A run-in with failure can be devastating to the inexperienced. And without being taught how to respond to it, it can be destructive in its impact on a person's confidence. But it's far more easily managed when you can see a positive outcome in the end.
Turn off the practical humdrum switch in your brain, comforted by numbers and lists and repetitive functions that can cause carpal tunnel brain syndrome. And let your thoughts stretch your imagination.
If you're in the same boat, and you find it's difficult to remember what will improve your creativity and when you should do your most creative work, hopefully this list will help you get it all straight.
Everyone enters the world in the middle of great events -- not all of them good. We can choose to embrace our lives or whine loudly about our circumstances. Or we can muster the courage to imagine a different life, a life that has yet to exist.
Our collective exaltation of creativity is extreme and highlights a cultural problem: We're over-glorifying a fantasy of individual innovative genius, and asking it to carry weight it was never meant to bear.
I asked Yoko Ono -- who at 79 is as youthful, energetic and beautiful as ever -- how she picks the recipients, is there a committee or board? "No, I feel it in here," she said pointing to her heart, "It comes from the heart."
The London 2012 Olympics came to an end yesterday. The spectacular closing ceremony featured many great performances, including one by John Lennon. The late Beatle appeared on screen and sang "Imagine," one of his most popular songs. It was the perfect song for the moment.
I realize that I risk becoming a cliche when I cry over the first notes of John Lennon's "Imagine" -- that song plucks the same chord in me as it does for progressive, idealistic do-gooders all over the world.
For those of us who are both afflicted and blessed by the tendency to feel deeply about people and things, we may find ourselves very conflicted about the flurry of expectations for us to spend money and experience joy for the "holidays."