Killer resources for curious, creative people

Jackie Colburn
4 min readMar 6

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Are you committed to constant discovery? Do you like learning about yourself and the world around you? Is curiosity something hardwired within you, or something you aim to cultivate more of?

If so, I’ve got a few amazing resources to share that will speak to anyone who loves to reimagine what it means to live and thrive in this world. And they aren’t just books — though you know how much I love to read — this list also includes a Netflix show and some audio content for those of you who prefer to digest content in various formats.

The Mind, Explained on Netflix (Season 2, Episode 4 on Creativity)

How do we create the conditions for creativity to thrive? This must-watch episode does an excellent job at answering that question and is for anyone interested in fostering more creativity within their teams.

In less than 30 minutes, it dives deep into the concept and demonstrates why a little bit of structure is actually critical to exploring new ideas — something I’m super passionate about and go into in more depth in this post.

The idea is that by using a specific prompt, people can generate ideas far better than if they were simply handed a blank piece of paper. A little guidance actually helps focus and narrow our thinking, and that ends up triggering specific neural pathways in the brain. In other words, a little constraint is critical for creativity.

Improv is a great example of this concept. It requires a willingness to fail, an ability to read the audience, and the openness to build on someone else’s ideas. The result is collaborative and creative — something that couldn’t exist without a prompt or the help of others.

Another great example? The game Exquisite Corps wherein a folded piece of paper is passed from one person to the next, each adding a new idea after the last. The group is either following a rule, or solely building on the context of the previous sketch.

Either way, the structure and teamwork is what unlocks the new ideas, and that’s something any team seeking creativity can benefit from.

Beloved Economies, Andrea Rimington and Joanna L. Cea

If you’re frustrated with work, or the way work is structured, this book is for you. I can’t say enough good things about it and I want to thank Sarah Herberg for recommending it.

The authors identify and explore a specific problem — why work isn’t working — then introduce years of case studies and examples highlighting the companies that are doing this better and HOW.

Throughout the book, they build a case for doing things differently and define 7 practices for making change. They’re super tangible and supported by examples to be inspired by, making the case for creating new systems that are more supportive of humans and our relationship with work: Shared Decision-Making Power, Prioritize Relationships, Reckon with History, Seek Difference, Source from Multiple Ways of Knowing, Trust There is Time, Prototype Early and Often.

This book is an excellent reminder that when you seek new ways of working, you’ll need new ways of making those changes a reality. They also argue that with big change you will inevitably encounter resistance, and that probably means you’re onto something.

Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer

Feeling stuck in a professional rut? Unclear about your career trajectory, or how to pursue your passions? This book offers encouragement, suggestions and methods for navigating your vocational path.

The author shares his personal journey into discovery and encourages us to connect with our inherent nature and gifts to reveal insights about ourselves, and how they translate to our vocations.

I was so inspired by one of the concepts introduced in the book that I adapted it for a recent retreat with friends to help them explore challenges, encourage introspection and uncover ideas for how things might evolve in the future. Everyone commented on how beneficial the process felt, and how thoughtful the (borrowed) methods were.

Definitely pick up this read if you feel disconnected from your vocation (or yourself), as a way to find your path home.

Ten Percent Happier meditation app

Want an approachable entry into meditation? One that doesn’t feel elusive or intimidating?

The Ten Percent Happier meditation app has found the right balance between simple and interesting. As someone who has dabbled in meditation for nearly 20 years and tried many different apps, courses and self studies, I find the Ten Percent Happier app to be unique in its approach. It’s filled with lessons and practical discussions about different concepts in video format, followed by a guided meditation centered on a specific concept or teaching. The whole experience feels a bit more tangible and pointed because the prompts help focus the mind (and, per the first item on this list, that’s important!).

I tried this app to take another run at the hill because nothing to-date has carried the staying power I’ve been hoping for, and I have to say I’ve been loving it. Here’s to hoping this one sticks!

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Jackie Colburn

Weekly resources for facilitators and leaders. Learn tips and methods to run better workshops, accelerate teams and uncover new ideas. www.jackiecolburn.com

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