Eyes Wide Open

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“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck

Last Sunday, I wanted to watch a movie. I didn’t have any idea what I would watch. I finally stopped my choice on a movie I’ve seen 8 years ago. It was David Lynch’s Dune. The version was three hours combining theatrical cut, extended TV cut and deleted scenes. The film was good, but it made me remember how great the book was.

After watching it, I was curious about the book follow-up Dune Messiah. I found myself reading about Frank Herbert, the author. I was astonished by the way the book was born. Herbert was making an article on the sand dunes near Florence, Oregon. He became really involved with his subject. The article was never finished. But it became the seeds of the book Dune.

It’s crazy that one of the best sci-fi novel of all time started  just like that. Nothing fancy here. He didn’t have a sign of God or something like that. He was just inspired in the moment by something he was witnessing in his daily life. You never know what the world could teach you. That’s why you should always keep your eyes wide open.

Start and Ignite

No matter what we say, starting is essential. Without the start, nothing will get finish. Look at all great works around you, they most likely comes from a small first step. That little step is most often the most difficult. We have ideas. A lot of them. But, fear and resistance keep us from going forward. I’ve had the fear of the start for a very long time. I was always waiting for the perfect moment. Their will never be a perfect moment. I couldn’t handle the idea failing. In Poke the Box, Seth Godin explains that pattern:

Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don’t start, you never get a chance.

Did you know that the game Minecraft was started as a sideline? I can bet that Markus Persson didn’t know that one day he would sell it for 2.5 billions dollars. Without starting, the game would have never happened. Nobody has a clue of what they start will be a success or failure beforehand. We can’t predict the future. One thing we can be sure about, starting will increase your chance of success. On the other hand, waiting will decrease them.

You must repeat to process of starting and failing on and on. Worst case scenario? You will fail. Nothing dramatic about it. We are feed with stories of success, but we rarely see the thousands of attempts that lead to success. There is no magic formula. A dynamite will never explode if you don’t commit to start and ignite it.

Steal Like an Artist (Book #5)

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What is it about.

In Steal Like an Artist, you will learn that it’s okay to steal ideas. Nobody in history were original. All great musicians, writers, inventors has taken influences from someone else. Shakespeare inspired a great deal of modern authors. He himself took most of his influence from the Greek historian and essayist Plutarch. Do you know where Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin took his influence for the Red Wedding in A Storm of Swords? From Middle Age Scottish history (The Black Dinner). You don’t have to be a genius to create something. You just have to be yourself and be inspired by the world around you.


Why you should read it.

Most people don’t believe they can be creative. They think they have to be 100% original. Once you will read this book, you will understand a bunch of things about the creative process that you didn’t know before. It’s a game changer. It opened my eyes and it might open yours. The book is filled with great quotes from Kurt Vonnegut to Steve Jobs. You will surely be inspired by what you’ll find in it.


The Bottom line.

It’s a great book. The design is beautiful. It’s a fast and easy read. You could get through it in one evening. You will find a bunch of ideas and tools to apply for your inner creativity. I think it’s a great investment for your mind. On top of that, it’s a cheap book. Stay away from it if your name is Leonard Cohen or Irvine Welsh. In other word, if you are already creating a lot of stuff in your life, you won’t get much from that book.

Overall: 8.5/10
Fun Factor: 8/10


Austin Kleon is also the author of Show Your Work and Newspaper Blackout. If you want to know more about him, I suggest you listen to the interview he gave at Unmistakable Creative.

Randomness: Jamie Oliver, Psychedelics, Fight Club 2 and More

Life & Culture

[*] Foundation: Kevin Rose interview Jamie Oliver (YouTube/59 minutes) – Great interview with chef Jamie Oliver about the passion cooking and how technology can positively impact our food system. 

[*] Extraordinary Vintage Photos Capture NASA’s First Space Explorations (Esquire) – A bunch of crazy pictures taken in space and on the moon.

[*] Will Smith on Kids, His Career, Ferguson, and Failure (Esquire) – Will Smith is now 46 years old, didn’t know he was that old. Good interview by Esquire. Will talk about Basketball, fitness, his new movie Focus and a bunch of other stuff.


Growth

[*] Tim Ferriss Interviews Arnold Schwarzenegger (Podcast/67 minutes) – Tim Ferriss interview the one and only Arnold. They touch different subjects like confidence, having a vision, life obstacles and meditation. Mr. Schwarzenegger also talk about his childhood, his move from Austria to United States and his movie career. Really interesting.

[*] 33 Ways To Be An Insanely Productive, Happy Balanced Person (Ryan Holiday at Thought Catalog) – Learn great productivity advises like inbox zero, ignoring false emergencies and learning to say ”no”. Once again, another great blog post by Ryan Holiday.

[*] Unmistakable Creative – This is a really interesting podcast. The host meet creative entrepreneurs from different backgrounds like writers, cartoonists, psychologists and much more. As I write these lines, I saw that the last interview was with Seth Godin. Most interviews last more or less an hour.


Health/Fitness

[*] The Trip Treatment (The New Yorker) – Amazing article by Micheal Pollan the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. It’s an exploration of the current research about psychedelics and health. Get ready for a long read, but it’s worth it.

[*] MAGIC MUSHROOMS AND THE HEALING TRIP (Video @ The New Yorker/6 minutes) – While we are here, we could go on with the theme of psychedelics. Follow Eddie Marritz’s experience in this short video. He was a participant in one of N.Y.U.’s Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety research studies.

[*] 7 SURPRISING WAYS TO BOOST YOUR MEMORY – (Fast Company) – I’m 100% confident that writing something help to remember. As for the other six ways to boost memory, I think you should take it with a grain of salt.


Motivation

[*] Top 100 Inspirational Quotes (Forbes) – You like quotes? Here are a hundred of them by sports legends, famous writers, musicians and historical figures. Here is one by Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

[*] GoPro: Vebjørn Enersen Goes Big in Norway (YouTube/2 minutes) – That is a scary ski jump in the back country of Norway by Vebjørn Enersen. You will get fear of height just by watching it.

[*] Risk Takers: Extreme Kayaking (National Geographic Live/11 minutes) – Extreme kayaker Trip Jennings almost died during his source-to-sea first descent of the Pandi River in Papua New Guinea. In this video, he talk about why we take risks, facing death and having a passion.


Entertainment

[*] Fight Club 2 (Rolling Stone) – If you didn’t know about it yet, Chuck Palahniuk will release a sequel to Fight Club. It will be released in May 2015 as a 10-issue comic book series. Fight Club 2 picks up 10 years after the events of the first book. We will find the anonymous narrator married to Marla Singer and struggling to be a good father to his nine-year-old son. And, expect Tyler Durden to comeback. I can’t wait to get my hands on Fight Club 2.

[*] Nightcrawler (movie for rent) – Oscar nominated film with Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s the story of Lou Bloom, a more or less crazy guy, that start working as a Los Angeles crime journalist. The movie explore the idea of the dehumanization of the victims of crimes in media for the sake of good tv ratings. What is shown on the internet and TV today would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. Is violence becoming too casual?

[*] Fury (movie for rent) – Good entertaining movie with Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. It is the story of a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines, in the heart of nazi Germany. The film isn’t a true story, but it’s based on a collection of true stories from veterans. It’s violent and sometime disturbing.

[*] Better Call Saul (TV show @ AMC) – New TV show from the creators of Breaking Bad. It also in the same universe as Breaking Bad. The first season is a prequel. We follow criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


The Wasteland

[*] 57 Best Cooking Tips of All Time (Epicurious) – 57 tips to make you a better cook now. I’ve read it and I’m still bad. Seriously, I’ve learned a bunch of stuff I didn’t know.

[*] 100 trips everyone should take in their lifetime (Business Insider) – I love to travel. I was nostalgic of my last trip at number 13 (Dubrovnik). But, it gave me some ideas for my next trip. I would love to go Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

[*] Classic New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch (Boulder Locavore) – If you didn’t have the chance to go to Mardi Gras like me, here is a nice cocktail to try at home.

The Dreamcatcher

“I am indebted to my notebook for the happiness of my whole life.” – Ben Franklin

The human mind has one great liability, it tends to forget. You can’t imagine how many ideas you have lost in the course of your life by simply not writing them down. A notebook should always be by your side to catch everything that comes out of your head. I’m a big fan of Evernote, but I find it better for short notes. If it’s an idea or an observation, I prefer to write it down. Beside, when I’m working, the last thing I want is looking at my cell.

My suggestion? Go back to the old school way. Get yourself a beautiful Moleskin notebook (the apple of the notebook a.k.a you pay for the name). Mine is the size of big Iphone. It fit well in my back pocket. I have it with me wherever I am.

A lot of great figures from history were keeping a notebooks. Charles Darwin, Ernest Hemingway, John D. Rockefeller and Pablo Picasso are among them. Do like them. Don’t let dreams fly away.