Is It Time To End Our Obsession with “Story”?

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Story schmory. Yes, stories are important. Yes, stories fill a need. Yes, stories are a critical way of sharing information. Yes, stories go back to the beginning of time. Yes, there’s a reason story based programs are the most popular on network television. But can we just take a break from our obsession with stories?  We have

What If You Never Achieve Success in Your Lifetime?

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If you happen to be creative or have discovered the great purpose for your life, you probably spend time wondering if your work will ever get noticed. It’s such a big issue, that I wrote my book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” to help people find their purpose and then make it known to the world. Now, a documentary film on the life of photographer Vivian Maier is an incredible story of a remarkably gifted woman who never achieved artistic success in her lifetime, but never gave up her work. As her website states:

The Power of Creative, Thoughtful Design

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Steve Jobs said it very well: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” If you’ve ever doubted the ability of great design to change things, then watch this interview with Nike designer Tobie Hatfield about how a new shoe idea solved a problem. After viewing, you’ll realize that creative design may not change the world, but it can change someone’s world:

Should Churches Produce TV Programs?

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It’s pretty popular these days to bash local churches producing broadcast TV programs. Even megachurches with adequate budgets for media don’t escape the criticism. After all, the history of Christian television shows us that a significant number of programs through the years were downright embarrassing, and if anything, drove people away from the faith, rather than toward it. But in spite of the mistakes, poor quality, and questionable results of some church efforts, here’s 5 reasons I still encourage churches to consider a broadcast ministry:

Why Brainstorming Rarely Works

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Brainstorming is popular – way popular – especially in corporations and nonprofit organizations. But the truth is, research has shown over and over that people produce better quality ideas when they start by working alone. And yet, companies, nonprofits, and churches have enshrined “brainstorming” as the #1 go-to method for coming up with new ideas. Why?

Why Creativity Isn’t Always Sweetness and Light

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One of my favorite lines in film is when Orson Welles improvised a scene while playing Harry Lime in “The Third Man” in 1949: “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The Cuckoo clock.”  As creatives, we work hard trying to

How “Clutter” Can Kill Your Creativity

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I’ve written many times on this blog about the danger of “clutter.”  Clutter comes in all forms – from the media voices screaming for our attention, to the messy desk in front of us (where was that file again?) to the million other options that keep us from pursuing our creative calling.  Now, The Wall Street Journal reminds us how William Zinsser, author of the writing classic “On Writing Well” (1976) and who died May 12 at age 92, felt about clutter in our writing.  It’s worth the read:

How To Overcome The Five Greatest Fears

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What are you afraid of? You may not be a wimp, but the truth is, everyone is afraid of something. And chances are, when you get to the root of your fear, you start discovering what’s holding you back. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, successful, unsuccessful, famous or not famous, fear is a problem for everyone. David Sanford has written that the five greatest fears of professional people are: