Category Archives: Culture

30 Things I Learned Turning 30

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I’m sitting here in my apartment drinking a cup one of my favourite teas reflecting on my twenties and what I’ve learned up until now.

I originally intended this to be a journal entry but decided that insights and ideas should be shared. Why? Because so many of the things that I’ve learned came from great conversations, or things I read or an inspiring video. So I tasked myself with writing a list of 30 things I learned before turning 30 with a time limit of 30 minutes. This list is not meant to be a guideline or advice for anyone. Think of it more as some personal anecdotes that I’ve gathered over the years on the topics of creativity, business, friends, family, love, personal development, spirituality and community. Some of these thoughts are cheesy. Others are common among any basic book on personal development.  Continue reading

5 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

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Feeling stuck or mentally blocked? I find that there are a number of ways that help me get the creative juices flowing.

Here are my top 5 tips to stimulating the creativity muscle:

1) Spend time in silence

I meditate most days and even spend time driving around in my car in silence. Stopping for a few moments and taking a break from absorbing information or concentrating on a project really helps me open up to new ideas and methods for tackling a project.

2) Writing

I use Julia Cameron’s technique of writing morning pages each day to clear out the mental junk in my head and open up space for creativity. Check out the “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for more information.

3) Having Great Conversations

This is a really helpful practice to getting you inspired and energized. I find that if I’m feeling blocked, and I have a great conversation with somebody, I immediately benefit from the inspiration and ideas that come to me. My 30 day challenge idea came from a great conversation.

4) Cross functional activities

If you focus too much on one area, you’ll find that your creativity is limited. Try exposing yourself to new books, activities and people. I got really into rock climbing last year, and it was a fantastic way for me to learn about myself and also think about things differently.

5) Read good books

I usually read a lot of non-fiction but recently I started reading more literature. I finished “Pride and Prejudice” and now i’m working on “The Great Gatsby”. Good books are awesome at stimulating the brain in different ways.

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3 TED Talk Playlists I’m Watching Right Now

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Last year, I made a commitment to try to watch a TED Talk every morning while I ate breakfast. This lasted for a few weeks but in that time, I absorbed an enormous amount of ideas, inspiration and actionable steps for creating great work.

Recently, I noticed that TED now has playlists which are organized by topic or by an individual. This is awesome! I normally find TED Talks by browsing or clicking on a link through Facebook. Having a collection of videos on one topic, in one place is great for absorbing tons of ideas worth spreading.

If you’re looking for a little Sunday motivation, check out these three awesome TED Talk playlists I’m watching right now. (I’ve noticed you can’t embed playlists the same way you share individual talks so the playlist links are embedded in the titles) I’ve embedded my favorite video from each playlist into the post.

1) Work smarter (11 talks)

Work smarter is a fantastic collection of TED Talks including some of my favorite authors such as Simon Sinek (Start with Why), Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage) and Jason Fried (37 Signals).

2) The Creative Spark (10 talks)

The Creative Spark includes inspiring talks by Elizabeth Gilbert (Your elusive creative genius), Ken Robinson (Schools kill creativity) and David Kelly (How to build your creative confidence). Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk is one my absolute favorite TED Talks.

3) A Better You (11 talks)

The A Better You playlist is a collection of success masters ranging from John Wooden to Tony Robbins. Make sure to check out Matt Cutt’s talk on “Try something new for 30 days”.

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Start a 30 Day Challenge

I had lunch with my good friend Alicia yesterday who was telling me about her recent commitment to 30 day challenges. I was immediately intrigued by the idea. I’d heard about lot’s of 30 day challenges for a wide variety of things including yoga, weight loss, reading and goal setting.

Alicia’s commitment was to implement a beneficial habit, ritual or project every 30 days to make sure she kept up the momentum with her goals.

Check out Alicia’s blog at the Goldsmith Project.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to adopt the same commitment to 30 day challenges. Starting this Saturday, I am going to post new content on The Pinstriped Suit every day for 30 days. This will be a great way for me to kickstart my creative juices and get my ideas out there.

I’ll be writing about a number of different topics over the 30 day challenge including: books, marketing tips, digital marketing, goals, personal development, fashion, and inspiration.

Another brilliant idea that Alicia challenged me to do was to post my goals on the website. That way, it will keep me accountable for sticking with my intentions and moving my goals forward.

In order to put these two challenges in action, I’ve set up new pages where you can see and comment on my goals and 30 day challenges. I’m looking forward to updating all of you on how it goes and you’ll be able to watch my progress starting on Saturday.

Wish me luck!

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The Five Books I Brought to Peru

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My well seasoned traveling friends warned me not to take too many books down to Peru. They said that I’d be too busy exploring and immersing myself in the local culture that I’d never have time to read.

Well, going without good books for a month for me is like cutting out coffee for a month. (It’s not a pretty scene folks)

Here are the five books I brought down to Peru with me. This short list is a combination of audiobooks, kindle and and hard copy versions. ( Tip: audiobooks keep you entertained on long plane/train/bus rides)

1) On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I watched the trailer for the movie that is coming out soon and I was intrigued. This book is a fantastic story about a young man traveling through the United States in the 40s. I finished half the book between leaving the airport and arriving in Lima.

2) The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

I’ve talked about this book before. I figured I needed a refresher, so what better way to spend a few free hours each week studying how to unleash my inner creative. Cameron’s classic book is a 12 week course in exploring your inner creative. Packed with useful exercises and thought provoking questions, this book is perfect for a bit of self exploration.

3)The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin

I haven’t started this book yet but I was eager to pick it up before leaving because of the reviews. And also because I think Seth Godin is pretty awesome. I’ll add a book review later once I finish reading it.

4) Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

I’ve read plenty of books about how to improve your memory. What I like about Moonwalking with Einstein is the plethora of interesting stories and historical references that Foer makes. Packed full of great tips and ideas, this book was my go to for trying to quickly learn Spanish both before and during my trip.

5) ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

I figured I’d have a bit of free time in between sight seeing and enjoying the local cuisine. What better way to spend my idle hours than a little professional development? I’m about half way through Problogger and I’m dying to implement some of the ideas and tips that this book offers. I’ve learned a lot already and I’m definitely going to be giving the blog a little TLC when I return.

And finally, there is a book 6! Consider it a bonus. Book 6 makes the other 5 books even more useful and interesting.

6) A Moleskine Journal

I’ve written about the effectiveness of journaling many times and I really can’t emphasize how important it is. Especially when your traveling. Each day I’ve captured amazing ideas, thoughts and reflections on my time down here. Taking the time to write while you travel is an essential part of your experience.

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