An honest look at mindfulness — courtesy of the Headspace CSO

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Can meditation help you become more creative? And will this practice also improve your leadership skills? Dr. Megan Jones Bell says yes. She’s chief science officer at Headspace, the company behind the popular meditation app.

Founded in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, Headspace claims over 60 million members across 190 countries. The app offers meditation courses in everything from creativity to better sleep, which can help creatives, leaders, and executives be more effective.

Those new to meditation struggle with finding time to practice. I was recently talking to a friend, and he complained he couldn’t squeeze a 10-minute practice into his already overloaded morning. …


A gap lies between what you want to say and what comes out

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Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy was ashamed of his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Irish musician Bono said about their 1997 album Pop, “It is really the most expensive demo session in the history of music.”

Filmmaker David Fincher said about Alien 3,

“I had to work on it for two years, got fired off it three times, and I had to fight for every single thing. No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me.”

Yet, the artist’s dissatisfaction is part of their creative process.

If artists felt satisfied, why bother pushing themselves forward or embracing a different challenge? It’s far easier to become derivative. U2’s 1997 album Pop led to the far more successful 2000 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind, while Fincher later found his creative voice in Fight Club, Seven and Gone Girl. …


They’ll save you time and money

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Professional writers and authors don’t work alone.

They almost always rely on early readers, editors and proofreaders who turn their manuscripts into polished products.

But what if you’re a new writer or you haven’t worked with an editor before? When I was starting out writing online, I thought I could skip working with an editor.

It’s true, you can publish articles, stories and even books without one, but it’s not always a good idea.

Consider the last article or story you wrote.

You probably spent hours getting the messaging right, but how many more did it take to check for typos and grammar mistakes? …


Ask yourself these 3 simple questions.

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What genre should you write in? Thriller books sell a lot of copies. So does science fiction, romance and even erotic fiction books.

A few years ago, a book marketing expert told me self-published authors earn a good living writing in these genres.

I wanted to earn a good living from writing books too.

So I spent a couple of months trying to write a thriller book that I could sell. I got up early every morning to work on it. And I hated it.

The process felt a lot more like work than anything enjoyable, and I couldn’t get the story right, let alone finish it. …


An abundance of patience required.

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Photo by Christian Dubovan on Unsplash

Teaching teenagers about money is a demanding job that doesn’t pay very well, if at all.

A while ago, I read some Irish research placing the cost of raising two children from 0 to 24 at half a million euro. I’ve got three kids, so you can imagine how I felt about my bank balance afterwards.

If you’re got teenagers and are anything like me, you’ve probably caught yourself giving them what they want because it’s the easier option.

They’ve got more free time than you do to come up with the right arguments or persuade the right parent.

Still, before they go out into the jungle, they’ll need to acquire some basic skills, like negotiation, delayed gratification and how to invest in themselves. …


Chop wood, carry water.

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Photo by Abby Savage on Unsplash

Parenting is a lot of work.

I’ve got three kids, aged 18 months, nine, and fourteen years. I sometimes feel like I’m working at the coalface of homeschooling, cooking meals, managing playdates, and negotiating minor domestic disputes.

Our house is loud and all the more so now that we’re at home a lot more. It sometimes feels hard to avoid losing my patience and just wanting a break.

While reading one Sunday night, after they all went to bed, I came across this ancient zen proverb about the meditative nature of work:

‘Chop wood, carry water.’

Beginners, experts, and everyone in-between face daily mundane tasks that demand attention. So instead of becoming overly-analytical or emotional, focus on the task at hand. …


Getting motivated after college is tough.

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Photo: Nik Shuliahin/Unsplash

Unless you’re a robot, procrastination is a normal part of your work life. It took me a while to learn this lesson after graduating. It was fine to waste days or even weeks while in college, but that’s a sure-fire way to lose a job in the real-world.

Almost all of us have delayed or said “I’ll do it tomorrow,” at some point. That said, procrastination is an indulgence you must learn to temper, particularly if you’re up against a big deadline or want to impress a new boss or convince a customer to buy a product from your business.

Go easier on yourself.


Ask yourself this question before you spend time or money.

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Pick two (Image created on Canva)

Before your next purchase, investment or business project, ask yourself which two of these three traits is most important: good, fast or cheap?

A purchase or investment can only possess two of three of these traits, at best. Although it’d be great to have all three, that’s a utopia. I learnt about this model for making more effective decisions and planning projects the hard way.

1. Cheap and Fast

Several years ago, I wrote my first book. It was all about productivity for writers and I decided to self-publish it.

Every self-published book needs an editor and a good book cover. After editing, I’d no money left to spend. …


Mindset matters.

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I’m not the fastest runner in the world.

I’ve learnt, mostly the hard way, that it takes at least three months of hard training to build up enough physical endurance to run a marathon.

And even then, physical training will only take you so far.

I’ll never forget the year I almost quit the Dublin City marathon half-way through.

Despite months of hard training, I wanted to pull over and get a taxi home.

I would have too if someone from my running club hadn’t ran past at just the right moment. They began shouting my name,

“Hurry up Bryan.”

So I put one foot in front of the other and kept going. I didn’t want to let them or the club down. After training for months, I wanted something to show for all my hard work and training runs, even if every finisher got the same medal. If I’m honest, I also didn’t want to face an embarrassing conversation with club members where I’d have to explain not finishing the race. …


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Photo by Katie Harp - Pinterest Marketing on Unsplash

It’s more than you think.

In 1990, Canadian model Linda Evangelista told Vogue magazine, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.”

Today’s supermodels earn millions more than that per day, but one thing is clear:

Everyone worth their drawings or income should know what their time (not just their work) is worth.

A rate per hour reflects the cost of your work, skills, materials and the value you bring to clients or customers.

How To Calculate Your Rate Per Hour

Workers paid by the hour will know the rate they are paid. If you earn a salary, calculate your income per week. That is:

● Income per week = annual salary ÷…

About

Bryan Collins

Author of The Power of Creativity — Dublin — Advice @ http://becomeawritertoday.com — Join my newsletter @ http://bryancollins.substack.com

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