Today I was going to blog about an experiment that I was going to conduct and then write about how I created something interesting (blog post) by chance and putting it all together. I was going to make up the title of what I wanted to write about, Google it and with what I found mend it into a something interesting, but instead I just foud something interesting. It was a scholarly paper by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi a Hungarian psychology professor at Claremont Graduate University.
The paper was called “CREATIVITY Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention” and as it sound it was quite interesting and basically this guy knows what’s up. I found one section particularly interesting “Enhancing Personal Creativity” esassally the fist lines.
“Each person has, potentially, all the psychic energy needed to lead a creative life.
But there are many obstacles that prevent many from expressing this potential.”
I think I just might have to stop there, and let that sit a while.
The brain is a cool aspect of our human existence and it seems I always am mentioning some of its mystery thought out my blog. So I found some of the most interesting facts about our gray matter on the web.
Results from cognitive tests show 30% of 80-year-olds perform as well as young adults.
• Your brain is about 2% of your total body weight but uses 20% of your body’s energy.
• The energy used by the brain is enough to light a 25 watt bulb.
• More electrical impulses are generated in one day by a single human brain than by all the telephones in the world.
• How much does human brain think? 70,000 is the number of thoughts that it is estimated the human brain produces on an average day.
• After age 30, the brain shrinks a quarter of a percent (0.25%) in mass each year.
• Albert Einsteins brain weighed 1,230 grams (2.71 lbs), significantly less then the human average of 1,300g to 1,400g (3 lbs).
• 89.06 is the percentage of people who report normally writing with their right hand, 10.6% with their left and 0.34% with either hand.
• Oxygen. Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body.
• Blood. As with oxygen, your brain uses 20% of the blood circulating in your body.
• Unconsciousness. If your brain loses blood for 8 to 10 seconds, you will lose consciousness.
• Speed. Information can be processed as slowly as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec (about 268 miles/hr).
• Wattage. While awake, your brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power–or enough energy to power a light bulb.
• Yawns. It is thought that a yawn works to send more oxygen to the brain, therefore working to cool it down and wake it up.
• Neocortex. The neocortex makes up about 76% of the human brain and is responsible for language and consciousness. The human neocortex is much larger than in animals.
• 10%. The old adage of humans only using 10% of their brain is not true. Every part of the brain has a known function.
• Brain death. The brain can live for 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen, and then it begins to die. No oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes will result in permanent brain damage.
• Highest temperature. The next time you get a fever, keep in mind that the highest human body temperature ever recorded was 115.7 degrees–and the man survived.
• Stress. Excessive stress has shown to “alter brain cells, brain structure and brain function.”
• Love hormones and autism. Oxytocin, one of the hormones responsible for triggering feelings of love in the brain, has shown some benefits to helping control repetitive behaviors in those with autism.
• Food and intelligence. A study of one million students in New York showed that students who ate lunches that did not include artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes did 14% better on IQ tests than students who ate lunches with these additives.
• Seafood. In the March 2003 edition of Discover magazine, a report describes how people in a 7-year study who ate seafood at least one time every week had a 30% lower occurrence of dementia.
• Tickles. You can’t tickle yourself because your brain distinguished between unexpected external touch and your own touch.
• Create associations. Memory is formed by associations, so if you want help remembering things, create associations for yourself.
• Scent and memory. Memories triggered by scent have a stronger emotional connection, therefore appear more intense than other memory triggers.
• Anomia. Anomia is the technical word for tip-of-the-tongue syndrome when you can almost remember a word, but it just won’t quite come to you.
• The brain is much more active at night than during the day. Logically, you would think that all the moving around, complicated calculations and tasks and general interaction we do on a daily basis during our working hours would take a lot more brain power than, say, lying in bed. Turns out, the opposite is true. When you turn off your brain turns on. Scientists don’t yet know why this is but you can thank the hard work of your brain while you sleep for all those pleasant dreams.
I’m always talking about creativity so I thought I’d put up some of my favorite photo I was lucky enough to take this summer.
In my last post I talked about just getting up and doing what you what, so I’ll mention some dudes who actually have done just that. Getting stuff done at least. This New Years Eve at lake Tahoe there will be a music festival that is rival to any electronic music festival around. It’s called Snow Globe Music festival and it’s going to be awesome.
I’ve known about the idea of the music festival for a while now as I camped with the organizers last spring at another festival in southern California. Pretty regular 25 year-old dudes, love music, festivals, and girls. Still grappling with finding the balance between work and play in life after college. They mentioned that they had plans and financing in order to throw a music festival of their own in Tahoe, which sounded awesome to me considering that is basically home town turf. I took them mostly seriously considering the detail of their plan and the fact that they seemed like rather highly functioning individuals. Then again I had just met them and we were amidst a three-day party so I had my doubts.
Originally they planned it as a summer event planned around the 4th of July, which sounded great considering the amount of people in Tahoe at that time of year. But to make a long story short they didn’t get the permits, they got something better. The go ahead to have the festival New Years Eve in South Lake Tahoe the only time of the year there might be more people that the forth of July. They made it happen, while most twenty something’s are working overtime for the extra money to three days fighting crowds at Coachella these guys were making there own.
I wont go on too much about the specifics, I mention these guys because they are getting it done. Putting their ideas in action, and conveniently for them are going to make a lot of money in the process. My favorite part was they took the Wayne’s World advise and used the “If you book them they will come” approach and booked some really big names Pretty Lights, Glitch Mob, Bassnectar among others, despite the fact that this is there fist festival ever. This New Years I know where I’ll be, hope to see you there.
There’s a lot to say about getting shit done sometimes. It’s hard, enthusiasm is the missing emotion on the milk carton and procrastination is that all to comfortable friend yelling at you to come kick it. Only to leave you with a regretful, remorseful hangover reminiscent of the ones Jim, Jack, & Jose are all too famous for. But unlike alcoholism, procrastination on the other hand isn’t famously cherished by artists and writers alike as a creative necessity. Not that I’m saying that’s true or not, Hemingway himself said, “Alcohol is the cause and solution to many of my life’s problems.”
We can agree on one absolute though; nether helps productivity and for one reason or another fear of failing to produce is usually why so many drink and procrastinate in the first place. A round about paradox that is prevalent in anyone who isn’t self-aware. Neurologically tricked into choosing self-loathing and complete avoidance as a better option than the fear of failing. This type of behavior isn’t exclusively practiced by self-destructive artists and procrastinators. The comfort bubble people, scared to do anything that’s outside of their own realm of right might be the worst. They can’t even admit that their fear is the cause of what’s stopping them from doing anything notable.
Marie Curie once said, “Nothing in life is to be feared. Only to be understood.” We have to understand what’s stopping us, why we don’t believe that we can create something as well as the next as long as we get up and go do it. Learn resilience; take baby steps, do what ever. Just remember, “What one man can do, another can do” (-Anthony Hopkins, The Edge) so go kill that fu_*ing bear or whatever it is that’s stopping you from making that creative idea a reality.
Social media is just about everywhere and has become inundating to the point that you’d like to categorize it along with your local annoying coffee drinking hipsters. Negative notions pertaining to the subject are ample and wide ranging, but most of them consist of complaints of distraction, lack of fact checking ext.
Although most of us know there are many more positive uses, especially the people using social media platforms on a regular basis and the people who don’t are excited to learn. It’s lateral communication, in-bound marketing, and the digitization of the most powerful marketing tool of all, word of mouth, friend 2 friend communications. There’s no more filter on the flow of information. My self-branding professor Dr. Bret Simmons, states that the power of blogs is that it’s self-publication and powerful self-promotion, a way to let people know you more personally.
All of these notions are probably true the positives and the negatives, but there’s an aspect that the cynics my not know and the proponents might know but just don’t realize. That is, it is an extremely powerful exercise in the practice of execution. It stream lines the process of making a creative idea a little more real, and instant feedback on that idea something that never could have been done before.
My last post, “Quality from Quantity: Is a Genius a Genius If They Don’t Do Anything about It?” I wrote about how all great successful people make there great ideas come true by volume, if you try enough times you’ll have something good. Granted this process is a little easier if you’re a genius, but you’ll still have to make your share of un-noteworthy content or material. This fact is quite empowering, and at its core lies what I believe, might be the most important aspect of social media.
It gives people the opportunity to publish, publish, publish… publicly. With every Facebook update, tweet, pic posted, or blog written, people are engaging in creation and feedback of their own content. Of course, as we know most of it will be crap, but judging by what we’ve learned from past great idea’s realized, shitty content is good and completely necessary. The cool part is that everyone can finally know that there shitty idea is actually not quite as good as they once thought. We can stop wasting time with our unproductive self-serving bias and try to make something worthwhile. So go and pound those keys, maybe be you’ll be a little closer to something genius. P.S. I don’t mind feedback ether.
Creativity is not always the hard part as much of us know, its creating something that’s worth while or worth creating in the first place. Many times we have goals, things we what to accomplish as a result of some creative, productive venture. But many times we talk ourselves out of doing anything because the things we can brainstorm fail to meet our final expectation. Although, it is in fact that type of attitude that stops us from creating anything worth while in the first place. Our subconscious stops us from practicing in the rudimentary exercise of trial and error.
Recently I watched a talk given at the 99percent.com conference by Frans Johansson dubbed “The Secret About Executing Great Ideas” he talks among other things about the habits of highly successful people and how their great ideas became great. Not talent, not circumstance, but the actual volume of content or material that they actually created. Einstein for instance published over two hundred scholarly articles, Picasso like many great artist painted thousands and thousands of paintings.
This seems a little obvious; they were the best at what they did. The fact we must not over look is that much of those things they created were not masterpieces, not break though theories about the nature of the universe, but junk. They were able to make the great ideas reality that they did have, because they in fact were great at executing idea’s, any ideas not only the ones they think were worthy or would be a masterpieces.
All of them… they practiced execution. A tree might make a sound when it falls even if there’s one to hear it, but who cares. What we do care about is genius, and it will never be realized or honed without practicing execution.