DAY 2 #NAJOWRIMOPROMPT: What inspired your creative self?

Yesterday you wrote about ways you express yourself creatively. For today’s journal entry, write about you creative influences. Who and what makes you feel creative. Who and what do you draw creative inspiration from?

Creative influences. Now that’s a questions I can probably provide a multitude of answers to, but nobody but me can make me feel creative!

I find it a bit odd that I read thousands upon thousands of blog posts (most notably school-related ones as well as Seth Godin, Leo Baubata, Arvind Devalia and the likes) up until I started blogging myself. Then, I basically stopped following blogs. I still read some occasionally, but I haven’t followed a blog for years. With one exception, that of my friends Wivan and Anders, as it’s one way to ensure I know what’s going on in their lives as they travel the world.

Since I started blogging myself, I listen to podcasts. (So yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to see myself pick up podcasting and then cease to listen to other podcasts?!) All through out this year, my Sunday blog post has been, and will be, a podcast tip from me. My absolute favorites are On Being, One You Feed and Good Life Project. There are other as well, some Swedish ones, such as 100%-podden by my friend Charlotte Rudenstam (there are a few episodes in English as well, so do check it out) and Värvet with Kristoffer Triumf, but also English ones such as Freakonomics Radio, Peak Prosperity Featured Voice and several NPR shows with Invisibilia and Serial as my most loved ones. And yes, I draw an immense amount of creative inspiration from these podcasts!

appleNature is also something from which I draw creative inspiration. Walking about. Sitting down. Looking at a tree, a lake, a rock, a straw of grass, ants in an ant hill… anything and everything, nature is a marvelous source for inspiration!

And family and friends of course, it’s like having my very own treasure chest full of creative inspiration! I like to witness and observe, both the ongoings of my family and friends as well as what happens within me when I am in interaction with the ones close to me.

Since I’ve stopped reading blogs so much, perhaps you think I no longer get creative inspiration from written material. Well. That would be a faulty assumption. I read books, I love books, and I get a lot of inspiration from them. Fiction is more to let my mind just be, without triggering it too much, but I also read a lot of non-fiction, which definitely does just that, triggers my creativity, my curiosity, a wish to sit with a certain question or topic, and see what happens within as I do so. A lot of that comes out as blog posts.

Do I have other sources for creative inspiration. You bet. I could jot down another ten sources, easily, but no, I’ll stop here. But what about you? Who and what do you draw creative inspiration from?

Podcast 27/52 – Mindset: being vs doing

The One You Feed is a favorite podcast of mine, and even though this one with Carol Dweck isn’t of the best show’s I’ve listened to from this podcast, it is interesting. And since Carol Dweck’s thoughts on fixed vs growth mindset is the talk of the town at the moment, I figured maybe someone would benefit from listening to this interview with her.

BoldomaticPost_fixed-vs-growthI like the reasoning behind fixed and growth mindset, possibly because I can recognize my own journey from (mostly) one to (mostly) the other. Luckily my direction has been from fixed to growth. For me, that is a huge part of the reason why my inner dialogue has gone from harsh to gentle, now that I think of it.

 

What fixed vs growth mindset is? Well, in short, as I understand it, fixed mindset is based on the belief that I have a specific amount of talent and intelligence, that cannot grow and evolve. This means that there’s no real point to trying harder, because I’ve got a fixed amount to work with. Hence, perhaps I’d get stuck in ”I’m no good at maths” and would fail to see that I can get better at maths if I work at it. Fixed mindset is encouraged by praising the result, like ”Oh you are such a clever girl!”, ”You got a good grade on that test!” and such. Accompanying though of fixed mindset might be ”I suck at this, so there’s no point in trying, because I will never get better.”, ”I hate drawing because it never looks like I want it to.”.

Grown mindset on the other hand says that you can get better, at anything really, as long as you put some effort into it. The focus is more on the process than the result. Regardless of my starting point, if I apply myself to it, I will get better at it. In time, I might even achieve mastery, if I put in the hours. So accompanying thoughts might be ”I have no clue how to crack this code, but if I work at it, I could probably figure it out. Let’s get started!”. Growth mindset is encouraged by putting attention to the process, like ”I can see how you’ve really put in an effort here!”, ”I see how you used all those different colors of green to draw that tree. It really bring it to life.”.

Anyway. What I find most significant in this podcast is the way Carol Dweck stresses the risk of fixed vs mind growths becoming ”a thing”, especially in school circles. This I believe is definitely a risk, and I fear that’s where it will end up in Sweden. It’s easy to fall in the trap of ”methodizing” something like this. That would be very unfortunate. Because this is not a thing you do. It’s a way you are.

Now, I say mindset something I am, rather than something I do, but of course, I will act out of my being, so it’s not as easy as saying it’s only about being and not about doing. The feedback to others that I exemplify above is a form of doing. But the risk, that Carol Dweck and I share a concern about, if you try to Do this without Living it. The risk of trying to give kids/pupils a growth mindset, while being stuck in fixed for my own development…. I mean, you can see for yourself how weird that would be, right? I guarantee that kids – if you are teaching, or parenting etc – will pick up on the mixed signals you are sending out, and they will see right through you.

So the question for me, is how do I switch my internal beliefs about myself, from fixed, to growth? How to live a life more based on a growth mindset?

 

Podcast 25/52 – a punch in the nose

Oops, I forgot. Sundays is my recommend-a-podcast-day here on the blog, and I simply forgot. Luckily, I can make up for it today. And I will make it up by giving you a punch in the nose… sort of. The one doing the punching is life though, and not me.

BoldomaticPost_Life-is-a-contact-sport-Its-aJonathan Fields runs Good Life Project, which is one of my top three podcasts (accompanied by On Being and One You Feed), and I often listen more than once to them. This specific pod first emerged as a blog post and if you don’t have 6 minutes to listen, take the time to read it. It’s well worth it!

So here’s Jonathan with a short riff on how life is a contact sport. If I am so afraid of what the contact might result in perhaps I also shirk away from life itself. I mean, in life, the occasional bruise and blister is certain to occur, and I might be unlucky enough to get a concussion or a broken bone, but I also might not. I don’t know in advance, do I?

Hiding, in a state of non-living, afraid of what might or might not happen if I engage. Desiring a warm welcoming hug. Dreading being punched in the nose.
And when dread and fear outgrows that which I desire and want, inaction is the likely outcome.

Is there anything more sad than a life not lived, on account of fear?

Podcast 20/52 – total flip!

Today I’ve listened two times to a podcast that flipped my world. I had no idea. There’s so much in this episode of The One You Feed that poked at what I have previously known to be true, and now feel might not be. I am definitely eager to check out what Portugal has been doing, for instance, that’s for sure. And if what they seem to have done has been so radical, and successful, why haven’t I heard more about it?

Ok. By now you might be thinking, what has she meen smoking to get all woozy like this?

Well. Nothing. I swear. But interestingly enough, the episode is actually centered around the war on drugs. Check it out for yourselves, the episode is The One You Feed with Johann Hari, on the demons we face, and why waging war on them might only have gotten them to grow ever stronger… I for one am definitely gonna check out his book Chasing the scream, that’s for sure!

I also wonder if your guess on the percentage of people who use any type of drugs (legal or illegal) who ever have a problem with it is as off target as mine was?

Podcast 12/52 – why we are here!

Yesterday I had another one of those ”Wow, this podcast is so good, I want to listen to it again, as soon as I’m done listening to it the first time around”-moments, and the podcast that made me all excited was the One You feed-episode with Glennon Doyle Melton.

I found a lot of really significant passages in the conversation in this podcast, and a few of them went straight to my heart. One of them centers on the habit we have of not sharing our vulnerability with each other. Glennon tells a story of when she wrote a post on Facebook, sharing her vulnerability in 25 bullets. The response was amazing and supportive, but also, people dared to show their vulnerability with her, after she had shown her. And she was struck by the fact that people she knew, she only really thought she knew, because there was so much pain and hard experiences in their life, that they had never shared with her. She shares her reaction to this, in the podcast:

I was pissed! Because what are we doing? Why are we even calling each other friends? We sit together and we’re talking about things that do not matter, and you’re in so much pain, and I have the same pain. This just gotta be what we’re here for: to talk about this stuff! 

hold backNow, why is it like that? Why do we barely go skin-deep? Why is it so hard to be vulnerable? Why do we hold back, from sharing our pains, losses, grievances, but also our joys, tender moments and highest wishes and dreams? And why do we believe the mind-made monsters about what will happen if we are wholehearted and vulnerable, when  in my experience, usually it’s the opposite. Yes, there will be haters, but haters will be haters, to quote Taylor Swift, and why should we (or I) let that stop me? And what I have received in love and connection on account of opening up and being vulnerable, far surpasses the ”hate-responses”.

And still. I hold back. I shy away. I hold my tongue, for fear of the reaction, even though I know that if someone came to me with what I am dying to share, I would open my arms and heart and just hold a space for whomever it was who shared their vulnerability. Why don’t I think others would do the same for me? Isn’t that why we are here?

 

Podcast 2/52 – On habits

You already know that The One You Feed is a favorite podcast of mine, so maybe it’s no surprise to you that I’ll include an episode from there early on in this yearlong series. But this is a mini-episode, where Eric Zimmer talks about building habits. It’s a short episode really just summarizing Erics best tips for how to build a habit successfully.

I won’t reveal all the different suggestions, except my favorite tip, which is one of the last ones: Never miss twice. Because I’m sure you, as well as I, have started to create a habit some time, only to realize all of a sudden that we´ve missed a day. Rather than beat yourself up over it and/or toss it all away, going There’s no point to it, I just missed a day, I’ll never be able to get this habit in please go Never miss twice instead. That is a loving and forgiving way to look at yourself and building of habits, because who cares if you miss a day? I mean, really. What’s the big deal? It’s like getting tossed off a horse, get back on again!never miss twice

I hope you listen to the podcast, and come back next Sunday for the next podcast tip.

Which one was your favorite tip? And are there any tips you have on building a habit that wasn’t on Erics list, that you’d like to share?