Holding back the good stuff

If you’re an artist, you will need to balance between delivering good work that matches your vision, and delivering the work at the level you’re capable of delivering.  For example, sometimes there’s just not enough time, energy, and resources to do good work. Other times, timing isn’t right—the world isn’t ready to receive a certain […]

“Problems” create meaning

I recently revisited this blog post I wrote almost a year ago. Here’s the passage that inspired the headline, from Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks (p. 180–181): Behind our urge to race through every obstacle or challenge, in an effort to get it “dealt with,” there’s usually the unspoken fantasy that you might one day […]

The best

Optimus means “the best” in Greek. It’s the root word of common ones in our culture, like, “optimize,” and, “optimism.”  Optimize: The “-ize” in “optimize” means “to make,” so the whole word means “to make the best.” Optimism: The “-ism” in “optimism” means “taking side with,” or “imitation of,” so the whole word means “to […]

You see the world as you are

There’s a quote attributed to Anaïs Nin and Stephen Covey, “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.” While the quote’s origin is unclear, its resonance is clear. In The Art of Possibility (pp. 10-11), Roz and Ben Zander quote three neuroscientists who share a similar perspective: The British neuropsychologist Richard […]

Virgil Abloh’s first website

For me, there are few things more exciting or entertaining than diving into a person’s early work. The more I like the work, the more early work I want to see.  I recently came across the term, “nerdsniping,” from Paul Millerd. That sensation sums up what I experience when I’m researching the process of an […]

The liking gap

“We found that following interactions, people systematically underestimated how much their conversation partners liked them and enjoyed their company, an illusion we call the liking gap.”  The Liking Gap in Conversations: Do People Like Us More Than We Think? by Erica J. Boothby, Gus Cooney, Gillian M. Sandstrom, and Margaret S. Clark (via Platonic by Marisa […]

Participation trophies

In The Art of Possibility, Roz and Ben Zander write, “Enrolling is not about forcing, cajoling, tricking, bargaining, pressuring, or guilt-tripping someone into doing something your way. Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share.” A generous assumption of why participation trophies exist: it balances the all-consuming […]

The only way to change someone’s mind

“Getting a prospect to admit their “mistake” borders on the impossible. All you’ll do is irritate or antagonize your prospect. That is not the way to persuade them to buy from you.… No, the prospect won’t change their mind, but they will be delighted to make a new decision, based on new information,” writes Zig […]

Life is a team sport

When I interviewed Annie Duke, we discussed the writing process for her first book, Thinking In Bets. Duke had made writing a team sport, firstly by recruiting a friend with a Juris Doctor degree, who was also a writer, to be her editor—outside of her editor at her publisher. This friend helped serve as a […]

Do more, think less

Gapingvoid recently published a piece entitled, “Do more, think less.” It touches on one of the premises of Creative Doing, which is that new insights emerge from doing, not merely thinking. The phrase was drawn from a phrase I mentioned in an episode of Infinite Loops I did with Jim O’Shaughnessy. Jim introduced the phrase, […]