I think half the battle of a creator is in finishing his or her projects. I wonder how many of the world’s greatest creators never created anything great, because while they may have had the intelligence and even the skill, they weren’t finishers. Finishing is part of the art. A guy I met once ran […]
I make a lot of decisions using intuition, which researchers are beginning to understand as more reliable and less mystical than previously thought. Intuition is really about pattern recognition, about subconsciously picking up on conflicting patterns in a situation. One of the more discussed examples of intuitive decision making has to do with a fire chief who, shortly after entering a burning house, commanded all his men leave the house immediately without really understanding why.
In John 7, Jesus decides to go to Galilee and avoid Judea because the Jews in Judea were hatching a plan to kill Him. I often turn my faith into voodoo like seances and emotion-filled prayers in seeking God’s will, while Jesus Himself just uses common sense. I’m not going to Judea, He says, because […]
My friend Ben, who is an accomplished photographer, told me a long time ago he got rid of the takers in his life. I’ve done the same, and it’s improved my life and relationships for the better. This is a harsh thing to talk about, because most of us think we are supposed to love and be accessible to everybody. But here’s the truth, if you were accessible to everybody, all the time, you’d be spent.
When you are criticized, you are going to want to create in retaliation, but don’t. As a creator, you are a person that feeds consumers, and you mustn’t feed consumers anger. Yes, there are reasons to be angry, good reasons, but don’t let anger evolve into the act of creating.
Not long ago a friend introduced me to a religious formula. He’d discovered some kind of method for interacting with God that had greatly helped him and he wanted me to try it. To be honest, I don’t fully remember what the formula was. I didn’t try it. I confess I might be a cynic, but I’m convinced there aren’t any religious formulas that work.
Last year, I caught my favorite poet Billy Collins at a reading in San Diego. In the interview section of the evening, Dean Nelson from Point Loma University asked him to share some advice he gives to his poetry students. Without having to think about it, Collins said, “Dare to be clear.”
Generally speaking, you are either a Republican or Democrat, a Calvinist or Arminian, you either believe we are shaped by nature or nurture, you either like Neil Diamond or you don’t, and even as you read this, you either agree with the statements I just made or you disagree. We think Fox News is brainwashing or truth-telling, we are Democratic or Marxists, evolutionists or creationists. There is either right or wrong, good or bad, beautiful or profane, right?
Last week somebody sent out a tweet quoting an old Polish proverb. It went like this: “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” I read it and laughed. I laughed because I happened to be visiting some friends in a small town who were up in arms about the location of a proposed playground. The proposed playground had the entire town at each others’ throats. I’ll repeat that: a proposed playground was dividing families, churches, school boards and on and on.
I’ve said it before, but it bares repeating: If you want to get some quality work done, turn off your phone. Of course, this may not apply to some of you. If you work at a call bank, obviously, or if your job requires you are able to be contacted, then you have to keep it on. But if you do creative work, or if you are able to go two to three hours without a phone, I think you’ll find the time remarkably productive.
The first time I joined a gym the trainer worked me out until I nearly died. She put me on a machine and had me lift the weights in sets of ten, decreasing the weights each time, doing as many sets as it would take until I literally couldn’t lift an empty bar. She wanted me to know what a workout felt like, and wanted to make sure the initial work out was as hard as it could be, so I’d have something to compare my subsequent workouts to. I think she hated men.