I’ve read many books that have changed me and my direction in life. Sometimes it’s a slight course correction, and sometimes it’s a 90-degree handbrake turn. Once it happens, there is no going back. You can’t help become a lover of books and see the magic in them.
Still, saying books are “magic” might seem a stretch for some people.
But let’s consider this: words or “funny dark squiggles” on a page can fundamentally change how you see the world and the direction you take in life; can transport you across millennia and into the mind of another person; can…
There was a time when I would have guessed coffee shops were the worst place to write.
“Surely I need calm and quiet to do my best writing?” I’d think. “Won’t the cacophony of sounds and chattering hipsters wreak havoc on my ability to focus?”
Since I’ve started using coffee shops to write, my output has increased. Often, I find I can get more done in 2–3 hours in a coffee shop than a full day at home. But, most noticeable, is the fact that I’ve felt much more creative amongst the chaos.
If you ask most writers, they’ll tell you that writing is hard — except for the moments they manage to “get in the zone,” also known as a flow state.
In Flow, words cascade from the mind onto the page in a perfectly formed sequence. Instead of the struggle of knowing what to write, many writers find it hard to keep up with the stream of ideas bursting to come out.
It can almost feel like you are witness to the article being written, as opposed to the one writing it — and it feels damn good.
The problem for…
Sometimes stories and parables teach us something that words and facts alone cannot. That’s because humans are “wired” for stories; they emotionally engage us and help us make sense of the world. They’ve also been a tool to impart wisdom and teachings from generation to generation since the dawn of language.
When powerful stories ring true and resonate with us, they can change the lens through which we see the world.
I first heard this short Taoist parable from an Australian guy I met while backpacking almost 10 years ago. Talking about life late one night, after a few beers…
This year it will be 20 years since I first picked up a guitar.
I’ve put thousands of hours and literal blood, sweat, and tears into that instrument, and it has all been worth it.
Did I become the rock star I wanted to as a young teenager? Eh, no — but that’s OK.
Reflecting back on my progress on guitar over the last 20 years, I realize that I’ve learned so much about the learning process itself. …
An undeniable demonstration of the power of sports star celebrity took place during a Euro 2020 soccer tournament press conference.
Sitting down to answer questions from journalists in Budapest, soccer player Christiano Ronaldo probably didn't intend to send shockwaves out into the stock market — but that’s exactly what happened.
As he leans into his chair, he notices two bottles of coke sitting on the table beside him, in full view of the press. …
When faced with problems or challenging creative tasks we can often hit a wall and feel completely stuck. We’ve all been there — it’s frustrating!
Our initial impulse might be to go harder — to double down. We might think the best thing to do is to keep forcing ourselves to try and squeeze out a solution. But we usually just get more frustrated.
In an interview with Dr. Ranjan Chatterjee, Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin, Shane O’Mara offered two counterintuitive but effective techniques that anyone can use to approach problem-solving and finding creative solutions.
I believe so —yet, not everyone “creates.”
That is because true original creativity is hard. It requires “birthing” something — often we’re not really sure what — into the world. First, we get inspired with an idea or a message we think is worth sharing; then we start feeling compelled to put it out there — to make it a reality.
We feel deep down it could be good once it‘s done. We can almost picture it in its finished form, but it's hazy. It's not going to come out without a fight.
Embarking on a creative journey to bring…
We all know how crazy 2020 was. One “consolation” for me of being locked-down for most of the year was that I had more time than usual to do what I enjoy: reading books, listening to podcasts with fascinating people, watching documentaries, and discovering new music.
I did a lot of each of these in 2020, and it helped make the year better.
I love how powerful books, conversations, and documentaries can change people’s minds and opinions — and even change their lives. …
“Books are the tools that release the heavens of your mind.” — Daniel Ally
I had a misguided view of reading when I was growing up. Frankly, I thought it was boring, that readers were nerds, and that there were much better ways to spend one’s time. How wrong I was!
Reading just wasn’t part of my life when I was younger; it wasn’t encouraged. I did read some books — usually as part of the school curriculum — but I didn’t catch the bug and start reading seriously until my late 20’s.
Ever since I got hooked, reading has…