How do you live the creative life? I’ve gleaned tips from some of my favorite Creators. For five days I’m writing about these insightful suggestions. Today is technically Day 6– but I couldn’t help adding one more day of tips. Yesterday I wrote about Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice.
James D. Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, recently wrote a book packed with advice for young scientists: Avoid Boring People and Other Lessons from a Life in Science . But it’s more than a how-to book. It’s a great life story. I tried to read it to my children this morning (they lost interest rather quickly, but that’s another post for another day).
Check out his advice below:
- Knowing “why” (an idea) is more important than learning “what” (a fact).
- New ideas usually need new facts.
- Think like your teachers not your peers.
- Seek out bright as opposed to popular friends.
- The sooner you narrow your creative interests, the better.
- Keep your intellectual curiosity broad.
- Work on Sundays. (More on this: Spending More Time at the Office).
- Exercise when you feel intellectually dull.
- Have a big objective that makes you feel special.
- Always have an audience for your creative work.
- Avoid boring people.
- Science is highly social.
- Leave a project or field before it bores you.
- Choose an objective apparently ahead of its time.
- Work on problems that take 3-5 years to work out.
- Never be the brightest person in the room.
- Stay connected to intellectual competitors.
- Work with a teammate who is your intellectual equal.
- Constantly share what you learn.
- Immediately write-up big discoveries.
- Travel increases your creative prowess.
- Be the first to tell a good story.
- Read out-loud what you write.
- Two obsessions are one too many.
- Don’t take up golf.
- Close competitors should publish simultaneously.
- Schedule as few appointments as possible.
- Never dye your hair or use collagen.
My favorites are #9, #11, #21 and #28. What do you think?
*Don’t go away yet: You may have noticed I’ve changed my blog’s look. What do you think about that? Is it better? Worse? In bad-taste? Tantalizing? I’d love to hear your opinion. If you’re new here… I’d still love to hear what you think about my site, creativity…the Universe!
Filed under: Advice, Living the Creative Life, The Scientist Tagged: | A life in science, Avoid Boring People, Creativity, Creativity advice, Energy, James D. Watson, Living the creative life, Scientists