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Creativity Writing

Thoreau: ‘How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live’

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” — Henry David Thoreau, [easyazon_link identifier=”1451529791″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]Walking[/easyazon_link]

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Productivity & Work

Do heart-work

“Those who work much do not work hard,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837–1861 (Amazon). Hard work pays off. Much of what we achieve in life is the result of persistence. That’s why everyone encourages each other never to give up.  But on the flip side, work can also be […]

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Productivity & Work Tech

‘Men have become the tools of their tools’

Technology is not neutral. FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) not only want to make all decisions for us, they want us to dissolve into all-consuming bots while the machines do all the thinking and making. Humans are meant to work, not to be hedonistic jobless throwaways. We seek meaning and identify ourselves through our labor. […]

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Creativity Video Writing

The fascinating history of the pencil ✏️

“The pencil is a very perfect object,” says pencil obsessed Caroline Weaver in this TED video where she explains the history of the pencil.  The origin of the pencil goes back to the innovative applications of graphite. Farmers and shepherds used graphite sticks wrapped in sheepskin and paper to mark their animals.  In 1795, French painter Nicolas-Jacques […]

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Creativity Science

‘Grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk.’

Said Henry David Thoreau, “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” Walking boosts creativity. If you ever get stuck in a creative rut, science shows that you should go for a stroll to get your endorphins moving. As learning scientist Marily Oppezzo notes in her TED presentation below, […]

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Productivity & Work

Accept compliments but do not inhale

When it comes to compliments, you accept them but you do not inhale. Kudos is as ephemeral as a Facebook like. Congratulations acknowledge your existence and provide a dopamine boost. But they can also turn the ego into an enemy. Praise takes no responsibility for the passion and head work at play. Like Darwin’s finches, […]

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Productivity & Work

How to keep the good, going

What goes up must come down. Complacency eventually turns into panic. Once the stream of contentedness kicks in, progress stymies. The will to compete and improve wanes. Expectations which set the tone of achievement, fall at the wayside. Motivation is a wonder drug. As Brian Eno said, “Everything good comes from enthusiasm.” The urge to […]

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Creativity Culture Productivity & Work

Learning to think again

Humans are thinking creatures. Otherwise, the only difference between humans and other animals is that we have bigger brains that also allow us to speak. But we use less brainpower every day because we use calculators, Google, and self-driving cars. We’re not lazy.; we just prefer to do the things we want so we can carry on with the […]

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Creativity Productivity & Work

What does it mean to do work?

The word ‘productivity’ was originally an agricultural term meant to assess the output of farmers. As technology replaced field labor and allowed people to move into cities, productivity turned man into a machine. Instead of plowing the fields, people cultivate threads of emails. They label manila folders into ten different categories. Indulging in the work-related […]

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Writing

What’s your favorite writing tool?

Thoreau had his goose quill pen. Picasso painted with his oval angled brush. Al Hirschfeld enjoyed his crayons. Tom Hanks still loves his typewriter. Photographer Pierre Carreau “writes with light.” Everyone’s got a favorite writing tool. For long-hand, I recommend the Pilot Precise V5 rolling ball pen. For smartphone and tablet writers, check out some of these apps.