The Dance of the Possible [review]

If you want a better understanding of how creativity works, put down your phone and give The Dance of the Possible your attention. Or, read it on your phone. It has 31 quick and easy-to-read chapters that are perfect for a commute, or as mental fodder as you wind down your day. And it’s all done with a touch of humor that includes Scott Berkun’s obsession with shouting “papaya” out of moving vehicles.

Because (for better or worse) I read lots of book on creativity, I was familiar with much of the material, from how no idea is truly original, to how creativity is rarely efficient and how you can constructively frame the narrative when your work is ignored. However, I still think it’s important to get these reminders that may very well fish you out of the next motivational rut.

But it’s also unlikely you’ll say there’s nothing new here. There’s a chapter that reveals how improvisation can help you become a better thinker, teacher, and human being. Another chapter discusses the difference between requesting feedback and encouragement, and how to go about asking for each. I hadn’t thought about how when we ask for feedback, it’s not always what we want.

What I enjoyed most about this book is it’s celebration of how special any of us are that do creative work. It’s neither easy nor convenient, but it is amazing. And while the modern world is obsessed with making things faster and easier, we shouldn’t be looking for alternatives to committing to the discipline of honoring our ideas.

Books are perhaps the greatest deal out there when it comes to changing your life, but don’t expect this one (or any book) to be your pivotal moment. Like creativity, it’s going to be the product of everything you consume and the time you put in to actually do the work.

Buy on: Amazon

This is how you stand up against hate

Hoodslam is Oakland-based performance art wrestling at it’s best. It’s better than anything the WWF or WWE has ever been, but it’s also a community that actively spreads love, not hate. This is the speech I wish every American could see, instead of what our embarrassment of a president gave us.

Stop being so sexy

Today I wrote Urbanears support because I lost the little plastic casing that went over my earbud. While the verdict is out on whether they’ll send me a free replacement, I had completely missed that the company started making speakers. I loved my custom color Jawbone, but after it got stolen and the company went belly up, I was hesitant about buying something without support. I had done a little research into compact Bluetooth speakers, but everything out there looked kinda ugly. Until now. I know dropping a few hundred on this speaker isn’t the best financial decision, but I can’t promise I won’t still do it. Extra points for being able to set up your favorite playlists as presets and the satisfaction that comes with twisting and turning real knobs. After all, we’re human.

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