“Confessions of the Creative Mind”
By Biz Stone
Twitter fans everywhere will enjoy this read. I know I did. I thought the cover design was perfect.
The book received acclaim from several well-known individuals; Stephen Colbert, Ron Howard, Arianna Huffington, Charles Best, and Steven Johnson.
If one if familiar with social media, one knows all about Twitter. I don’t know about you, but I love learning the behind the scenes information. Who was involved in something creative? What did they do or what mistakes were made that ultimately lead them to where they are now? What were the learning points? I am a wisdom seeker and I do love learning best from the mistakes of others. Yes, we all learn the hard ways. Yes, we all make mistakes in our learning and growing and developing endeavors. But, hands down, learning from others is thee better way to go. Following in the path of creative minds and influencers and keeping in mind the tips provided helps us in our journeys in tremendous ways. If there is a pothole up ahead, heck, it is best to be warned. Each of us may be on a different path towards different dreams, but each of us can learn from those who have achieved significant goals and dreams. Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, takes time to share with readers his own stories about his life and career. He talks about “the power of creativity and how to harness it.”
My favorite take-a-ways:
PROBLEM OR IDEA
“Visualize what you want to see happen for yourself in the next two years. What is it?”
“As you’re working out or going for a walk, let that concept bump around in there. Don’t come up with anything specific. The goal isn’t to solve; anything. If you take an idea and just hold it in your head, you coconsciously start to do things that advance you toward that goal. It kinda works. It did for me” (p. 4-5).
“My dictionary defines opportunity as a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. The world has conditioned us to wait for opportunity, have the good sense to spot it, and hope to strike at the appropriate time. But if opportunity is just a set of circumstances, why are we waiting around for the stars to align? Rather than waiting and pouncing with a high degree of failure, you might as well go ahead and create the set of circumstances on your own. If you make the opportunity, you’ll be first in position to take advantage of it. It wasn’t until later that I realized that this is the core of entrepreneurship—being the person who makes something happen for yourself. But it’s also true for all forms of success, in all parts of life. People say success is a combination of work and luck, and in that equation, luck is the piece that is out of your hands. But as you create opportunities for yourself, your odds at the lottery go way up” (p. 11).
“Believing in yourself, the genius you, means you have confidence in your ideas before they even exist. In order to have a vision for a business, or for your own potential, you must allocate space for that vision.” “Real opportunities in the world aren’t listed on job boards, and they don’t pop up in your in-box with the subject line: Great Opportunity Could Be Yours. Investing your dreams is the first and biggest step toward making it come true. Once you realize this simple truth, a whole new world of possibilities opens up in front of you” (p. 14).
“Graphic design is an excellent preparation for any profession because it teaches you that for any one problem, there are infinite potential solutions. Too often we hesitate to stray from our first idea, or from what we already know. But the solution isn’t necessarily what is in front of us, or what has worked in the past. For example, if we client to fossil fuels as the best and only energy source, we’re doomed. My introduction to design challenged me to take a new approach today, and every day after” (p. 23).
“Embrace your constraints, whether they are creative, physical, economic, or self-imposed. They are provocative. They are challenging. They wake you up. They make you more creative. They make you better” (p. 57).
Learning how to do a back handspring;
“Now bend as if you’re going to sitn down, arch your back, and let yourself fall past the point of recovery. Keep your arms outstretched. When you feel your fingers touch the ground then push with your toes. The key is being willing to fall past the control point. If you can give in to the risk of that, you can perform the back handspring with very little effort. I did exactly as he instructed me, and it worked. When I went past the point of no return, it was effortless. The same is true fro making a big move in your life. Asking a girl on a date, particularly if she brings a fifth wheel, means you’re risking embarrassment and failure. Deciding to quit your job, particularly if it means leaving behind valuable options, means you risk financial ruin and still more failure. But when it works out, isn’t it fantastic? When I successfully executed the back handspring, I was in awe. It was all about being willing to fail, just like in Gattaca” (p. 83-84).
“Johnson uses this story to talk about how innovation comes from preexisting ideas “cobbled together with spare parts that happened to be sitting in the garage.” But to me it also means something slightly different: finding the bright spot. When everything’s wrong and broken, instead of harping on what’s wrong and broken, find what works, and build on that. Seek out the positive “bright spot” amid seemingly limitless negativity. Solutions emerge if you look for the positive” (p. 101).
I LOVE these assumptions;
“Assumptions for Twitter Employees
- We don’t always know what’s going to happen.
- There are more smart people out there than in here.
- We will win if we do the right thing for our users.
- The only deal worth doing is a win-win deal.
- Our coworkers are smart and they have good intentions.
- We can build a business, change the world, and have fun” (p. 160).
Of course, there are many more favorite words and ear-marked pages that will be my “go tos” in the future. Not only did I learn some of the history of how Twitter came about, who were some of the people involved, but I also received some good wisdom and great inspiration as well.
Today, Biz Stone is busy with his new creation; Jelly. Feel free to check out Jelly at;http://blog.jelly.co/
HAPPY READING and HAPPY LEARNING! Now, go and BE HAPPY CREATING, DREAMING, and MAKING YOUR OPPORTUNITIES WORK FOR YOU!