What is the science behind motivation, novelty, follow-through, collaboration, or project completion? How do we facilitate wonder and wander?

Shaping Mind Rooms to Reframe the Meaning of Tasks

“[G]ood feelings such as affection, pride at a promotion, and enthusiasm for a new project are the carrots on the stick that keep you moving smartly along life’s up-and-down road.” – Winifred Gallagher, RAPT: Attention and the Focused Life (Penguin Press, 2009)

NY artist Joey Havlock's Mind Room

Organization can dog the best of creatives. Many of my clients are writers, artists, and entrepreneurs who juggle multiple projects and obligations. I keep at least five projects in the air at any given time, each of which requires at least a few dozen tasks to complete.

So how do we stay on top of those projects without driving ourselves daft and our intimate partners away? How can a small amount of time invested in flexible creative organization end up saving time?

Creative organization can be a flexible, enjoyable way to shape attention, physical space, and actions. When we shape these three things – attention, space, and actions – we increase the likelihood that we can get in that flow that psychologist Mihaly Cskiszentmihalyi describes. Read more

INTIMATE GRATITUDE: ways to go beyond client appreciation

Thomas Cole’s “Titan’s Goblet” evokes an abundance to toast in gratitude.

I can say unabashedly that I love my relationships with my clients. My work with them brings deep gratification. Our conversations feed my own creative projects, and their tenacity often inspires me.

As the year’s end approaches, I’m reflecting on how far my clients have come in their projects and ventures. I want to show them or express to them what their relationships have meant to me.  Like other positive emotions such as compassion, gratitude can sound like a good idea, a noble concept. But I’ve been wondering,

How can creative entrepreneurs express gratitude to clients genuinely, authentically, memorably? Read more

Gratitude, Creativity, & The 30 Days/300 Things Gratitude Challenge

Does receiving gratitude inspire you to more creative action? Is it easy for you to express it? Is it easy for you to receive it? Dare I ask, are there ‘advantages’ for creative practitioners and entrepreneurs to practicing gratitude? Those questions I’ve been living in for a few weeks.

Entrepreneur and perspiration guru Scott Belsky learned the power of appreciation from a storyteller. The author of Making Ideas Happen describes his experience at storyteller Jay O’Callahan’s storytelling workshop in Cape Cod. As part of a workshop exercise, Belsky told a story. O’Callahan respond with genuine enthusiasm, and other participants did likewise. Belsky was riveted and warmed, but he was ready and eager for the critique. The critique never came.

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