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Locked 101 Classes

Creativity 101

How to Create Cool Stuff and Do Your Life's Work

In this class we’ll look at your #1 creative project, doing your life’s work, turning pro and the three laws of mastery. Plus how to get your mind right and deal with troll poop. Let’s master the process of consistently creating cool stuff and giving our gifts to the world!

Locked 101 Classes

Genius 101

Discover Your Brilliance with Lessons from the All-Time All-Star Dream Team of the Mind

Michael Gelb joins us as a guest teacher for this class! He is the world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development and has authored 14 books on creativity & innovation, including the international best seller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. In this class, Michael introduces us to his All-Time All-Star Genius Dream Team, the greatest minds throughout history (spoiler: da Vinci made the list! ha), bringing a fun + inspirational + creative approach to helping you discover your own brilliance.

Locked PhilosophersNotes


The Psychology of Discovery and Invention

Creativity with a capital C—the type of Creativity that changes the world. How can we go about cultivating it in our lives? That’s what this book is all about. Our guide is the legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Big Ideas we explore include defining true Creativity, focusing our attention and being willing to be kinda weird, the one personality trait all Creators have in common (hint: complexity!), creating rhythms and the nine elements of flow and how to tap into it!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The War of Art

This book is amazing. If you’ve ever struggled with rockin’ your creativity it’s pretty much a must-read. Written in an intense, no-nonsense style, Pressfield gets to the heart of the “Resistance” that stands in our way to fully expressing ourselves as he challenges us to become true “Professionals.” In the Note, we’ll check out some of my Favorite Big Ideas—from letting the results be by-products to the importance of simply sitting down and trying day after day after day.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Do the Work

Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way

Steven Pressfield created a trilogy on mastering the creative process and winning our battle with Resistance. The War of Art kicked it off, this is the second installment with the final Turning Pro. In the book, Pressfield walks us thru a specific project and shows us how to deal with Resistance at each stage. Big Ideas we explore incude starting before you're ready, keep working (!), and SHIP!!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

On Writing

10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

Stephen King has written over 50 books. ALL of them (that would be every.single.one) have been international best-sellers. (Wow.) It’s fair to say he knows a thing or two (or 350 million) about writing. He shares that wisdom in this book and we'll take a quick look at a handful of my favorite Big Ideas in this Note.

Locked PhilosophersNotes


How Non-Conformists Move the World

Adam Grant is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and the top-ranked Professor at Wharton. He’s also a great writer. In Originals, we take a look at “How Non-Conformists Move the World.” Big Ideas we explore in the Note include vuja de, creating a ton of stuff, activating your GO! system when fear strikes, the fact that venting just fuels anger (and why empathetic anger is where it’s at), and how proper revolutions are less about cataclysmic explosions and more about long, controlled burns.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Creative Habit

Learn It and Use It for Life

Twyla Tharp is awesome. One of the greatest choreographers in the world, she’d created more than 130 (!!!) dances for her company as well as for everyone from the Joffrey Ballet to London’s Royal Ballet. In this great book,. Twyla shares some uber-Big Ideas on how we can develop our Creative Habit to more consistently rock it.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Courage to Create

Rollo May was a brilliant 20th century existential psychologist and this book is a great look at the courage it takes to fully express ourselves as we create our ideal lives. We'll explore the fact that the word courage comes from the French word for "heart" and that, just as the heart pumps blood to all the organs of our body, so does courage pump blood to all our other virtues—without courage, we're effectively dead. This Note is packed with Big Ideas to make sure your courage is beating strong.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Steal Like an Artist

10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

This is a great little book packed with gems on the creative process we can apply to both our work AND our lives. As per the sub-title, Austin gives us “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Big Ideas we explore include the need to start copying, the importance of taking care of ourselves and establishing a routine as we set creative constraints and amassing a body of work as we consistently show up.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

Michael Gelb profiles the seven attributes of da Vinci's genius in his great book and in our Note we'll have fun checking out some Big Ideas including one of the most powerful exercises I've ever done called "A Hundred Questions." The exercise literally shaped my life and I trust you'll dig it as much as I have. We'll also look at the power of affirmations (did you know da Vinci used them?!) and the body of a genius (did you know da Vinci was also an exceptional athlete?!). Fun stuff.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Kind of the Story of My Life

What does Scott Adams have to teach us about success? A lot. And this hilarious book is packed with wisdom. Learn why goals are for losers (and systems are for super-crushers), how to move from merely wishing for success to DECIDING you will be successful and other helpful tips on how to program your moist robot for optimal performance. Um. Yah.

Locked PhilosophersNotes


Leonardo da Vinci. Charles Darwin. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Martha Graham. The Wright Brothers. Jane Goodall. Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Edison. Zora Neale Hurston. What do they all have in common? Mastery. In this great book Robert Greene shows us the key components of their mastery and, most importantly, how WE can each attain our mastery in our own lives.

Locked +1s

#36 Deep Work

How to Escape Shallowville and Go Deep
Cal Newport has a very big brain. He got his Ph.D. from MIT and is a professor of Computer Science at Georgetown. He also wrote one of my
Locked +1s

#85 50 Pounds = A

How to Master the Fear of Art
Imagine this: It’s your first day of art class. You signed up for an intro class on pottery. (Nice! Go you!) The teacher does something a
Locked +1s

#86 What Shakespeare, Beethoven & Picasso Have in Common

Want to Create Something Great? Create a Ton.
In our last +1, we talked about how to get an “A” in your next pottery class. Quick re-cap: Produce a TON of stuff. (Remember: 50 lbs =
Locked +1s

#165 Flow

What It Is & How to Get in It
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the world’s leading researchers studying the science of well-being. He co-founded the Positive

#201 Creative vs. Reactive

Choose One Before the Other (If You Want to Actualize Your Potential)
Creative and reactive. Two words with the same exact letters. Just a slightly different placement of that “c.” But, alas, that “c”
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#240 Our Minds Must Relax

Seneca on How to Avoid Mental Dullness and Lethargy
In our last +1, we talked about the Cal Newport-inspired “Shut-down complete!” First, quick check in: You win that game? 😃 Get this:
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#249 Celebrate Confusion

Tony Robbins Says It’s Your Gateway to Clarity
Once upon a time, I was at a Tony Robbins event. Thousands of people. Fired up. And, literally, walking on fire. 😃 I basically filled up

#284 How’s Your Genius?

High Fives From Me to You Guys
Did you know that in ancient Roman times everyone had their own genius? Yah. If you ever did something awesome it was because of your

#286 Genius Dress Code

Save Your Brain Cells for Stuff That Matters
In his classic book on Creativity, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi walks us through the science of what makes extraordinary creators so

#288 Just Get Started!

vs. Just Do It
Tim Pychyl is one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of conquering procrastination. He wrote a great book called Solving
Locked +1s

#414 Inspiration Clock

What Time Does It Strike for You?
Steven Pressfield wrote one of my favorite books: The War of Art. Actually, he wrote three of them: The War of Art, Do the Work and Turning
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#430 Chewing on 100k Words Per Day

Lions, Kings, Monks and Original Thoughts
Here’s another little gem from Dan Pink’s To Sell Is Human. (The man is a brilliant writer and a treasure-trove of goodness.) He tells
Locked +1s

#437 Stephen King’s Spikes

Hammering Rejection to the Wall
In our last +1, we talked about my new railroad spike. (You get your own yet? And, most importantly: Have you hammered away at your #1 most
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#493 The Supercomputer in Your Head

And How to Turn It On
A few +1s ago, we talked about Manoush Zomorodi’s great book Bored and Brilliant. We reflected on the fact that 25 minutes of time wasting
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#593 You and Jay-Z in the Studio of Life

Making Epic Music via 10,000 Daily Micro-Hero’s Journeys
Steven Pressfield is one of the world’s masters of the creative process—which is why we keep on coming back to him and his wisdom. Today
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#622 The Growth Mindset

Jordan, Picasso and You
In our last +1, we talked about how to be like Mike sans the sugar-laden Gatorade. 🤓 I briefly mentioned the fact that Jordan was
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#756 How to Make a Life Omelet

Remember: Important Step = Break Some Eggs
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that I’m not the handiest of men and then we had fun getting our grit on as we stocked our
Locked +1s

#809 The Creative Habit

The Philosophical Tug of War
Over the last 11 years, I’ve created (and we’ve shared) over 500 PhilosophersNotes. I currently have a stack of them on the floor next
Locked +1s

#811 Want to Create a TON?

Have a Very (!) Big Waste Paper Basket
In our last +1, we talked about the super-creative plodder Peter Drucker and his response to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s invitation to
Locked +1s

#816 Rituals of Preparation

A Cab Ride with Twyla Tharp
In our last several +1s, we’ve been having fun hanging out with the great choreographer Twyla Tharp. We spent some time archeologically
Locked +1s

#839 Rejected Lately?

Dr. Seuss, JK Rowling and YOU
At this stage, most of us know that JK Rowling was rejected twelve (!) times before she finally found a publisher who believed in her and
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#840 Happy Artists

I Found One!!
This morning on the Trail I was thinking about Mister Rogers and his challenges creating (recall our “tortures of the damned”!) along
Locked +1s

#866 Got Good Ideas?

Capture Them!
Today we’re going to talk about what to do with some of your best ideas. But, first, let’s talk about cars. Quick story: I used to pride
Locked +1s

#867 Counting Pearls vs. Stringing Pearls

Yoda Says: One’s Better Than the Other
Not too long ago, we spent some time with my Yoda (aka Phil Stutz) and he taught us the power of what he calls “stringing pearls.” (It
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#909 Creative Hiccups

How to Cure Them
In our last +1, we hung out with Steven Kotler and talked about flow junkies while smashing together two ancient words (“hedonic” +
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#932 Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day

Neither Was Any Other Great Thing
In our last +1, we briefly chatted about John Harrison’s decades-long (!!!) quest to bring the world precision timekeeping. At the time
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#1111 Crossing Bright Lines

And Getting Back on Track
This morning I did my normal thing. Starting last night with shutdown complete, etc. You know the drill. My #1 AM1 Deep Work goodness was
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#1191 Genius Work vs. Mediocre Work

High Fiving Your Inner Genius
In our last +1, we talked about the INFINITE power of Consistency. Recall that our (always evolving) equation for Awesome now goes something
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#1265 Want to Be the Best?

Godin Says: You Really Can’t Try to Do Everything
In our last +1, we got our inner Freak on as we spent some time with Dav!d Rendall and learned to embrace constraints as we reminded
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#1282 Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Origin Stories Featuring Cal Newport + Steve Martin
In our last +1, we had fun extending Cal Newport’s Work wisdom to our Energy and Love. As you may recall, I suggested that we may want to