Our Way Back When — A Slide Show

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

That’s a slide — for anyone who doesn’t know, hasn’t seen.

I feel sorry for you.

You have missed an ultimate human experience: the compulsory viewing of someone else’s major life event complete with droning monologue, barks of laughter, and unending stories about people you never met and now hope you never will.

The viewing was held in a room made twilight by pulling down shades and drawing the curtains closed. Light would leak around the edges and create an uncommitted dark. Seating would be close, the room made stuffy by the slide projector and the noisy, breathing humans crowded on not enough comfortable furniture. Children sat on the floor.

Cameras and film were expensive — as was the major life event — and viewing countless slides was an essential activity. You role was to pay attention and follow along in the unfolding story. Don’t hog the potato chips and stop picking on your brother.

Slower than you would think possible, the slide projector would advance, one slide at a time dropping into the slot where a bright light would bring it to life. The projector would hum high and loud with a whishing sound. That was the fan blowing out the hot air to deliver the whooshing, stuffy experience.

It was not uncommon for people to fall asleep. If you were very lucky, you slept through most of the viewing. All you had to do to ensure the satisfaction of the host was to compliment the pictures and thank him for the joy of the slide show.

Most slide shows included an array of blurry vacation pictures marred by fingers, scowling children, and unidentifiable venues.

“Where was that, sweetheart?” The view master would ask his wife occupied with breaking up fights and offering snacks to the guests.

She would squinch her eyes at the screen. Most of the time, she had been at the great event, but these were random shots or stiff arrangements that didn’t look like what she remembered.

With great difficulty, the wife or others might persuade the view master to continue his excellent show. Keep him moving was the guiding principle.

After too long, the show would be over. Lights would be turned back on. The windows would be opened. The audience would stand, stretch, and say nice things while they escaped stuffy, tight confines.

That’s if you were lucky.

If you were family or a close friend, you might be subjected to multiple viewings.

How to Stop the Cycle of Oversharing

The 3 reasons why we say too much to strangers.

Photo by Ellisia

Do you welcome conversation with strangers on a plane? Or do you prefer to ignore the person sitting next to you for the entire flight?

I fall somewhere in between. I don’t mind chit chat during take-off. Yet once we are underway I retreat into my zone.

We have all had bad experiences on planes where we get trapped next to someone who talked too much.

One time I sat next to a couple that argued in hushed tones the entire way from Melbourne to Sydney. It was impossible to ignore. Thankfully it was only a one-hour flight.

Personally, I find people talking more annoying than crying babies on flights. I empathize with babies for the discomfort they experience. I am sorry for the parents too.

Complaining about babies is one of my criteria for removing people on social media. I don’t care who you are — if you whine about a baby on a flight, you can expect to wiped by me.

Hasta la vista, baby!

But I digress…

The 3 reasons why we say too much to strangers

According to leading psychologist Ronald E Riggio, there are three reasons why we overshare with strangers.

· False intimacy

· Similarity bias

· Reciprocity norm

Let’s unpack these one by one.

False intimacy

We all have a personal zone into which only trusted people can enter. However the confined space on a airplane often triggers a sense of false intimacy with a relative stranger. The physical closeness leads us to share personal details more easily than we would otherwise.

Case in point: If your hair stylist, manicurist or health provider knows every detail of your life, this is likely due to the false intimacy you have from physical closeness in proximity.

Similarity bias

Superficial similarities such as nationality can lead people to assume that others share a similar outlook to them. Of course it may not always be the case.

Case in point: Recently I attended a concert. Upon arrival I sat next to a chatty Western woman who was visiting Japan where I live. Between sets, I heard about an altercation she had with a bank teller — how she got angry and frustrated due to language difficulties.

The woman made an assumption that I’d expect to be catered to in my native language in a non-English speaking country. She was unaware that I speak Japanese. In reality I emphasized more with the bank teller for having to deal with a difficult customer.

Reciprocity norm

When someone discloses personal information we often feel obligated to share in kind. This turns into a cycle of sharing information and before long you have shared too much.

How to stop the cycle of oversharing?

  • This comes down to a degree of self-awareness and control. When someone discloses personal information, you should simply nod and listen or end the conversation. You are not obligated to respond in kind.
  • Be aware that physical closeness can trigger an unnatural sense of intimacy that may not really exist.
  • Keep in mind that sharing personal information puts a burden and stress on people who are not therapists.

To over-share may feel natural, yet you can wind up feeling embarrassed later on. The trick is to maintain a balance between being authentic while not alienating people around you.

The old adage “think before you speak” is a good approach in most cases.

Thank you for reading!

2017: Mi Metamorfosis

2017, amig@s mios, fue el año de mi Metamorfosis. Tal vez por eso me siento tan identificada con el nuevo programa de radio que iniciaré en Guadalajara, el próximo lunes 15 de enero de 2018 y que lleva el mismo nombre.

<Por cierto no se lo pierdan, se transmitirá lunes, martes y jueves de 5pm a 6pm en la estación: www.laexquisitaignorancia.com en Guadalajara. Para anunciarte en el programa, formar parte del proyecto o más información puedes escribirme a: lilycamposnews@gmail.com>

Para ver el video CLICK AQUÍ

Cuando escuchamos la palabra Metamorfosis inmediatamente se nos vienen a la mente dos palabras por asociación: el escritor Franz Kafka y su obra literaria con el mismo nombre (Metamorfosis); y una mariposa. Sin embargo, quiero decirles que además de estas dos palabras, también se me viene a la mente la imagen de las alas de un ángel. O mejor dicho un ángel con sus repectivas alas. Y aún no es el momento de ponerme trascendental ni mística en este escrito; pero sinceramente, esto también es de lo primero que mi mente asocia cuando escucha esa palabra; además de un diamante.

Las alas de ángel hacen alusión al hecho de que de alguna manera siempre he buscado que todas mis acciones y decisiones en esta encarnación, tengan un propósito más elevado que lo cotidiano a lo que cual todos estamos obligados a cumplir para sobrevivir. Y este año sin lugar a dudas fue un aspecto que retomé con fuerza.

Pero de manera más específica, me gustaría compartir con ustedes algunas de las experiencias más significativas que tuve en este 2017:

  • Publiqué mi libro India Digerida Para Occidente

El haber podido publicar un libro por mi misma; es un proceso que me hizo valorar muchísimo más a los grandes escritores de la antiguedad. Me refiero a aquellos autores de la literatura universal; como por ejemplo, mi favorito: Alejandro Dumas padre.

¿Saben? Redactar un libro implica mucho de ti; disciplina, dedicación y responsabilidad para escribir aún cuando no quieres hacerlo, porque ciertamente habrá días en los que no tengas NADA de inspiración, estés cansad@, o simplemente estes fastidiad@ y no quieras hacerlo…Pero HAY QUE HACERLO. Y otra cosa muy importante es no perder la fe aún cuando todo se vea adverso en el proceso de publicación; ya que no debemos olvidar que a final de cuentas, las casas editoriales son un negocio y éstas se mantienen del comercio; por lo tanto, siempre buscarán que los proyectos que van a publicar además de ser buenos sean con gran potencial comercial. De otra manera aunque tu manuscrito internamente tenga potencial de bestseller, si comercialmente no es muy llamativo, seguramente será un trabajo arduo consiguer la casa editorial que te represente.

Después de este punto, me gustaría pasar al segundo que va de la mano con el primero:

  • Me comprometí a escribir de por vida

No sabemos con exactitud como nuestra existencia podrá dejar un legado, o huella en el tiempo o en la historia; tal vez ni siquiera pensamos en que esto pueda ser posible; o simplemente no es un tema de preocupación para algunas personas…Pero si la trascendencia es un tema que de alguna manera resuena contigo; creo que la escritura es una de las mejores maneras de trabajar por alcanzarlo. Y en este 2017 yo me comprometí a ello. En medio de shots de mezcal y de manera totalmente franca y natural, creo que mi corazón habló el sábado 16 de diciembre cuando le dije a mi compañera Paty Fong -que estaba conmigo en un tianguis de libros llamado “GDL Edita”-, que definitivamente ahora era consciente del poder de la escritura y como en un libro dejas un pedazo de tu vida, tu espíritu y tu ser; y que todas aquellas personas que llegan a tenerlo en sus manos, siempre tendrán una parte de ti; y que por eso a partir de ese día, me comprometía por el resto de mis días a seguir escribiendo. No crean que fue locura por el mezcal, fue muy real; simplemente que el mezcal sacó a la luz lo que ya había adentro…

  • Conocí a un mentor

Dios trabaja de maneras muy misteriosas…Sí. ¿El destino existe? Sí.

Durante mucho tiempo siempre había anhelado tener a una persona que de alguna manera pudiese ser un mentor para mí. Había estado receptiva para tal oportunidad, pero simplemente no se había presentado…Hasta que llegó.

Llegó el 10 de octubre de 2017, cuando tuve la gran dicha de conocer en persona a Leandro Taub. Y no sólo de conocerlo, sino de trabajar con él en la organización de su Gira Americana para Guadalajara. Llegó de golpe, inesperado, como un reto, a contrareloj, pero definitivamente, de la mejor manera y cuando tenía que llegar. Bien dice el dicho que: El maestr@ llega cuando el alumn@ está listo. Y así fue.

Trabajar con Leandro ha sido una de las experiencias más enriquecedoras de toda mi vida, porque me enseñó aspectos muy prácticos e interesantes en cuanto al área profesional; pero sobre todo, por las enseñanzas en el área personal e interna. Les voy a decir una cosa: Esa fue el mayor tesoro; no la parte profesional, porque en la enseña personal yo pude conocer a Leandro de manera auténtica, real, cómo él es, la persona y no el hombre de las conferencias; es decir, conocerlo verdaderamente como persona. Eso fue magia y esa interacción fue gran parte de la enseña.

También fue el primer pincelazo de que el destino EXISTE. Es real amig@s. Pero ¿De qué manera? Con las personas con las que conocemos y que su interacción con nosotros es significativa; es decir, no son un “hola y adiós”, sino con un próposito o causa en específico. Esas situaciones no las podemos controlar nosotros, están fuera de nuestro alcance y esa si que es una prueba irrefutable de que el destino, así como el libre albedrío, existe.

Por cierto, lo más interesante de todo esto es que a Leandro la primera vez que lo contacté fue para pedirle que escribiera el prólogo de mi libro India Digerida Para Occidente, que él muy amablemente aceptó sin siquiera conocerme en persona. Él me respondió un correo diciendo que sí, tres días después de mi cumpleaños en 2016. Ahí fue el primer contacto y el resto ya lo saben…

  • Acepté que el destino existe, así como el libro albedrío

Este punto ya lo toqué un poco en los párrafos anteriores, sin embargo, aquí tengo otra razón más para reafirmarlo.

Verán, en 2014 cuando viajé por primera vez a la India para hacer unos voluntariados conocí a un grupo de amigos, por una amiga en común del Club de Leones Internacional. Ahí conocí a un amigo que se llama Viswanajit Dilip,-Vish para los amig@s-, y tanto él como otros tres amig@s más, andábamos por todos lado recorriendo la ciudad. Ahora en 2017 lo he vuelto a encontrar en Manzanillo, Colima, México; mi tierra natal; ya que él es marino de la marina mercante. Y ustedes dirán “Eso qué, no es nada extraordinario que llegue a Manzanillo, pues es marino”; claro, eso no es lo extraordinario; lo es el hecho de como todo se configuró para que eso pudiera ocurrir:

Primero que nada el hecho de conocerlo en Mumbai: todo tuvo que encajar perfectamente en tiempo y lugar para ello; luego el hecho de que soy originaria de un puerto -porque también yo pude haber nacido en otro lugar de México-; después, el hecho de que él sea marino y coincidan sus rutas a ese puerto en específico; y finalmente, que las fechas de su barco empataran exactamente con las mías cuando iba a ir de vacaciones a mi tierra. Todo esto se lee muy fácil, pero les aseguro que de haber querido ponernos de acuerdo, ¡Jamás lo hubiésemos logrado! Eso es el destino y es la prueba más fehaciente de que existen algunas cosas ya escritas que nosotros no podemos decidir o controlar; mismas que determinarán parte de nuestras experiencias y existencia; (como el lugar donde nacemos, nuestra familia, entre otras) un punto es eso y otro más son las personas que conocemos. Estos factores están fuera de nuestro dominio y son piezas clave de la historia que ya tenemos escrita desde antes de nacer; no obstante, cómo decía Steve Jobs:

“Tarde o temprano todas las piezas terminan encajando…”

Amig@s, les deseo a todos un GRAN AÑO 2018. Que tengan la fuerza y determinación para superar cualquier obstáculo y alcanzar sus metas, anhelos y sueños; el amor y creatividad que conlleva el concretarlos; así como la paz y sabiduría para la inspiración de los mismos.

Que sus seres queridos formen parte de esos sueños y anhelos y que siempre sientan que sus vidas tiene un propósito mayor ¡Para que puedan vivirlas siempre apasionados!

Con cariño,

Lily Campos.

Ode to Boredom

You don’t have to fill every waking moment with productivity

We have this capacity for focus but we are living it in a context where we are continually moving from one stimulus to the next in search of the dopamine experience where we’re rewarded by the next email or the next re-tweet or the next thing that comes into our phone rather often.

This is a quote from author and Neuroscientist Sam Harris, featured in the 2015 film Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

We live our days responding to stimuli.

Because of our addiction to busyness, every potentially idle moment turns into a chance to catch up on digital backlog — to reply to messages or check our email.

We don’t appreciate how precious idle moments are, in our hyperconnected, hyperactive digital age.

Idle moments allow your brain to rest

We need regular rest from all the stimuli. Being on constant alert mode will eventually exhaust us.

Idle moments re-set your mind

We need that break to snap out of reactive mode and take control of our minds again.

Idle moments make way for new ideas

When we escape being stimulus-responders, our mind is empowered to be proactive, thoughtful, and creative.

In the Netflix series Abstract, Paula Scher says to allow yourself to be bored. She says ideas can come to her when she’s in a taxi, looking out the window. Not checking Whatsapp.

Embrace boredom

Allowing ourselves to have idle moments give us a chance to breathe. In our hyperactive lives, being less busy does wonders for the soul.

Less busy = more alive.

Less busy, more _________________________.

The blank is yours to fill.

In Defense of Being Nonproductive

Jack and Georgie taking a moment to relax.

Ever since Alex Duloz asked me a few months ago to write a post for his collective blog on productivity, SuperYesMore, I’ve been thinking about how incomplete productivity is in evaluating a designer’s work. Of course it’s necessary to consider what can get done related to time and resources. But focusing solely on productivity as a measure misses two key aspects of design work, both of which are often seen as unproductive.


  1. Asking Questions, Validating Assumptions

One of the biggest challenges designers face day-to-day is clarity, not speed. As designers, we are trained to first define the problem, then look for solutions. So we ask questions like, what problem are we solving? what do our users’ need? what are they values? how does our product fit into their lives? Unfortunately some of the people we work with see research as time consuming. We’re often told that even though we are asking good questions, the business has a solid sense of what is needed, so why not go ahead and start designing? There are, after all, six engineers sitting around waiting to begin coding.

This is such a big problem that I have started using the definition of User Experience that is based on research:

UX is a process for evidence-based design.

User research takes time (anything worth doing does) and often does not produce specific deliverables that can be built against; therefore, it can be viewed as non-productive. But this is shortsighted. Research’s goal is to understand what is needed for a design to be successful. This reduces requirements churn and assures the team that they are building the right solution. This reduces waste over the long-term and should be considered when evaluating team productivity, efficiency, and speed.


2. Thinking Outside the Box

The other area where productivity becomes problematic for designers is creativity. Designers need time to reflect, try new things, and look at things from different perspectives. But creativity is not linear and is very difficult to time box.

The trouble with seeing creativity as non-productive is that it ignores its inherent non-linear nature. One cannot force creative ideas — creativity needs to be nurtured and treated like a favored guest.

This is because creativity is not a product of the will. Research has shown that focusing on a problem actually inhibits the brain’s ability to make connections between concepts that the conscious mind may not see. This is why “a-ha!” moments arrive during monotonous activities like showering or exercising. Routines don’t require mental focus, so the mind is free to make creative associations.

Designers need to stop producing work periodically and focus on other tasks or simply take a break. Doing something different, even if it is routine, can allow one the mental freedom needed for new thoughts to make their way to our conscious minds.


How do you and your organization approach productivity? Do you make room for asking questions? Do you encourage slack time, doing things differently, mixing things up? If you don’t because they are seen as a waste of time, you need to revisit your ideas of what it means to be productive.

The Secret to Doing Great Work: Heirarchical vs. Territorial Work

“In the animal kingdom, individuals define themselves in one of two ways — by their rank with hierarchy (a hen in a pecking order, a wolf pack) or by their connection to a territory (a home base, a hunting ground, a turf). This is how individuals — humans as well as animals — achieve psychological security. They know where they stand. The world makes sense.”

– Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art

I spent this past week in Paris. While I was technically helping my wife show her handbags (Shameless Plug #1) for the first time in the City of Light, I was excited to have some time to release my mind and body from everyday life. Nowadays it takes work to unwind and just be. Life is so hectic, connected, and filled with noise that most of us expend all our energy just trying to keep up, and I for one don’t always remember how to take it easy. So this week I made an effort to do just that.

I slept late. I ate lots of baguettes, along with truffle camembert and foie gras with figs. I explored Paris by foot, and I read. One of the books I dove into deeply was The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I can’t think of a better book to read in Paris. It is a monumental work — a must read for so many reasons. It makes you reassess your decisions, evaluate your processes, and it inspires you to greater action.

One of the key concepts in the book is the idea of working hierarchically vs. territorially. It deeply resonated with me — so much so that I am going to go ahead and attempt to share the cliff notes with all y’all.

Since the beginning of time, humans have been organizing themselves in hierarchies. This is the default setting for organizing tribes and aligns perfectly with our commercially-oriented materialist society. A hierarchy is built on difference — someone has more and someone has less, whether it be power, money, or status.

For example, in a traditional corporation, a C-level executive has more power and influence than a vice president or director. Due to the expectations that come with these titles, each individual usually settles into their role in the organization and inside work relationships . When and if that role changes, or one receives a promotion or demotion, the person’s self-worth and happiness adjust accordingly. The same applies to high school, politics, religions, and the majority of social structures in our world.

Defining yourself hierarchically, while widely accepted, can be catastrophic to many — not least creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs. Why? Well, when you define yourself hierarchically…

  1. You will evaluate your self-worth and experience a level of fulfillment directly related to where you stand within the hierarchy.
  2. You will constantly be competing and comparing to those above and below you within the hierarchy.
  3. You will act toward others based on your place within the hierarchy.
  4. Finally, you will take actions based on how it affects your place within the hierarchy, as opposed to what will lead to your highest levels of fulfillment and best work.

For those of you that have read my book (Shameless Plus #2), or my sermons, you know that the hierarchical orientation is focused externally and that sustainable fulfillment can only come from an internal orientation. It can only come from within. Looking to external sources for your self-worth produces a life and work that is contrived, and any positive feelings you experience are generally fleeting.

The alternative to working hierarchically is working territorially. This style of work has an internal orientation and is defined in the following manner:

  1. Your sustenance comes from the act. A runner knows they will feel great after they put in their miles. A photographer will feel wonderful after they take their pictures. And an entrepreneur will feel fulfilled after nudging their idea one step closer to reality. When working territorially, the energy to do more work comes solely from the work — from continuing to follow your path. It is self-sustaining.
  2. When working territorially, no external input is required. Here’s a question to ask yourself: If you were the last person on earth, would you still do the work? According to Steven Pressfield, “If you are alone on the planet, a hierarchical orientation makes no sense. There’s no one to impress. So, if you’d still pursue that activity, congratulations, you are doing it territorially…. We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”
  3. Your territory can only be claimed when you put in the work. You are not a writer unless you write. You are not a runner unless you run. You are not an entrepreneur unless you start a business. When working territorially, you get back what you put in.

When you are working hierarchically, your sustenance and security come from external energies, such as approval, power, or material wealth. But when you are working territorially, your sustenance and security come solely from within, generated by “the act itself, not the impression it makes on others.”

This is why it is so crucial for artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs to work territorially. You are in control of your fulfillment and not subject to the constantly varying input of external sources.

While I have always loved living in the United States, our current cultural climate feels oriented far more hierarchically than territorially. We are constantly looking at what other people are doing on platforms like Instagram and comparing ourselves to other countries like China. This focus on status and difference is a danger to our continued cultivation of innovation and thought leadership. One of the striking things about Paris is its embrace of homegrown cultural individuality. The French seem to have cultivated a more territorial orientation. Paris is one of the few places I have been recently that’s more concerned with its own heritage and distinct ideas than with adopting globalization like everywhere else in the world. Our country would benefit from spending a little less time worrying about the global pecking order and instead focusing on what we do best — creating the future.

Click here for more like this or to get our new book, The Age of Ideas

LIFE IS CALLING MY NAME

This is how I think people see me. Hidden in the trees of my surrounding. Blending in where it’s safe. Others ignoring and walking by.

The worst part is that nobody really tries to find me.

It’s the anger that scares me. I feel like I’ve just downed a full cup of brandy and my belly is on fire.

I’m still mad. I’m still grieving. The attention I crave is tiring. I hate that I can’t manage or feel like I’m enough.

The cuts aren’t deep, but the loneliness leaves a gaping hole.

I spent the day sorting and cleaning. Feel so uplifted by a clean and new shower curtain.

The light came on and in a moment of self discovery I noticed, much like a pregnant women nesting, I was preparing.

Driving home from a dash to the store to get coffee, my sadness enveloped me. I remembered I was furious.

With myself.

I should have conveyed to my father that he was desperately wanted. It’s been over 20 years and I can still go right to the moment I lost him. Forever.

I should haves haunt me. I should have told him his grandchildren loved him. I didn’t bring them around. I judged him, I wish I can take that back. He didn’t feel a stronghold and wasted away.

I have sought healing and even had a visit, that will make it easier. It’s a lie we all tell.

We gather. Say goodbye. People say now you can rest. Another myth. Our loved ones absence is always going to be felt.

I picture the depression as a colander, as we heap on well wishes and loving thoughts we fill the deep cavern of ugliness, and like sand it runs out and we’re left empty.

My soul and illness is weak like that. I need to be told again and again it will get better.

I fuck up and the resolve breaks apart. I start the process of loosing him all over again. The season is never easy.

When I imagine a slight the paranoia seeps up, adding holes to my cup.

I compare; social lives, friends, and the acid burns through even more.

The future is threatening, without a job and, sounds silly, no laptop that was part of my finished contract.

It’s just stuff.

I give, and that makes me feel better. Seriously. I recommend it. Message me and I’ll send my banking info.

I will never tell you to “move on” just know there are those of us who do understand.

If I’m being honest I have bad intentions at times. For instance I don’t need a job or a laptop to be happy.

Without the job the laptop is redundant 😂 anyway. I mean I never used it, except for the stories I gotta submit. We have a skills Center, and I would rather use that resource. It’ll keep me from putting “drop box” in the recycle bin.

The thing is, my deepest desire (Luther Morningstar flashed by just now) is to feel needed.

Maybe my dad ached for the same thing.

Difference is, I will budge my way into my children’s lives. I can demand gently to have a presence.

I know the alternative, death is not an option. His completed suicide taught me that. My role isn’t over and I won’t rob anyone of my smiling face, even if you don’t want me around, I have at least 8 people who do.

The growing pains of life will always be here too, so I might as well stick around.

Bully my daughter, act like you’ve never made a mistake, call gentle beings down, look down your nose at us, tell me I’m not worthy of your time, it’s not the first time and I’m damn well sure it’s not the last.

Keep punching, I will stand my ground, absorb, and, expel that poison.

My children melt netting over the leaks of my emptiness, their compassion bathes me in light.

We are all human. We all screw up. But, Jesus, god, whomever you believe brings you strength, will send someone to save you.

I’ll be over here, being someone’s whole world, because he’s called me in on countless occasions.

I JUST REALIZED I AM BUILDING A “SOCIAL COMPANY”…

I took the photo at a growth hack event that happened at Co-Creation Hub
SENPAI IS MY BABY

DECEMBER 2015

MAY 2016

Learning about design returned me to my long lost love. Tech

Zuck comes to nigeria…

Applying to Y Combinator.

TODAY

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Five things you can do when you feel uninspired

Today I started a challenge to produce something every day for 30 days — no matter how big or small: it could be an article, a blog post, a short Instagram story or even something of a physical nature like a little piece of art (chocolate cakes don’t count!).

While I’m normally overflowing with ideas thanks to my creative brain, I was feeling incredibly uninspired this morning.

Digging through my memories of moments like this in the past, there are things which have always gotten me back on the ‘creative bandwagon’.

Here are my 5 tips:

  1. Go for a walk. Walking has been my salvation this year. In July this year I went on a walkabout and walked a little over 250 km from the United States to Vancouver Island in Canada (I also took a ferry obviously, doh). This walk quite literally changed my life and I have never felt so much in ‘creative flow’. Walking is like a meditation on some levels and sometimes I feel like moving your body with the stimulation of the changing environment around you is all you need to get back into flow. I’m not saying you have to start hiking for days, but sometimes a little walk in the park gets your creative juices back into flow just as well. I try to get out of the house every morning with a coffee in my keep cup! Even if it’s just a walk around the block, I usually end up coming back to the house with a new business idea.
  2. Watch a TED Talk. As humans we are so prone to look for comfort and it’s easy to flick on a mindless TV show when you’re feeling bored. But I believe rarely have you ever felt the sudden urge to jump off the couch when binging on the latest season of Game of Thrones? Instead, swap Netflix with TED and get inspired by the one of the 1000s of talks on topics about science, humanity, self-development and many more.
  3. Music, music, music. Crank up the volume on your headphones or turn up your sound system at home and most importantly be shameless — whatever works for you — 80s, Grease, Justin Bieber or Metallica, who cares if it gets you back in the mood? For me it’s trashy pop and I’m not ashamed (okay a little bit). Music can be like swallowing a happy pill and it works really well for me when I feel down, too. Half the time I end up dancing and singing around the house, and I forget I didn’t feel a million dollars a few minutes ago. (By the way this is part of my daily routine.)
  4. Do some… drumroll… cleaning. This one’s an odd one. I’m not sure this works for everyone — please let me know in the comments if you can relate to it. I know it sounds super boring but I’m pretty sure all of us have experienced this effect at some stage (maybe not with cleaning but with something else). You start doing one little thing and once you’ve completed that, all of a sudden you notice your motivation rising and next thing you know you’re pulling stuff from your shelves and giving the house a spring clean. Sound familiar? Read the do-something article if you’re keen to understand why it works.
  5. Make someone a present. This shifts your attention away from yourself (and your creative void) and onto someone else instead. Think about a little note you could leave for your friend/partner/mother or whoever to brighten up their day. If they’re not close to you, send them a little card in the mail or if you’re bold, order flowers for them. Even sending them a little whatsapp voice message is also a good place to start.
    And hey — who doesn’t like making other people happy?

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I’m keen to hear what works for you. Share how you stay inspired in the comments!

Follow me on instagram if you want to stay on track with my 30-day challenge . I actually only came up with that idea when I wrote this article, so technically I lied above. I’m sorry. Have an inspiring day anyhow. Byeeeee.

What my brain feels like when I’m inspired.

Steal like an Artist — Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
  • “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.” — David Bowie
  • What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.
  • Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.

Filmmaker John Waters has said, “Nothing is more important than an unread library.”

  • Carry a notebook and a pen with you wherever you go.
  • Fake it ’til you make it. I love this phrase. There are two ways to read it:
    1.
    Pretend to be something you’re not until you are — fake it until you’re successful, until everybody sees you the way you want them to; or
    2.
    Pretend to be making something until you actually make something.
  • “We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice. And that’s how you begin. And then one day someone will steal from you.” — Francis Ford Coppola
  • In the end, merely imitating your heroes is not flattering them. Transforming their work into something of your own is how you flatter them. Adding something to the world that only you can add.
  • Whenever you’re at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself, “What would make a better story?”
  • The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use — do the work you want to see done.
  • “We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is that we do not get them from our laptops.” — John Cleese
  • […] computer is really good for editing your ideas, and it’s really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, but it’s not really good for generating ideas.
  • […] have two desks in my office — one is “analog” and one is “digital.” The analog desk has nothing but markers, pens, pencils, paper, index cards, and newspaper. Nothing electronic is allowed on that desk.
  • If you’re out of ideas, wash the dishes. Take a really long walk. Stare at a spot on the wall for as long as you can.
  • It’s so important to have a hobby. A hobby is something creative that’s just for you. You don’t try to make money or get famous off it, you just do it because it makes you happy.
  • You’ll never get that freedom back again once people start paying you attention, and especially not once they start paying you money.
  • Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts. Use it.
  • Franz Kafka wrote, “It isn’t necessary that you leave home. Sit at your desk and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t wait, be still and alone. The whole world will offer itself to you.” And Kafka was born a century before the Internet!
  • […] always carry a book, a pen, and a notepad, and I always enjoy my solitude and temporary captivity.
  • […] brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.
  • There’s only one reason I’m here: I’m here to make friends.
  • You’re only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with.
  • “Find the most talented person in the room, and if it’s not you, go stand next to him. Hang out with him. Try to be helpful.”
  • If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.
  • “The best way to get approval is to not need it.”
  • Write a blog post about someone’s work that you admire and link to their site.
  • not. The important thing is that you show your appreciation without expecting anything in return, and that you get new work out of the appreciation.
  • That’s why I put every really nice e-mail I get in a special folder. (Nasty e-mails get deleted immediately.) When those dark days roll around and I need a boost, I open that folder and read through a couple e-mails. Then I get back to work. Try it: Instead of keeping a rejection file, keep a praise file. Use it sparingly — don’t get lost in past glory — but keep it around for when you need the lift.
  • “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” — Gustave Flaubert
  • A day job gives you money, a connection to the world, and a routine. Freedom from financial stress also means freedom in your art.
  • Establishing and keeping a routine can be even more important than having a lot of time.
  • The comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a calendar method that helps him stick to his daily joke writing. He suggests that you get a wall calendar that shows you the whole year. Then, you break your work into daily chunks. Each day, when you’re finished with your work, make a big fat X in the day’s box. Every day, instead of just getting work done, your goal is to just fill a box. “After a few days you’ll have a chain,” Seinfeld says. “Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
  • “If you ask yourself ‘What’s the best thing that happened today?’ it actually forces a certain kind of cheerful retrospection that pulls up from the recent past things to write about that you wouldn’t otherwise think about. If you ask yourself ‘What happened today?’ it’s very likely that you’re going to remember the worst thing, because you’ve had to deal with it — you’ve had to rush somewhere or somebody said something mean to you — that’s what you’re going to remember. But if you ask what the best thing is, it’s going to be some particular slant of light, or some wonderful expression somebody had, or some particularly delicious salad.”
  • Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying.
  • The way to get over creative block is to simply place some constraints on yourself. It seems contradictory, but when it comes to creative work, limitations mean freedom. Write a song on your lunch break. Paint a painting with only one color. Start a business without any start-up capital. Shoot a movie with your iPhone and a few of your friends. Build a machine out of spare parts. Don’t make excuses for not working — make things with the time, space, and materials you have, right now.
  • My favorite example? Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat with only 236 different words, so his editor bet him he couldn’t write a book with only 50 different words. Dr. Seuss came back and won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, one of the bestselling children’s books of all time.

“Telling yourself you have all the time in the world, all the money in the world, all the colors in the palette, anything you want — that just kills creativity.” — Jack White

  • What makes us interesting isn’t just what we’ve experienced, but also what we haven’t experienced.
  • What Now?
  • Talk a walk
  • Start your swipe file
  • Go to the library
  • Buy a notebook and use it
  • Get yourself a calendar
  • Start your logbook
  • Give a copy of this book away
  • Start a blog
  • Take a nap
  • Linda Barry, What It Is Hugh
  • MacLeod, Ignore Everybody
  • Jason Fried + David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework
  • Lewis Hyde, The Gift
  • Jonathan Lethem, The Ecstasy of Influence
  • David Shields, Reality Hunger
  • Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics
  • Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow
  • Ed Emberley, Make a World