February Coffee Talk: Mind, Body, Business & Books (#37)

Hello My Gorgeous Valentine! That's right, I just roped all of you into being my virtual dates today. So whaddaya say, grab your favorite bevvy (most annoying abbreve or what?!) — okay, beverage — and get reading. For those of you who do have dates tonight, just think about how smart and well-read you'll sound! Speaking of sound, if you missed the most recent Pivot Podcast, take a listen here: Opt Out: Say No to the Good So You Can Say Yes to the Great.

Also, super exciting: me and Pivot are featured in the March issue of Real Simple, on stands now! How to Pull Off a Career Pivot—check out the cover blurb on the left side too :)


"Barron found that, contrary to conventional thought at the time, intelligence had only a modest role in creative thinking. IQ alone could not explain the creative spark.

Instead, the study showed that creativity is informed by a whole host of intellectual, emotional, motivational and moral characteristics. The common traits that people across all creative fields seemed to have in common were an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for complexity and ambiguity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray; the ability to extract order from chaos; independence; unconventionality; and a willingness to take risks.

Describing this hodgepodge of traits, Barron wrote that the creative genius was “both more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, occasionally crazier and yet adamantly saner, than the average person.”

...Perhaps this is why creative people are so difficult to pin down. In both their creative processes and their brain processes, they bring seemingly contradictory elements together in unusual and unexpected ways."

Creative people's brains really do work differently


"Across the West, people are still choosing to walk. Nearly every journey in the UK involves a little walking, and nearly a quarter of all journeys are made entirely on foot, according to one survey. But the same study found that a mere 17% of trips were "just to walk". And that included dog-walking.

It is that "just to walk" category that is so beloved of creative thinkers.

"There is something about the pace of walking and the pace of thinking that goes together. Walking requires a certain amount of attention but it leaves great parts of the time open to thinking. I do believe once you get the blood flowing through the brain it does start working more creatively," says Geoff Nicholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking.

"Your senses are sharpened. As a writer, I also use it as a form of problem solving. I'm far more likely to find a solution by going for a walk than sitting at my desk and 'thinking'."

The Slow Death of Purposeless Walking



Just for Fun

  • My dad sent me this great piece from Byron Fry on reflections from his recent (reluctant) trip to New York, Newport Yankee Charlie. My favorite excerpt:

"But more than anything, New York is culture. Art, in New York or anywhere, is more than humankind’s saving grace: art is FUN. It just is. Its higher purpose is a sharing, among humans, of the best things humanity has to offer to humanity, to the future and to the cosmos. The collective experience, not just among artists but with the audience too, build the zeit and are all a part of the thing."

That's it for now . . . have an amazing February, everyone!