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One of the recommended ways to get "unstuck" creatively is to take your work to a new location. Any change in your routine is going to disrupt everyday patterns of thinking and shift your perspective at least a little bit. And once you're viewing things from a new angle, you can find new insights, new connections, that you maybe couldn't notice before. The work turns fresh again. The sights and sounds and experiences of travel can't help but stock your mind, & give you a deeper, richer mental framework from which to operate. Travel also encourages you to be adaptable, flexible, to shrug off the inevitable frustrations and ask for help when needed. Also to keep a sense of humor. These qualities strike me as very useful for a start-up. :) Travel trains you *out* of your regular routine and gives you vision. I think Chris is absolutely right for the reasons he mentions and more. I saw a TED talk once by a guy who runs a design firm and decided to rearrange his retirement time so that instead of taking it in bulk near the end of his life, he works for four or five years and then takes a year off. To travel. He makes the point that he sees the deep benefits of that in his creative work and his business flourished as a result.
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Would there be an evolutionary benefit to that? Negative emotions deliver information to the brain that all is not right, so circumstances must be analyzed and action must be taken? If we were naturally inclined to happiness, it wouldn't be such a mystery to us -- we wouldn't be so hellbent on pursuing it or enabling such a thriving industry of self-help books and guru figures. So I can imagine our would-be human ancestors swanning around in their bliss, getting picked off by predators and falling off cliffs. Meanwhile the grumpy, productive people prepared for winter and hunkered in their caves and kept saying, "See? I told you so."
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May 11, 2010