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The One Thing You Need To Do To Become More Creative via Fast Company

July 6th, 2017 Comments off

The One Thing You Need To Do To Become More Creative via Fast Company

The One Thing You Need To Do To Become More Creative via Fast Company

If you want to become more creative, the answer may lie in becoming more courageous. A new class at USC Annenberg called Improvisational Leadership is encouraging students to step outside of their comfort zones and explore new experiences.

“Students fear finding the perfect job the day they graduate,” says Fred Cook, director of the USC Center for Public Relations and professor of professional practice. “They’re under pressure to perform because of student loans and their parents. They’ve taken the classes and done the internships, but they’re often short on life experience.”

Read The One Thing You Need To Do To Become More Creative via Fast Company


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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Categories: Business, Creativity, Education, Shared, Tips Tags:

7 Questions That Lead to an ‘Aha Moment’, According to Research via Inc.

May 3rd, 2017 Comments off

Innovation isn’t just something that happens once or twice and then is forgotten until it is needed again. Innovation is something we need to do every day and in every way in our life and careers. Here are 7 questions that can reenergize your innovation thinking and help you build the best life, businesses and careers possible. — Douglas

7 Questions That Lead to an 'Aha Moment', According to Research via Inc.

At the heart of any successful business is a great idea. But how do some entrepreneurs dream up game-changing idea after game-changing idea while others fade into mediocrity?

Cracking the code on “aha moments” and creative epiphanies is a topic Stanford Start X innovation experts Olivia Fox Cabane and Judah Pollack explore in their latest book, The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking.

Turns out, it’s not magic — it’s neuroscience.

They say there’s a way to systemically tap cognitive processes that generate insights. It comes down to stimulating associative thinking, a process in which the brain pieces together disparate information to solve problems in unique ways using skills like questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting.

Read 7 Questions That Lead to an ‘Aha Moment’, According to Research via Inc.



* 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!

Categories: Creativity, Education, News/Opinion, Shared, Tips Tags:

On YouTube: The Feynman Technique for learning anything via Sprouts

April 26th, 2017 Comments off

I first discovered Richard Feynman years ago when I read his book “Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” for a college class. I then went on to read his other book, “What Do You Care What Other People Think?” and almost anything I could find by or about him. His physics quickly left my basic science abilities in the dust, but he was an amazing and quirky person who’s interests ranged from lock picking to drumming to the nature of the universe.

On YouTube: The Feynman Technique for learning anything via Sprouts

Richard Feynman was a physicist who received a nobel prize for his work in quantum electrodynamics. He was notorious for asking his mathematicians to explain concepts in simple language to test their understanding. 

Here his unique technique to learn new materials:

Step 1. Choose a topic you want to understand and start studying it. Once you know what it is about, take a piece of paper and write the topic at the top of the page.

Step 2. Pretend you’re teaching the idea to someone else. Write out an explanation on the paper while you describe them out loud. Like this you get an idea of what you understand and where you still have gaps. Whenever you get stuck, go back and study. Repeat that process until you can explain it.

Step 3. Finally do it again, but now simplify your language or use an analogy to make the point. If your explanation ends up wordy and confusing, that’s an indication that you do not understand the idea well enough. If that happens go back until you have mastered it.

It is the process of thinking about an idea while teaching it that make the method so effective. Once you can explain an idea with simple language and create graphic analogies, you have deeply understood it and will remember it for a long time.

Learn more about Richard Feynman with these books from Amazon

More books by and about Richard Feynman

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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 
*** The LA Public Library has 14 copies of “Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” for loan 


Noted: Brainstorming Doesn’t Work–Try These Three Alternatives Instead from Fast Company

April 8th, 2017 Comments off

Brainstorming Doesn’t Work–Try These Three Alternatives Instead from Fast Company

Our brains’ creative flow isn’t time-bound the way the typical brainstorm is. Here are a few ways to shake things up.

Noted: Brainstorming Doesn’t Work–Try These Three Alternatives Instead from Fast Company

People aren’t necessarily more creative in groups than alone, or vice versa. In fact, creativity needs both conditions; our performance peaks when we alternate–first working alone, then coming together to share our ideas, then going off by ourselves again to mull over what we heard. It’s a process. This is because our brains’ creative engines are fueled both by quiet mind-wandering, allowing novel and unexpected connections to form, and by encountering new information, which often comes from other people.

The typical brainstorm over-delivers on the latter and under-delivers on the former, which means that for lots of people, brainstorming is an utter nightmare. Introverts just feel alienated, and extroverts aren’t pushed to reflect more deeply on the ideas they’ve batted around amongst themselves.

Here are three alternatives that can help you sidestep all of these issues and actually get something done.

Read the entire article


Learn more about brainstorming with these books from Amazon.com

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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Categories: Books, Business, Creativity, Education, Shared Tags:

Noted: 6 Ways Your Brain Tries To Kill Your Ideas And How To Fight Them via Fast Company

August 21st, 2014 Comments off

6 Ways Your Brain Tries To Kill Your Ideas And How To Fight Them via Fast Company

6 Ways Your Brain Tries To Kill Your Ideas And How To Fight Them via Fast Company

I have a lot of ideas in my head. And for the most part, that’s where they used to stay.

In my head. Where other people couldn’t see them, interact with them or build upon them. Where they were safe and untested and uncriticized. All mine.

Sure, I’ve created some. Some might say I’ve created plenty. But that’s only because they can’t see what I’m not creating. For example, this very post sat dormant for at least a month while I pondered, waited and nitpicked at it.

Because the riskiest, most dangerous and potentially most interesting ideas are the easiest to hold back. I would pin them down like butterflies on a mat, like art at a museum. They were in spreadsheets, in notebooks, on scrap paper around my desk.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

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Noted: Brainstorming Doesn’t Work; Try This Technique Instead via Fast Company

July 29th, 2014 Comments off

Brainstorming Doesn’t Work; Try This Technique Instead via Fast Company

I found that brainstorming within a Google Doc when people are dispersed geographically can yield some similar results to this tip, probably for the same reasons. It is certainly worth trying out the next time you need to generate some new, great, ideas.

Douglas E. Welch

Brainstorming Doesn't Work; Try This Technique Instead via Fast Company

Brainstorming, in its current form and by many metrics, doesn’t work as well as the frequency of “team brainstorming meetings” would suggests it does.

EARLY IDEAS TEND TO HAVE DISPROPORTIONATE INFLUENCE OVER THE REST OF THE CONVERSATION.

Sharing ideas in groups isn’t the problem, it’s the “out-loud” part that, ironically, leads to groupthink, instead of unique ideas. “As sexy as brainstorming is, with people popping like champagne with ideas, what actually happens is when one person is talking you’re not thinking of your own ideas,” Leigh Thompson, a management professor at the Kellogg School, told Fast Company. “Sub-consciously you’re already assimilating to my ideas.”

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More brainstorming resources from Amazon.com


“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted items here

Categories: Creativity, Elsewhere, Shared, Tips Tags:

Link Focus: 25 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer from LifeHack.org

April 21st, 2014 Comments off

25 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

As an auto-didact (or self-learner), any time I can find web sites and resources that help me to learn, I jump at the opportunity, This article from LifeHack.org gives you 25 possible resources to expand your own self-learning. There are sites for learning languages (both foreign and programming), musical instruments, cooking and ways of building the career you deserve. I am almost sure that at least one site here will find its way into your self-leaning toolkit for the long run. I know I am a regular user of several of the sites on the list.

If you are looking for away to invigorate your own education, these sites are a great place to start!

25 killer web sites

From LifeHack.org…

It’s easy to forget that we have access to a virtually limitless resource of information, i.e. the Internet. For a lot of us, this is even true at our fingertips, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and an ever-increasing push for online greatness by tech engineers all over the world.

As a result, there are countless websites out there that are geared to make you smarter and more brilliant for either a low or no cost. Here are just 25 killer websites that may just make you more clever than ever before.


Previously on Link Focus:

Link Focus is a series that comments on some of the links I share on my social media accounts and here on the web site. To get these links as I find them, subscribe to me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere. Also look for the “My Favorite Things” posts that appear regularly in the blog. These include collections of links for each calendar month.

Get new shared links as I find them via my social media feeds:

Twitter Google plus Pinterest Facebook Linkedin

 

Gift Guide 2013: Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

November 20th, 2013 Comments off

Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

Well-known blogger (gapingvoid.com), back-of-business-card cartoonist and advertising copywriter, Hugh MacLeod, leads us through his list of “What I Believe” in his book, Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity.

Like other books I have read recently, this is what I consider a “real world example.” Every aspect of the book draws on his experiences in advertising, blogging and cartooning. It makes you think. It make you stop sometimes and glance up at the ceiling to take stock of what you have just read. Some of the sections may seem contradictory to others that you have read, but that’s ok. Life itself is pretty contradictory, too, and the best advice is often to look at a problem from all sides.

Some sections feel like MacLeod is getting in you face and telling you how he thinks the world really operates. You can chose to believe him, or not, but you can’t ignore him. I think this is one of the marks of a good author. Mediocre authors can be be ignored, but good authors force you to pay attention, whether you agree with them or not.

Ignore Everybody is based on a blog, so it is divided into distinctly blog-like sections. Each has a beginning, middle and end, but also ties together nicely as a whole. MacLeod even recommends blogging for others who want to share their creativity with the world — something I often recommend myself to my clients. Those unfamiliar with blogs might find the style a big choppy, but even someone older like me can find it enjoyable and informative if you keep an open mind.

If you need a recharge in your creative life, are looking for the next step in your career or just trying to make sense of the world around you, Ignore Everybody could be an interesting and enjoyable read.

More 2013 Gift Guide Items:

Categories: Books, Business, Creativity, Special Tags:

2012 Gift Guide: The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander

December 7th, 2012 Comments off

The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander

From Amazon.com…

“Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander’s experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander’s genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment.

The authors’ harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life. Through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes, the Zanders invite us to become passionate communicators, leaders, and performers whose lives radiate possibility into the world.”

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

Read more…

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2012 Gift Guide: Jump Start Your Brain by Doug Hall and David Wecker

December 1st, 2012 Comments off

Jump Start Your Brain by Doug Hall and David Wecker

Looking for a great selection of tools to “Jump Start Your Brain?” This book is for you. It is full of great ideas on how to come up with…well…great ideas. The wide variety of tools here means that anyone should be able to find one that works well for them. We all think in different ways, so it only makes sense the we all need different tools. Jump Start Your Brain today and keep on changing the world with your great ideas!

From Amazon.com…

“Ideal for inspiring marketers, artists, teachers, and anyone who needs fresh ideas for work and home, Jump Start Your Brain helps readers crank up both their cranium and career. Featuring smart and creative methods for providing better leadership, igniting sales and marketing, and realizing dreams with breakthrough innovations, this book teaches time-tested practices that generate creativity and innovation. Relying on the latest research, the author pinpoints which methods and techniques work best in today’s high-stress world so readers can get a leg-up on the competition.”

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games
  36. The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  37. In a Mexican Garden: courtyards, pools and open-air living rooms
  38. Fields of Plenty: A farmer’s journey in search of real food and the people who grow it
  39. Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  40. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  41. Cucina Rustica
  42. The Great Potato Book
  43. Rode Podcaster Microphone
  44. High-Tech Fitness Monitors
  45. Books by Douglas E. Welch
  46. Tribes by Seth Godin
  47. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  48. The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook
  49. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need
  50. Classes from The Institute of Domestic Technology
  51. Olympus PEN E-P1 12 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  52. Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  53. Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer Packs
  54. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
  55. Podcast Solutions by Dan Klass and Michael Geoghegan
  56. The Craft and Business of Songwriting by John Braheny
  57. Dexim Visible Green Smart Charge & Sync Cable
  58. Wells Lamont Wet and Muddy Latex Coated Gardening Glove
  59. Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs
  60. Bon-Aire HN-10C Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle
  61. Microphones from Giant Squid Audio Labs
  62. Re-Imagine by Tom Peters
  63. Razer Gaming Mice
  64. Garden Hod harvest carrier
  65. Nest Learning Thermostat
  66. Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas
  67. Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too: The Modern Step-By-Step Guide to Preserving Food
  68. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
  69. Fiskars 7936 PowerGear Pruner
  70. Chi-qoo Solar Power Pack Kit from Bootstrap Solar
  71. Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli
  72. Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone
  73. DollarSeed.com – One Stop Seed Shop
  74. 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
  75. Desktop Microphone Stands
  76. Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control
  77. Maple Sugaring Startup Kit from Tap My Trees
  78. Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones
  79. Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace
  80. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bags
  81. The SeedKeeper Company

 

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