True Grit

In another excerpt from the  99% conference (1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration), Jonah Lehrer offers these excellent points on maximizing your creative efforts:

"The answer will only arrive after we stop looking for it." It turns out that scientists can actually predict when you're most likely to have an epiphany. In fact, being relaxed and not thinking about the problem you'd like to solve ups your chances of having that "aha!" moment. Ergo, the most productive thing we can do when we're stuck is: Forget all about work. Force yourself to waste time - take a walk, a shower, a day off - and you just may find what you've been searching for.

"When in doubt, imitate the city."Cities are immortal, but companies die. Why? Lehrer says that cities are inherently productive: "When we cram ourselves together, we have more ideas. The serendipity of the city keeps it alive." Companies tend to micro-manage, stifling the very productivity they're trying to engineer. Inject some spontaneity and chance into your work life to reach new levels of creativity.

Grit, the stubborn refusal to quit, is the single best predictor of success.There's one feature that sets highly successful creative people apart from the rest of the pack. Single-minded dedication and the resolve to push through in spite of all obstacles - aka "grit" - is what drives great achievements. In other words, how you react to the inevitable failures along the way will be an important indicator of the end game.


I spent some time with my nephew Jonathon at the Linesville, PA fish spillway. This guy caught my attention in the midst of literally thousands of carp fish.