 Comments off

Unique Christmas and Holiday Gifts Now Available Exclusively from Douglas E. Welch

This year I am offering a selection of unique Holiday Gifts created from the photographs I have taken over the years. These gifts are available exclusively from me using the services of RedBubble.

Great Gifts for Friends and Family!

These include items for the home such as pillows, tote bags, mugs, photographic prints and posters.

Yellow flower pillowRiver rose mugMex bird tote

Also available are technology items like smartphone covers, iPad covers, and Laptop Skins and Sleeves

Mex bird iphonePink dahlia laptopRoses sleeve

Finally, you can purchase cards and postcards, stickers, spiral-bound notebooks and hardcover journals.

Pink dahlia cardsMex bird notebookCup tea journal

Check out my entire portfolio of photos and products

Unique Christmas Cards Now Available Exclusively from Douglas E. Welch

November 16th, 2015 Comments off

Unique Christmas Cards Now Available Exclusively from Douglas E. Welch

Not to start the holiday season too early, but if you send Christmas Cards, you need to get them early so you can be sure they get to your friends and family on time.

This year I am offering a selection of unique Christmas Cards created from the photographs I have taken over the years. These cards are available exclusively from me using the services of RedBubble.

24 Different Christmas Cards Designs

  • 300gsm card with a satin finish
  • Supplied with envelopes
  • Discount of 30% on every order of 8+ cards

Dew cards 1

Dew cards 2

Great Gifts for Friends and Family, too!

I also have a host of great gift ideas for Friends and Family created from my photos.

These include items for the home such as pillows, tote bags, mugs, photographic prints and posters.

Yellow flower pillowRiver rose mugMex bird tote

Also available are technology items like smartphone covers, iPad covers, and Laptop Skins and Sleeves

Mex bird iphonePink dahlia laptopRoses sleeve

Finally, you can purchase cards and postcards, stickers, spiral-bound notebooks and hardcover journals.

Pink dahlia cardsMex bird notebookCup tea journal

Check out my entire portfolio of photos and products

My Work 2: My Photography Products Direct to You, Your Friends and Your Family.

September 30th, 2015 Comments off

Due to the wide and differing nature of the work I do, I am often asked by friends and acquaintances, “What are you doing now?” This blog series will keep you informed and up-date-date on some of my bigger projects, blogs, podcast and more! — Douglas


My Photography and Products

As you may have noticed from my blogs and social media feeds, I have been working very diligently to gain some financial benefit from all the photographs I have taken over the years – -and continue to take nearly every day. One way I have been doing this is through RedBubble. RedBubble is an online site which allows me to create a variety of products quickly and easily. These means I can sell these items without large investments in time and without spending a lot of money on items that might not resonate with my customers. Each item is printed on demand and delivered directly to you. RedBubble provides volume discounts on some items and also regularly hosts 20% off sales site wide.

Redbubble logo

If you visit my RedBubble Portfolio today, you’ll find almost 100 different photographs, each available on 7-22 different products ranging from cards to tote bags to laptop sleeves to iPhone/iPad covers, mugs and more. I have been adding about 2 new photographs each day as I find them in my archives or take new photos on my various photowalk and excursions.

Douglas E. Welch RedBubble Portfolio

If you are interested, please check out my portfolio. I hope there is something there that might add a little beauty to your home, technology and life. Even better, if you like something, please consider sharing it with your friends or family either in-person or via social media. Selling products is a volume game, so the more people who know about my products the higher my chances of selling. After all, people can’t buy what they don’t know about. Thank you in advance! Your help is always greatly appreciated.

In addition to these RedBubble items, I can also create custom items directly on commission. See something you like, but want it in a different format? Send me an email and we can develop something together!!

On A Personal Note

These products are just one more way that I am creating a career out of many disparate parts. I have always had a variety of interests in my life and this hasn’t always fit neatly into the standard definition of a job and career. As I have grown older, I have sought out ways to combine all these interests into something that gives me the variety I crave in my work while also supporting me financially. It isn’t easy, but after several years of working in the corporate world, I don’t think that was the proper place for me, either. Despite the challenges of creating what I call a “hybrid career”, I think it fits me best. If you see something here that catches your fancy, please consider making a purchase and helping me in this lifelong quest to create something unique. Watch for more posts in this My Work series to see other parts of this “hybrid career” in action.

A sample of laptop sleeves created using my photographs

Laptop Sleeves from Douglas E. Welch

A Sneak Peak

I know it’s only the last day of September, but preparing for the holiday season takes a lot of time. so I am already creating a series of Christmas Cards so that you can share the spirit of the holidays with your friends and families! I’ll be adding even more Christmas-related cards and such in the coming weeks, so keep watching. Order early, so you can be sure if having your cards in hand when you are ready to send them out. All RedBubble cards come with a 30% on when buying in sets of 8 cards, so you can save by buying enough to everyone on your list.

Christmas Cards by Douglas E. Welch

This is just a small selection of Christmas Cards I will have available, so check back often to see more!

Previously in My Work:

Transition is a Force for Good from Transition as the New Normal 2015 with Douglas E. Welch [Video Clip]

August 18th, 2015 Comments off

A clip from this longer presentation — Douglas E. Welch presents “Transition as the New Normal” to OPEN (Outstanding Professionals Employment Network) Ventura County in Simi Valley, CA on February 27, 2015.

OPEN Facebook Page

Also mentioned in this talk is “Career Compass: Finding Your Career North”, an Amazon Kindle booklet

 

Transcript:

Transition — and this throws people off a little bit when I say this, but — transition is a force for goo din our lives and in our careers and many of us do not see it that way. We are fearful of it. It is the sabertooth cat outside the cave door. When I last gave this talk, off the top of my head I came up with a metaphor — “Don’t think of it as the sabertooth cat outside the cave door. Think about it as a domesticated cat keeping the rats out of your cave and sitting by your side and keeping you warm.” It is a good factor in our lives. It brings wonderful, new things, into our lives and our careers that we need to thrive as human beings. If you become too scared of it and avoid it at all costs, I think, personally, that you are limiting your lives. 

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Categories: Business, Careers, Podcast, Show, Speaking, Video Tags:
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