J.K. Riki

Seeds vs. Trees

I recently started a Twitter account @Creative_Go. The plan was (and is) to tweet daily thoughts on creativity in the hopes of sparking ideas in people and leading them towards a more creative way of thinking. I had no idea at the start just what a fascinating experience it would be. The thing about Twitter is that you have 140 characters to make your point. Talking about creativity can lead…
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It Might Be Great

A few weeks back I talked about Tom and his #RunningAway journey that made me realize I, too, had been running away. I came to my senses, snapped out of it, and got back to work on my book (which is coming along nicely, by the way). Still, there was something nagging me about why I had been putting off the final push to publication. I sat with it for…
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Professor Experience

Once upon a time I had plans to change the world. Broad, sweeping plans. Plans to end poverty, starvation, and terrible pop-music lyrics. Things were going to be different. Better. All thanks to the ideas in my head. The funny thing about living is that you change so much through experience. We go to school, and read books, and attend seminars, and watch the news (for as much as you…
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Coffee, Onions, and Changing Your Mind

My friend Adam recently told the tale of “That Time I Discovered Coffee” over on his blog. You should go check it out in full. To summarize, he first tried coffee at age nine, and like most nine year olds he found it to be disgusting. Because, if you were unaware, coffee is inherently bitter and acidic. His story concludes with his realization that adding an unreasonable amount of sugar…
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Lessons from a Canadian Journey

I recently returned from a trek around the eastern half of Canada. Eight family members from China have spent two months touring the United States, and we joined them for the final stretch which involved crossing the border into the Great White North. While staying in little motels and eating a tremendous amount of rice (prepared daily in a portable rice cooker whenever an outlet was nearby) I came across…
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Very Influential

I very much enjoy writing, but my writing tends to take on the cadence of whatever author I’m currently reading. I don’t do this on purpose; it just seems to seep in like rainwater under an old, cracked wooden window. (That last line, for example, would never appear if I wasn’t engrossed in a John Irving novel at the moment.) This got me to thinking about how much of an…
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Bored?

Here’s an amazing little concept I stumbled onto while having a conversation recently about creativity: When you are a child and bored, you make up games or imagine pretend scenarios to entertain yourself. In essence, you look internally to find a solution to your boredom. When you get to be an adult and find yourself bored, you inevitably turn to external things, and look for someone else to solve your…
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#RunningAway

A friend of mine named Tom wrote an interesting post on his blog recently. He’s a bit of an addict when it comes to traveling. Or, more accurately, wandering. He really loves the open road. After a nearly year-long adventure running all over the country, he settled down not long ago in Charlotte to start the next chapter of his life. Except he’s struggling with the “settled down” part. Now…
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Island Lessons

I recently started watching a television show called The Island. To summarize, fourteen Americans are dropped off on a small, deserted island for a month with very few basics supplies and have to survive. Everything is filmed by these men. There is no crew, well-fed and taken care of, standing around with equipment while the others try to survive. Three of the men are professional cameramen, but they are part…
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Creativity Means Slowing Down

I was having a fascinating conversation with newsletter subscriber Judy on the decline of creativity as you grow older. She mentioned: “We had so much more creativity when people thought for themselves. Today everyone creates with what China sells us and there is no folk art or original thinking. Young children start out creative and then fall in to the rut.” It can be easy to go from this idea…
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