creative thinking

creative thinking

Paul Millerd shares eleven timeless insights on the value of life and work options.

#1 Valuation & Options On The Pathless Path

When I listen to my own podcasts, I am often surprised at how I don’t fully remember everything from the conversation. This can be embarrassing until you realize that this happens in many conversations. We remember how we feel during rather than the words being spoken.

I recorded an episode about a month ago with a friend, Kris Abdelmessih. After finishing the conversation I remember being excited about what we talked about but it wasn’t until listening again this week that I realized how many great ideas I took from the conversation.

Some of you may read his newsletter, Moontower Meta. If you don’t, you should – it’s a great reflection on life and decision making through the lens of finance and trading, his former profession.

He’s recently left that world behind and embraced the pathless path. Some of his reflections were incredibly helpful for helping me re-frame the conception of my own journey. I’ve included some of these reflections below.

#1 I used to believe in Creativity, Inc.™

Early in my career I never thought of myself as creative. Creative people had titles like “creative director,” or sold paintings, or did crafts with their friends.

Now I realize that turning information into stories that resonate with people is also a certain kind of creativity. One that I can use in many different ways and that I can improve at over time.

Another kind of creativity is being able to navigate modernity. Landing interviews, figuring out how to complete bureaucratic tasks, and getting accepted into grad school all require a certain kind of creativity. I don’t like being creative in this way but can I do it? If needed.

 

Key points include:

  • Expanding the boundaries of creativity 
  • Dealing with dissatisfaction
  • Undervaluing space

 

Access the article and podcast, Valuing Life & Work Options, on Boundless.com. 

If you feel guilty for reading fiction, Amanda Setili’s article on how fiction books can improve leadership skills will remove guilt. Put your feet up and enjoy.

I’m deep into The Expanse book series, and it never ceases to amaze me how many insights and inspirations I get from reading fiction, especially science fiction.

Fiction makes it easier to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to understand different perspectives: how others feel, and how they solve problems that might have baffled you.

In The Expanse series, Naomi Nagata is a superb engineer who can solve virtually any technical problem. At the point I’m now at in the series, there’s a war going on between an authoritarian government and a resistance group. Naomi’s role is gathering intelligence and feeding recommendations to the leader of the resistance. This role seems perfectly suited to her skills and temperament. But then the leader is killed and Naomi finds herself suddenly thrust into his former role as leader of a group that spans many solar systems. She finds herself in a position where everyone is looking to her for guidance and instructions. She must learn to act like a leader, which is a role she never wanted. This happens often in business, but seldom do we get such a behind-the-scenes understanding of what it feels like to be forced into this kind of transition.

To share another strategy for leveraging fiction, one of my clients organizes book clubs among their employees, engaging a local literature professor to lead the discussion on a certain novel. One participant summed it up this way: “We learn how each other thinks, because we all read the same thing, yet have completely different observations about it.” What a great way to build trust and understanding.

Key points include:

  • Leadership learning
  • Visualization

  • Thinking beyond your own parameters

 

Read the full article, Why You Should Drop That Business Book and Read a Work of Fiction Instead, on LinkedIn.