June, 2012

a cool mental trick to help make you more creative (…and totally hot and fit and rich…)

I’m in freaking Scotland.

(Edinburgh is stunning, but Mike Myers is in my head, shouting “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!” Over and over again. Help me.)

I joined my boyfriend at TEDGlobal and he told me something interesting he picked up in one of the presentations — I’m assuming it was by Keith Chen — about how your weight and money problems might be to blame on your grammar.

It goes something like this. Different languages have different ways of talking about the future. Some languages, like English, use a future tense (“They will be having wild animal sex”) to indicate that the action hasn’t happened yet, while other languages, like Mandarin, mostly use present tense (“They have wild animal sex”) and depend not on grammar but the context (“next Wednesday at midnight while swinging from the trapeze”) to establish that the action hasn’t happened yet.

Chen, an economist, divides countries into those with a future tense and those without and discovers an intriguing correlation. Countries that speak a language with a future tense — like English — tend to smoke more, save less, exercise less, and be more overweight.

Language structures our way of thinking, and the future tense serves to distance us from the future — the future is happening somewhere out there — while the present tense click here

Jun 29, 2012 · 14 Comments / ADD YOURS

the art of (re)inventing yourself

“I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” — Augusten Burroughs.

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I dressed up as the kind of person who liked to party with Marie Antoinette. A friend loaned me the costume, which had been custom-made for a gorgeous younger woman no longer attending the event. The costume was amazing. And somewhat complicated. It came with instructions. They began with:

slip on the ruffled panties

and went from there.

When the messenger dropped it off, my girlfriend and I zipped open the garment bag and went through the different pieces and promptly assumed that something was missing. Like perhaps a bottom half click here

Jun 25, 2012 · 9 Comments / ADD YOURS

it’s about who you are at core

It’s about who you are at core + what you’re meant to do + how to live the creative life with purpose, impact and a little bit of swagger.

It’s about meaning, self-expression and mastery. It’s about writing your own life story and following your own agenda (and figuring out what that agenda even is in the first place). It’s about rejecting the good girl/bad girl dichotomy bullshit and choosing, instead, to be a badass. It’s about deepening your relationship to yourself, others, the world. It’s about following your intuition and keeping your head. It’s about clarity. It’s about letting go of what you need to let go of so the cool new stuff can enter. It’s about making epic shit. click here

Jun 20, 2012 · 18 Comments / ADD YOURS

why goals can be overrated

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I wonder if sometimes we get so hung up on a goal that we disconnect from the dream.

Human beings are remarkably lousy when it comes to predicting the things that will make us happy. Which is ironic, given how many of us state that our main goal in life is to Be Happy. But when happiness is your goal, it becomes just like any other goal. You’re busy chasing it down — it belongs in the future. What about now? Has your ‘real life’ started yet?

There’s happiness, and there’s hedonism. Hedonism is awesome in its own right – if anyone tells you different, they’re lying – although, as with any force of nature, you must treat it with respect or pay a heavy price.

It’s a high and a buzz and a thrill, and arrives in fabulous outfits, but it is not deep joy.

Joy is harder.

It’s in our nature to pursue meaning, to find and make meaning, and deep joy is an indirect benefit of that. Which means it’s often bittersweet. It comes shaded with loss and pain.

Meaning seems to come out of struggle. Something happens to us, our life takes a zig when we planned for it to zag, and we’re forced to figure out what to make of it all. We have to decide how to tell the story, even as it’s still unfolding. How you explain your past shapes the present and creates the future. The beginning of any story contains the seeds of that story’s end. click here

Jun 12, 2012 · 12 Comments / ADD YOURS

the badass art of saying No (+ creating what you want)

A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble. — Gandhi

Every creative change begins with an intentional ‘No’ to the status quo. — William Ury

Once upon a time, someone asked Michelangelo about his creative process. Dude replied:

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

When it comes to creating the life that you want – as opposed to living a life that others create for you – the ability to say No is like the chisel you use to “hew away the rough walls” that would imprison the “lovely apparition” of both your self and your vision for your life.

‘No’ is a power word, and a lot of us tend to be ambivalent about power. We see it as a threat to relationship: you can have one or the other, power or love, but not both. click here

Jun 10, 2012 · 9 Comments / ADD YOURS

the art of turning minimalist: carving out creativity in a hamster-wheel consumer culture

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In his book HOW WILL YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFE? Clayton Christensen explores the decisions people make that result in happy or unhappy lives (and possibly jail time).

One way to doom yourself to unhappiness is to choose a job based on compensation alone.

Christensen distinguishes between hygiene factors and motivation factors.

Hygiene factors are the things that can’t make you love your job (or, presumably, your life) – but can cause you all sorts of problems.

Bad hygiene must get fixed, or you’ll get miserable.

Compensation, it turns out, is a hygiene factor. You have to feel that your compensation is fair. If it isn’t, you’ll be pissed. But if it improves, you’re not going to suddenly be happy (if you aren’t already) click here

Jun 7, 2012 · 7 Comments / ADD YOURS

the art of learning your shadow (+ how it makes you more creative)

“I believe the best way to examine anything is to go to a dark place. You can’t be a storyteller and a speechwriter at the same time.” — Joss Whedon

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Making friends with your shadow side could unlock your creative potential and help you bust through any blocks you might be experiencing.

I know, it might sound a bit…woo-woo…like I’ll start talking about animal totems next. But the Jungian idea of the Shadow has always intrigued me, especially as I get older and more sensitive to how it plays out in my own life. click here

Jun 2, 2012 · 36 Comments / ADD YOURS
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