Friday, March 30, 2012

the itch of an imminent insight

I am reading a super cool book, IMAGINE: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. It is one of those books that I have highlighted more sections than not. 

One of my favorite bits is what the author calls "feelings of knowing", the times when our brain is sure that we know the answer if only we can keep thinking. Think of it as a tip-of-the-tongue moment. You run into an acquaintance and their name is... just give me a minute. Or the actor that is starring in that new movie... wait, wait... I've almost got it... We have all had that feeling where we are convinced that we know the answer.

So we keep thinking, because the next thought might be the answer.

And then, later, amid something else completely, we shout out "Kevin Bacon" in a moment of insight.

IMAGINE: How Creativity Works from Flash Rosenberg on Vimeo.

dreaming, doing, contributing

I just read 
by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

The authors' opening anecdote of a goldsmith who brought an unusual dinner plate to the court of Emperor Tiberius has stayed in my brain.

The goldsmith proudly displayed to the Roman Emperor Tiberius a shiny plate he’d made from a new metal extracted from clay (aluminum) using a secret method only he understood.

The emperor was indeed impressed: He saw this new shiny metal as a possible threat to the value of his large gold and silver stockpiles, so instead of rewarding the goldsmith, he had him beheaded.

The authors’ point is that it's not about resources, it's about access. Eventually, aluminum became dirt-cheap, thanks to advances in technology and we now use it with a 'throw-away' mentality. 

History is littered with once rare resources made plentiful with innovation. Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism.
I keep coming back to the idea that creative ideas are our ultimate resource... and teaching our children how to nourish their creativity and curiosity, is the best way to prepare them to "liberate" that resource.
Abundance is about creating a world of possibility. A world where everyone's days are spent dreaming, doing, and contributing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

a prologue to now

Do you remember in The Tempest where Shakespeare wrote, "What's past is prologue." ?

Everything that has happened to you in the past has been a preparation for the wonderful life that lies ahead of you in the future. 

Remember the rule as Gandhi puts it: The future depends on what we do in the present. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

daring greatly

Brene Brown is the author of the fantastic book, The Gifts of Imperfection.
I read her book back in 2010 and fell in love.

This is her 2012 TED talk...

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." ~Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, March 15, 2012

cooperation and evolution

"The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation — a force for construction and destruction.” 
~ Jonathan Haidt

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt asks a simple, but difficult question: why do we search for self-transcendence? Why do we attempt to lose ourselves?

Haidt is the author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion and the super awesome book, The Happiness Hypothesis.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

when multiplied

We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

~Howard Zinn

Sunday, March 11, 2012

something deep inside us...

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine, "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?" This is his answer:

... and when Neil DeGrasse Tyson shows up to give a speech to the U.S. Senate Committee of Science on the importance of science funding in our country and only 4 out of the 25 members of the Senate Science Committee even bother to show up... 
maybe it's time to get a new science committee.

We're the kind of species that needs a frontier....

Monday, March 5, 2012


I'm reading the book 'Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room' by David Weinberger.
"Russell Ackoff, a leading organizational theorist, 
sketched a pyramid that has probably 
been redrawn on a white board every hour since... 
Ackoff was not the first person to propose this 
data-information-knowledge-wisdom (DIKW) idea."

Think about T.S. Eliot who wrote these lines:

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

Then, today, I came upon this TED talk that helped me make a few connections between data and information and thinking and what we ultimately call wisdom:

Perhaps, all knowledge and experience is an interpretation. Thinking is infinite and unbounded, but add in some perspective and creativity... and you have a thing of beauty.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

free your mind

Every day, all day long, there is a story unfolding in your mind. It's the story you're telling yourself about who you are, and what your world is all about.

The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.