Coffee and Ideas Meet Again


Photo by jarmoluk

Photo by jarmoluk

A small mastermind-ish group I meet with regularly met again tonight and it reminded me so much of why coffee and ideas go so well together. Today was an extra good day for ideas for another reason. The conversation is semi-structured. We start with a structure anyways and see where it goes. I call them Bounce Sessions.

Bounce Sessions

Bounce Sessions are meeting with others to bounce ideas around. You might start with prompts or questions for each person to answer like we do or just meet for coffee. The ideal bounce session has some bouncing of ideas followed by some work in it. I don’t know about you but I get pretty excited throwing all those ideas around and having a good caffeine-fueled conversation about new technology and ideas that could make our lives and business better. Caffeine is not required but it certainly makes the ideas move faster. More exciting that way.

Last 2, next 2 and stuck

The structured part of the conversations start with a round table on the last 2 things you completed for your current project (or business), the next 2 things you are going to complete for your current project and what you are stuck on. These are just quick prompts to get things moving and they often inspire hours of conversation. No one really knows where we are going to go from there. We meet every 2 weeks and so the next 2 should be done by the next meeting in 2 weeks. If you can do them the next day, awesome. But we’re all working on businesses as side projects and it can take weeks to get small things going so it’s a nice prompt with a good amount of time to do them in.

CrossFit then Bounce = Flow

Stephen Kotler and the Flow Genome Project talks a lot about sports and human-powered activity fueling the Flow State, a state of being “in the zone”. Anyone can feel it but it’s that feeling of being “on” or so deep into what you are doing, that you don’t notice time passing. There are certain requirements of activities that can put you into that state and one of them is that it’s not too easy but it’s not too hard…. just right. I find workouts at CrossFit get me thinking in a very very focused way, getting into a flow of sorts. The benefits of flow are too long to list but include happiness, relaxation, living longer and a boost in creativity afterwards. So going to CrossFit increases the Flow and then going to a Bounce Session with a little caffeine involved equals a whole lot of creativity and ideas. Rad.

Free Learning on CreativeLive

Chase Jarvis is a cool guy. He does a lot with cameras and he starts cool projects and businesses. He talks to a lot of cool people on his web show called Chase Jarvis Live and he owns a company called CreativeLive. The whole idea behind CreativeLive is free professional teaching.

They run courses in their studio in Seattle and broadcast them live on their website as well as record them for later. The recordings after the fact aren’t free, they are paid. So if you want to keep a recording, you have to pay. If you can watch it live, though, you get it for free. Free learning from some of the best teachers in the world. Cool.

Are you in a Power Posture

After talking about Kelly Starrett from MobilityWOD who taught a course on CreativeLive we got talking about posture (because Kelly has ridiculously good posture). That led to the TED talk about the research into power postures and how it influences your mood and thinking. They say that if you are in an open, powerful posture that it will influence your thinking and increase your confidence. If you are doing a presentation or an interview, best to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes and get into a power stance. You’ll do better in your presentation.

Check in with yourself in lineups

Brendan Burchard does a lot of teaching on being an expert and high performance in business and thinking. I love his material. One of his videos, he talks about how it’s important to check in with yourself during the day. Important things like thoughts and breathing can make or break your day but often they’re totally subconscious, we don’t even think about them. When we do catch ourselves worrying about something or getting tense and breathing shallow, we could have been like that for hours. It’s not good for our bodies or minds to be like that. Stop, reset, relax and then carry one. But how do you catch yourself?

Create triggers.

Create a set of triggers during the day that every time something happens, you’ll stop and think about how you’re thinking and feeling. How are you thinking? Positively? Negatively? About things that make you feel good? About things that make you feel terrible? How are you breathing? Nice deep breathes or ragged, shallow ones? How you are standing? Relaxed and tall with your shoulders back? Or shoulders folded, back rounded, defeated?

So that’s great that you do these things when you remember to but how do you remember to?

Hook those actions onto something that happens often during your day.

Brendan has attached his to standing in a lineup. Any time he’s in a lineup in a coffee shop or at a grocery story or in traffic, he does a checkin with himself. How’s your thinking? How’s your breathing? How’s your posture? Every time that lineup happens, he’s checking in. He doesn’t need to remember much, the lineup is going to remind him.

Starting Blog Challenge

After all this and too much other conversation to even remember where we went, we decided we need to practice the idea of quantity leading to quality and do a 2 week blogging challenge. We all blog so what the heck, let’s do it every day. The challenge: 200 words every day for 2 weeks on whatever blog you want. It has to be published. No drafts, no evernotes, no google docs. Published. Too many blog posts sit unpublished. Let’s publish these things and get on with our lives.

So here it is, this my first of the blogging challenge. Care to join? 2 weeks. Every day. Let’s go.