The Secrets of Original Thinkers

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How do original thinkers think?  That’s a big question.  Adam Grant has done some fascinating research into the habits of original thinkers and recently shared his results at a TED Talk.  If you’re a creative, or know someone who is, please share this video presentation.  Every creative person in America needs to see it:

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Feedback: When to Listen to it and When to Ignore It

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Since many of my readers are creatives, I’ve had a number of them ask me how to respond to criticism.  Anyone who’s creative and pushing the boundaries will have critics, so the question becomes, how should we react?  Can I learn from it?  Who should I ignore?  So I asked my friend and writer Simon Dillon, who’s based in the UK, and who’s work includes children’s adventure stories and novels for grown-ups for advice.  Here’s his take:  

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Why Your Crisis Is The Key To Your Creativity

"There is scarcely any passion without struggle." - Albert Camus

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More and more studies are confirming that a crisis actually boosts creativity. It’s easy to see why we all live in a state of constant frustration. CNN reports that we consume about 74 gigabytes — nine DVDs worth — of data every day. And that’s not counting personal problems, career challenges, and other obstacles. But the Wall Street Journal confirms that “having your world turned upside down sparks creative thinking.” How?

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Whatever You Want to Be: Start Acting Like It

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Whatever you want to be in life – novelist, filmmaker, artist, pastor, leader, whatever – there’s one piece of advice I’d give you:  Start acting like it.  Too many people spend years waiting for their opportunity, while successful people step out and do it now. Sure you may not have funding in place, school isn’t finished, you haven’t left your day job, or haven’t picked the right project. But I’ve discovered that

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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

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Would You Give 5 Hours a Day to Achieve Greatness?

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One of my favorite books from last year was Mason Curry’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.  In the book he details the daily schedule of 161 artists, writers painters, thinkers, inventors, and all-around creative people. It features their quirks (Ben Franklin liked to be naked, Maya Angelou can only write in motels, and more). It’s a fascinating read, and will definitely impact your own daily creative schedule. While there’s a wealth of information in the book (I highly recommend it), here’s two critically important things I learned:

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Artists and Creatives: Should You Quit Your Day Job?

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Most creative people dream of the day they can quit their day job and focus on their real passion. Writers want to write, painters paint, designers design, filmmakers make movies – all full time without having to work somewhere else to pay the bills. You have no idea how often I’ve dreamed of having the financial resources just to write books. But my banker and mortgage company don’t agree. They want me to keep doing my day job as well. But then, I started seeing plenty of evidence that

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