No Mailbox Required. Be the Letter Sent.
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
7M ago
I used to write and mail old-fashioned letters. In fact, those letters bonded my relationship with the young woman I eventually married. Our correspondence helped us feel seen. She sent mixtape cassettes with songs curated for me, arriving in pastel and perfumed envelopes. My dreary boarding house bedroom brightened as I opened each one. And there were many. But here is what made those letters real. All the correspondence back and forth only came to life when the 1800 miles disappeared. There is nothing like being physically present with people. No amount of snail mail or online social network ..read more
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Choose an open mind: Certainty is my enemy. Nuance is my friend.
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
8M ago
Mark, a good friend and a UK expat living in the Middle East, came to visit me several years ago. After years of spending a week or so together at conferences, this was a rare treat to finally host him. The time we spent together on my backyard patio and at the local neighborhood pub was one of the joys of my life. After we enjoyed pizza and beer at the pub, I introduced my well-traveled friend to another American delicacy. Kentucky Bourbon. Mark schooled me on the differences between the simple taste of bourbon in comparison to the complexity of Scotch whiskey. But he made another comparison ..read more
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The In-Between: When Clarity Puts You On Hold
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
10M ago
  Sometimes life is like waiting for a medical diagnosis to arrive. Doctors ordered lab work, scans, and combed through your medical file. But delays keep you from knowing the verdict. You might ask, “Am I in danger from a life-altering disease?” When we face such a dilemma, I call it the in-between. Cambridge dictionary says in-between means “between two clear or accepted stages or states, and therefore difficult to describe or know exactly.” This space keeps us in limbo while all the forces of the universe work do their thing out of our view or control. Our next phase is imminen ..read more
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Creativity arrives in small Iterations, not giant leaps.
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
1y ago
As a young person at music school, I lived 1800 miles from home. It seemed like a big leap, jumping from High School to accept a full scholarship to a music trade school. Another leap raised me to start as an 18-year-old sophomore. We are taught, especially in the arts, to be inspired and dream big. But to compose a symphony, we must start with a simple motif. The truth is this. It is in the small steps that creative genius arrives. When we make a leap, we either fall into the chasm or pay for it on the other side. You can’t expect to rise too fast. Like good bread making, the dough slowly ris ..read more
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Creativity and the Faces of a Puppy: Be Curious, Frustrated and Joyful.
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
1y ago
Subscribe to the audio blog on your favorite podcast app: Subscribe What’s in a face? Sherlock, our new puppy, expresses many faces. These let us know when he feels proud about going potty, unhappy when he’s hungry, and crazy when he’s pouncing and playful. The face of a puppy is irresistible, even through the eyes of a sleepless dog owner like me at three o’clock in the morning during a puppy potty break.  Creativity, like my puppy, has distinct faces with corresponding emotions. Three come to mind. They are faces of curiosity, dissatisfaction, and joy. While we may not feel as ..read more
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Creativity is Addition: Move Fast and Break Things versus Be Present and Make Things
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
1y ago
Subscribe to the audio blog on your favorite podcast app: Subscribe Silicon Valley is where I grew up and now where I once again reside. We moved almost a year ago but it’s still a bit hard to adjust to a new city. For instance, one thing I miss is the creative culture in LA County. The large number of coffee shops, barber shops, food trucks, and the local vibe reflected the high percentage of creative residents. Many people aspire to be filmmakers, musicians, or the next fashion magnet. I used to drive for Lyft and in my car I had cooks to CEOs that all seemed to embrace the creativ ..read more
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Change, Uncertainty and the Creative Process: Five Principles to Remember
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
1y ago
Subscribe to the audio blog on your favorite podcast app: Subscribe I have been an Apple Mac person since 1990, owning one of the first little beige boxes containing an eight-inch screen and a one-megabyte hard drive. For years, this one purchase would be the largest for our young family. As years progressed, my household moved on to new and newer machines, offering a museum timeline of Apple upgrades worthy of the Smithsonian collection. With upgrading machines, it seems cables don’t always match. We now have USB C, replacing several other iterations of cables. With enough adapters ..read more
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Creativity’s Invisible Variables: Preparation and Incubation
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
1y ago
Subscribe to the audio blog on your favorite podcast app: Subscribe We celebrate the moment an idea is born. When a colleague or friend mentions their new idea, we find them in a state of euphoria and energy. New insights seem to arrive in a flash. Like Archimedes experienced, they might hit us in the bathtub. Observers treat us like the crazy mathematician running from his bath while he cried, “Eureka, Eureka!” We all know this part of creativity. A vision, a solution, or a new angle overtakes us. Everyone seems to think our best ideas come to us on their own, but the truth is this ..read more
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The Magic of Being Present: Connect, Notice, and Thank
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
1y ago
Subscribe to the audio blog on your favorite podcast app: Subscribe I had one of those weeks where I felt like I was on a road trip, sharing stories on the winding drive, dreaming with new friends at the campfire, and learning that we all need people to watch out for us while hiking the treacherous inclines in our lives. The pandemic exacted a cost. We lost a bit of the magic of being present—more than I think I care to admit it. Zoom calls, texts, and socially distanced dining—known as takeout—could never replace the real thing. Sure, my favorite restaurant’s food is still tasty. Bu ..read more
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Embrace the Awkward: Create a safe place for tough conversations
Rich Kirkpatrick's Blog
by Rich Kirkpatrick
1y ago
To be human is to be creative Here’s something I’m sure of. Creativity is just another word for being human. One example of this is in how we approach the feeling of being awkward. Awkward is a word that comes from where we get the word backward. It is an opposing force, pushing against the grain. We feel more than annoyed. A powerful challenge to the way our brain is used to thinking ensues, testing our wits and composure. The awkward people we live with I imagine the scene at my dad’s wake where two family members trashed the words of the minister after attending the funeral. One was a white ..read more
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