Recipe for a Happy Life

On Our Radar ~ They Draw And Cook

I just love this site. Every week They Draw and Cook post 6 recipes, linked in theme, illustrated by people around the world. The sheer diversity and exuberance of them is a joy, and if you sign up for the newsletter, they come right into your mailbox (scroll to the bottom of the site for the link).

Last week was a bit different. They featured recipes for a healthy life, and it just goes to show that one person’s fruit-and-nut mix is another person’s icy cold beer. Here’s 4 of the responses:

Recipe for a Happy Life
A Simple Recipe for a Happy Life by Demie Aas

Recipe for Life
Recipe for Life by Ashwin C

Kinsfolk Shindig
Kinsfolk Shindig by Maranda Cunningham

Dhyaana - Recipe for Healthy Living
Dhyaana – Recipe for Healthy Living by Kamini Raghavan

=) Marc

Life Dreaming Activity
How long has it been since you played with some colored markers or scissors and glue? Go on, I bet you’d have a lot of fun if you gave it a try!

seven ingredients for optimum mental health

On Our Radar ~ The Healthy Mind Platter

You’ve probably seen the healthy eating pyramid recently remodeled by the US Government as Choose My Plate, and if you’re pitting your will power against food issues then there are some great interactive tools on their site, including planners and trackers and a Foodapedia.

Dr David Rock and Dr Daniel Siegel thought it hadn’t gone far enough though. No-one’s arguing that healthy eating isn’t important, but where’s the information about healthy living? What does it take to have a healthy mind?

So, they’ve put together The Healthy Mind Platter:

seven ingredients for optimum mental health

Dr Rock touches on each of the 7 elements in a post on Psychology Today and suggests that, like a balanced diet, there are many combinations that might be healthy.

“Make sure that at least every day we are nudging the right ingredients into our mental diet, even for just a little time. Just like you wouldn’t eat only pizza every day for days on end, we shouldn’t just live on focus time and little sleep. Mental wellness is all about giving your brain lots of opportunities to develop in different ways.”

I thought about how I use my time, and it’s not as obvious as it first looks (but it was very revealing). My score was:
Too Low: Time In, Connecting Time, Focus Time
About Right: Sleep Time, Physical Time, Play Time
Too High: Down Time

Unfortunately it’s true. I’ll sheepishly admit I’ve been catching up recently on some books and movies I’ve had saved up, and it’s kept me in the house more than I usually am. The Connecting Time and Focus Time will fix themselves in the next week or so, because I’m about to take a trip home to visit my parents (always very connecting). If I’m honest with myself though, I might actually have to do something to convert some of the Down Time to Time In. I do have a soft spot for mindless entertainment.

=)  Marc

Live Dreaming Activity
If you take Dr Rock’s suggestion, to have some fun mapping an average day and seeing what percentage of time you spend in each area, I’d love to hear how you went. Leave a comment below and let’s chat.

Don't Take My Word For It

Hi Dreamers

I hadn’t written for a while, so I thought I’d drop in and give Liz a break.

I’m having something of a love/hate relationship with a site called TripAdvisor at the moment. If you haven’t come across it before, it’s the Lonely Planet of the digital age, except they don’t editorialise… it’s all crowdsourced.

I had such a bad experience at a restaurant in Bangkok a while back that I felt the need to vent (or as I like to think of it, give friendly advice to other travellers). While I was there I also posted a few good discoveries I’d made. Then a few months later I started posting some reviews of places in Johor Bahru in Malaysia, because its coverage on the site was so dusty that it made it seem like a sad whistle-stop of two factories and a bus station.

Not only did I give, but I received as well. I discovered the pleasures of crowdsourced travel and the question of “where should we go for dinner?” became an adventure again.

But then I had a crisis of conscience. While I certainly appreciated the sneak insights offered by others, what was I doing giving away my favourite travel secrets? Next time I go to that little cafe I know in JB that does the French Press coffee and the addictive Korean breakfast rolls, will it be over-run with tourists, iPads propped against the centrepiece, ordering the things I ordered and sitting in my chair?

I’m still not sure if it’s just selfishness, perhaps it is, but I like to think that what my crisis was really about was the death of serendipity. I didn’t like Lonely Planet back in my backpacking days (although I’d gratefully sneak at look at one from a fellow traveller whenever I got the chance) and I’m not sure I care for its modern substitute. I can hear its siren call, but I’ve been around the block and I’ve heard the sailor stories.

I wonder to what extent this crowdsourced attempt we make to eliminate accidents from our life makes our lives smaller? Should some things, perhaps, be left to chance?

In an insightful look at exactly that question, Life in Review: Crowdsourced Tastemaking and the Death of Serendipity author Ylajali Hansen quotes Guy Debord, presiding genius of the 1950s artist-revolutionary group The Situationist International. In “Theory of the Dérive, Debord writes:

“Among the various situationists methods is the dérive [literally: drifting], a technique of transient passage through varied ambiances. The dérive entails playful constructive-behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects: which completely distinguishes it from the classical notions of the journey and the stroll.”

Basically, what Debord is recommending is a walk without purpose, embracing randomness and curiosity. He recommends “slipping into houses undergoing demolition, wandering in subterranean catacombs fobidden to the public, starting up conversations with various passerby” and generally embracing the infinite possiblities and experiences open to someone willing to trod untrodden ways.

I don’t advocate not doing a little research or trying to minimise risks, but I worry that as it becomes easier and easier to walk in other people’s footsteps, we settle for the predictable at the cost of the serendipitous. Often it’s accidents that form the tapestry of our memories, making our lives uniquely ours… not to mention the opportunities they might bring.

In the LifeDreaming Expedition, Liz does some fabulous exercises focused on listening to your body and understanding what different parts are telling you about decisions you are trying to make. She uses Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit as indicators. The Mind is a powerful friend, and it’s the one we tend to place the most emphasis on in our Western culture. It’s also the one I think is nurtured the most by crowdsourced reviews. We love to research and analyse, and we see it as the magical doorway to “right” decisions.

But what about “gut feeling”, instinct or just random attraction for no reason that we can understand? What about coincidence, happenstance and serendipity? If we try to push that out of our lives, then are we not only diminishing our own opportunities but also our own personal power?

I remember on the backpacker trail the hoards of travellers with their nose in “the book”, sitting in cafes that had long ago got lazy and let their standards slip, or squeezing into the last room of an overcrowded hostel while equally good or better ones lay empty only a few doors away.

The beaten paths in life are like that. Your risks are reduced, but I wonder at what cost?

=)  Marc

A couple of other great articles about the death of serendipity:

The Dangers of Homogenization. What Flavor is Your Tofu?
Jacques Vallee’s Stating The Obvious: I, Product

Taking Out The Garbage

Hi Dreamers

Hope you’ve headed into the NY with lots of energy and joie de vivre. Mine are either one way or the other. Either I’m charging into it with lots of schemes and dreams, or I’m crawling over the finishing line waving a little flag that says “at least I made it”. This year I’m excited and I’ve got lots to get on with.

I won’t bore you with talk about resolutions, because Liz wrote a wonderful post earlier that had lots of wise things to say. But, I read something interesting today that I wanted to share, because it resonated as kind of important at this time of the year.

The short version is here, on Peter Rudd’s wonderful Coromandal blog. He excerpts from the much longer article Sons of The Beach on WorldHum, and his comment on the exerpt is:

“In real travel, there is what I think I travel for, and what I really travel for.  In the essay Sons of the Beach, backpackers value independence, frugality and acceptance of locals; but they are really looking for themselves in other like-minded travelers that they meet over there.”

I think there’s something in that for all of us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that what we think should be our motivation, actually is. The answer that is politically correct or reflects well on us is the one we want to voice.

And it’s complicated by this era of self-constructed social media identity, because we’re doing a lot of broadcasting of ourselves now, making public our lives and our motivations. We can all be guilty of editing that information to tailor the impression we want to make.

But there’s a fine line between saying things and believing them. No-one really believes that old saying “if you repeat things often enough, then they become true”. Maybe they’re true, maybe they’re not.

So, for me personally, Peter’s observation reminded me to be careful during this time of possible life-tweaks to listen carefully to my self-talk and make sure I’m being truly honest with myself. Not to just assume that I’m telling myself the truth, but to question myself a bit. Are the reasons I’m saying I’m doing things really the reasons I’m doing them?

Like computer programming (and some of my more disastrous efforts in the kitchen last year), it’s the principle of Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Happy new year everyone. Whatever you’ve got planned this year, I hope you’ll share it with us, and I hope you’ll share in the things we’ve got planned too.

=)  Marc

ps Liz likes to end her posts with an activity. The stuff in Liz’s great post on inner chatter The Enemy Within is very timely now though, so you could re-read that if you’ve got a couple of minutes to spare. I don’t really have an activity today, but if I could jokingly give you one I’d say “use the extra free time… get started on something you told yourself you were going to do”. I always think getting started on something is 50% of the battle.

Is It Better to be Apathetic or Anxious?

I posted this for Life Dreaming a while ago on my personal blog, before we had this website set up. But thanks to some fab comments from Maria and Mary on my previous post about busy-ness, it popped back into my mind again. So, excuse my laziness, but I thought I’d repost it as a followup to the last one.

=) Marc

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the retired head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago, has published a lot of work related to happiness and creativity, but he’s most famous for ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’, where he presented his research of the theory that people are most happy when they are in a state of flow. It’s the same concept as Sir Ken Robinson’s “being in your element”.

Where Sir Ken is the compassionate, politically aware social scientist, Dr Csikszentmihalyi is very much the hard-data research geek. Here’s what many, many years of study reveal:

There’s a lot to love about this visualisation. It shows that it’s quite easy to be “comfortable”. Most zones are some kind of comfort zone. It’s only when skills are low and challenges are medium or high that anxiety sets in. Following movements around the graph has got me thinking about a number of things.

In 2004 Dr Csikszentmihalyi gave a talk at Ted, Creativity, Fulfillment and Flow, and he opened with the observation that most adults find it hard to cope with hardship and tragedy. It seems to me, looking at the graph, that what is happening is that a sharp, dramatic rise in challenges immediately puts you into a worry or anxiety zone. This seems especially topical and relevant now, when so many people are feeling that spike. The good news, I think, is that if you can find the coping mechanisms (skills), it can be an opportunity to move through arousal to find your flow.

And no-one wants to feel apathetic or bored, but that’s what’s likely if you don’t challenge yourself or work on the development of your own skills.

So, if you look at flow as being the “happiness zone”, how do you know if you’re on the right track? Dr Csikszentmihalyi has found 7 factors that hint that you’re in the zone:

1. You’re completely involved in what you’re doing, focused, concentrated
2. You feel a sense of ecstacy
3. You experience great inner clarity, knowing what needs to be done and how you are doing
4. You know that the activity is doable
5. You have a sense of serenity, a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego
6. There’s timelessness, you’re thoroughly focused on the present and hours seem to go by in minutes
7. Your motivation is intrinsic, the activities producing the flow are their own rewar

ps. If you’re not familiar with Sir Ken Robinson’s work on being in your element, take a look at this great talk.

I think there’s lots to think about in this model. What I’m wondering is… do you think we need a mix of Relaxation, Control and Flow modes in our life to make us happy? Or could we be equally happy with all-Relaxation or all-Flow?

Salvador Dali - Melting Clocks Sculpture

Take A Moment

Salvador Dali - Melting Clocks Sculpture

Liz is moving house at the moment, so I thought I’d jot down a quick thought while she was away.

How’s life for you? I bet you’re busy.

No… really. If life was a roulette wheel, I suspect it’d have 36 slots marked “busy” and one marked “totally nothing going on over here”. I think putting my money on you being busy is a fairly safe bet.

I was thinking about my own back-log over the weekend, and the fact that I haven’t felt ahead of the game for perhaps the past five years. There’s just always so much to do. My email currently shows 78 unread messages. The list of to-do projects that runs along the side of my calendar is extensive, and some of them are still there, unstarted, since this time last year. I have hundreds of hours of music in my iTunes that I haven’t listened to, and a backlog of movies and television in a roll of disks on my desk that would take me months to watch if I did nothing else. I rip things out of the newspaper that I intend to use, and now I have shopping bags full of newspaper clippings and no idea what’s in them.

Information, and I think life itself, is just flowing so incredibly fast, that I think we’ve all been caught on the hop in developing our coping mechanisms.

I used one of my favorites on Saturday. I took a nap, and then I finished a good book I’ve been reading.

You probably don’t think that’s helpful, but there’s science behind it. At least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Scientists have been exploring The Neuroscience of Time, and they’ve found that when you’re hyped up time really does speed up for you and when you’re relaxed time really does slow down:

“Your internal clock is just like that digital watch in some ways. It measures time in what scientists call pulses. Those pulses are accumulated, then stored in your memory as a time interval. Now, here’s where things get weird. Your biological clock can be sped up or slowed down anything from drugs to the way you pay attention. If it takes you 60 seconds to cross the street, your internal clock might register that as 50 pulses if you’re feeling sleepy. But it might last 100 pulses if you’ve just drunk an espresso. That’s because stimulants literally speed up the clock in your brain (more on that later). When your brain stores those two memories of the objective minute it took to cross the street, it winds up with memories of two different time intervals.”

I know you’re all busy, and the oncoming festive season probably isn’t helping. But don’t forget to take some time out to relax and reset the clock, OK? Science says it’s good for you.

=)  Marc

ps… I’m curious. How do you cope with all this busy-ness? Have you got a trick you use to bring the pulse-rate down?

On Our Radar ~ The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

This isn’t a fact… I haven’t done any research. But my gut feel is that one of the most common irks us adults have is motivation at work.

I’ve talked to a surprising number of people who hate their job, or just feel indifferent about it.

Maybe it’s because I’m a boy, but if I close my eyes and imagine what “life” looks like, I picture cogs all tickering away in harmony, a bit like an expensive watch. And if one cog isn’t tickering as it should, I imagine it all still working, but perhaps it doesn’t show the right time anymore.

I won’t keep flogging that metaphor… I know you get the idea.

If you’re thinking that something’s a bit off with your worklife, or if you’re a boss and have some influence over the worklife of others, then Dan Pink has done his research, and I guarantee at least one of his insights will surprise you.

Our good friend Mary Del Casale, who’s always a wonderful source of insight and positive stories, steered us to this video a while ago. Mary’s consultancy, mdc places group, does amazing work in Place Making, which is about recognizing and enhancing the meaning and vibrancy of the social and community setting that people spend their lives in. She’s also a fabulous writer with stories of her hometown and the communities and people she works with. And, she’s someone who truly does embody all the things that Dan Pink suggests go into “fulfilling a passion”. Stop by her site and say hi… it’s always inspiring and worthwhile.

What do you think? Is it really necessary to have a passion for what you do, or work for a company with a bigger purpose than profit motive? Or is money enough? Let us know in the comments… and please do share with friends by hitting the LIKE button.

On Our Radar ~ Moodscope, Mindapples and Pancakes for the Soul

You’re a busy person, I’m a busy person, it’s a busy world we live in. But we all relax in our own way. I know more than a few highly intelligent people who love nothing better than to curl up with a trashy novel. You know… the type with Fabio on the cover, or an airbrushed picture of spaceships circling a world with several moons. If I can convince Liz to let me do a cover for Life Dreaming with Fabio standing on a world with several moons, I bet we’ll sell billions [pleeeeease Liz? you can sit in during the shoot and adjust his hair to get it just so] [Liz replies ... I adore trashy novels and I think it would be hysterical to do some LD covers that play with that idea. Thanks dear brother for doing another post while I give away everything I own and pack to move back to Dublin. xx ]

But, if you’re looking for something a little different to idle away some time, here are three sites that offer something unique. Perhaps even useful. They’re not just sites for information… all of them require you to do something. Take a look. We’d love to know what you think in the comments.

Moodscope

Liz tried this one for three days and wasn’t keen on the way it worked. She started on a high (100%) and found that it treated a drop of 5% in the same way it would if you’d started at 50% and dropped to 45%. Your experience might be better though.

Register and start tracking your moods using their online game cards. By sharing your Moodscope with friends, the idea is that the Hawthorne Effect , which is the same principle that makes Weight Watchers work, will help you to lift your mood over time. [Liz here: I didn't open my charts for others to see ... you can just keep them private. It's a really interesting idea but needs some fine tuning].

Mindapples


There’s not a lot to do on this site, but it makes you think all the same. A mindapple is something you do regularly to look after your mind. A little bandaid for your mental health. List your five favorite things and you’ll be able to explore what other people do to keep themselves happy and vote up your favorites.

SoulPancake

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzylittlemanpeach/5085467096/

Bored with Facebook? This is a wonderful site to be inspired and plug in to a smart and active community. You might know one of the creators, Rainn Wilson, for his geeky role in TV show The Office (the American version, not the British one), but of course you always know with characters like that that they’re not as silly as they look. He’s put together a smart site, with lots to do. Steering you around some of the hottest creativity and spirituality topics, it asks big questions and gives you plenty of room to give big answers. Or you could ask big questions and tap the wisdom of the internet. Lots of fun

Did you try any of these? Let us know what you think!

And do click Like and Share with friends.

Hey You, Get Off Of My Slide

Hi Dreamers

Liz wrote about self-justification on Monday and then threw down the gauntlet for me to take up the same two paragraphs she started with.

It gives me a chance to explore something I’ve been thinking about… the idea of choices as a kind of pyramid that you move around. It’s a bit nascent, but I’ll try my best.

Here goes (the two paragraphs Liz used are in the middle, highlighted in pink)…

=) Marc

I might not have rippling abs, but check out my decisions

We’ve all heard of the slippery slope, but how many of us consider the perils of the slippery ladder? Or the slippery sidestep?

Because I’d like to posit that when we think of the downward slope, it’s just our mind trying to relate something abstract to the real world (gravity). Our minds are good at that kind of thing.

In fact, our minds are good at a lot of sneaky machinations in the background that form our “real world”. Some of course are real, but some are just the brain-equivalent of creative accounting.

We’re all aware on some level that the decisions we make have ripples, but how much of that rippling is within our control is questionable.

Whenever we decide to cheat (or not) on our partners, lie (or not) to our employers, be creative (or not) with our tax returns and forgive (or not) someone who annoyed us, the self-justification mechanism kicks in to assure us that we did the right thing.

Our attitudes and values become more and more deeply entrenched. It provides an explanation – a partial one at least – for how other people manage to do the foolish, selfish and mean spirited things they do. They do them in precisely the same way we do the foolish, selfish and mean-spirited things we do … as well as the courageous, silly & generous things.

What drives self-justification?

Our brains find it incredibly uncomfortable holding two conflicting ideas simultaneously. Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance.

No matter how curious and receptive we are, we carry around preconceived notions of the world and our own place in it. Are you a decent and honest person? Caring? Generous? Kind? Of course you are. And how do you know that? You’re carrying around an image of yourself.

So what happens when we make a decision that conflicts with our self image? Say, for example, a friend is going through some financial trouble and asks you for a loan. You don’t think you’ll see the money again and you say no. Perhaps you tell a little white lie about how you’re a bit strapped yourself at the moment.

Your belief that you’re a caring and generous person conflicts with what you’ve just done, and that cognitive dissonance is so unpleasant that your brain will immediate cut in to start repairing the damage.

“She’s not really that close a friend. It’s her own fault she gets into these situations, she’s so financially irresponsible. And anyway, I’m saving for a new car and I’m never going to get there if I keep lending people money. She’ll find the money somewhere else, it doesn’t have to come from me.”

Cognitive dissonance has driven you to self-justification… but don’t feel too bad about it. We all do it, all the time.

Moving up, down and across the pyramid of choice

Getting back to the slippery slope, the thing with self-justification is that it doesn’t have to be excusing bad behavior. It can go in any direction.

I’ve been thinking of it like a pyramid. Take this example:

In a close-knit group of friends, one of the women is cheating on her husband and her female friends know. At different times, two of the women find themselves in conversation alone with the husband. The first decides to say nothing, but the second finds a point in the conversation where she feels sorry for the man and says “Listen Brian, there’s something I think you need to know…”

I’ll leave it to you to decide who did the right thing. The women hadn’t thought through their strategy, and the decision could have gone the other way, but you can be sure if you spoke to the women a week later that their attitudes would have hardened. They would have both had ample time to reflect on… and justify… their actions.

The woman who decided not to tell will have thought about loyalty to her friend, how it is not her responsibility to interfere, and how much hurt and damage it would have caused if she’d mentioned it.

The woman who told, on the other hand, will know she was absolutely right to do so. Cheating is dishonest and it was the husband’s right to know. He’s a friend too. In the long term it’ll be for the best because they’ll either sort it out or break up, and they can move on to find happiness.

So what happened here? A week ago the two women were at one corner of the pyramid, standing side-by-side, and now they’ve slid to different corners, seemingly poles apart.

Up, down or sideways? That’s a value judgement we can’t make.

Freedom from gravity

Someone wiser than me said “there are no good or bad decisions, just decisions”. As someone who’s scraped my knees more than once in my life, I’m not sure I totally agree, but I think what the pyramid of choice shows is that there’s often not one “right” decision.

Like everything in life, it’s a tricky, grey, pliant concept.

And that’s quite liberating. We can stop torturing ourself for the one, absolute, correct way. It’s going to be OK. If we’re true to ourselves then our decisions are probably good decisions, regardless of whether we choose Route A or Route B.

Yes, we’ll occasionally make some foolish choices. Yes, there will be roads not travelled.

But try to be the best you that you can possibly be. And shoot for the stars. And you’ll find lots of reasons why that’s a good thing.

What do you think?

On the one hand, I think our tendency to subconsciously justify our decisions means that we’re freer to make some mistakes (it’ll be OK, we’ll subconsciously find some reasons why it wasn’t such a bad thing to do). On the other hand, I think that tendency might mean that one bad decision might lead to another, eventually entrenching itself in our psyche or personality… perhaps that’s how Austin Powers’ Dr Evil became the misunderstood nut-job he did.

I mentioned this was all nascent and I don’t really know what conclusion to draw from it. Help!! Please… I’d love to know what you think!

Creativity – It’s All Smoke & Mirrors

comic book ad - hypnosis

Hi Dreamers

A change of author for this post.

As you get into the flow of Life Dreaming, and all of the wonderful (and we think incredibly important) topics it touches, you might notice that I don’t talk nearly as much as Liz. What can I say? Her champagne glass runneth over with ideas and insight and she loves sharing Life Dreaming and listening to people’s stories and experiences. I’m more of a bloke with a fancy tool kit who likes to spend time building things in his shed.

Well, perhaps not exactly. But really, I tell the truth, I’m the quieter half of the team. ;)

In my checkered career I’ve studied business and design, worked in PR, been a graphic designer and a magazine editor, and I now run my second design and advertising company. I’m what they call in Singapore, where I live, a “creative”. I’ve only recently started using that as a noun… I always thought it was an adjective. But, it provides a handy shortcut for me when people ask what I do and I wonder whether to launch into the 20 minute monologue or not.

Liz has asked me to write a little, and I thought by way of introduction I’d talk about something close to my heart, creativity, because in a way it’s a nice metaphor for a lot of things in life.

No doubt we all ARE creative, in that dictionary sense of the word: inventive, original, imaginative and resourceful. But I pay my mortgage by being “a creative”, and I’ve come to think of that as meaning “willing to stick my neck on the line”.

Back in the days when I studied design I did drawing classes. After a few weeks of getting used to having a pencil in our hands, we started getting assignments to do between classes. I remember bringing the first one of those back to class and discovering that we all had to pin them up on the wall and then the teacher would lead the group around the classroom and we’d critique each one. I was horrified. And shy, and humble, and embarrassed. It felt like having to show someone pages from your personal diary and when it came to my turn I’d always grimace and start with “Well, it’s not very good, but…” or “I couldn’t quite get this to work…” or some other precursor to ease the pain of any criticism that might come after.

I did these classes for three years, and they taught me one of the most valuable lessons in the course. That’s NOT the way to present yourself.

As soon as you start with the “It’s not very good, but…” line you might as well hoist the red flag that says “I’m over here, bring your flame thrower”. Because that’s all anyone is going to hear.

It’s the same with “You probably won’t like this gift…”, “I didn’t really have time to get dressed up…”, “It’s not really my area of expertise…” or any number of other defenses we slip in to protect ourselves. There’s some wisdom in that old saying that if you’re confident you’ll shine. It spreads through the room like an airborne virus. If you’re confident in yourself, then everyone becomes confident in you.

pulp cover - hypnotist

And what’s not to be confident about? You probably brought all of your considerable talent, common sense, insight and hard work to bear, and no doubt you ran through all kinds of options in your head before you chose the one you thought worked best. Any self-doubt you have is probably 99% your own self-talk playing the devil with you. Like everyone, I tend to think less of my own work than other people do. I see other people’s stuff all the time and think “I wish I’d done that” or “Wow, they’re very talented”, but I never look at my own stuff that way. And I think that’s healthy. A bit of self-confidence is good, but there’d be something unhealthy about thinking you were the best thing since sliced bread was invented.

The trick is in knowing that other people will see things in a different way to you, and not to self-sabotage that. They could well be looking at you and thinking “I wish I’d done that” or “Wow, she’s very talented”.

So, what’s all this got to do with creativity?

Continue reading ..