“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” – Steve Jobs

In Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights, Klein summarizes:

During the preparation stage we investigate a problem, applying ourselves to an analysis that is hard, conscious, systematic, but fruitless.

Then we shift to the incubation stage, in which we stop consciously thinking about the problem and let our unconscious mind take over. Wallas quoted the German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, who in 1891 at the end of his career offered some reflections on how this incubation stage feels. After working hard on a project, Helmholtz explained that “happy ideas come unexpectedly without effort, like an inspiration. So far as I am concerned, they have never come to me when my mind was fatigued, or when I was at my working table. They came particularly readily during the slow ascent of wooded hills on a sunny day.”

Wallas advised his readers to take this incubation stage seriously. We should seek out mental relaxation and stop thinking about the problem. We should avoid anything that might interfere with the free working of the unconscious mind, such as reading serious materials.

Next comes the illumination stage, when insight bursts forth with conciseness, suddenness, and immediate certainty. Wallas believed that the insight, the “happy idea,” was the culmination of a train of unconscious associations. These associations had to mature outside of conscious scrutiny until they were ready to surface. Wallas claimed that people could sometimes sense that an insight was brewing in their minds. The insight starts to make its appearance in fringe consciousness, giving people an intimation that the flash of illumination is nearby. At this point the insight might drift away and not evolve into consciousness. Or it might get interrupted by an intrusion that causes it to miscarry. That’s why if people feel this intimation arising while reading, they often stop and gaze out into space, waiting for the insight to appear. Wallas warned of the danger of trying to put the insight into words too quickly, before it was fully formed.

Finally, during the verification stage we test whether the idea is valid. If the insight is about a topic such as mathematics, we may need to consciously work out the details during this final stage.

Wallas noted that none of these stages exist in isolation.

In the daily stream of thought these four different stages constantly overlap each other as we explore different problems. An economist reading a Blue Book, a physiologist watching an experiment, or a business man going through his morning’s letters, may at the same time be “incubating” on a problem which he proposed to himself a few days ago, be accumulating knowledge in “preparation” for a second problem, and be “verifying” his conclusions on a third problem. Even in exploring the same problem, the mind may be unconsciously incubating on one aspect of it, while it is consciously employed in preparing for or verifying another aspect. And it must always be remembered that much very important thinking, done for instance by a poet exploring his own memories, or by a man trying to see clearly his emotional relation to his country or his party, resembles musical composition in that the stages leading to success are not very easily fitted into a “problem and solution” scheme. Yet, even when success in thought means the creation of something felt to be beautiful and true rather than the solution of a prescribed problem, the four stages of Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and the Verification of the final result can generally be distinguished from each other. (The Creativity Question)

Why I Love The Gig Economy

A Millennial Movement has been happening for the past five years, known as the “The Freedom Economy” (a term coined by Greg Pesci, CEO of Spera), where work is being outsourced to freelancers, entrepreneurs, consultants, experts and specialists.

Interestingly, this virtual model is:

  • More productive
  • Faster
  • and cheaper

1. Human Capital > Money

In the freedom economy, people are your biggest asset. Invest in them. Believe in them.

The industrial model is gone. People are more than machines. Those who build long-term relationships — rather than transactional relationships — with their employees will win.

2. Emotional-Intelligence > Economic Intelligence

In the freedom economy, emotional intelligence is more important than economic intelligence.

Working with people is how you win.

3. Collaboration > Hierarchy

In the freedom economy, outdated hierarchical systems no longer work. Instead of “shifting the responsibility” up the management ladder, flatter structures empower employees to make decisions and feel responsible for the company’s success.

And that’s exactly what Millennials want. They want to use their skills to make a difference. According to Self-Determination Theory, popularized in Dan Pink’s book Drive, autonomy is one of the primary drivers of quality and meaningful work.

4. Meaning and Purpose > Material Rewards

In the freedom economy, you can’t get people excited to work purely for material gains. That worked in previous generations. But today, people want to be a part of something meaningful.

95% of success is based on selection, in picking the right people. In order to hire and keep the best talent, you’ll need shared values and character.

Employees need to have “it” in their heart’s — the mission and values of the company need to sink deep. It needs to be part of who they are. Hence, Steve Jobs’ criteria for hiring, “Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.”

5. Leaders > Followers

In the freedom economy, everyone is a leader. Everyone!

You need everyone to be a leader because the world is changing to fast. Rather than training someone in one skill, employees need to be agile. Thus, everyone needs to be viewed and treated as a leader, because roles and responsibilities will always be in flux.

Hence, human capital is your greatest asset. Train your people will, treat them with respect and understand them, collaborate with and empower them, and they will thrive.

If your biggest goal is to help your employees succeed, you will succeed.

Everyone needs to embrace the Millennial movement. Live in the now, or your business will go extinct.

This is also great news for people like me who count ourselves as social creatures more than ones made for the books/math/memorising for exams. You go, Millenials! WHOOO.


“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet’s two-step rule in order to set boundaries and become more successful at saying “no.”

1. Write down your top twenty-five career goals, and then circle the five most important to you.

Before you, you will have two lists. While everything that you wrote down likely has some sort of importance, your top-five list should contain those objectives most meaningful. Before sitting down with these goals you likely saw the list of twenty, in addition to the top-five, as not necessarily “urgent priorities” but still having plans to give them a dedicated effort. This is wrong according to Buffett. Why? Your time and attention are limited, and any effort invested on lower priority goals steals away effort from higher priority goals.

2. Now, here’s the kicker, completely eliminate the other twenty goals you have listed. That’s right, cross them off.

Instead, put all of your effort and energy into achieving everything on your top-five list before even thinking about moving on to others. Why? These twenty items, along with many other opportunities that may arise, are simply distractions getting in the way of reaching what truly matters most, as indicated on your list.

Sure, they are important to you, and trust me you’ll get to them. But eliminate them for the time being. Simplicity is the key to success here. One fully completed project is better than five half-finished ones. Buffett suggests that you don’t just prioritize what’s most important, but support this prioritization by avoiding everything else.

“You’ve ‘gotta keep control of your time,” Buffett says, “and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life.”

Read the full article here.

The importance of EQ in the world of today.

Why Young Bankers, Lawyers, and Consultants Need Emotional Intelligence…

A complex and global business environment requires stronger communication across multiple boundaries, and the rise of big data means clients put more value on customized insight and integrity…

EQ is more than charisma or personality. It is exhibited in adaptability, collegiality, and empathy — and it is practiced through listening, remaining calm and resilient in the face of problems, valuing and helping colleagues, and connecting and empathizing with clients.

Read more here.

weekend wisdom


The Absurd Courage of Choosing to Live

The person who understands the absurdity of the human condition is strengthened by it. He or she still has to work unceasingly to bear up under the weight of being, but it is worth it. There is no higher destiny, Camus declares. The absurd man is the master of his days. When he gazes backward over his life, he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which becomes his fate, created by him, and like Sisyphus and his rock, the whole seemingly unreasonable effort turns out to have meaning, just because it constituted his life.

Thus, even while we are convinced that all human meaning comes from human beings, and not from outside them, we are still able to be impressed by its meaning if we allow ourselves to be. Camus says that each of us, like Sisyphus, is like a blind man who wants to see and yet knows the night has no end, but who is still “on the go.” Meaning and joy are inherent in our simple, yet heroically effortful, persistence. “The rock is still rolling.”

We endure.

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The Paradox at the Heart of Being Human
“This is the paradox at the heart of being human… if we wait for the perfect time, the perfect person, the perfected self, we’ll stay frozen in an idea of love. But if we fearlessly engage with the life spread out before us, we will be rewarded with a heart that can hold it all — happiness and messiness, clarity and confusion, love and loss.”