Creatives on Creativity

Being creative all the time is hard. Writers for the Money magazine website talked to a variety of people in creative positions to find out what keeps the spark going. Here are some of their answers:

• Physical activity. Kuba Koziej, CEO and co-founder of Zety: “Physical activity lubricates the rusty hinges in my brain and makes my thinking more fluid. So I often take my dog for a quick run or play around the agility park. A 10-minute break shoots some oxygen and dopamine into my system and gets my mind refreshed and creative.”

• Music. Andres Lares, managing partner of Shapiro
Negotiations Institute: “To stay creative, I put on house music fairly loudly on a set of headphones. Not only does the music help focus me, others come by and only interrupt me when it’s critical.”

• Dream boards. Adamaris Mendoza, psychotherapist and relationship coach: “It might sound crazy to some, but I have a daily manifesting practice that uses a vision board. Every morning I look at an annual board full of images of my dreams. I even keep a picture of my vision board in my phone in case I need a quick pick-me-up during the day. It connects me with why I have a business.”

• Collaboration. Andrea Castro, visual artist: “To keep myself focused and inspired, I reach out to other workers in my field by phone or Skype. A one-hour talk with an artist friend, sharing our tactics, frustrations, and wins, simply fuels me to no end. It makes me want to go directly to the easel.”

• Breaks. Kat Cohen, CEO of IvyWise: “This may sound counterintuitive, but I get many of my most creative ideas while working on mundane tasks, like running errands or doing administrative upkeep. My mind is always ‘on’ — I’m constantly focusing on the students I work with and goals for my brand. Carving out a little downtime where I can tune these big-picture ambitions out and focus in on something simple gives me the mental space I need to come up with innovative ideas.”

Powering the Future

Recycling to reduce waste and protect the environment isn’t a new idea. However, a new process may be able to recycle up to 25% of our plastic waste into fuel, according to the Science Alert website. Chemists at Purdue University have been able to liquefy the polymers that make up about a quarter of plastic waste and turn it into diesel-like products that can be used as a basis for fuel.

The process, called hydrothermal liquefaction, involves heating water under heavy pressure to work as a solvent and catalyst for transforming the molecular makeup of polymers. With the addition of some hydrogen atoms, this converts the plastic into a fluid called naphtha.

Previous results were disappointing, but the Purdue team of chemical engineers recently converted more than 90% of the polypropylene used in an experiment into fuel-grade naphtha. Further analysis suggests that the process could be a more efficient and environmentally friendly way of dealing with plastic waste than burning it or recycling it.

Psst— Did You Know?

The first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington.

However, it was not until 1972 that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States.

In Canada, the idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd. She was inspired by American Mother’s Day celebrations and planned a day to honor fathers early in the 20th century.

A Man of Few Words

Once, there was a wealthy prince who was madly in love with a young noblewoman, but he had been cursed as a young boy: upon turning 18, he could not speak more than one word per year. The prince decided he would endure two years without speech so that he could have the pleasure of calling his beloved, “My darling.”

As two years drew to a close, the prince decided to remain quiet for three more years so he could declare his love as well. When the three extra years were almost finished, he realized what he wanted more than anything was to marry his fair lady, so he remained trapped in silence year after year, waiting to ask for her hand in marriage.

After nine long years, the day had finally arrived when he could speak his heart’s desire. He led his pretty lady by the hand to a private garden filled with many beautiful roses. He dropped to one knee, looked up to her and said, “My darling, I love you. Will you marry me?” The lady looked at him with love in her eyes and replied, “Pardon?”

Dream On

Do you dream of starting your own business? It’s not easy, but you can succeed if you follow this advice from the Entrepreneur magazine website:

• Keep your vision in sight. Most great businesses start with an ambitious vision. Decide what you want to create in clear, concrete terms, and keep your focus on your vision as you move forward.

• Be prepared to persevere. Establishing your business will take time and effort. Know that going in, and you’ll be ready to persist in the face of obstacles.

• Plan, but adapt. A good plan is essential, but don’t lock yourself into it so tightly that you can’t make changes along the way. Be flexible in how you achieve your goals, and you’ll move forward more smoothly.

• Know and use your talents. Take inventory of your skills so you can put them to good use. For whatever you don’t do well, delegate it or hire someone to do it for you.

• Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find out what others are doing in your industry, and copy their tactics and strategies. Don’t waste time developing something new when the real-world solution is right out there.

• Keep laughing. Times will sometimes be tough, but the ability to laugh at your mistakes and your luck (both good and bad) will keep you sane as you progress toward success.