Bonus! Collecting Creativity – 1

Featured Image by Marcel Christ, Still Life Photographer

My plan for this blog is to post weekly on Mondays PLUS from time to time also share bonus content related to creativity and my own artistic adventures. For today, I wanted to share a few things I’ve run into recently. Have you read or seen anything lately that’s made you think about creativity in a different way? Are you doing anything fun to exercise your creative muscles? I’d love to hear about it.


All links open in a new window.

How Brainstorming Questions, Not Ideas, Sparks Creativity – “What if brainstorms were designed to generate questions, not ideas? It’s an approach that’s being touted these days by a number of advocates . . .”

How Finding the Right Community Can Help Your Creativity – Psychologists tend to see creativity exclusively as a mental process [but] creativity is as much a cultural and social as it is a psychological event.”

How Giving Up TV for a Month Changed My Brain and My Life – “Happiness comes from the interaction between inspiration and perspiration,” says Braverman. “Anything that stops humans from perspiring to achieve something inspiring gives a false fantasy and an endless distraction from reaching your full potential.”


I’ve been following Peter from “Peter Draws” on YouTube for a little while, observing his quirky approach to drawing and building an online community. This week, I saw he posted this video – Episode 1 of “What I Think About Art” in which he tells you what he thinks about art and recommends that if you want to make your life easier you can just agree . . .

If you haven’t already followed my blog, you might want to!


I loved reading this story about Mardochee Dade (link opens in a new window), a local high school student who has demonstrated his amazing talent at cello playing, as well as his commitment to pursuing his dreams in a way that’s consistent with his character. Despite opportunities to study at elite private high schools, Mardochee chose to stay at Allen High School:

“A lot of people have a bad perception of Allen and they take their kids away because of it,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave . . . I wanted to help put Allen back on the map. I wanted to leave a legacy.”


I admire the courage it takes for a young man like this to think about how his choice would impact the future.

Sometimes I wonder what my choices will leave behind . . .

As an Artist, will I leave behind any body of meaningful work?
As a Manager, how will my life and choices affect the people I supervise?
What about my impact as a Daughter, Sister, Aunt, or Friend?
How would people describe my attitude? My habits? My faith?

I don’t want to try to convince people to respect me through smoke-and-mirrors-fluffery or to spend a lot of time in indulgent self-analysis . . .

But I do care a whole lot whether I’m actually living life with the sense of emotional and spiritual solidity that come from being willing to make the sometimes-difficult choice to live according to my values. I admit that for various reasons including confusion, insecurity, defiance, or just plain laziness, I sometimes take the easy road. Do you?


This week, I had the opportunity to listen to the following Interview with Dennis Mannion, CEO of the Detroit Pistons, and I really appreciated his thoughts on success, performance, and faith.

When asked for his one top piece of wisdom for people who are passionate about optimizing their lives, Dennis said he thinks it’s critical for people to aspire to LEAP, i.e. to live with these characteristics:

Peace or Playfulness

Lately, I’ve been trying to LEAP in some new ways, both in implementing my new morning routine and in practicing new personal affirmations. It’s difficult!

Would you share your thoughts on the story about Mardochee Dade or ideas about how you LEAP? I’d love to know what you think.


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P.S. An “oldie” just for fun . . .


Spending Time


Day 2 of my new morning routine, and it went well. It already seems that this time in the morning is going to be a good mindset adjustment for my days. We’ll see if I continue to feel that way over the coming weeks and whether that leads to any long-term change/growth. For now, I’m just enjoying the encouragement.

Today, for a short clip of exercise (the E of the SAVERS acronym), I tried out a tiny session in an app called Lazy Monster which was a cute and simple way to get a little movement . . .

In my reading time, I was reminded of the 4-Quadrant diagram Stephen Covey outlines in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The themes of this book are covered ad-nauseam around the internet, so I won’t go into too much detail, but it was helpful to be reminded to stay out of Quadrant 4 (non-urgent, non-important) as much as possible.

Because there are so many creative projects I want to be able to get into (as well as so many daily responsibilities I need to take care of), I know I need to continue to improve on how I spend my time.

Just for reference, here’s a version of the Time Management matrix from the blog at Wainscot Media:


Do you find it difficult to know how to spend your time? To keep a steady focus on your priorities and stay out of Quadrant 4? I’d love to hear about it —

❤ Nicole