I love having creative friends. My pals, comedian Dan Fox and film director John Northrup made this short film. Just because. Enjoy.
I spent the weekend 2 hours north of NYC, in a little farm town called North Salem. At Saturday night dinner, a friend, Lily, shared a blessing before the meal that I loved and want to integrate into my life on a consistent basis:
For food in a world where many walk in hunger,
For friends in world where many walk alone,
And for love in a world where many walk in fear,
We are ever grateful.
What does it mean to live a creative life? Well, according to Liz Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray Love and the newly published Big Magic), curiosity is the real key. I saw her speak at a conference this weekend and she re-framed this idea for me. CREATIVITY = FOLLOWING YOUR CURIOSITY!
This question is asked of us again and again, as we get older, in various forms. At some point, "What do you want to be when you grow up" goes from a cute exercise, to the thing that keeps you up at night. Why? While this question inspires kids to dream about what they can be, it does not inspire them to dream about ALL that they could be.
Multipontentialite! Scanners! Renaissance Person! Polymath!
In a time when you may feel intense pressure to find your true purpose and calling...recognize that some are good at many things, and you may have an eclectic career path. Don't be afraid to try new skills & continue to learn about new ideas — and think about the newness as tools in your toolbox.
It's rarely a waste of time to pursue something you're drawn to, even if you end up quitting. You might apply that knowledge in a different field entirely, in a way you couldn't have anticipated.
So, at any age, when thinking about what you want to be when you grow up, BE KIND TO YOURSELF and accept that there may not be a clear answer.
This 4 minute trailer will inspire, force you to ask big questions, and might make you tear up (I did). My friend Jedidiah Jenkins rode his bike from Oregon to Patagonia. JED IS THE ESSENCE OF FIFTY COFFEES and I am dang lucky to know him.
Few people on the planet have lived the kind of globetrotting and adventure-filled life that chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain has. You can probably learn a thing or two from the man. Post from Arrows.com.
1.) “Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don't have.”
2.) “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”
3.) “Don't lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don't do it again. Ever”
4.) "What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?"
5.) “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life - and travel - leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks - on your body or on your heart - are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
6.) "You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together."
7.) “Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
8.) “Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom...is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go."
9.) “I don't have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”
10.) “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”
11.) “We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.”
12.) "Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
13.) “Luck is not a business model.”
14.) “There’s something wonderful about drinking in the afternoon. A not-too-cold pint, absolutely alone at the bar – even in this fake-ass Irish pub.”
15.) “Under 'Reasons for Leaving Last Job', never give the real reason, unless it's money or ambition.”
16.) “It’s very rarely a good career move to have a conscience.”
17.) “The way you make an omelet reveals your character.”
18.) “Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.”
19.) “Good food and good eating are about risk.”
20.) "They're professionals at this in Russia, so no matter how many Jell-O shots or Jager shooters you might have downed at college mixers, no matter how good a drinker you might think you are, don't forget that the Russians - any Russian - can drink you under the table.”
21.) “If you look someone in the eye and call them a ‘fat, worthless, syphilitic puddle of badger crap’ it doesn’t mean you don’t like them. It can be – and often is – a term of endearment.”
22.) “Without new ideas success can become stale.”
23.) “But I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.”
Talk about meta: this is a fc post of a podcast about fc, inspired by fc.
Check out Grant Burkhardt's new well-produced podcast called The Middle. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
"I've already mentioned her a few times, so it's about time I talked to Lindsay Ratowsky. The Californian turned New Yorker is the creator of Fifty Coffees, the site that sparked the idea for this podcast. Her site - where she interviews the creatives in her life and blogs about who they are and what she learns from them - was named one of the best 35 personal portfolios on the web.
Aside from her site, Lindsay and I talked about her amateur photography, about having intimate conversations with friends in public places, and about what she's working on now (it's the coolest story about how far a good conversation can go)."
Be the one to say hello first. Relationships are often formed by an accumulation of interactions between people, over time. If you don't say hello the first time, you wont' the second or third time you're in the same place as someone else. Just being in the same place at the same time as another probably means you have something in common. Right?
Want to get to know someone? START HERE!
The wonderful Story Corps project has lists of GREAT QUESTIONS to ask people about their lives posted on their website. Don't forget to actively listen to the answers.
GREAT QUESTIONS FOR ANYONE
- Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
- What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
- Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
- What is your earliest memory?
- What is your favorite memory of me?
- Are there any funny stories your family tells about you that come to mind?
- Are there any funny stories or memories or characters from your life that you want to tell me about?
- What are you proudest of?
- When in life have you felt most alone?
- If you could hold on to one memory from your life forever, what would that be?
- How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- Do you have any regrets?
- What does your future hold?
- What are your hopes for what the future holds for me? For my children?
- If this was to be our very last conversation, is there anything you’d want to say to me
- For your great great grandchildren listening to this years from now: is there any wisdom you’d want to pass on to them? What would you want them to know?
- Is there anything that you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?
- Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
Do you feel like this?
Personally, I've been really lucky throughout my professional life to feel purpose-driven in my work. According to this research, I am part of the 30% minority who do. We can make work environments better, and this article suggests it starts with snacks and being giving a sh*t about people. I agree.
"The simplest way for companies to take on this challenge is to begin with a basic question: “What would make our employees feel more energized, better taken care of, more focused and more inspired?” It costs nothing, for example, to mandate that meetings run no longer than 90 minutes, or to set boundaries around when people are expected to answer email and how quickly they’re expected to respond. Other basic steps we’ve seen client companies take is to create fitness facilities and nap rooms, and to provide healthy, high-quality food free, or at subsidized prices, as many Silicon Valley companies now do."
My charity: water coworkers are wonderful people. On my last day, this glorious stack of inspiring reads awaited me on my desk. The theme: creativity, exploration, travel. I was so touched by the thought that went into the selection, and sentiment of these books. AND, they've been hugely inspiring and helpful the past few months. I recommend you READ THIS ONE IMMEDIATELY! Creative Confidence by David and Tom Kelley. A compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.
2. HOBBY CLUB MEMBERSHIP [NO LONGER EXISTS AS OF SUMMER 2016 - but still a very cool idea]
$12/year (WHAT! JUST $1/month)
Tyler Riewer is a content creator at charity: water. He's also kinda a big deal on Tumblr and is one of the most positive, excitable people I know. He also loves clubs. A lot. He just started this one, and it's sure to be a blast! He is based in NY, but you can participate in the Hobby Club from any location. And he'll email you a gift certificate if you're giving this gift of fun learning.
3. NICELY NOTED SUBSCRIPTION
A one-woman small company based in Austin Three letterpress cards and cute stamps sent to your home every month. I was gifted a one-year subscription for my 30th birthday and I LOVED GETTING THESE EACH MONTH! I always had great cards on hand to remind people in my life that I adore them with a hand-written note. #keephandwrittennotesalive
My long-time gal-pal, Julie Juju Atkinson, sent me a link to MoreLoveLetters.com. When you know a person for over 20 years, you get to know their taste...and Juju nailed mine. Make someone's day and write them a hand-written note.
Coffee #11, Dan Johnson's VISUAL FEAST -- ISSUE 1
Most people believe that by studying and implementing the patterns of others, that they will succeed. But it is your unique passion that creates the patterns.
So the better question to ask — is what gives you your unique fire? How do you cultivate a passion that will create the patterns that shape your life?
Need some more of this in your life? Peep this thought-provoking Medium post by a guy named Matty Dorey called Stop Trying to Change the World.