Schwarzenegger’s Meditative Mindset Secret

Mastery across skills is more similar than different. It takes the same dedication, sacrifice, and training to be a top ballerina, bodybuilder, or creative. Most of all, it requires full concentration. Arnold Schwarzenegger is special because he made it as the world’s top bodybuilder before he was 22 years old, moved on to success in Hollywood, and then to a political career. Well played muscle man 💪 I’m reading his book Education of a Bodybuilder and it isn’t really about working out at all. It’s about mindset. This quote stuck out to me. “I knew the secret: Concentrate while you’re …

Why I’m starting a personal newsletter and why you should too

I’m starting a newsletter! Woohoo. Get ready for cat memes straight to your inbox 3x a day. 🙂 🙂 🙂 . Totally kidding.  So yeah, what’s with all this newsletter business? Well, I haven’t posted on Facebook for almost a year now, and it’s not because I don’t have anything to say or that I fell in a ditch and haven’t been making anything.  I have my newsfeed blocked and I’m really not encouraged to post things on an ad-supported platform. Talk about a blackhole for brainwaves. Why should I support that?  The newsletter is a way to share directly …

Creating from fullness while reaching after big things.

Taking on big projects can be daunting. There is a neverending list of tasks to tackle. Sometimes you can push yourself by feeling like you have to get over this hurdle or the next and you’ll arrive.  While milestone rewards are great, there is a more dangerous side when this is taken to an extreme. Many entrepreneurs motivate themselves by placing their entire lives several years into the future. Some sacrifice is great, but at what cost?  That psychology can bleed into their personal lives and leave them miserable. They put the life they want to live constantly a few years ahead even when they …

The Anchor And The Balloon

A couple years ago I experienced one of the most challenging relationships of my life. I had designed all this freedom into my life and was running around the world in a boundless way that even my own actions were a surprise to me. I’ve always been a spontaneous person, and have created value for different people through unlikely connections that otherwise might have not happened, but this was a new level of having absolutely no threads between my days. Then someone stepped into my life who was equally unanchored and became knotted into my bit of twine. The result …

Creating For Relevance

Imagination is a beautiful tool when mixed with the present. However, it can bring you to irrelevance and disconnection if you try to go too deep without opening your eyes to what’s around you. Looking intensely at your present moment environment for resources and inspiration is not only a fruitful actively but will bring you to life. It will help you create work that’s relevant and connected. I’ve met artists who are so isolated that their works become esoteric. They’re able to reach small groups of people on the off chance that their imaginative tirade lands on a branch that …

Working backward and working forward

The approach to creative work can feel foreign to people who are ingrained in structural thinking. Structural thinking is used for building projects like businesses and ventures that need systems and have are clearly defined end-goal.  With creative thinking, you’re constantly tapping into your intuition in the moment and the end goal is changing as you work towards it. You are working forwards and taking it one step at a time. There is little room for planning because you’d always be heading back to the drawing board and the moment will have passed. In business, you define an end-goal and …

The Brain Blender

If you do any type of creative work, you need to start thinking of your brain as a blender. What comes out in your work is a mix of what goes into your mind. More important than how fast it cycles around, or what type of granularity setting you select, is the ingredients. The ingredients are always the most critical component. Think of a case where you admire a certain type of work, and want to create something like it. The best thing you can do is immerse your brain in every facet of it. Find ingredients that are similar …

Seeing Is Editing

“Your job is to distill the essence.” William Zinsser, On Writing Well. This applies to writing and to seeing as well. Seeing is editing. You look out into the world and, mostly unconsciously, you notice a fraction of the stimulus available. The more familiar a focal point the less you notice, if anything at all. That’s why travel can be enlivening and shocking. Your brain has to spend cognition editing a new environment and deciding what to notice. When focusing on a subject, through drawing, photography, or writing you reclaim the steering wheel of your eyes. You decide what’s important …

The Art of Putting Things Out Place – Winner Of The Park

Dolores park in San Francisco is a spectacle every weekend. After the coconut rum, and magic truffles, there are dozens of people competing for attention in extravagant ways in the amphitheater-shaped lawn. A few years ago, I was sitting on a picnic blanket with my friend Nina and we came up with the term “winner of the park”. It’s a special trophy term for those who win the attention of the hundreds of people on that particular day, of which there are many competitors. On that day, the clear winner was a guy whipping the air, making a thunderous crack. …