The Core Synergistics workout::discipline is the primary discipline

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

I just wrapped up my P90X Core Synergistics workout.

And heavy breathing aside.

It brings me to thoughts of discipline, as the core workout for the creative indivisual.

How’d I make that big leap? I dunno, I think it’s my creative intuition telling me so, maybe I’ll be able to explain it after a shower.


The P90X graduates are all people who took control of their lives for 90 days straight and said, “I am going to do this. I will not back down, and I will not give up. I will stay focused on my goal of making it to day 90, and I will not allow myself to be distracted in any way from reaching my goal.”
Hmmm…that sounds a bit like the recipe for success in any endeavor, doesn’t it? The P90X grads, however, have an edge that most people don’t: They know that the system works.
They know that by staying disciplined and on track, that the results will be there. It isn’t hearsay to them, it isn’t a rumor, it isn’t some vague bit of personal development advice – it is a fact.

Someone today after looking at my website said “How do you get such amazing colors?”

And I’m afraid the answer is in my current life situation.  I am traveling on a commercial photo assignment photographing a new hotel each day.  For 7 days straight.  I’ll take a few days off and do it again.  I compose, light and make a final image for 7-12 rooms a day.  ”Neil, how to do you get so good at lighting?”


Such amazing color and tonality is the pinnacle of composition, then lighting, then processing.

This just popped up in my twitter stream:

imagination is to reality what a root is to a tree.

Discipline is the pattern of the roots in the soil and branches in the air.

“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing that makes you good.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

Want to be better at lighting?  Then stop reading this…and shoot a 10 rooms a day until you get to 10,000 hours.

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Concerning all acts of creation

The moment one definitely commits oneself

“Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth –

that the moment one definately commits oneself, then, Providence moves, too.”

–Van Goethe

(thanks to Amy Deputy for the card)

Stop telling yourself you’re not creative

“Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be greatful for what you’ve got.”


“Creativity is a fact of your spiritual body and nothing that you must invent.”


The Artist’s Way - Julia Cameron

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Why are you an artist?

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Things ar not all so comprehensible and expressible as one would mostly have us believe; most events are enexpressible, taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered, and more inexpressible than all else are works of art, mysterious existences, the life of which, while ours passes away, endures.


….Therefore save yoruself from these general themes and seek those which your own everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts and the belief in some sort of beauty–describe all these with loving, quiet, humble sincerity, and use, to express yourself, the things in your environment, the images from your dreams, and the objets of your memory.  If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.  And even if you were in some prision the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses–would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories?  Turn your attention thither.  Try to raise the submerged sensations of that ample past; your personality will grow more firm, your solitude will widen and will become a dusky dwelling past which the noise of others goes by far away.  And if out of this turning inward, out of this absorption into your own world verses come, then it will not occur to you to ask anyone whether they are good verses.  Nor will you try to interest magazines in your poems: for you will see in them your fond natural possession, a fragment and a voice of your life.  A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity.  In this nature of its origin lies the judgment of it:  there is no other.  Therefore, my dear sir, I know no advice for you save this:  to go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create.  Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it.  Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist.  Then take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come from outside.  For the creator must be a world for himself and find everything in himself and in Nature to whom he has attached himself.


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Mind Like Water: Tao 25

There is a mystery,
Beneath abstraction,
Silent, depthless,
Alone, unchanging,
Ubiquitous and liquid,

Mind LIke water 62

The mother of nature.
It has no name, but I call it “the Way”;
It has no limit, but I call it “limitless”.

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Life is all memory, except for the one present moment

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you hardly catch it going.

-Tennessee Williams