Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Close

Archive

Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 17th, 2017 Comments off

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon

 Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort. Share, Share, Share One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will on this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too. What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* 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: Books, Business, Creativity, Education Tags:

10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 15th, 2017 Comments off

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

I have read — and re-read — 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 workWar of art

* 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: Books, Business, Creativity, Education, Products Tags:

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


* 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: 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

* 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! 
*** 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

* 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: 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.

Read More


“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: Business, Creativity, Shared, Tips Tags:

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.”

Read More

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:
Google+