Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

I posted What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird? where there’s a link to a short video with Elizabeth Gilbert talking about jackhammers and hummingbirds. Now I have found that entire presentation and it’s really worth watching.

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion, she talks about what changed her from a promoter of a single passion to a broader view. Watch the video at Elizabeth Gilbert: Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life.

I have posts about finding your passion on my sites. Those posts and a single burning passion make sense to many but never really worked for me personally. I’m the hummingbird style and that’s perfectly OK.

What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird?

This is short video with Elizabeth Gilbert has an important message. You can be a jackhammer or a hummingbird. Neither is better than the other, be yourself. Elizabeth Gilbert: If You Can’t Find Your Passion, Try This

There’s more text at You Might Not Be Built To ‘Follow Your Passion’ — Here’s Why, it’s the same video.

“Jackhammers are people like me,” Gilbert says. “You put a passion in our hands and… we don’t look up, we don’t veer, and we’re just focused on that until the end of time. It’s efficient; you get a lot done. But we tend to be obsessive and fundamentalist and sometimes a little difficult.”

“Hummingbirds spend their lives doing it very differently. They move from tree to tree, from flower to flower, from field to field, trying this, trying that,” Gilbert says. “Two things happen: They create incredibly rich, complex lives for themselves, and they also end up cross-pollinating the world.”

While jackhammers may be built for following one passion in life, hummingbirds provide the world with a very different service.
“Hummingbird person: You bring an idea from here to over here, where you learn something else and you weave it in, then you take it here to the next thing you do,” Gilbert says. “Your perspective ends up keeping the entire culture aerated and mixed up and open to the new.”

I love Elizabeth’s view of curiosity vs passion.

“If you’re willing to just release yourself from the pressure and the anxieties surrounded by passion, and you just humbly and faithfully continue to follow the trail of the hummingbird path… one of these days, you just might look up and realize, ‘Oh, my word, I am exactly where I’m meant to be,'” Gilbert says. “In other words, if you can let go of ‘passion’ and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.”

Me? I am a hummingbird. What about you?

See also Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

Boost Your Creative Productivity

I found The Real Reason Coffee Shops Boost Productivity through Twitter.

Coffee Shops have been known to boost creative productivity. But it’s not the caffeine that does it.

The blog post refers to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research that explored the effects of various levels of background noise on individual creative thinking. What’s really interesting is this:

the researchers found that those in the moderate-noise condition outperformed those in all the other conditions, hence moderate-noise was amplifying their creative output

Drink whatever you want at the coffee shop (I drink hot chocolate), it’s the background noise that makes you creative.

Get The Coffee Shop Noise At Home

In one of the comments on the blog post above is a link to Coffitivity. They describe the site as “Ambient sounds to boost your workday creativity! ” I have Coffitivity on right now and really like the sound.

Is there an app for that?

There’s Ambiance thats described as an “environment enhancer” designed to help you create the perfect ambient atmosphere to relax, focus or reminisce on the go.

The Medici Effect

The Medici EffectThe Medici Effect is a book about creativity and innovation written by Frans Johansson. The name alludes to The Medici family that helped to spur the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.

The Medici Effect is about what happens at intersections, crossroads between different and often unrelated knowledge areas. Frans Johansson argues that innovations occur when people see beyond their expertise and approach situations actively, with an eye toward putting available materials together in new combinations. The book contains examples from different areas plus tips around how to achieve the intersectional effects.

Update on January 16, 2008.
Brian Clark at Copyblogger got inspired by this book and wrote The Content Crossroads: Supernatural Success at the Intersection of Ideas.

This post was first published at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

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