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The Science of Making Work Not Suck

Lesson 1 of 1

The Science of Making Work Not Suck with Adam Grant


The Science of Making Work Not Suck

Lesson 1 of 1

The Science of Making Work Not Suck with Adam Grant


Lesson Info

The Science of Making Work Not Suck with Adam Grant

Hello, everyone, and welcome to creativelive dot com slash TV and the Chase Jarvis Live show here on CREATIVELIVE. You know the show. This is where I sit down with the world's top creators and entrepreneurs, and I do everything I can't in fact their brains with the goal. Helping you live your dreams and career in hobby and in life before I get to my guest today, I want to remind you that if you are watching at creativelive dot com slash tv, you can click the live chat window. Are the little button up in the upper right hand corner? I will be seeing your comments and questions, and I could afford them onto our guest during the course of the conversation. If you're watching on Facebook or YouTube or any other platforms that we Simon stream to, I will also see your comments there. But the best experiences that creativelive dot com slash tv Um, but I'll start. I'll stop talking about all the technical stuff and get into the reason that you're here today, which is our guest. Mr. Adam Grant ...

has been awarded top rated business or professor, not even business professor, top rated professor for seven straight years As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meeting and live more generous. And as you all want, more creative lives. He's been recognized one of the world's most implantable management thinkers. He was recognized as Fortune's 40 under 40 is the author of Countem four New York Times, bestselling books that it sold millions of copies translated into something like 35 languages. He is here today to talk about creativity, entrepreneurship, the psychology behind it all. And we are honored to have Mr Adam Grant in the house. Adam, welcome to the show. Thank you. Glad to be here. Appreciate you. Taking time out. Where are you broadcasting from this morning? Oh, the great city of Philadelphia. Ah, nice Philadelphia. It's been a while. It's been I want to say thanks again for having you on the show. And, ah, for being on the show. Rather, and for anyone who is unfamiliar with your work, have likely been living under a rock. But for the six or eight of the couple 1000 people that are tuned in, um, give a little bit of, ah, background on how you describe yourself. You know, the bio is one thing, but how do you think of yourself and what do you wake up thinking about each morning? Chase? I struggled with this for years. I would get out of the airplane and someone would ask what Ideo and I say. I'm a professor and then they immediately start sketching away, right? Okay, I'm a psychologist. And then they move even further. And eventually I landed at being really specific because organizational psychologist And the next question is always What the heck is that? You beat me to it. So, no, I can't cure your CD if you have it. I definitely cannot get your closet looking like Marie condos. Basically, I My mission is to study how we can make work stuck a little bit less. And so I spent a lot of my time going into organizations in designing experiment. How do we make a job more creative? Um, how do we make a team or collaborative? How do we even proven organizational culture that that's what I do every day? And is it safe to say that when you wrote originals you had an end goal in mind. That was one of that was of all of your work, including something that just came out The New York Times this past week that I definitely want to talk about. But I've consumed your work for for years. Very inspirational. Ah, I want to know what? What. So for those who have read originals, it's an amazing book. I recommend you check it out. Um, but I want to know, to me, that was some some like, Ah, mind opening very, very ahead of time. Thinking, what was the goal end goal when you started writing that book and goal of the book originals? I wish I could say my goal was for you to deliver that mission accomplished. Jackie, I just took a year, right since 2 2017 or whatever. Uh, yeah. No, I, um you know, I actually didn't have a very clear goal in the sense that when I wrote my first book given take I knew exactly what my thesis waas I've spent a decade gathering the evidence that I wanted a feature in it, and I felt like originals with the chance to start, not with an answer but with the question, and it really grew out of, Ah few experiences that I had. The 1st 1 was being repeatedly asked by Executive, How do I get better creative ideas from the people in my organization? Do I have to wait until some startup comes up with a brilliant idea and then acquire it? Can I grow creativity organically in my own work? And then, on the flip side, I was running into the through the opposite of that problem in my classroom, where I'd have undergrad and MBA is graduate. They try to pitch creative ideas and then they get shot. Now, okay, we have we have an issue that needs to be solved from both perspectives. We need to figure out what it takes for individuals to champion their best in boldest ideas. And then we also have to figure out how we can build organizational cultures where those ideas are really welcomed as opposed to silence. So originals for me with an effort to really tackle those questions, and I kind of learned the hard way that it can be really difficult to advance creative ideas. And the more original your thoughts are, the more likely other people are often to reject it because that's not the way we've always done things. Uh, or, you know, that's certainly not something I can imagine working around here. My favorite well, again. It's someone as a consumer of that and and just someone who felt, seen and heard. And while so many people who are listening and watching are considered themselves Sola preneurs entrepreneurs and maybe aren't in a large organization, so many of the same principles, um, are are critical. And there's again. I try and talk to two different chunks of people who are identified as creators or entrepreneurs that people are trying to go from 01 the people for maybe in your world who, um, who are have had their creative ideas swatted down from an early age and have sort of recoiled or scaled back their vision for themselves or their organization because of that or the people who just discovered it, or in some, some arc of their journey. And we want to amplify their creativity and further unleashed these massive creative ideas. And so I'm wondering, you know, with through the lens of originals, what some advice that you would share with those listening who are either in camp 01 or camp 1 to 10. Help us help us unleash this side of ourselves that we have repressed or, um, is, um, needs to be amplified. Well, I think the place to start is is actually to go back to elementary school and look way all were recognized creative when we were kids, and at some point, a lot of us have had that beaten out of us. I know there was a study that it kind of stopped me in my tracks that I read years ago, that basically found that the most creative kid in the class was the least likely to be the teacher spent because creative kids get annoying, they're constantly sort of interrupting, raising their hand, taking you in the direction that you didn't want to go challenging. Maybe the direction you do want to go on. And I think a lot of us learn to stop asking those questions, which is obviously a mistake because we grow up. Creativity actually is something that increasingly gets rewarded and makes people really valuable. So I think the first thing to avoid you know if you're somebody who's already in that. Either 01 position or or 1 to 10 is don't fall in love with your first idea. I did it for a couple reasons. One is, we have a lot of evidence that your first ideas are often the most obvious ideas. That's why they came to mind first, because they were. They were very familiar and probably fairly adjacent to things that have already been done. It's usually when you ruled out those obvious ideas that you're ready. Teoh. Identify something more unconventional, something more original, Um, and even then, what you want to do is instead of just generating a few ideas, if you're thinking about starting a company or launching a new product instead of just generating a few, you want to generate at least 10 to 15 ideas. When people increase the quality of their ideas when they want to increase the quality of their ideas, the easiest thing to do is to increase the quantity because then you get more trips to the plate. You get just swing your bat and ultimately have a better shot of extracting. I was hosted a better shot of getting ahead in writing on pace and have Ah, former student Justin Berg is now in the Stanford faculty. And just into this really interesting study, where he asked people to take a pool of ideas they generated and he said Rankin from favorite released and then he tracked. Okay, you know that your your favorite idea that ultimately becomes the most creative I'm an empirically. The answer was no. It turned out that your second favorite idea was your most promising one. That favorite idea. You're a little bit too close to to see the flop where that second favorite idea you have a little more distance from it. You can evaluate it more objectively, but you still have enough passion to pursue it and chase when it whenever I think about this evidence, always afraid to share because I'm thinking, OK, somebody's going to game the system and say, Wait, if I just take my favorite idea and rank it second, I don't do that. I was already doing that in my mind, I e. I try to think about my best ideas, and I'm like, Did I? I think I might have done some chest moves as soon as you start to see them being adopted by the market or the class or your boss or whatever. That's here. Don't you guys? Okay, Sorry. Sorry to interrupt. I had that. I if I could have muted my microphone, my laughing behind you because it's just so true that the 2nd 1 second ideas of the best. That's a fascinating study, though. And, um, is it fair to say that that most of your research is data driven, is it? You know, empirical? Or is it? How do you study these things? Because so many people think of creativity and the launch and of ideas and and visions for, ah, life for a product for an organization as this mystical cloud of stardust. How do you think about it? How do you study it? Ah, and for those people who are Doubters or right now are thinking about it. How can you give us something to hold onto? So glad you asked that. Because not all of us are smart enough to be philosophers. Those of us who were were quite eligible for that route. We Okay, Well, how did I come up with great insights If the thoughts just don't naturally come to my mind, I'm gonna study other people's experiences and try to accumulate evidence about it. So, yeah, I mean, I as a social scientist, I feel like my job lead with evidence, uh, and then change my answers and my questions based on the data that I collect. So I'll give an example from, ah, Creativity paper that published with Jim Barry a few years ago. Jim and I were really interested in this puzzle of the relationship between intrinsic motivation and creativity. And it's been it's been done for centuries, right, that if you want to come up with new ideas, passion is the place that when you enjoy your work or you love the project that you're pursuing or you're just really excited about the goal, then then you're gonna generate more novel ideas. And yet there was conflicting evidence where when you surveyed people on their levels of intrinsic motivation, sometimes they were more creative, is rated by their supervisors, or even when you looked at their patent track record and other times they worked, and you could even then be in controlled experiments. He would try to cultivate intrinsic motivation by giving people choices about what to work on or matching a task to their interests. And sometimes they would generate more creative ideas and other times that work they wouldn't. And we were just kind of mystified by this, right? It's an intuitive idea. They couldn't quite get back by Davis. So we said, OK, first of all, what? What's going wrong here? Well, what we think is missing from this story is a broader definition of creativity. We know that creativity is generating ideas. They're not only novel, but also useful. Right? So if you're starting a business, you actually have to solve the problem for your customers. If you're generating art, you actually have toe hit a quality metric. And so we when we thought about that, we said, Okay, maybe what intrinsic motivation does is it leads you to pursue really novel ideas because you're curious. But then you run into an idea selection challenge, and you selected the ideas that are most interesting to you as opposed to the ones that are most beneficial to your audience. And so we thought OK, maybe another motivation is really important there, which is the desire to help others be more of a giver than a taker. When you're thinking about OK, how can I serve other people with my business? How can I create? Are that people are going to appreciate? Maybe Then you're gonna add an extra filter. And when you've generated all these novel ideas, you're actually gonna choose the most promise. We want to study that. The first thing we did was actually went Teoh the U. S. Military. And we got as a strange place to do this. I wanted a place where we could find both intrinsic motivation, creative work, but also very clear desire to help insert. And so it seemed like we could pull that that off there. So we surveyed people at a military base on how intrinsically motivated they were by their work and also how motivated they work to solve problems for other. And then we aggregated their survey ratings on those metrics. Then we got their supervisors to rate their creativity, and we found it was only when you had both motivations intent that you are intrinsically motivated and you are motivated to help. That you got rated is more creative. And then we said, OK, that's you know, that's nice correlation. All evidence, but does does this combination of motivations really caused creativity? So that we do is we designed a randomized controlled experiment we actually chased. We'll make you participated in the orgies. Okay, Like five rat lab rat in progress here. We need that way. Need a We need a guinea pig. So here you are. All right. So, uh, you're gonna you're actually gonna try to help a struggling band is the premise in the experiment. Okay, so we've got a band. They're trying to figure out how to monetize their content. Unfortunately, we can't sell CDs the way we use Dio, and they're really struggling right now. And so then we basically send you off to the races to generate ideas. And we're gonna have independent music. Experts rate how creative your solutions are as well. It's a business expert. And when we do that, what you don't know is we randomly assigned you either to see the task is interesting or boring. We've given you a bunch of comments from people who were previously in the study talking about how awful this thing, this problem with the solve and how frustrating and boring it was, or people who said, You know, this is actually surprisingly interesting tax. And then we also either let you you have some choices about how you're going to solve it or we put some constraints on you. So we manipulated how intrinsically motivated you might have felt. And then we also vary whether you might have felt empathy for the band's place. Either They were doing this in the hobby, and they had day jobs or this with their livelihood. And it turned out when we gave you some choices and made the task down interesting, and we highlighted that the band was really in need, you were significantly more likely to generate creative ideas. And so we put those two studies together, we say, OK, maybe we're onto something. I mean, brilliant. So this combination, um, of motivator of, like internal passion and and providing value to others. If you do take that, um, pick on that with intention. Is that the goal of that? You know the study, Then we can say, OK, great. So Adam Grant told me that if I, you know, look at the areas that I'm most interested in and you know there's A lot of people have talked about this. Um, there's some Asian philosophical approaches. There's Cresskill elbows like, you know, money flow and aptitude. You know, Is there a place that gives you buzz? Are you good at it? And and will it provide, you know, value for you? Is it? Is that your thesis, then that That you can be mechanical on this, that you can be tactical? It's like, OK, these are the areas of things that I love. And boy, what? What sectors of the economy of my audience of my fans or followers, Um, are do they have a need? And is it the literally the mechanical combination of these two things where the most fruitful ideas arise? I think so. I'm not. I'm not sure I would be quite that. Yeah, well, that I'm trying to play better back Drummond gonna land somewhere in the middle here. I think so. I think it's easy to reverse engineer creative projects and say yes, they involve a combination of the motivation. Would I be that deliberate about it? I don't know. Um, I haven't been myself. And by the way, chase, I don't think anyone should do anything because Adam Grant told him. I think they should do it because they believe the evidence. And they found the insights relevant, their life, and they decided to experiment with running and being okay. Does this pattern that seems to hold for several samples of people Also hold for me I'm very humble of your aunt Scientific at the same time, I like that. I just feel like there should be a Don't try this at home, warning up anything. You got a special science. It's never clear how it can apply to the individual case, but I think that yeah, we think of this e b white line that I thought was so profound. He said, I wake in the morning thorn between the desire to enjoy the world and a desire to improve the world. And this makes it difficult to plan the day. And I felt that in a huge part of my work, Well, do I want to do what's interesting? Or do I want to do what? And I think the conclusion of our research here when you actually don't want to create a false dichotomy, you want to say, OK, I want to find something that's interesting. That's also useful. And I think I like the kind of a stage progression of this to say Okay, start with what's interesting to you, Otherwise you're not gonna care. And once you found a bunch of problems that you're excited about now applying that filter and say, Okay, what the likely impact on others the other way? I thought about this chase to say OK, you know, if you take the creative problems, you're already solved. It's worth just asking who would be worse off if you weren't doing your job today? And the people that you name are the reason that your work has meaning valued others. And so you want to then start thinking about OK, how did the creative ideas that I'm developing potentially sort of that group of people that there That's fair and I like it. It's a little decision tree Thomas and I think if you if you started out with how do I help the most people? It's problem that the likelihood of it being in an area of interest or passion to you, you know, maybe it's like a go hunker down in a malaria lab somewhere something versus the other way around. So you know, again, I think a lot of what we're talking about now is really for this group of 0 to 1 people who are listening. And I wrote a book called Creative Calling. And in this I try and help people understand that creativity is more than just Popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners and glitter and the stuff we were taught in second grade. Yet definitively, as you said, if you walk in any second grade class and you say Who wants to come to the front of the room and draw me a picture, every hand goes up. So this gives us It's a good framework for those folks who are still doubting. I call them creative, curious, and there are a lot of people listening and watching right now. Who would classify themselves is that I want us. I want to now shift the conversation to a little bit of the people who have tapped into that thing. Now they're buying what we're selling here in this conversation, and how do we get them to double and triple down on the things that they are experimenting with? And by that I want to get into creative process because I think so much of creativity is sitting down and doing the work. Even if the work is something that you enjoy, I think it's fair to classify this work. And to me, the best way to investigate this is investigate your creative process because there's what you write and what you say. And then there's what you do eso. And so in the same way they look for the hypocrisy there, that's one way of putting it. But I want to understand through your own creative process. How do you How do you get up every day? Navigate that E B white line and, um, put words on paper Ah, and put, you know, creative ideas into action. What's Adam grants Creative process. For example, use originals or, you know, any of any of your books or your writing or your However, you know you know the definition of creativity for you. Show us how you goto work, applying your own principles. Such an interesting question. I'm usually spending so much time thinking about how do I study and then learn from other people's creative process that I haven't actually have not given enough thought, but I can. I can walk you through how it often unfold. Yeah, well, I think it's called, um, what is it? Evidence or scientifically, it would be a better data. We'll look at the data of your daily experiences, but that Let's give it a try, though. Let me. Okay, let's actually take a fun example that I worked on earlier this year. So a few years ago, I gave a Ted talk on originals, and one of my point was that sometimes people could procrastinate a little bit more creative than people who don't. And a lot of people were excited by this. And I think because they thought I was basically licensing the vice, that it was ruining so much of their life. They know, actually, that thing that you thought was horrible this is a good thing, which was not my intent. My intent was to say, Look, we all are human, We all procrastinate sometimes. And there are moments when if we reframe that Aziz, you know, sort of necessary incubation, that it might actually be conducive to creativity. And instead of beating ourselves up, then we just kind of let it. We let it happen. Um but I didn't want to go. I don't want to go so far as to tell people that procrastination was a good thing. And I kept getting questions then from chronic procrastinators about how do I solve my procrastination? And so that started a new creative process for me, which was to say, OK, what do we actually know about how to tackle procrastination? How do we prevent it? Either we get people to feel better about it, do less of it on, get maybe more out of him stuff. So that seem to me to be a perfect topic to take on in my podcast work life. No, I want the team and I said, OK, we're getting ready to kick off. Season three I've been talking about procrastination and sort of how it hurts productivity, but it can sometimes unlocked creativity. I feel like I owe it in. My audiences in organizational psychology also say something about how to procrastinate less, and the team said, we think this would be a really fun topic. So where do we start? Well, what we need is somebody who is an amazingly talented person who also has really grappled with procrastination because that's the person who can probably teach us the rest of us auto how to deal with that. So then my next step was basically toe do a bunch of grueling and also reach out to a bunch of people I knew in different creative field and ask them, OK, what when you think about chronic procrastinators who are still remarkably successful, who comes to mind, and the most common name I got from my sources and Google was Margaret Atwood, and I thought, OK, the Handmaid's Tale was was pretty successful. Find out that she really across today and so that then my next step was to interview her and, you know, ask her about her experience. And then you start to get into the research and ask, What do we know about procrastination and one of the big surprises? And for me, the big Ahamo was when I read a bunch of research suggesting that procrastination is not a time management problem that was just eye opening today. Wait, I thought the whole problem was people used their time and efficiently, and the data say No. It's actually an emotion management problems. And so I thought, OK, that's the beginning of an idea. Now I need to understand the emotions that Dr Procrastination in more depth. I need to gather some of my own data and conduct some experiments. I need to talk to some researchers and read some more studies. And then I'm gonna try to put together a framework to explain how we can fight for craft. That may be a window into the creative process. Is that what you were looking for? Yeah. No, that's fantastic. I think that's also very it's conceptual like you. Could you see the linear nature of it? I don't know. Linear is probably not the right word, but, uh, the steps. I'll say, um, interesting sides. Side note about Margaret Atwood. I photographed her as well, and I did not. I not a guess. Similar but different related question. I will say I was like, You have just had the most prolific career Unbelievable success. And this is, um before Handmaid's tale was, ah, uh, movie or show, you know, whatever, the when they when he translated to the big screen and one of my wife's favorite books, we've We've talked about it since early early on in a relationship. I think she's obviously spectacular. I said, Can you give me a secret like, What's the secret? She I mean, you know, we're in a crowded studio, you know, big lights and stuff. She walks over to me and whispers in my ear, No kidding. This is I drink blood on, then walks away like it was the north back. And I'm looking around. Anyone here that is that just for me to this day. And then she winks at me into this. I mean, I don't know if she's trying. I don't know what she was doing, but obviously incredibly prolific. But away from Margaret Atwood for a second. I think it's interesting that you chose her to do your research, but now let's put a closer lens on your own process. So that was about research. I want to know now if you would share with us what your daily practices, because that's, you know, rather conceptual. I do some research and then I dig a little deeper, and then I find a subject and then ice talked to some people. How do you actually put words on paper? How Do you work with your team on podcast or you? Morning. Midday. Are you 9 to 5? What's talk to us about the detail of your product? Your process. This is actually something have changed recently. Uh, I'm a morning person. Juicy. Okay, Yeah. I mean, I thought as a morning person I should do my creative work in the morning. That's when I'm most alert. And then I read some research suggesting that we're actually more creative when we're off our circadian rhythm. And first, this is really stranger saying when I'm a little bit foggier and, you know, kind of maybe even a little tired, I'm supposed to be more creative. How does that work? And then when I dug into the research would what kind of stuck for me was when I'm most alert is also when I most Lydia in most structured and it's now what I like to do what I'm starting a creative project. Tomorrow is tonight. After our kids go to bed, I'll spend half an hour brainstorming, and what will happen in many cases is all end up thinking about things that are completely unrelated to the project. And sometimes those will end up being completely useless. Their time will be very relevant in the work that I was planning. But I noticed I have more eureka moments and night than I do in the morning. And so now there's this warm up window at night. I'll start when I'm writing. For example, I'll read a biography, a person, or of an industry that I'm interested in digging into more. And I will deliberately read that at night because I know the wheels are gonna start turning and I might be a connection to something under the start working on tomorrow morning. And then what I do in the morning is, uh, get up, have breakfast with my wife and kids. And then basically, when they start school in my work day begins on, I will sit down and start writing and I run out of work or I'm hungry. And then the process continued. No angry creators in our midst here, Um what what is that window? Is that 60 minutes? 90 minutes? Usually if you look backwards and tallied the data, Are you creative for You know, 250 words. Which takes you 10 minutes, or do you really sit down and, um, is your first meal at noon? Like what? What is the window of creativity for you? I actually don't find most of my writing windows that creative in part because a lot of my writing is sort of executing a vision for a creative idea that started in flesh up. And so you know, it might be it might be explaining a study, or it might be unpacking. You know, the psychology of why people procrastinate. And so once I figured out the insight that I want to deliver, I feel like the You know, the writing is sometimes a little bit more. It's more linear. In some cases, Um, I think a good writing window for me left 2 to 3 hours before we had kids. Sometimes I would write for eight or 12 hours in the time. That's less likely now, but I have always been somebody who gets into flow pretty easily. I remember reading the 1st 3 Harry Potter books when they actually when my younger sister finally convinced me toe read them. I think I was, uh, in the summer after my freshman year of college, and I love the 1st 1 so much that I read the next to in the same weekend. And then I had this thinking realization that Hogwarts wasn't really at the end so deeply embedded in the story that I forgot way. Yeah, uh, which was very strange experience that no one else that I've met his hat, But, um, for me, it was kind of an illustration of the fact that I have very high attentional filled. I guess I've known this since at least college when my roommates would sometimes throw parties in my room and I wouldn't even notice. I'm just locked in like brain clock connected to the computer. And so what that meant for me is, you know, the writing process of the creative process can be a pretty extended time. But my problem is, is often that I start with something that you know that's not that creative. And so I have to force myself to do the office. And what procrastinators do you have to lower my my potential filters and left unrelated and irrelevant ideas. Wow, that is fascinating. It? Yeah, like a bull. Your for your flipping the script on what So many other you know again. The problem that I think is so popular and this is, you know, part of what we want to do in the show's dispel these common myths of creativity, um, and help everyone understand that it's that's for them. And it's, Ah, it's a natural state for us humans you mentioned. Speaking of states, you mentioned flow. I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about flow, how what you've seen in your work and your personal experience, because I know that's Ah, that's sort of the, um, the gold in most creative process when you can grab onto that rope and you just, you know, you just go, so to speak. So what have you seen in your research in your own personal experiences about flow flow states how it relates to creativity. So I think the I guess the first thing I would say chase on Flow is there's something that really bothered me when I first read Check sent me hice book. I love the concept. I'm a huge fan of his work is actually one of the reasons I became a psychologist, but I couldn't quite recognize I couldn't reconcile the sort of to the claims in on and that work. So we all know where closed A feels like way get so absorbed in the task that we lose track of time and place and maybe even a sense of self. And I think we will we want to know is how we get there, right? What? What brings us in the flow? And she sent me. Hi, serious. There's a combination of challenge and skill that works in an ideal weight, Right, So you want to be stretched to the edge of your abilities, and that's really when you're gonna get totally focused on the problem of the head. But then he goes on to report that one of the most common flow experiences it's driving a car. And I don't know about you the most. Yeah, I'm offended. Traffic is not challenging way below the level of my Mario kart ability. So I looked at that. I just couldn't I couldn't make sense of it. And then a colleague of mine, Ryan Quinn, did a really need study of a flow in, and he did actually into kind of organizations. He studied natural security technology development, where you had nuclear physicist tryingto solve some of the most complex problems in the world and then also studied flow and knowledge work with daily deadlines, with journalists and newsrooms trying to find places they were constantly interrupted. And we did Was he surveyed people kind of hour by hour on their flow experiences, and then he looked instead of just comparing. Okay, Chase, we're gonna look at how much flow you feel and then how much I feel and then try to figure out why urine flow and I'm not. He did it with in person study and said, Okay, what are the drivers of you having flow moment versus not getting into flow in a given day? And he found a challenge. Skill balance wasn't that important. What really mattered with gold clarity and feedback clarity that what got people into flow states with knowing exactly what they were trying to accomplish and kind of beginning with some and inside and then knowing along the way whether for making progress and whether they're getting closer to or further from the goal. I think this is one of the reasons that so many people have trouble getting in the flow in the writing is they don't know what they're trying to accomplish, and they can't figure out if it's any good while they're doing it. Is that why? Constraints, You know, the way I talk about its constraints create creativity. Is that is that related? Does that have to do with that sort of end in mind and some some guidelines? Do you think that's related? I do. I think that the kind of constraints are talking about they basically give us artificial attentional filters so they help us say Okay, some of the things that are crossing my mind right now are not that relevant. No, I don't need to pay attention to that email right now. I'm just gonna keep going right here. Um, there's ah, dissertation years ago by Camille Joyce at Berkeley. She said what she called the blank page effect and she found that without constraint, people couldn't solve created problems, but also with too much constraint. People ended up getting sort of locked into familiar and obvious solutions. And there was a sweet spot where you wanted some constraints, but not too many so that people were both focused, inflexible. And I think that's, uh that's probably something we're all looking for. Yeah, And again there's this. The it's I think it's toxic for creativity at large toe have this idea of blank page or the artist I'm going to do what I'm going to do today versus actually having an end in mind. It was a little bit. Go back to that. You know, the earlier part of our discussion was like, What is it? Something that I'm good and passionate, something that benefits others. And there's that There's Ah, no, there's a lane there. Um, you mentioned this as an artificial um, filter. I think the word artificial is interesting because what is what's real and was artificial in this world. Um, can you explain what you meant by artificial? Is it just that it's, It's maybe it's on, and I'll let you answer the question. It's tripping me out a little bit right now, though I so I think What I not entirely sure what I was trying to get out when I said that, But if I tried to formulate a hypothesis now, in hindsight, I think one thing I've always struggled with in creative work is knowing what's relevant and what's not I think you know, I you know, on one extreme of this, I've constantly said, You know what? I'm not gonna read too much outside of the literature that I'm trying to learn from right now, because I want to be really clear about what I'm trying to understand itself. And so if you know, if I'm trying to do a podcast episode on procrastination, I don't want to get distracted by you know, my curiosity about why people are so terrible micro managers when they, you know when they managed it. And yet it's very possible that something in the micromanagement winners might be relevant to procrastination, right? And so you know where that boundary is really complex. And you, Steve this over and over. In the lifetime of highly creative people, my favorite example would be Divinci. If you think about the Vinci's, quite he wrote over and over again in his notebook, tell me if anything ever was done. He constantly felt unproductive. He felt like he was failing because he was always getting distracted from from yesterday's project to purchase. To pursue today is curiosity, and so you know, one day he's supposed to be working on the Mona Lisa. And then he started to wonder about how light strikes the fear. And I guess we won't be painting this year because studying optics, uh and you know that that random walk ended up changing the way that he modelled light is a painter on gave us some of his greatest artistic achievement, which you know much more about than ideas. A photographer, Um, but he also had other diversions that didn't solve any problems for right, like his curiosity about why the woodpecker's tongue is like three times longer than it should be anatomically and it became an interesting fact, but it didn't ever solve the problem for him. And so I think this is one of the fundamental attentions of creative life. We need to create an artificial boundary because any idea is potentially relevant. But if we consider all of them were never gonna make any progress, that makes it makes perfect sense to me. But I'm looking at questions coming in and just as a reminder, we are live and there are people tuned in from all over the world. We've got South Africa, we've got Scandinavia, I see Oslo and Copenhagen in the house. Um, so of the people tuning in from all over the world who are saying thank you they lot of people loving, original, loving Plan B. Um, I want to go really practical here and question from Naveen con I'm a designer and this show is exactly what I'm looking for. I do find myself stuck in a creative block and therefore I'm procrastinating. I want to come across hopefully in. Ah, like what is he saying? Hopefully want to come across a good idea. Now let's get out of academia for a second and just put Adam in a room with Nuveen. And what is the advice that you give him? The first thing I want to know is why Naveen It stuck, right? So if we break down procrastination, you're not being lazy over and over again. What we see, In fact, a lot of the stuff you do while you're procrastinating requires a huge amount of effort. If you've ever clean, you're here. You're talking to me right now. I will do everything instead of the town's gonna hand. Yeah, exactly. And that requires energy, right? So not attributing it. The laziness. Margaret Atwood claims she's lazy. She's not sorry, Margaret. Um, you have to recognize that we procrastinate when they're they're negative emotions that we associate with the tap. Right? So, you know, for me, it's boredom. I cannot stand filling out expense reports. Proof reading just one of the least interesting tops I could ever do on DSO I would their test because I don't like the emotional state that they put me for other people. They might procrastinate because they're afraid that they can't solve a complex problem where they think the challenges too daunting. Um, and you know, whatever the negative emotion is that drives your procrastination, you want to figure out how you can change it. So if you discover that the project seems to complex and that's why you're putting it off, then your first question is OK, how do I simplify? You might break it into park. You might about some of your ideas off someone who you think is more knowledgeable than you or comes at it from a fresh perspective. If you find it really boring, which is a daily challenge for me, when I take on projects I don't want to do, I try to find ways to reward myself for doing them right. So I'll give myself the chance to watch a favorite show on Netflix if I, you know, if I finished a project by 12 oclock that I didn't want to be, I'm sometimes I'll actually call up someone who is really entertaining. Just Hey, can we sit on the phone and chat? Well, I I go over the document. Uh, because otherwise I'm gonna fall asleep. I'm so bored by it. Um, and I don't know that there's a one size fits all solution for anyone. But once you pinpoint the emotions that are causing you to put your work off, you can start to try toe at least manage, not controlled. I love the emotion. I've never heard that the connection to um, how it makes you feel. I'm one thing I did notice. And ah, I wanna, um, get your comment here. If this is the way that you think about it or if this is just me applying my beliefs to, ah, set of data that you're sharing here is everything you said it both about your own process and how to get unstuck was about doing and what I find is most people, they try and think their way out of it. I talk about you know it, action over intellect. And I just, you know, is that what you've seen in the research? Or is this me applying my own filter on my own, um Ah, experience to to how to get unstuck or how to, uh, elevate and actuate your creativity? I can't disagree with you there, Chase. I know you wanted me. Not that I don't rant about how toe to get unstuck, but clearly, no, no, I think I I've seen this over and over again. You know the research. One of the best predictors of creativity is the proactive personality, which is basically being a do. Er, you have sort of following the Milton Berle principle of when opportunity doesn't knock you build the door. And I think a lot of a lot of procrastination, a lot of getting stuck is just people saying Okay, I haven't quite figured out what I want to stay yet or how I want to express my idea or what My solution is. Great. Run the experiment. I start writing some words. They might be garbage. Margaret Atwood had a great line on this, she said. Wastepaper basket is your friend. Write something horrible, Throw it away. No one will ever know. And I think we're There's something about generating creative work. Um, that evokes fear. If I put down a stupid thought or, you know I produce something that half baked, then I'm a failure. We'll get over yourself. Yeah, it's not up to you to judge the quality of your own work that's up to your audience. And the more you get into the rhythm of just putting stuff out there, even for your own consumption, the easier it is then, to continue to improve your skills. So true, a mutual friend of our Seth Godin. Ah, he's really articulate on this point. I go, you're you're stuck. Writer, show me all of your terrible writing. And what he finds and I think is really revelatory about this is the, uh or an Lemont's shitty first drafts. There are not for people who are stuck, and I think you know that continues to reinforce this idea, that it's only through the doing that you consort of uncover the layers of the onion and get to the the best stuff. And that is unfortunately, you know, we go to Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours and or you know, all of the animosity first drafts and most people who are stuck they're stuck because they're in their own head. Now, if we can take that and let's just run a, um, a thought experiment for a second is then just doing work. Any kind of non specific, just grinding it out, writing on anything. Is that really Isn't that then become the key? And I'm taking this to an extreme because it's the opposite of doing nothing, right? Um, you know, the fabled experiment in the ceramics class of this half of the class has to make one pot. This half of the class is graded on making as many pots as they possibly can. It is it really just the indiscriminate making that is the solution for getting unstuck, I think. Yes, sort of. Probably. You know, I mean, I guess now that I'm I'm listening to my own quick question. It doesn't have to go back to that. The Venn diagram that you're working on earlier. It's like there is a filter that you have to apply. Is it is it doing good for others? But, you know, for people who are stuck, that's not really It's the inability to do discern whether this is gonna be useful for some or the right people or whatever. Um, but I'm just trying to get, you know, I'm trying to get to the guts thing is just the doing. You know that the is shitty First drafts. Really The key? Yeah, yeah, I think so. So what I would say is we need to get away from down toward verbs. E think your point. People who call themselves writers or artists that that's an identity you earn after you Britain after you painted on. And I think that there's actually some evidence showing that if you are a writer who loves the idea of being a writer, but you don't actually enjoy the process of typing word, then you don't get very far. And so I think it's worth paying attention. Teoh. Not just are you in love with the product or the outcome as a consumer, but do you enjoy the act of producing using the medium that you've chosen to express their creativity And if the answer is no, you either need to figure out how to enjoy it. And sometimes that changes my, you know, shifting your topic or your tools. Or maybe you're currently expressing yourself in the wrong medium. Um, I think that the for me, the thing that really resonates about what you just said is it's a mistake. Teoh edit while you create at the process of generating ideas requires us to be nonjudgmental. It requires us Teoh sort of pursue things that might not work. And so the idea, then being discerning and evaluative and critical in that same mental speak, those two minds don't really go. And and and so I think every great writer I know has learned at some point in their career that it's helpful to have a couple of hours a day blocked out to right and then some other blackout at it. Refined, improved discard. Uh, and I think you can start with 15 minutes on that right. Take 15 minutes in the morning to write or to create, and then take 15 minutes in the evening to evaluate and then put those two and see how both versions of the experiment. Go and then build on that. I love your scientific approach to this stuff, and it just it's it really is revelatory. Um, I want to go back. Teoh Something we were talking about right before we went live. Ah, something that was I found really intriguing. Because we are It's ah, you know, mid May here, when we're recording this 2020 and we're in the middle of a pandemic. And for many, I think creativity is one of the things that can help us keep from going nuts. During this time. I'm trying to, you know, we had creativelive er trying toe, and we're seeing a increase in consumption on the increase in interest in new. You know, new people come into the platform and I use that as a as a lens to say, maybe creativity is actually super valuable here. But we also know that there are a lot of people who are stuck and they're stuck for all kinds of different reasons. Financial peril, frustration. Um, worry, sickness. There's there's lots of reasons you wrote a piece. A column in The New York Times. Um, so good that came out last Friday. I think and it was about building resilience in isolation. I wonder if you can give us some of the nuggets and and Ah, the what? You what you, uh, landed on in your concept of how to build resilience in this time, Happy to give you the world that you were reading it. I'm glad. I'm glad you made it. You know, it was brilliant. Brilliant. That's a high bar. But, uh, So the quick back story is As soon as the pandemic started, I started getting listeners in my work, but work like podcasts Just reaching out through every channel that I have saying, Can you please do an episode on remote work? And at first I don't know how much we have to stay, and it's interesting or novel, and I think we're gonna get tired talking about this. And then it became very clear that this is a struggle for a lot of people in a lot of ways. Lots of new research was coming out, and this is not going away any time. I decided to do it. Okay. I want I want to say something different and original about remote work on. We're gonna end the work life season with an episode on it. So who can I call that Dunmore remote work than almost anyone in history. And my first thought was an astronaut resets Scott Scott Kelly, who done 340 days in space, which is an American record. Okay, Scott, how did you get through that? Talking about isil e I got I mean, you're on the space station with a few other people, and it doesn't immediately sound like a creative job, but Scott had to fix the toilet. Uh, as he put it, You can't use the neighbors or go find a tree. Your toilet breaks down. Uh, you know, he had to execute all these complex mission in domains of science that that he hadn't been really trained or specialized in here to be prepared to solve any kind of problem. And so it's obviously a place where you need a lot of creativity. And so I wanted to know, How did you stay focused? How do you stay with going to be creative during that year in space? And it didn't really hit me until after the conversation, when I was starting to think through what I wanted to share in the episode, Um, with Scott did a ton of and this was at first really disappointing to me because I was hoping it would be really time travel. Sadly, NASA has not cracked that one yet, so instead, we got mental time travel. Almost everything Scott talked about flew in the face of the typical mindfulness advice that we get, which is live in the moment. Be in the present, Seize the day, and Scott's point was basically lucky. But when you're in outer space and every day is gone, how day some had the day job? Duck, The last place you want to be is in the here and now. And so what God had done is something we studying psychology is mental time travel to say, Look, you know when the moment is not that pleasant or if it's uncertain, then what? You want to do it fast forward mentally. To imagine the future, rewind mentally, Teoh, reflect on the past and even imagine being in a parallel universe and say, Okay, what if my life played out differently and each of those places that you could travel mentally has a different emotional benefit which we could talk about. But I just thought that was such a cool idea to say, OK, you can't really change the president. But you can shift where you focus your attention. And if you have a little bit more on the future and the past an alternate reality, the president gets a little better. That's one of the things you just nailed. Why I was so intrigued by the article. My wife, Kate, is a meditation and mindfulness teacher. And yeah, I make her mad. Yeah, she's She's listening right now, tapping your fingers. No, I but I think that was really what captured my attention in that. And, um, what you said at the end, though, is it sort of does come back to making now a little bit different. And you said there were some different emotions. Are you willing to go into some of these? Uh okay, So emo emotional. You pick emotions that are connected to each of those you know, past future, and then again finishing with now what I what I think about future, that's that's the first place that I go is to say OK, yeah, there's a lot of uncertainty. We don't know when or how the pandemics gonna end, but we know that it is going. And so by starting to imagine what you gonna do in that first week when this is over, it built hope and it feels excitement. Uh, and Scott got tell his version and it's going to say it. She said, Look, I've been on three missions before, but I've never been in space this long. And so my goal have an emotional goal. I want toe come back to Earth with the same energy and enthusiasm that I started. What a great goal for all of us to adopt, Right to say I want to have the same energy around my work and my life at the end of this pandemic that I did before we got thrown into it. And then you can such a reverse engineer. Okay, what do I need to do day to day as part of my receive in order to get to that mental space? And I do think that builds hope and excitement because it gives you an exciting future to look forward to on. And it also helps you sort of mark. Okay. Day by day. I am I am I taking the time and building the habits that I need. Teoh Standard. That's the future. And then the past. I think we went into the past to depend on what kind of past moments you're thinking about. If you go to positive moment, what you get is nostalgia typically, and people avoid that. They think you know the literal translation of nostalgia from the Greek root is the pain of not being able to return to the past, and that sounds kind of awful. That's not how it feels. Most people, if you look at the randomized controlled experiments when they reflect on a nostalgic moment they get happier. They feel less lonely. They also become more helpful because our nostalgic moments are connected moment and they remind us to reconnect. And so I think there is power there. If you go to a negative memory in the past, you've got a couple options. One is gratitude, right? Things have potentially been worse in some ways and other times in your life, and so you realize you know what? This is the horrible situation for everyone, but it can always get worse on and then your other option is you learn from your own past, resilient and say, Look, you know what? I've never been through a pandemic, but I've definitely face diversity in my life and maybe some of the lessons that I learned when I went to Job Lock or when I lost a loved one. Maybe some of those lessons are applicable in the here and now. And then there's the the alternate reality. I'm saying, Okay, you know what? My wife and I have been talking with our kids a bunch about what it would be like if we lived in 1980. We would not have the Internet. We would not have phones, would not be able to record the show. We would not. We wouldn't have access into the cart. Uh, wait. Had made a long list of all the luxuries that we're so lucky to have that are making life easier. And we didn't even get evidence based medicine. The happened. There's at least progress toward the vaccines and treatments. It couldn't have existed 100 years ago, So I think just imagining those alternate timelines and being part of him is one of the ways you really instill that sense of gratitude? Funny how gratitude is such a powerful vehicle in so many different walks of life in so many different times. It's this utility for framing. Ah, for framing so much Much. I want to shift for a second. I I've been on my list of things to talk to you about, um is intuition and you're such a scientist. And intuition is so squishy. I've written a lot about it. I experience that I try and train my own body's ability to override my rational mind and trust in the gut. But as someone who is a scientist, how did you struggle to point it? Intuition. How do you reconcile the power of intuition, especially around creativity, And, you know, doing what we want and need to do with this one precious life we're given. How do you reconcile those two things? Do you grounded in science? Do you just cast it away? Dying to know this is my Adam Grant question? How do you reconcile the power? Uh, or the myth to be neutral here of intuition. Such a seven interesting question checks. I think if I were a philosopher for, like you. I would probably say I don't reconcile two paradox, and I try to I try to live with with both worlds on get the best of each of them. I am not a flat spur. I'm a psychologist. And so I would give you a slightly different take, which is I really like the way that you've written and talked about intuition. I like the fact that you're actually taking some of the squish out of it and tryingto, um, in somebody's, if not deconstruct, at least better understand how the process works. And when I get nervous as the special scientists, whenever somebody trust your gut Well, im about you, my guts been wrong a lot of times in my life. That's why I do science. Find out when my intuition is incorrect. Um, what I like to do is instead say, test your God. I think when I think about intuition, what it really means to me is subconscious process. It's not magic what it is. It's a set of patterns that you've detected below the level of your conscious awareness. And so what I want to do then is try to make the subconscious conscious. I want to figure out what patterns my intuition has detected and then test them out in the world and see whether the patterns of the past really map on in the future. This is this is something I was really intrigued by when I was writing original, because one thing I saw consistently is that entrepreneurs who relied on their intuition were very successful in the domain where they had a lot of experience. But when the shift into a new domain, their intuition often lead them astray. Like like Steve Jobs. Betting on the Segway. That's the future of transportation. If you could talk to Steve Jobs, what you want to do is you want to sit him down and they listen. You obviously know computers and software better than probably anyone on the planet in terms of how to make them beautiful and user friendly. Your knowledge of how to transport people from one place to another and how city use and road are gonna work in the future is probably not developed to a point where you can trust your intuition yet, and so that, you know, that's a great moment to say. OK, let me develop some hypotheses. Let me test my intuition about whether the Segway is going to take over the future of transportation. A supposed to just following it blindly. And that's what I'd like to see all of it, by far the best. By far the best answer I've ever heard to that question and the specific example of Steve Jobs trusting his intuition in an area where he has an immense amount of expertise and the highlighting off the, uh, the really poor prediction of the power of the Segway. Um, it's beautiful. How do we know, then? The following question is what we're proficient in or what we're not, where we can trust our intuition where we can't. Because maybe Steve Jobs thought he was a transportation infrastructure expert. How do we gotta? What's with the next level of the onion here? The great question. I think the sad reality is we're never going to know in a given situation we're always gonna be getting. And that's part of the fun of creativity is also part of the challenge of creative, I think, though there are few here heuristics that might be helpful. So the 1st 1 that I would consider is how stable versus turbulent is the world that you're applying your intuition do Dan Economy and Gary Klein of showing this now a number of times that basically, intuition is reliable and stable domain involved, and it's not. And so if you're a firefighter and you're used to, you know, they're only three different ways, a certain kind of building can burn, and you've been in thousands of those buildings. You can trust your intuition if you know the building was designed the same way, right? If, on the other hand, you're a stockbroker and markets can fail and companies can fall in an infinite number of ways, then you probably don't want to assume that the pattern that you know that you saw in 2013 are gonna be the same in 2023. So I think just paying attention to the stability vs dynamism of the world that you're operating. It is the first step to take, and then the second is to ask about your level of expertise. I think what a lot of people have seen that them or expertise is better. And yet there's some work by Eric Dane and his colleagues showing that there's a problem that we get that we run into when we have too much expertise, especially when we have too much familiarity with field of cognitive entrenchment. And the idea behind cognitive entrenchment is when you're really steeped in your domain. Sometimes you take for granted assumptions that need to be questioned. And there seems to be a sweet spot in terms of depth of experience where you know enough about the field to really speak the language. But you also are still fresh enough that you say, Hey, wait a minute. Why? Why is it that when we put together a you know, a taxi company? Like why? Why why do we have to wait for them to drive by? What if What if we just had an app that allowed us to call them and come to us? And, you know, nobody running a taxi company would have really pursued that in part because their entrenched in a particular model of you know how to transport people on it takes a little bit of an outsider really think of that problem, huh? Maybe we could use technology to approach that in a much more efficient way s so I think we just need to be careful. Just say OK, You know, the more that your intuition is developed based on the experience and expertise, the more that you can trust it. And also the more you should destruct it as a start to think about how the world is gonna take. All right, last question on this line of thinking here. And I have, ah, a theory about this. And I want you to throw rocks at it. Or you can take the easy path out and just agree, as you already have once on this conversation, or you can throw rocks. At my theory, I'm dying to know what you think about this, and it is through mastery of just first. Initially, of course, one thing, because mastery is a, you know, mastery of a topic of a language of ah, um a profession, whether it's photography or design or computer science, whether it's 10,000 hours, I've often said if you have to ask if you've mastered something you haven't. Um, But for those of you, if in your case teaching at Warton, I think it's be it's fair to say that you've mastered the art of teaching others and capturing attention and inspiration and all of the things that go into teaching just having mastered one thing is what is a key component to being becoming good at a lot of things because you understand and feel what mastery is that you have blind spots, where and when they, um they may show up. And our mutual friend Tim Ferriss, your just on tips show not too long ago. I better there as well. His. He's a great example of someone who's mastered something and then now can lift and stamp this into so many other worlds. So my question for you is is mastery, um, of one thing. I encourage people to go super deep on the thing that they care a lot about and that that will allow them to. Then you know, B. B. More broadly, great at many things, that which is a ah desire of mine and presumably we as humans, we want to be good at a lot of things that might be, and maybe that's selfish and thinking that I want to know if you think that this concept of mastery that I'm put for it put forward here. Is this what, um, helps us hone that intuition? And this is the outsider thinking, because if you're Travis and you want to invent uber and you say, Wow, I was an expert in this area. I'm legendary in this domain and I won't apply it to taxis and don't apply it to delivery. And I wanted to apply it. So am I on to something here, or how am I blind to my own theory, I think I think it's good advice number Allah. I think I worry a lot about people going broad before they go deep, because they they end up, they end up sort of stretching themselves too thin. And you get running this jack of all trades, master of none problem. That being said, I think there's also a risk if you go too far in the other direction and you end up being, you know, I see this all the time. And in the tech world where you know, somebody masters one coding language, and then it just becomes a hammer and they think everything is a nail and it doesn't. You know, in a lot of cases, it doesn't apply. So I think it's always the combination of the two. Um, I think from, you know, from looking at a lot of the research on this and talking with friends like Angela Duckworth's from Grit or David Epstein from Range um, one thing that there's a lot of consensus on it, that we should all go through a sampling period before we we seize and freeze on whatever that meant domain of mastery might be. So you know, the mistake with parents is they basically try to turn their kids in the Tiger Woods when in fact, David Epstein will tell you what you actually want. Roger Federer playing nine different sports before he goes and focuses and concentrate on it. I think we can think about careers the same way we could think about choices of, you know, of Major in university is the same way that you really want to try out a bunch of things for two reasons. One is the more options you sample, the more clarity you gain about what interests you, and then to also, as you sample different options, you can begin to develop sort of more more clarity around how some of your interest might fit together. Andi. Sometimes Zambians, you just end up going deep in one field. Sometimes that means you realize there's an interdisciplinary field that you want to bring together and you go deep on the next list of to feel on. I think that's where creativity often emergence. So I think, yeah, I'd rather see people err on the side of starting Deke and then brought me, then just beginning broad and feeling like they didn't They didn't establish any excellence anywhere. Awesome, beautiful idea. And I want to be sure every once in a while I forget there are people tuned in from all over the world. They're asking questions because I've again. I had handcuffed myself to you if we were in the same room so that I could continue to pick your brain about creativity. But knowing that we're running a little bit long, or the flip side of that is we're a little bit short on time. I do wanna ask a question that came from the Internet, which is, um, Jessica, Apertures says. Especially around these thoughts of cognitive entrenchment, intuition and whatnot. Jessica's asking, Do you have the thoughts in writing that you can refer to and read more about and again this topic of intuition and trusting and intention in sorry entrenchment. And, um, what of your vast, um, work written work? Can you point to for people who want to know a little bit more about this kind to ask, uh, so on intuition, specifically, Chapter two of original is where I covered. I think the most interesting and relevant evidence excuse me and examples that I've come across and then on cargo of entrenchment shows up there as well. I am actually just did a little bit of ah, dive into it in a podcast episode called Career Decline Is Not Inevitable. Where I looked at how people who sustained their their career success and even find new creative peaks is the age. One of things they do is they look for ways to escape cognitive entrenchment on that might mean working in a new country and might be in mean learning or mastering a new skill, and might be collaborating with somebody whose expertise is completely different from yours. That really sort of stretches you outside your comfort zone. And so that would be 11 place to gather if you're interested in that. Amazing um I guess I want to give a shout out to the global community here that's paying attention. I want to say thank you, Adam, for your time. Ah, I do also want to take a second and direct people to work life, which is your podcast in collaboration with Ted. And, of course, your Ted talk the great places for you. Referenced. Um, the woman who just asked that question reference writing. But I can't say enough about your the podcasts and ah, and the talk that are widely available online. Um, final question before we right off into the I can't really say Sensex. It's 10: a.m. Not right now. Ah, it has to do with the pursuit of excellence. Um at what point? Or at what role does excellence have in our journey of discovering our own creativity? Because so many people, when we take this first effort, it's something we suck and there's this desire to be good. We're social animals, they're going to fit in. Acceptance is important. And yet nobody gets good without sucking. And you know this. We touched on it briefly and I went a different direction is almost coming back to the shitty first draft thing. So what role do you find? Excellence plays in your own life? And what advice would you give around excellence for those who are trying to pursue it in creativity and entrepreneurship? Oh, it's Ah, it's a media topic, I think when I think about excellent for me, it is the alternative to perfection. Protection is impossible excellence and something we can shoot for our daily and maybe achieve occasionally. So I think it just becomes, ah, manageable but still aspirational bar to shoot for. And I think that the basic mistake that most people make is a really simple, which is they get stuck and comparing themselves to others when they should be comparing themselves to themselves. And I would go right back to the mental time travel idea here and say, I'll give you actually personal example on the chase. When I wrote original, a good friend of mine called and said, What are you doing to celebrate except Salad? But I'm sorry, I can't. I'm an author. I write books. That's what we do. And she said, Well, you know, don't don't you think this is a big milestone? It's not like you write a book every day. You should. You should mark the moment. And all of a sudden I realized that, Oh, I'd landed in a completely different mental space than when I wrote my first book. When, you know, if you had told me five years earlier that I was gonna publish a book and that anyone other than my mom would read it, I have been over the moon that such a cool thing to have done. And then I just started to really take it for granted. And so that became a cue for me to start the rewind props to say, Every time I accomplish something new, I want to ask, How would my three years ago or five years ago self have felt about this? And then I owe it to myself to experience the same joy on, and that's the first part. The second part, though, is to say, I don't want to stop there. I don't want to get satisfied with anything I've accomplished. I always want to raise the bar from my future self, And so as soon as I finished celebrating that moment when I feel like I've achieved some level of excellence or somebody insisted I have. Even if I don't believe it internally, then the next step is to say OK, if I could test forward and imagine by five years down the road, what would that version of me be thrilled to have accomplished? And how do I set my sights to know in pursuing that level of excellence? And I've been keeping those two versions of yourself in the rear view mirror Or in what, like is there a forward view mirror? I need a DeLorean for that one, I guess. But you need both of those mirrors. And I think if you're constantly comparing your current level of excellence to your past self and your desired future self, it just it means the comparison is no longer that The Thief of Joy comparison is a source of joy when you compare to your your past so and it's also a path to future joy when you compare it to your not yet existing self brilliant, Um, we spent a lot of time talking about originals and ah you know you. There's a little reference their and that to give and take the first book that a lot more people read than just your mom and that bit in the end about finding Joel. I'm hark. I'm remembering a lot from option B, facing adversity and finding joy. So if we've we've over indexed on originals because it's type are focused on creating what you dio Yeah, you are for everyone who's listening. I I also, um I thank you for writing those other books. Option B again written with Sheryl Sandberg. Um, so we've given folks Ah, cornucopia of your work. Um, is there any other places that you'd want to point people to learn a little bit more about you or your work? Um, and what's the best place for people? Um, to track along with what you're doing an on going basis? I mean, I think it's the usual suspects, uh, Social Media and then adam grant dot net. My favorite thing lately has been I do a monthly newsletter called Granted, where I try to curate my favorite insights around work and psychology and how we can all bring more generosity and creativity into our lives. But in a hopefully data driven way. So that's that's kind of my my vehicle for sharing what I'm thinking about and learning from. So true. Thank you so much for that newsletter is phenomenal. Also, all of your writing on giving on the power of that as a key to success. I want to say thank you so much for being on the show. Adam, Uh, and the worldwide audience tuning in with us. Ah, there's a lot of virtual applause happening right now, so I want to say thank you and ah, I hope you have a great week. We're here. It's Thursday heading into the weekend. Um, anything I forgot to ask that you need to say before we sign off. No, I just want to say thank you one for having me, but more importantly to for engaging with my work so deeply if you know the I all joking aside, if you had told me that I was gonna get to have a conversation like this when I was sitting down to become an author, I would have been in work speed mode. T get today is really exciting to be at a bunch of novel questions and get to think differently about the topic that cares deeply about and even, I think more critical than that. You built an amazing community. Um and I think, you know, I know a lot of people personally who felt like they were sort of on a creative island or were looking for creativity and didn't know where to find it. And Creativelive has been a home for so many of those people. And I know on behalf of many of them, I just want to say I'm grateful for the work you do. Ah, thank you so much. There's, you know, uh, dozens of really committed people to go to work there every day. It's a team effort. As you know, from your organizational psychology research. Um, it's a team of really highly committed people. Thank you for the kind words and most importantly, thank you for the work that you put out in the world. The global community looks to you, Isn't Aiken a Nikon and a beacon in this area and keep doing what you're doing and I'll look forward. Hopefully hopefully hanging out maybe will be. Ah, speakers will share a stage somewhere at some point, but you're always welcome here if you have any new ideas, um, this is a fertile ground to plant the seeds. And, uh, everyone here is really attuned of your work. So thank you so much for being on the show. And if you are just tuning in, you missed a doozy. Will make sure this is replayed. Of course. Go out on all of the audio podcast platforms. Um, thank you, Adam, for being on the show, grateful for your time and look forward to the next one suit.

Class Description

There's a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity...But the very act of making waves - no matter the career - is a creative one. The Chase Jarvis Live Show is an exploration of creativity, self-discovery, entrepreneurship, hard-earned lessons, and so much more. Chase sits down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders and unpacks actionable, valuable insights to help you live your dreams in career, hobby, and life.


Interested in making work not suck? We spend a quarter of our lives in our jobs. My guest today wants to make all that time worth your time. Enter Organizational Psychologist, Adam Grant. Adam has been Wharton’s top-rated professors for 7 straight years. He is recognized as one of the world’s most-cited, most prolific, and most influential researchers in business and economics. He has written 4 New York Times best selling books including Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves.

Adam is also the host of the top-charting podcast on TED, WorkLife, which dives deep inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to discover the keys to a better work life.

In this conversation, we dig into many of the common questions about creativity including:

  • Procrastination – how to identify it and breakthrough
  • Intuition – when you trust your gut and when to ignore it
  • Mastery – should we aim for breadth or depth and why
  • and so much more

Adam’s researched-based insights are laser focused in helping us decipher the science behind creativity, success, and fulfillment.


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