Category: Creativity

How to avoid regrets

I’m about to hit the stroke of forty, and I’m pleased to report I can’t think of any regrets. This isn’t to say that I’ve never failed at anything; quite the opposite! But the reason I don’t have any regrets is because I’ve had the great fortune to try a lot of things. I now know what […]

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The dance is between the steps

I once listened to a famous choreographer talking to the dancers he was working with. The dance isn’t the steps. Stop focussing on the steps. The dance is what happens between the steps. Self-development is a hugely successful industry for many reasons – but perhaps one particularly pertinent to this. I’ve often thought that the main thing […]

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Work on your emotional defences

We’ve had some extreme weather in the last few days, here in northern England. It would have been a lot worse in my city, had it not been for the barriers set up around the river last time we had a major flood, 12 years ago. Maybe you can see where I’m going with this. There are […]

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Expect things to be good

If you read these sorts of things regularly, or even extremely infrequently, you’ll be very familiar with imposter syndrome. But just in case, here’s Wikipedia: Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Imposter […]

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Don’t choose comfort

Yesterday I was all about being caring and giving people a break. Today I want to add a caveat. Companies are really just people. People work for people, not abstract ideas. Listen to me — everything is people! I’ve got proof, I’ve seen it happening. It’s not new to say that we’d rather work with people we like… But we […]

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Your audience reflects your self-worth

How many times have you heard this: “If you don’t love/value/[insert term here] yourself, how can you expect others to love/value/etc you?” I always thought it was rubbish, to be honest. I didn’t follow the logic, and experience has shown me that it’s perfectly possible – indeed often much easier – to care about people […]

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Why you should always back yourself

On the Hack Circus podcast, I’ve talked to a lot of people who are heavily committed to a cause, or ethos. Maybe they’ve dedicated their life to improv, art, hacking, community building, or conquering fear. I think they’re fantastic, these people, and I love talking to them. But I sometimes wonder listeners might be daunted by […]

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Motivate yourself like a high achiever

There are many mysterious, hand-wavy things about creativity. A lot of it is hard to explain and justify, and some people will never understand why you choose to do the things you do. That’s fine; not fixable, and not your problem anyway. But one thing is consistently true: If you don’t behave as if you’re […]

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Don’t play the lottery

Success isn’t an end point, it’s enjoying the grind. You’ve heard me say this before. You’ve probably heard your favourite guru say it. But it’s never an easy pill to swallow, this idea that you should be loving the rough bits. I’m not sure you have to love it, but you definitely have to commit to it, and […]

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Permission to dream

I have a theory that when you spend time on something, your subconscious (or whatever it is) becomes convinced it must be a worthwhile thing to be doing. We invest in things that are valuable, right? So surely it follows that if we’re investing in things, they must be valuable? Philosophy 101: obviously this is […]

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