Month: February 2018

Episode 102: Single Saskatchewan Kissers || Andy, Phil, Sherril

What if grandparents babysat in parking lots? What if doing house chores was a competitive sport? What if ping pong had ball boys? What if we monetized road rage? What if parents could shop in big box retailers without stress?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Andy, Phil and Sherril gather in Tampa for some execution in public.

Execution Lesson 102: Air as dense as a poor man’s sandwich.

Recently, a footwear company launched an innovative pair of sneakers that were fashioned mostly out of recycled carbon dioxide emissions.

Sound unfathomable? Well, carbon dioxide emitted by power plants can be actually be captured and converted into a special polymer useful for creating shoes. You can literally make the product out of thin air.

This is, in my opinion, the one and only instance where the phrase out of thin air is valid.

Those three words make my blood boil. When somebody comments that an idea comes out of thin air, what they mean is, it’s so unexpected, it seems to have materialized suddenly and dramatically.

But that’s not the way innovation works. Thin air exists on mountaintops, but within the infinite realm of human consciousness and imagination, it’s exactly the opposite. The more interesting, surprising and memorable an idea is, the more likely it is to have come from air that is very, very thick.

This is how the creative brain functions. Nothing is ever wasted. We train ourselves to file everything away. Our subconscious impressions combine with our conscious experiences, efforts and realizations, and the relaxed free association between the two promotes the flow of air makes ideas happen.

Emerson spoke of this process movingly.

A man is to know that they are all his, suing his notice, petitioners to his faculties that they will come out and take possession, born thralls to his sovereignty, conundrums he alone can guess, chaos until he comes like a creator and gives them light and order.

If your job is make into existence things that didn’t exist before, to bring forth the future from nothing, then make the air as thick as you possibly can.

Pay attention to your impressions. Keep a watchful eye on them. Assure everything you know is written down somewhere.

And in time, your reservoir of related associations and impressions will be money in the bank of your creative consciousness.

How will you breathe a new world into existence when your air is as dense as a poor man’s sandwich?

Episode 101: Holy Water For Orphans || Natalie, Katie, Brittany

What if we delivered holy water to orphans? What if we could create spontaneous dance parties? What if magicians entertained customers while waiting in line? What if we offered pancakes to homeless people who did jumping jacks?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Natalie, Katie and Brittany gather in Brooklyn for some execution in public.

Execution Lesson 101: A sign that letting go may be in order

I have an illustrator friend who uses wallpaper lining paper for her sketches.

Not only because it’s cheap, but also because it’s abundant. The stuff costs twenty bucks for a thirty foot roll of paper.

And so, drawing on it encourages a freer approach to creating. There’s so much of it, she won’t get precious about the work.

This mindset is essential for developing a healthy relationship with one’s creative process. Mature detachment. Respectful surrender. Compassionate impermanence. Expecting it all to disappear, and having enough faith in ourselves to build it all again.

Tibetan monks create sand mandalas for this very reason. It’s a highly intricate and ritualized process that takes several people, dozens of hours and millions of grains of sand. But the final product, as gorgeous as it appears, is destroyed shortly after its completion. The monks say a few prayers, sweep up every last grain of sand, give away handfuls to those who participate in the closing ceremony, and then dump the rest of the sand into the nearest living stream to be swept into the ocean to bless the whole world. Mandalas symbolize the ephemerality of life and the world.

The lesson is, there’s nothing wrong with falling in love with our ideas. But if we cling to our creative gifts too tightly, we run the risk of receiving the rope burns of attachment.

And so, whatever project you’re currently working on, learn not be so precious about it. Your idea is not a fragile vase that’s going to shatter.

Apple’s iconic founder said it best in his commencement address.

Avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.

Which of your ideas are you afraid to let go of?