As you consider the gift that you have to offer - the expression that is uniquely yours, and yours alone to give away - consider this: the impact of a gift given away in freedom is vast, while a gift spent on the giver quickly fades.
What is the first thing you do in the morning? The last thing you do at night? Your first action when taking on a new project? Your impulse when receiving good (or bad) news?
If you asked those questions to many highly productive creatives, they’ll have immediate answers. Not because they are micro-obsessive about their schedules, but because over time they’ve developed predictable rituals around key areas of their life and work.
Here are three career investments that I think every single creative should be making now, and should continue to make consistently. These are the three aspirations that you should be chasing in order to ensure that you won’t be left behind.
For creative pros - those charged with turning our thoughts into value every day - the promise of a quick path to successful work is alluring. If there were proven ways to avoid the uncertainty and pain of the process, they would be worth their weight in gold. Unfortunately, they don't exist. Not really, anyway.
In my brand new book Die Empty, I examine the common places where bright, sharp, talented people eventually get stuck in their life and career. The goal, of course, is to get your best work out of you every day and to not leave it inside or take it to your grave with you like so many people do.
We each have danger zones we have to watch out for in the course of our work. They can be particular habits or patterns we fall into when we go into "coast mode" or areas or situations where we are likely to get irritated and short-circuit collaborative relationships.
Discipline is sometimes perceived as a "dirty word" because it's interpreted as pushing through the muck, doing the unenjoyable activities first, and forgoing the chocolate cake for the steamed broccoli. However, I think this is a gross misunderstanding of the word.
Be purposeful about stoking the fires of your imagination, and seeking patterns in the world around you. This is the best way to ensure that your mind is actively chasing insight and to position yourself to be brilliant when it counts most.
In case you missed it, Facebook launched a new product for the Android platform last week called Facebook Home. In the ads, it seems Facebook is tipping its hand for what they think a digitally connected life should look like.