October 14, 2013

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Tutu Lawal - Great Article by Author David Burkus
Why creativity? Don’t we already know whether or not we’re creative?

Actually no. A large number of the myths of creativity revolve around the faulty notion that some people have it and some people do not. We’ve tried to explain creativity as something a few people are gifted with, or that some people were born with. The truth is that we’re all born with the ability to think creatively. Over time, some people get better at developing their creative thinking skills, but anyone can develop them. In modern day, we face a lot of complex problems. Those problems will need everyone’s combined creativity to solve. We can’t just trust a few, seemingly “gifted” people. We need everybody to bust the myths and develop their creativity.

Where did the myths of creativity come from?

When we as humans don’t understand how something works, we usually develop some kind of educated guess or heuristic assumption about it. Over time, these heuristics become fully entrenched myths that can be hard to abandon. Creativity is a phenomenon that was hard to explain, so we developed myths. History is filled with myths around creativity, beginning with the Greeks and their ideas of the muses.

In the case of business, so much of management education teaches us to rely on solid principles and formulas that have been refined through the decades. Creativity, until recently, wasn’t like that. It was hard to reduce to a set of defined metrics, and so many in business abandoned it all together, outsourcing it when needed to “creative” firms. Thankfully, decades of psychological insight into creativity have given us a means to study where it comes from and how to enhance it for greater innovation.

What is the first step that leaders should make to enhance creativity in their own or their team’s work?

The first step is to closely examine the organization. As I talk about in the opening chapter, research from scholars like Teresa Amabile at Harvard has shown that creative insights happen when four factors are aligned: motivation, domain-relevant skills, creativity-relevant processes, task motivation and the surrounding social environment.

Domain relevant skills concern the traditional knowledge of your people; do they know what they’re doing in that role? Creativity-relevant processes concern their creative thinking skills; have they been trained to generate ideas? Motivation is a big one, and concerns whether or not the work they are doing is one they are naturally engaged in; are they intrinsically motivated to focus on the task? Lastly, the social environment concerns whether or not the organization has a culture that supports creativity; does the company judge ideas too quickly, or punish failure to harshly, or (perhaps worst of all) does it rely on a small group of people for all its ideas.

Where these factors overlap is where creativity happens. If you can structure the organization to enhance these, then you enhance the organization’s creativity. If you’re not in a position to change the organization, then can you use these four factors to change yourself or your team?

What are the most obvious common myths of creativity as they relate to the creative areas (advertising, marketing, publicity, promotions, events, etc.)?

Perhaps the most common myth related to the creative areas is the Breed Myth, the idea that only certain people are creative and that those people are unique and must be identified and cultivated. In reality, the creativity of anyone can be developed and great ideas can come from anywhere in an organization. Historically, though, organizations erect a wall between “creative” roles and presumably noncreative ones. In advertising, for example, the longstanding precedent was that account managers and actual ad men who designed the advertisements should be separate and rarely even community. This wall is gradually falling, but the lingering need for distinction may still be there.

What’s the most damaging myth about creativity?

There’s a popular phrase, “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” I think this belief has developed into an entire myth, which I call the Mousetrap Myth. The truth is that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat it down or (even worse) ignore it. Great ideas get rejected all the time. Kodak invented the digital camera but rejected it. Xerox invented the personal computer but handed it off.

We say we want more creativity, but when we are presented with new ideas, we have a hard time recognizing their utility. This is something I see in almost all organizations. Great ideas come from all levels of an organization, but pushing them through this bias at every level of the hierarchy is a long and arduous process that most people give up in the middle of. In this way, most organizations kill most of their innovative ideas. Yet we still think that the way to solve our innovation problems is to get our people to generate more ideas when perhaps the right solution is to get better at recognizing the great ideas we already have.



September 30, 2013

 

$275,000 Buys a Trip to Every Three-Star Michelin Restaurant in the World
 by Hillary Dixler

LeBernardin.jpg
Le Bernardin, NYC [Photo: Eater NY / Daniel Krieger]

People with money to spend, take note: The British luxury retail siteVeryFirstTo is partnering with travel site HolidaysPlease in offering a travel package in which guests can visit every three star Michelin restaurant in six months. For a cool £182,000 (roughly $274,500, priced per couple), vacationers will embark on a six month journey around the world in which they will dine at each of the 107 three star restaurants. The cost of the trip includes business class travel, luxury hotel accommodations, and the cost of the meals including "house wine." Considering a song at the Fountains of Bellagio costs a couple $250,000, this seems like a good price?

The trip is spread out across 12 countries and, according to the Telegraph, vacation-goers will spend a significant amount of time in Japan, New York, and Paris. While certainly decadent, the itinerary also seems punishing. Travelers will be "visiting approximately one restaurant every other day, you will have time to savour spectacular culinary experiences while taking in the local sites of each destination." Of course, site seeing might be difficult if travelers are in a perpetual food coma brought about by "tyrannical" tasting menus and general gluttony.



September 30, 2013

30 Ways To Live Life To The Fullest

 
 
 
30 Ways To Live Life To The Fullest
WELLNESS •  

How do you feel about your life today? Are you living every day in exuberance? Do you love what you’re doing? Are you excited every single moment? Are you looking forward to the possibilities of the future? Are you living your best life? If your answer to any of the above is a no, maybe or not sure, that means you’re not living your life to the fullest.

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”-Steve Jobs

This should not be the case; your life experience is at your disposal to mold as you see fit. You must appreciate every moment you are blessed with and be active in the bountiful world around you. There have been too many instances where we have seen people not be present in the moment because they are too distracted by miniscule issues that are irrelevant in the long run.

This is a list of 30 timeless principles we follow. As you live in alignment with them, you’ll find yourself becoming more conscious, more alive, and more importantly, experiencing life on a whole new level. Always remember, be present in the moment elite.

1. Live every day on a fresh new start

Don’t be held back by what happened yesterday. There is no such as thing as a past or a future; there is only what is called the present.

2. Be true to who you are.

Stop trying to please other people or be someone else. It’s better to be an original version of yourself than an exact duplicate of someone else.

3. Quit complaining.

Don’t be like the howling dog, always howling about your issues without accomplishing anything of merit. Be solution driven and work on your problems instead of idly complaining.

4. Be proactive.

Stop waiting for others around you to do something and take action yourself. Be a leader, not a follower.

5. Rather than think “what if”, think, “next time”.

Don’t ponder things you can’t change or thoughts that induce sadness, as they are disempowering and detrimental. Instead, focus on what you can improve; that’s the most constructive path you can take in any situation. Learn from your mistakes.

6. Focus on WHAT vs. How.

Focus on WHAT you want first, before you think about HOW to do it. Anything is possible as long as you set your mind, heart and soul to it. Determination is key.

7.Create your own opportunities.

You can wait for opportunities in life or be proactive and forge your own opportunities. The latter is definite and much more empowering. Nothing is ever handed to you on a gold platter.

8. Live more consciously each day.

Stop sleepwalking through life. Your life is something to be experienced, not coasted through.
Be committed to your growth. In the Map of Consciousness, there are 17 levels of consciousness – from Shame to….

9.Enlightenment.

The higher level of consciousness you achieve, the richer your life experience. Achieving higher consciousness comes from your commitment to growth. Don’t be stagnant, never settle and keep growing.

10. Know your inner self.

This means knowing who you are and what you represent. Be clear of your personal identity and stick up for what you believe in.

11.Discover your life purpose.

Set the mission statement for your life–one that will drive you to live your life to the fullest.

12. Live in alignment with your purpose.

What can you start doing immediately that will let you live 100% in alignment with your purpose? How can you live true to your purpose within every context/situation/environment you are in, every second of the day? The answer is by aligning with your purpose.

13. Set your life commandments.

Define your personal commandments to live your best life. What adages and principles do you want to follow in your life?

14. Discover your values.

Values are the essence of what makes you, you. Having values and morals represents the type of person you are. Strong values make a strong human being.

15. Hold yourself to the highest conduct.

Every one of us has our own set of ethics, principles and moral codes. Live true to them every day. Also, live in full alignment with your purpose (#11), commandments (#13) and values (#14).

16. Design your ideal life.

What is your ideal life? Design it. First, assess your life at the moment. Then, ask yourself what it takes to live a 10/10 life (in all 10 areas – career, health, love, social, etc…). What is the life that will make you the best person you can ever be? Set your goals! There are no limits in life – only those you set for yourself!

17. Stop putting life on hold.

Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? What is one area of your life you have been putting off/avoiding/denying? Uncover it and start working on it. You don’t want to have things stay on hold for too long.

18. Create your life handbook.

Your life handbook is your life-long personal manual to live your best life – from your mission statement, your values, your long-term goals, short-term goals, personal strengths, blind spots to address, plans, among others. Create your book first then build on from there.

19. Set your goals.

After you design your ideal life, set your 5-year, 3-year and 1-year goals. The more specific your goals, the better! Train your mind to fulfill these goals.

20.Take action on your goals and dreams.

Create an action plan with your strategy, plan and immediate next steps. Determination and execution is everything here. Your belief in what you are all about will show how well you take actions on your goals.


21. Create your bucket list.

Then, get out to achieve them. You only get to live this life once!

22. Don’t do things for the sake of doing them, do it for the story.

Always evaluate what you’re doing and only do something if there is meaning behind it. Don’t be afraid to quit the things that don’t serve your path and don’t be afraid to do things that will make a great story! Life is all about who walks out of here with the best story.

23.Do the things you love, because life is too precious to spend it doing anything else.

If you don’t enjoy something, then don’t do it. Spend your time and energy on things that bring you fulfillment and happiness.

24. Discover your passion in life.

What sets you on fire? Go out there (and explore inward) to know what you love to do.

25. Make your passion a full-fledged career.

After finding your passion, go out and find a way you can turn it into a profitable career. The ones that do what they love on a daily basis don’t even think of it as work, but more so as fun.

26. Then, start pursuing it.

Stop working in a job you are passionless towards. Quit your job when you are ready to do it full-time.

27. Turn your passion into a huge success.

Turn your passion into a multi-million dollar business. Better yet, make it a multi-billion dollar one.

28. Learn from criticism.

Be open to criticism, but don’t be set back by it. Criticism is meant to help you be a better person. Learn from it.

29. Be positive.

Is the glass half empty or half full? How about neither? It’s actually completely full – the bottom half is water, the top half is air. It’s all a matter of perception. Take on empowering perceptions, not those that bind you. If you can see the positive sides of everything, you’ll be able to live a much richer life than others. Purge unnecessary negativity from your life.

30. Learn from your mistakes. 

For your life to be wholesome you are going to have to endure mistakes, no matter what. No one is perfect. But what separates the strong form the weak is how well they manage to learn from their mistakes and move on.

Closing thought-Let go of your unhappy past. This means past grievances, heartbreaks, sadness, disappointments, etc.

Be present in every single moment of your life. Live in the moment and be in the moment. Don’t let the stresses of life take away from the greatness that you currently have now. Remember life is what you make out of it.

Article I Enjoyed Reading - Tutu Lawal



September 26, 2013

FOR THOSE who’ve seen it all, whose rarefied life has left them filled with ennui, money will buy an over-the-top vacation thrill. Part adviser, part psychologist, part concierge, and part event planner, the “bespoke” travel agents who cater to the wealthy create customized one-off itineraries to surprise and delight even the most jaded adventure-seeker. “It’s about making every experience exactly perfect,” says Philippe Brown, founder of Brown & Hudson, an agency in London with clients from the United Kingdom, China, and the United States (Maxwell, whose husband “appeared” in Marrakech, is one). It might be a private fireworks show, or a balloon trip over the Arctic to view polar bears, arranged by Toronto-based Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions. Perhaps you’d like to be a fly on the wall at an event few outsiders ever get to see. For one $1.5 million family trip to Burma, Based on a True Story, a travel company that specializes in creating over-the-top trips, arranged for its clients to visit a traditional Buddhist monastery for a catered meal and a special blessing by the head monk. Afterward, they took part in an inauguration ceremony for 14 young monks-to-be, featuring a procession of hundreds of elaborately dressed locals, and helped shave the boys’ heads as part of Buddhist religious ritual.

Or perhaps you’d like to take your mingling to the next level by interacting with the local experts Brown calls “influential individuals.” These might be journalists, historians, wine experts, or even more rarefied types. Brown once planned an African honeymoon for a couple who made it clear they were very interested in meeting locals. Brown pressed them for specifics. “I said, ‘Do you mean the colorful Masai, who jump up and down, or Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu?’ ”

It was the latter. Mandela, the former South African president, was unavailable, but Brown was able to arrange for the couple to meet Tutu, the Anglican bishop and social rights activist. The price: an undisclosed donation to charity.

Then there are the truly outlandish vacations, carefully orchestrated Disneyesque adventure fantasies complete with costumes, sets, and a plot—as close to an out-of-this-world experience as money can buy (until the world’s billionaires can teleport themselves to Mars for the weekend).

Fantasy elements are built into the experience at Musha Cay, a private Bahamian island resort that has hosted Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Sergei Brin, as well as Saudi and European royalty. The property is owned by David Copperfield, the magician, who carefully manages its many fantastic details and whose unofficial motto for guests is “whatever you dream can happen.”
 

COURTESY MUSHA CAY

The two-mile sandbar at David Copperfield's Musha Cay, in the Bahamas, appears for just a few hours a day.

For $37,000 a night for as many as a dozen people, or $52,000 for the maximum of 24 people, guests can, if they choose, loll in chaises and watch “drive-in” movies on the beach, complete with retro candies and 1950s signage. In another scenario, the Musha Force helicopter lands on the beach, sparking a laser tag extravaganza. If guests happen to leave litter behind, no problem: The island has a team of macaws trained to pick up rubbish and toss it in the trash.

“If I can amaze people who have seen it all, it’s pretty cool,” says Copperfield.

Even the macaws are small potatoes, though, compared with some of the trips from Based on a True Story. The company’s founder, Niel Fox, is a British adventurer who made news in 2000 by traveling from the United Kingdom to Antarctica for charity, using only human- or animal-powered transportation (bikes, kayaks, and dogsleds). Along the way, he met some very wealthy people, he says, “and it occurred to me that we could show them the whole world.”

A trademark Based on a True Story trip includes specially built sets—igloos with fur rugs, say, or beautifully furnished fishing huts—multiple destinations, and a script, often designed to appeal particularly to ultra-high-net-worth children. In 2011, the company staged a Christmas trip to the Arctic for a billionaire’s family in which the children helped Santa, who was struggling under the demands of a greedy world. For a Russian family, it created an 11-day pirate vacation that took the group through several countries via camel, yacht, and hot-air balloon and culminated in a pirate battle in Spain.

And then there were the Children Who Saved Greece, a multimillion-dollar family vacation incorporating input from Europe’s top authority on Greek mythology, the talents of hundreds of costumed actors, and a treasure hunt. “We brought Greek mythology alive,” says Fox. “The children were on a mission to find a massive stash of gold that could help Greece with its problems and restore the Greek gods to power.” They got to keep some of the gold they found—which was real, naturally—but they had to “give” the rest away. The message was, “the kids should be helping, not taking.”

Fox says that he, not his clients, injects the morality in these morality tales. But plenty of ultra-high-net-worth types do try to use over-the-top family vacations to impart life lessons to their children—with mixed results. “There are a lot of blinders on,” says Dr. Jamie Traeger-Muney, a psychologist who consults with financial institutions and individuals about the emotional consequences of wealth. “Often they’re taking the kids to see the other extreme: You go to India and see people living on the street. It really is incumbent on the smart parent not to throw a kid into that environment without having conversations about gratitude, how much luck there is in the world, how much advantage they have by being educated, and the responsibility of having wealth.”
 

 

BUT IF THE MAJORITY of the super-rich are comfortable with this kind of travel, there’s an emerging breed of ultra-high-net-worth traveler who’s younger and newer to wealth and is uncomfortable with excess. This group still prefers to fly below the radar—albeit in first class. At The Point, I met a hedge-fund couple in their early 40s who spoke disparagingly of overly extravagant resorts they’d visited. They looked for places with character, the husband told me, not those that seemed overdone. That sentiment is echoed by friends of mine, a young, retired multimillionaire couple who can’t stomach the economic disparity between those being catered to and those doing the catering.

And call me hopelessly bourgeois, but after two days of lolling around Calivigny, I’m actually yearning to break out of the luxury bubble. My butler boats me to the Grenadian mainland. In St. George’s, the island’s hilly capital, people live in modest homes with goats grazing out front. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan all but wiped out Grenada’s crucial nutmeg industry; the trees are growing back, but for many locals, life is hard. I climb to the top of Fort George, a 300-year-old structure built by the French, a vivacious tour guide named Alice tells me, after they conquered and slaughtered the indigenous Carib and Arawak people and brought in African slaves. When she asks me where I’m staying, I tell her, but, suddenly embarrassed by the revelation, quickly add, “I’m there for work!”

Back on Calivigny, I find myself wondering whether I’d enjoy this life all the time—isolated from the world, secluded from anyone outside my socioeconomic class…unless they work for me. It’s a nice place to visit, I decide, but I wouldn’t want to live here.



September 23, 2013

These are some really interesting thoughts that we can all apply in our daily lives to move away from the rut:

1. Don't see time as an obstacle. "I don't have enough time" has to be one of the great lies people tell themselves. Every time I say, “I don't have enough time,” I add something to my calendar. Learn how to create time by forcing yourself to take on more.

2. Meet new people every day. We all have this discomfort with meeting new people. The moment I commit to introducing myself to five people I don't know, I find I become more expressive, confident and creative.

3. Write down your fears, then go confront them. I don't care what comes up on the list. Get it handled by confronting the little beast, and do what you can to get over the fear.

4. Take on a new role at your company for a few hours so you can experience what others have to do on a daily basis. You might want your employees to take on this task as well. It can be very revealing for all employees, especially executives.

The American middle class was built on the concept of creating a comfortable life. But that concept is now failing. Most Americans feel they don't have enough income, savings or time to do the things they truly want to do.

Those doing best in this country are those who refuse to settle with being comfortable. They push for freedom instead. Seek a life of freedom, not a life of comfort, and you'll see how truly far you can go.

 




September 18, 2013

The key to living well is to dream big and live everyday like there is no tomorrow!

Four Seasons - Nevis