Creative Lesson: When It’s Time to Dump Great Ideas

Once It Works, It May Be Time To Move On...

Original ideas – no matter how great – often take a backseat to ideas that have worked in the past. But I was reading the Samson story the other day from Judges 15:14-17:  “As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.  Then Samson said,

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How Easily Tweaked Are You?

I had an interesting social media exchange recently with a snowflake. I had actually written a positive post about an interview with Camille Paglia, the outspoken and controversial lesbian, feminist writer and critic. But apparently, I made the grave mistake of using a link to the interview from the conservative Drudge Report. A not-so-conservative reader quickly responded that she wanted to read my post but wouldn’t because she just couldn’t get past the fact that it was

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Camille Pissarro: A Painter Who Changed the Way We See

I was thinking recently about the differences between an “artist” and a “artisan.” An artisan is good at what he or she does. They’re gifted and often brilliant. But an “artist” changes the conversation. They force us to see or do something in a different way, forever altering our view of the world. A few years ago, Kathleen and I were in Milwaukee visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum. (Great museum by the way). They were

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Stop Taking Credit For Great Ideas

If You're Serious About Creativity

To become truly fulfilled in your career or calling, you need to answer one important question: Which is more important: Making your ideas happen, or taking credit for coming up with those ideas?  I know people who pounce on every opportunity to remind people they came up with certain ideas or projects. They’re willing to stop discussions, interrupt brainstorming sessions, and derail conversations, because they feel absolutely compelled to

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Communicators: Words You Choose Are More Important Than You Think

If you’re a professional communicator, you need to understand just how much your word choices can impact perception.  Just look at how much the national conversation began changing when liberals started calling themselves “progressives,” or homosexuals started calling themselves “gay.”  In other places, writers and speakers began using “extremists” for positions never even considered extreme before.  Politicians casually call each other

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How To Know It’s Time To Drop Your Idea And Move On

I’ve written about resilience, and how important it is not give up on your ideas, your projects, and your dreams – even in the face of opposition. I used my friend Producer Ken Wales as an example of someone who pitched a movie idea for years and years and eventually made it happen. But the truth is, there are situations when it’s actually better to let go of an idea and move on – even if you’ve spent years developing and writing it. The problem is –

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What’s Your Best Time To Create?

Science tells us that we’re driven by cycles, which I believe impacts our creativity. Although we can force ourselves to do almost anything, I think we do our best work at specific times of the day. For me, it’s morning. From about 6am to noon I do my best writing. After that I can do email, phone calls, meetings, or other work related tasks, but for my best writing, it has to be in the morning. Last week in London, I picked up the book “For Writers Only” by Soppy Burnham. She ran down the list of times of day when a number of great creators were at their peak:

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