Below is a snapshot — literally — of one of J.K. Rowling’s storyboards.
Firs of all, it looks cool!
But more importantly, it illustrates an interesting point. No matter how natural and effortless a Harry Potter book is to read, clearly writingit is a pretty analytical process. Starting with a big vision, drilling down into the details, and finally “shipping” the end result seems similar to making software.
Here is Jobs addressing a somewhat hostile question at the 1997 WWDC. At the time, Apple was nearly out of money, and Jobs had just returned after previously being kicked out of the company.
George Bernard Shaw said that “your patience when you have nothing” is one of the two things that define you. It’s interesting to look at Steve Jobs when he is down and see the vision and patience that was brewing at the time.
As we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with what incredible benefits can we give to the customer, where can we take the customer. Not starting with ‘let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have and then how are we going to market that’.
And I think that’s the right path to take.
It would be four more years until the iPod launched and ten years until the iPhone launched.
I don’t want six cars, a mansion, a helicopter, or even a fancy watch. Please, no. Just no.
I do want to travel, but not all the time. I could probably spend 1000 years happily just goofing around Central Texas.
But I do want to write a novel, make some music, raise some amazing kids, have a long and challenging career, learn to tell good stories and jokes, improve the world a bit, take care of myself, and be a good friend.
Am I asking too much? We shall see. 😆
We’re only given this one life, so you might as well at least try to make the most of it.
You’ll have it all I’ll have it all We’ll have it all
John Cleese gave this speech back in the 1990’s about creativity. Apparently he was a bit of a student of the topic. 🤷🏻♂️
His main point was that creativity is not something that you have or don’t have. And it is not related to traditional intelligence.
Creativity is a mood – an open, curious, and playful way of operating. He calls this playful, creative state “open mode”, whereas we normally go through life in “closed mode”, basically trying to get stuff done.
To be fully effective, a creative person needs to juggle both modes well. After all, you’ve got to find the creative flow and keep your projects on track to actually get sh*t done.
This creative “open mode” is subconscious and requires de-focusing in a way. In other words, you can’t force creative breakthroughs. It is in this relaxed open mode where the creative magic happens. You just need to allow yourself the time and other factors to let yourself be creative.
This is the extraordinary thing about creativity: If just you keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.
One reason I liked improv class was that it forces you into this open, playful mode (even when you are terrified).
“We see ourselves as a city on the hill, a stronghold of democracy, looking out for threats that come from abroad. But… human nature is such that American democracy must be defended from Americans who would exploit its freedoms to bring about its end.”
With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to visit practical tips from book On Tyranny. This book is full of simple lessons from 20th century Europe that we can apply to our own lives to help maintain our freedom in this really weird modern American scenario.
Cool quote from this TED talk about almost dying and then living.
Meaning is not found in the material realm; it’s not in dinner, jazz, cocktails or conversation. Meaning is what’s left when everything else is stripped away.
There are lots of way to interpret that quote, of course.
One way I look at it is this: life is about who you are. If everything in your life suddenly disappeared and you were dropped into an empty field in an unknown country, what person would be standing there?
I’m not talking about some crazy Naked and Afraid survival scenario. Suppose you have some money and some clothes. But not much else. Who is that person standing in the field? What does he know? What does he want? How does he move forward? How will he impact the world around him? That’s who you are.
I’m not actually sure if that’s what that quote meant ☝️, but there’s my take. 😆
This goes with Aristotle’s idea that the meaning of life is what you do — how you impact the real world. As humans, we are uniquely gifted with smart brains and “rational faculty”. We are happiest when we use these minds for some purpose in the world.
A poet should write, a teacher teach, and a doctor heal. Not only should each person do their thing, but they should do it well.
I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty inspirational. 😊