Advice for Giving Advice

I was dismayed to see MYSELF in the brilliant, funny New Yorker piece “Wait but have you tried?” about the advice-giving that is everywhere. It pulled me up short and got me wondering what an antidote for this rampant habit might be?

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Artist Ed Clark Defied the Limits of the Brush with a Janitor’s Broom

We love this clip of abstract expressionist artist Ed Clark describing how he came defy the limitations of the paint brush by painting canvasses laid out on the floor with a push broom, the old-fashioned super-wide broom janitor’s used to wash big swathes of floor. His improvisation reminds us of the way ideas can ignite or connect in an instant to yield solutions with mighty effect.

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Reasons for Not Doing the Thing Today (Madeleine Dore, Maya Angelou, Louise Bourgeois)

The other day, a newsletter arrived in my inbox with a list that made me instantly relax. “Some reasonable reasons you didn’t do the thing today” was from Madeleine Dore, author of Extraordinary Routines, which explores “how we navigate the pendulum swings of our days”, i.e. how to live with meaning and creativity and unleash our productivity. Her brilliant list grew out of her realization that there is no secret to productivity, and that the very notion is deeply awry.

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