Don’t Let the Limits Bother You

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Creativity blossoms out of limits.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

Excuses are form of our own thoughts limiting our own actions. Let go of excuses.

Beliefs what is or is not possible is a form of limitation. Do not let beliefs hold you back, look to open up possibilities.

What we have achieved before, does not mean something is impossible. It has just merely been done before. Do not let past, history limit you.

What others think you can or cannot do, is not necessarily accurate judgement. Do not let others determine what you can or cannot do. You know yourself best and if you think you have a chance, try it out.

Do not let the limits bother you, even if there are limits, seek to build bridges in between. You will find more strength and are able to summon unexpected strength and creativity. Limits are the construction material for greatness.

Poem: The Change Makers

 

Ignorant we all are, I must admit.

Yet there are those who to this do not submit.

These people are the shapers,

The change makers.

 

Those who are courageous enough to seek truth.

And stand to face the oppressive Brood,

Who do not care where the truth stood,

Or what was for everyone’s good!

 

People like Mandela and Gandhi,

Have become such examples, how handy!

Equipped with truth, love, and courage,

Have built their wisdom and virtue while pulling the carriage.

 

Suffering of the wheel,

Is imaginable and real.

They made no squeal,

Because it was in their interest to heal.

 

With grace they endured,

To the inner work they spurred.

Through work they developed,

And a new kind of thinking enveloped.

 

Wrong they faced,

Pain not only grazed.

They got to taste the pain of living,

And transformed it in their minds into a giving.

 

Yet people were astray.

Not caring what they had to say.

Thus they were sent away.

Only to return; and light the way!

 

They learned to care first,

To quench another one’s thirst.

People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care, said Teddy.

 

World is not so steady,

You better get ready,

Your ignorance is unstable,

To care you are able!

Formula for Creative Output

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 “It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours.”  – Sam Ewing

Results do matter. Then there are people who say “quantity first” or “quality first.” They are both right. Especially when it comes to business or creativity (art) quantity does come first and with that comes the quality.

 “Picasso’s oeuvre includes more than 1,800 paintings, 1,200 sculptures, 2,800 ceramics, and 12,000 drawings, not to mention prints, rugs, and tapestries— only a fraction of which have garnered acclaim.” – Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

Well Picasso is an example here, yet you could pick almost any famous artist. Because those who succeed with little output and some masterpieces are the exception rather than the rule. The conclusion is if we look at the probabilities that the highest originality correlates with the volume of the output.

Both quantity and quality matter. Yet if you want the probabilities to be with you, you do it through the quantity. Probabilities in this life is like the force in the Star Wars. You would like the probabilities to be with you.

At first the quantity is worthy of worship. It’s only when we’ve learned some rudimental basics and notice that we are banging our heads to the walls that we can start to think a bit about in terms of quality. First we must become an object to learn anything. Later on then we can start to switch between applying what we have learned and the learning itself.

We should keep on doing a lot precisely because of learning and renewal. Learning is the core of creativity. And the learning happens through the function of quantity.

Summary of Seth Godin’s Linchpin

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Today I decided to revisit my highlights of the Linchpin. It is the book that literally made me to write every day again and I hold it in high regard. Although I had tried with my previous blog writing everyday for month, I didn’t stick with it. And even this time I had from different sources and different reasons to stick with this (Steve Pavlina and Neil Pasricha), Linchpin despite was the book that convinced me to start again.

“Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving gifts that change people.”

Quite simply and shortly put the Linchpin is a book about being you, and stop hitting your head to the wall. It’s about creating the art (what ever you want to do) that is meaningful.

I’ve found my most meaningful time of the day to be thinking and clarifying my thinking as a text. While the medium might and change from person to person, you should put the effort there. Seth’s advice is to put the hour to your art no matter what. Do not mind the defects, as art is never defect free anyway.

The lesson is to commit to an hour a day to the art and then deliver.

“In everything you do, it’s possible to be an artist, at least a little bit.”

Life is not about the dull work, it’s about the wonderful art. Seth spends quite a lot of time and space in the book to talk about what are the common causes that people do not follow this advice: fear and resistance rise up, which I can totally relate. He had inspirational lines like “I realized that my lizard brain was afraid of this book, which is the best reason I can think of to write it.”

Creating art does require courage and less resistance.

“You become a winner because you’re good at losing.”

To conclude, the key is about creative action that is not just any action, but work that brings meaning to the peoples’ lives. Such action is called art, and almost any action can be art if it’s done with creativity and sense of purpose, not with just the bored everyday routines. What does prevent us from doing to ordinary extraordinarily well is our lizard brain that is afraid of failure. The way to overcome this is through the practice of delivering and doing it because it is meaningful and it deserves to be done and delivered.

Worshiping the Basics Brings Results

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Masters Worship the basics.

Doing the basic things at very high level is the sign of a master. True masters know the basics are the foundation of everything and they must be taken care of. Without the foundation anything cannot be built.

Judo master Jigoro Kano exemplifies this spirit very well, as the story goes that he asked to be buried with white belt.

How does the basics become holy, so that we may worship it?

It’s with practice and learning with feedback. We should do, and the action should provide feedback. Doing together with others is greater, it makes the learning faster and collected.

There is a one more feedback channel that the professionals use: it’s a coach. The purpose of a coach: to provide feedback and point out the important basics.

True mastery is driving opening up mind and training it for creativity, so that the mind can absorb and understand as much as possible about the basics.

Savour Your Life

 

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In part I am writing to remind myself, as well as fairly reminding anyone else reading as well that we’ve only one timeline, one life and we should not spend any of it regretting the past, no matter how regrettable or wasting the present to compare how little we have in comparison to others.

What others have is not our matter.

We have exactly what we need in the present moment and therefore it’s impossible “not to have something.”

Whenever I catch myself thinking in that way; I know I am only digging myself into a pit of suffering. At best moments I realize immediately how wonderful the ingredients in the present are. Mostly shift in internal attitude can cause us to perceive world a lot differently.

Savour the life with all its flavors, it’s only yours: an unique taste.

Transforming the Ordinary to Extraordinary

 

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Storytelling is one particular leadership tool that can create extraordinary results out of ordinary ingredients. Under the leadership, stories do not merely get repeated, stories get repeated in meaningful and fresh ways.

To reach such level of story-telling, I see it as flexing creative muscles every day.

By telling and reminding of the ordinary, yet important action, great leader is able to remind that which brings the results.

In this case, we need to really think long term. As Stephen Covey put it in the 7 Habits, focus on production capabilities rather than products.  When stories focus on the short term, they are nothing more than manipulation.

When they focus on the long term, it’s about inspiring and nurturing. And when that happens, something extraordinary may happen.

Greatness is Difficult to Imagine

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Try to imagine world without the invention of…

…internet? …telephone? …airplanes?  …electricity? …combustion engine? …steam engine? …the wheel?

It’s a lot different world. I am asking this because when it comes to most inventions, someone has had to imagine something that hasn’t existed before actually doing it. Although many cases also the discovery links up with the application, meaning that we find application to the random occurrences.

In the same way as the greatness inventions are difficult to unimagined, they are difficult to imagine.

The powers of imagination are unimaginable.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” — Albert Einstein

Learning Through Games

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I’ve been avid gamer for as long as I can remember. In the recent years I’ve played less and less mostly because of the time and desire to contribute more meaningfully to the life at large.

Games are a wonderful way to learn and spend time, if the scope of the game is well aligned. Often the game worlds and objectives are not however.

Educational games often mean very dull and boring existence.

While the actually fun games are more based on simpler ideas. Some of these simpler ideas include a lot of destruction and mayhem, which in particular I do not care for so much. I do not enjoy the running around and shooting people to head – sort of thing much. Nor I do not enjoy the fantasy world where I have to slay all my opponents, and most of then final scenes are that of bloodbath. What remains after those games have been taken out? Well there are still plenty of candidates, however somehow also the most fun and interesting themes seem to be taken out.

Sport games and simulations are alright. I guess I can take even a bit of war setting if it has been shrouded as “greater good” as in Civilization, Europa Universalis or Master of Orion –types of strategy games.

Yet I wonder, where are the really fun and educational types of games?

I guess there is one really simple, yet effective example: Cashflow 101. It’s simple, online and replayable with very practical real world applications. Learning about finances through a game is brilliant. I wonder where are the continuations for this?

I’ve a gut feeling, that there is a big demand for educational games that are not educational, but rather they are made as smart and fun as games in general are. This post just scratches the surface of what there could be out there.

Discovering The Thing

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We become good at what we do.

Today I was confronted with the fact that I’ve probably mastered some tasks and it would be useful to think what are the next things I want to master professionally. Although in general direction I’ve good idea, on this micro level I am not so clear yet.

In my youth I’ve spent most of my time as far as I can remember with games and anime. That part of my personality I still sometimes find difficult to match with real life, although I am getting better at it.

I’ve grown in Finland, English is the first thing I’ve felt like I succeed in ever since I was a kid. I’ve sought out the Japanese and Asian cultures. It’s a kind of interesting mix.

Yet we all are. Maybe I am a hybrid of global cultures, yet we all are also very mixed up genetically. There was the ad by Momondo, which makes this point very well. Human memory does tricks to us, and we forget our relatives, where we’ve come from. In actuality we are all kind of family.

It is through these interesting mixes that we are able to create. Create something new, remix something old. Express and leave our dents to the universe.

What do you want to do?