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    Legendary Record Producer Rick Rubin On: Creativity, Habits, Self-Doubt, Intuition and Meditation

    enAugust 16, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Exploring the Boundless Nature of CreativityCreativity is inherent in everyone and can be applied to all areas of life. Good habits, meditation, and accepting the unknown are essential for nurturing creativity.

      Creativity is not limited to the realm of artists. It encompasses all aspects of life, including career choices, parenting, and how we treat others. Rick Rubin, a legendary record producer, emphasizes that creativity is a birthright for every single one of us. He explores the connection between meditation and creativity, highlighting the benefits of practicing good habits and accepting the magical and mysterious aspects of creativity. Rubin also discusses the role of doubt, intuition, and work-life balance in the creative process. Furthermore, he shares his thoughts on the creative capacity of artificial intelligence and the effect of drugs on creativity. Overall, the conversation reinforces the idea that creativity is a fundamental element of being alive.

    • The Power of Meditation: Connecting with Yourself and OthersThrough practicing meditation, Rick Rubin discovered a deeper understanding of himself and others, allowing him to tune into the underlying meaning of things and develop a clearer perspective on life.

      Practicing meditation can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and others. Rick Rubin shares his experience of stopping and restarting meditation, noting that it felt familiar and like a big part of his life. Through meditation, he was able to see past the surface level and tune into the deeper meaning of things, such as the emotions in music or the underlying stories people share. The concentration-based practice he follows helps quiet the internal chatter and allows him to be present in the moment. This reduction in internal chatter also allowed him to see the chattering voices in others and understand that their reactions are often influenced by past experiences. Overall, meditation helped Rick gain a clearer perspective and a deeper connection to himself and those around him.

    • Deepening Empathy Through MeditationMeditation helps us recognize the pain and emotions of others, leading to empathy and forgiveness. This self-awareness can enhance creativity and enable us to respond with compassion.

      Meditation can deepen our understanding and empathy towards others. Rick Rubin shares a personal story where his cousin lashed out at his father after the death of their uncle, causing a rift in their relationship. Through meditation, Rick was able to recognize that his cousin's anger stemmed from deep pain and had nothing to do with him. This awareness led to empathy and forgiveness. Similarly, Dan Harris adds that the more we become familiar with our own inner chaos, the more we recognize it in others, leading to empathy. The practice of meditation opens us up to our own emotions and the emotions of others, allowing us to hold less grudges and respond with compassion. This newfound empathy and self-awareness can also enhance our creativity by enabling us to tap into deeper levels of inspiration.

    • The Connection Between Creativity, Choice, and Artistic GrowthCreativity is not limited to certain individuals; it is a fundamental aspect of being human. Our choices and decisions are creative acts that shape our lives. Discipline and persistence are essential for artistic growth.

      Creativity is not limited to a select group of individuals, but rather it is a fundamental aspect of being human. Rick Rubin emphasizes that every choice we make and every decision we take part in is a creative act. From choosing the best way to handle a situation to deciding on the seasoning for a dish, every decision requires a creative mindset. Additionally, Dan Harris points out that living life as a work of art is more than just a cliché; it is a truth. Through our choices, we are constantly creating our lives. Furthermore, the conversation highlights the importance of persistence and discipline in artistic practice. By developing good habits and consistently putting in the effort, we have the tenacity and perseverance to create meaningful art. The same principle applies to various other practices that require dedication and energy. Ultimately, this conversation highlights that creativity and discipline go hand in hand for personal and artistic growth.

    • Enhancing Creativity through Healthy Habits and Natural RhythmsEmbrace the power of aligning sleep schedule with the sun, engage consistently in creative activities, and accept the mysterious and unpredictable nature of creativity to increase the odds of creative breakthroughs.

      Embracing healthy habits and being in tune with the natural rhythms of the planet can enhance creativity. Rick Rubin emphasizes the significance of aligning one's sleep schedule with the rising and setting of the sun, as it allows the energy of the sun to seep into their work. He acknowledges the metaphysical aspect of this connection but believes that accepting the magic and relinquishing ego is essential. Both Rubin and Dan Harris recognize that creativity is a mysterious force that cannot be entirely controlled or forced. However, they also highlight the importance of consistently engaging in creative activities, increasing the likelihood of experiencing that magical spark. Ultimately, being diligently engaged in one's craft increases the odds of creative breakthroughs, even if they cannot be predicted or forced.

    • Enhancing Creativity through Mindful Practices and Curated IntakeTaking care of our vessel and expanding our filter through mindfulness and curated intake can significantly enhance our creative abilities and unlock new possibilities.

      Our vessel, which holds our conscious and unconscious experiences, and our filter, which determines how we perceive and process those experiences, play a crucial role in creativity. We can work on both the vessel and the filter to enhance our creative abilities. Curating our intake by immersing ourselves in the timeless works of literature, arts, and music can provide us with a rich context and set a meter for our own creations. Additionally, practices like meditation and mindfulness help refine the filter, increasing our awareness and attunement to our surroundings. By paying attention, we can notice the subtle details and elements that we may have otherwise missed, unlocking new creative possibilities.

    • Embracing Authenticity: The Key to Art and LifeBeing true to ourselves and staying curious are vital in our creative endeavors and personal lives, reminding us of the importance of authenticity in both art and life.

      Authenticity is crucial in both the creation of art and in living life. Rick Rubin emphasizes the importance of opening our perspective and seeking the extraordinary in the ordinary, as there is always something interesting happening beneath the surface. He goes on to explain that his book, initially intended to be about making art, evolved into a guide on how to be an authentic person. Dan Harris raises the question of how many talented individuals with flawed personalities have still produced great art, to which Rick Rubin stresses that authenticity does not excuse problematic behavior, but rather acknowledges the complexity of human nature. This conversation reminds us that being true to ourselves and embracing curiosity are essential in both our creative endeavors and our personal lives.

    • The Importance of Authenticity and Sincerity in Artistic WorkMaintaining authenticity in one's work is crucial, as intentional insincerity can undermine its value. Artists should prioritize their own perspective while being receptive to genuine feedback.

      Authenticity and sincerity have distinct qualities and motivations. Rick Rubin explains that sincerity, though often associated with sweetness, can become disingenuous if aimed for intentionally. On the other hand, authenticity embodies raw honesty and is driven by the artist's perspective of the world. Rubin argues that an artist cannot alter their work to cater to others' preferences without compromising its authenticity. Dan Harris shares his own experience in network news, where he had to make compromises to please fictional critics and maintain his livelihood. However, in his current role as an independent creator, he only accepts feedback that he genuinely believes improves his work. Ultimately, the conversation highlights the importance of staying true to oneself while still being open to meaningful input.

    • The Power of Authenticity and Intuition in Career ChoicesTrust your intuition and follow your genuine passion, even if it goes against societal norms, to find fulfillment and success in your career.

      Authenticity and sincerity can be incredibly powerful, but they must come from a genuine place. The aim is to be authentic and let sincerity naturally emerge rather than forcing it. Following intuition can lead to making career turns that others may discourage, but it is important to trust the signs from the universe. However, it is crucial to differentiate between genuine intuition and delusion, as the latter can lead to misguided actions. In the realm of art, following delusional thoughts can be transformed into a gift, allowing for the creation of something beautiful. Heavy metal music, with its violent lyrics, showcases the power of art in bringing people together in celebration and connection. Ultimately, listening to the subtle signs of the universe and trusting one's own knowingness can lead to a fulfilling career path.

    • Trusting Your Instincts and Taking Creative LeapsSuccess in the creative process comes from following your intuition, taking risks, and not being influenced by outside opinions, as doubt is a natural part of the journey.

      Listening to one's intuition and taking risks in the creative process can lead to unexpected success. Rick Rubin shares his experiences of being discouraged by others when making career moves outside of his comfort zone, but he trusted his own instincts and followed his passion. He believes that success should not be solely defined by material gains and that even the most acclaimed artists have faced criticism and doubt at some point. Artists often need to challenge themselves and take risks in order to evolve and create their best work. It is important to stay true to oneself and not be swayed by outside opinions, as nobody truly knows what will lead to success in the creative process. Doubt is a natural part of the journey, but it should not hold one back from taking creative leaps.

    • Understanding and Managing Doubt in Your Abilities and WorkRecognize the difference between self-doubt and doubt about the quality of your work, maintain a healthy boundary between yourself and your work, and use constructive criticism to improve without taking it personally. Keep pushing towards your goals.

      Doubt can come in two forms: self-doubt and doubt about the quality of the work. Self-doubt is when you doubt your own abilities and believe that you are not good enough. The other type of doubt is when you doubt the quality of your work, but still have the belief that you can improve it and learn from it. It's important to recognize that the work is separate from yourself and to have a healthy boundary between the two. When you turn the doubt inward and believe that you'll never be able to succeed, it becomes destructive. Instead, focus on the details and provide constructive criticism without taking it personally. Labeling self-doubt can also be helpful in realizing that it's not a reflection of your true abilities. Ultimately, remind yourself to keep going and chip away at your goals every day.

    • Overcoming challenges and finding inspiration through small steps and perspective.Make progress in small increments, imagine advising a friend, separate concerns about reception and success, change the context to break through creative blockages.

      It's important to make progress even in small increments. Sometimes, when faced with challenges, it can feel overwhelming and turn into self-doubt. However, finding ways to push through and stay focused is essential. One effective strategy is to imagine advising a close friend going through the same situation and speak out loud the advice you would give them. This method helps gain perspective and clarity. Additionally, it's crucial to separate the creative process from concerns about reception and success, as these thoughts are not useful when you're in the midst of creating. Changing the context, such as working in a new environment or going for walks, can also help break through creative blockages. The key is to keep working, stay disciplined, and open oneself to new inspiration.

    • The Importance of Breaks and Recovery for Improvement and CreativityTaking breaks and allowing time for recovery is crucial for growth and creativity. Balancing workload and embracing flexibility in creative endeavors can lead to better outcomes.

      Taking breaks and allowing for recovery time is essential for improvement and creativity. Just like zoning out during a movie or reading a book, practicing meditation or engaging in creative work provides a break from daily tasks and allows the mind to make subconscious connections. The recovery period that follows practice is when growth and integration occur. It's important to manage schedules and balance workload to avoid overworking, but it's also crucial to be flexible and open-ended in creative endeavors. Imposing strict schedules and deadlines on projects may hinder their quality and outcomes. Embracing fluidity and improvisation can lead to wiser and more successful creative processes and outcomes.

    • Achieving Efficiency and Self-Care in WorkPrioritizing efficiency, self-care, and setting boundaries can lead to better productivity and decision-making in work.

      Managing sleep, burnout, and overwork requires a shift in mindset. Rick Rubin emphasizes the importance of working efficiently and not equating long hours with productivity. He focuses on spending only the necessary amount of time in the studio to achieve the best outcome. He prioritizes being present and fully engaged when working on projects. Additionally, he values self-care and creates space in his schedule for activities like walks, listening to audiobooks or podcasts, meditation, and breathing exercises. By being flexible with his schedule and setting boundaries, he ensures that he is in the right mindset to make important decisions and be effective in his work.

    • Prioritizing well-being and individuality in producing great work.Taking care of oneself, setting boundaries, and finding the right approach are crucial for artists to do good work and reach their creative peak.

      The key to producing great work is taking care of oneself and finding the right approach that works for each individual artist. Rick Rubin emphasizes that in order to do good work, he needs to prioritize his own well-being, which includes setting boundaries and being selective with projects. He believes in starting a collaboration by meeting the artist, discussing their vision and assessing their current progress. As for the use of substances like cannabis in the creative process, Rick acknowledges that it can provide shortcuts to certain states of mind, but it is not a sustainable strategy in the long run. He suggests that tapping into the right energy and connecting with oneself can achieve similar results. Ultimately, the key is understanding what works for each individual artist to reach their creative peak.

    • The Thrilling and Addictive Act of Creation and the Role of Individuality in Artistic Endeavors.The act of creation is a unique and awe-inspiring process that humans possess, allowing them to bring their individual perspective and point of view into their work, setting them apart from AI.

      The act of creation is thrilling and addictive. Rick Rubin emphasizes that when you're in the room and witness that act of creation, it's stunning and breathtaking. He compares it to the process of AI, where AI has a lot of data but lacks a point of view, unlike humans who bring their unique perspective and point of view to their work. The importance of having a point of view and individuality is highlighted as something that artists and creators strive for. Additionally, the conversation mentions Rick Rubin's book "The Creative Act: A Way of Being" and several music projects he has worked on, along with the documentary "McCartney 3 2, 1" that captures the incredible experience of being in the room with Paul McCartney.

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    • The physiological and psychological benefits of joy 
    • How to find joy in tangible objects and sensorial experiences
    • What Ingrid means by “faux joy”
    • How joy can intersect with many emotions including sadness and awe
    • How to change your environment, at work and at home, to infuse it with joy
    • A practice she calls, “Joy spotting” 
    • Her list of, “The 50 Ways to Find More Joy Everyday” 
    • The importance of noticing your killjoys 
    • The risks of being visibly joyful 
    • And how even on your worst day, joy can be accessible 


    themightyfix.com/happier


    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/ingrid-fetell-lee

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    Gretchen Rubin on: How To Use Your Five Senses To Reduce Anxiety, Increase Creativity, and Improve Your Relationships

    Gretchen Rubin on: How To Use Your Five Senses To Reduce Anxiety, Increase Creativity, and Improve Your Relationships

    Today’s guest is a happiness expert and devout non-meditator. In her latest book Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World, she describes how a routine visit to her eye doctor made her realize she’d been overlooking a key element of happiness: her five senses. 


    Gretchen Rubin is the author of many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Outer Order, Inner Calm; The Four Tendencies; Better Than Before; and The Happiness Project. Her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, and have been translated in more than thirty languages. She also hosts the top-ranking, award-winning podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin


    In this episode we talk about:


    • What led Gretchen to explore the five senses
    • How we often take our senses for granted
    • How our senses work with the brain to impact our perception 
    • The relationship between the senses and nostalgia 
    • The surprising power of ketchup and vanilla when it comes to the sense of taste
    • The sense of hearing and what she calls her “Audio Apothecary” 
    • How to be a better listener
    • The interplay between the senses of taste and smell
    • The sense of touch and the use of comfort objects   
    • Why she decided to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art everyday to explore the five senses
    • And how she uses the five senses to boost creativity  



    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/gretchen-rubin-588

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    Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist Jennifer Egan On: Panic, Awe, Fetishizing Authenticity, and Our Possible AI Futures

    Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist Jennifer Egan On: Panic, Awe, Fetishizing Authenticity, and Our Possible AI Futures

    Jennifer Egan is not only a novelist, she's also written short stories and award-winning magazine journalism. She's one of those writers who can both spin a fascinating yarn and load it up with insights into everything from human nature to the future of technology, all while pulling off bewitching turns of phrase; what the writer Jonathan Franzen has called “micro felicities.” 


    Egan is as funny, fascinating, and open IRL as she is on the page although it’s not clear she feels that way given she talks about how much smarter she feels in writing than in speaking!


    In this episode we talk about:


    • Egan’s writing process 
    • The power of writing by hand 
    • The shocking, relentless, ruthless discipline that she imposes on herself to never do the same thing twice as she’s writing
    • Curiosity, awe, and panic attacks
    • How she handles feedback
    • Her feelings of insubstantiality 
    • Our cultures fetishization of authenticity
    • The impact of success on her work
    • AI and our possible technological futures


    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/jennifer-egan

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    What Is Mindfulness, Really? And How Do You Know if You’re Doing It Right? | Diana Winston

    What Is Mindfulness, Really? And How Do You Know if You’re Doing It Right? | Diana Winston

    Mindfulness is a word that is in danger of becoming meaningless. In this episode, we dig into the meaning of mindfulness, how to practice without getting overwhelmed, and how to stop the judgment spiral.


    Today’s guest is Diana Winston, the Director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. She has written several books, including The Little Book of Being, and Fully Present, the Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness, which she co-authored with Susan Smalley, and which is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Diana has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 1989, including a year as a Buddhist nun in Burma. 


    In this episode we talk about:


    • How Diana defines mindfulness
    • How we know if we’re in a state of bonafide mindfulness
    • The difference between mindfulness as a trait and mindfulness as a state 
    • Whether you have to meditate to achieve mindfulness as a trait
    • What current scientific research says about the benefits of meditation
    • The link between intuition, happiness and authenticity
    • Her definition of happiness
    • How meditation can help us relate to our bodies differently
    • How to stop the self-judgment spiral
    • Creating a top ten list to deal with difficult thoughts
    • How to use meditation for chronic pain
    • Striking a balance between reason and intuition
    • The ripple effects of practicing meditation
    • And how to start practicing mindfulness without getting overwhelmed


    Full Shownotes:https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/diana-winston

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    From The One You Feed | A Conversation with Dan Harris

    From The One You Feed | A Conversation with Dan Harris

    In this episode from The One You Feed podcast, Dan sits down with host Eric Zimmer and discusses his original skepticism of meditation and the benefits he discovered from developing a regular meditation practice. Listen to The One You Feed for more compelling interviews.

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