After climbing a series of switchbacks and then descending rapidly on twisty, muddy trail; the forest canopy opens to the sky. Down an embankment a small creek carrying the day’s rain winds through the forest to the Willamette River.
Hemlock, Spruce and Doug Firs rise from the ferns toward the sky dressed elegantly in their moss green dinner jackets. Such formality from my friends the trees.
“Good afternoon gentlemen”, I say. “…just passing through.”
Or the most existential running koan of all:
What are you running from, what are you running to?
- C. Rivard
This is a short book report.
Warning: You will not be magically bestowed creative confidence by reading this book. I do not think I’m an anomaly.
If you’re a suit, or not a creative person… or something other than a designer (or if you want to unleash …something… in your cube farm). This is the book for you. BUY THIS BOOK.
If you are in the creative field: PASS. Your time would be better spent sketching.
The thing about the IDEO boys is that they have a lock on the message around design and business, but for the business audience. This is a business book about design. And honesly, there are better ones.
The one takeaway that I found valuable is to get moving – making, designing, exploring, etc. Rather than thinking. Which I find quite ironic a message in a business book about how to build creative confidence. They could have spared the anecdotes (heyo Akshay), trimmed 100 pages and had people out the door being … creative.
I actually think this is a better message, from Ira Glass:
And so ultimately, confidence comes from experience – of doing the thing again and again, sometimes good, sometimes bad – but ultimately, the good increases and the bad decreases.
So … do MOAR!! (but go easy on yourself… stop to eat ice cream and get massages occasionally).
*The exercises in the back of the book were pretty good. Mind maps, etc. Although I think Dave Gray does better in Gamestorming. That’s a book every creative should read. It’s rad.
When I looked at my schedule this morning I resigned myself that today would be a day of meetings. I was booked straight through lunch with a break in the early afternoon and another meeting at 4pm.
I zipped my muddy (but dry) running kicks into their Manchester United shoe bag (purchased at the Heathrow Nike store) and was totally fine with leaving everything on my shelf in the locker room until Wednesday and just taking the day off. Taking one for the team.
My 2nd breakfast (everything I’ve brought for lunch) is typically dispatched by 11am and by noon I’m ready to run. Today I walked into a meeting at noon, then another at 1 that ran late until 2:30.
Back at my desk I checked my calendar, skimmed email and then looked over at my colleague and called it – I’m out, this is my window. I’ll be back in an hour.
I think that a lot of things in life are about timing and patience. Trust that you’ll know what to do when the time comes. It’s difficult to tune into those signals – but with practice you learn to recognize the opportunities. There is an acute sense of focused energy and purpose that becomes absolutely clear. When you have a shot, you take the shot. The window opens, you jump through it. You may land on your ass and fail miserably and want to cry in your beer at your misfortune… but the amazing thing is… if you’re the least bit self-aware – you just learned a valuable lesson [Unfunnily... consider the alternative of never taking the shot. Anti-funny.]
I think that people who are happy, well adjusted and “successful” (whatever that means) have fallen on their ass more times than can be remembered. They just have the statistical advantage of more shots.
Anyway. The window opened and I jumped through it.