Become a Student of Yourself

I love podcasts.  I download them to my Ipod and listen to them while I do housework or drive.  I subscribe to about 10, but my latest favorite is The Accidental Creative

 I’ve been listening to some of the older ones lately and heard an interview with Lisa Johnson the other day.  She’s a consultant who helps companies promote their products to “the connected generation.”

 Go here to listen to her.  She’s quite inspiring.

What really made my ears perk up was when she said she has become a “student of herself,” meaning, that she knows how she works best, what lights her up, and what nourishes her creativity.

 She knows, for example, that she’s a non-linear thinker who gets a charge out of de-coding chaotic ideas and making them clearer for her clients.  She knows this is where the “juice” is for her in her job, so as much as possible she gets other people to do the stuff she is NOT good at, so she can focus only what she does best.

 She also knows what nourishes her creatively.  For her, it is being active outside: running, hiking, biking, swimming—getting big endorphin rushes.  She is not nourished by big city stim, for example, but some other people might be.  What she needs is open air and space and physical movement to stoke her creative fires.

 This interview challenged me.  It made me think: Do I know how I work best? Do I know what lights me up? Do I know what nourishes me creatively?

 So I scribbled about this for awhile and this is what I came up with.  (Try asking yourself these questions. It’s a very interesting exercise.)

 One thing I know absolutely is that I can only think with a pen in my hand.  Or at least my best thinking, my clearest thinking, all of my breakthrough thinking, happens when I am writing with a pen.  My random, non-pen thinking is what I call the “spaghetti mess.” 

 Sometimes I can tease out a linear line of thinking from the mess if I talk to myself or to someone else, but my very best thinking comes out of the pen. (I can’t work on a computer keyboard, unfortunately. I think the electricity messes with my process.)

 A pen slows me down, forces me to focus and to deliberately sew one thought into another with some kind of order and flow that then allows me to go back, re-read and discover, usually for the first time, what I really know and think.

 (It’s the old, “How do I know what I think until I read what I write” thing.)

 That’s why I have to write. I really don’t have a choice. If I go too long without writing, the spaghetti mess amasses to the point where no thinking is possible, or rather no clear thinking is possible, and I wind up walking around like a robot in a fog.

 Then after I have spent hours, days, weeks, months clearing out the spaghetti mess, writing every day, teasing out the threads, sewing them together, what lights me up is the next part: sharing it with others.

 That’s why I love blogging.  That’s why I love publishing in Mt.Home.  That’s why I love conversing with others after yoga, or over drinks, or a meal.  It’s the sharing and the exchange of ideas (after they’ve been clarified) that is so damn FIZZY for me, and lights me up and makes me happy.

(to be continued…)

3 thoughts on “Become a Student of Yourself

  1. Oh poo, I went to listen to that Lisa Johnson interview & found it is no longer available. Maybe I should email Accidental Creative and ask them to repost it. It sounds WAY AWESOME. Maybe I could find it some place else. I will google Lisa Johnson!


  2. Hey Cindy,
    If you have an Ipod, just go to I-tunes, search the podcasts for “The Accidental Creative” and subscribe (free). Then when you sync your pod, you will see all the back programs and you can find the Lisa Johnson one (there are actually 2, the one I love best is the earlier one) and that’s how you can get it. If you’re interested.


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