The Power Of Pairs

Some believe creating great ideas, from science to art, is the work of a lone genius. Others argue that greatness emerges from a network, an environment that stimulates brilliance. (It’s the ongoing nature vs. nurture argument.) But I recently read a book that says when you look closer, you find great work is the result of pairs.
There have been famous pairs, like Jobs and Wozniak founding Apple and Lennon and McCartney at the heart of the Beatles. But many of the great creators of history were part of an unrecognized pair. Van Gogh’s brother did far more than send him money. He theorized and empathized day after day. They were roommates for a time and then constant companions for even more. Van Gogh’s mental breakdown happened after his brother moved away and stopped playing his part in their pair. Picasso was only able to paint with the intense help provided by his live in mistress of many decades. She didn’t just set up the studio and make the food, she helped him get through his near daily depression (the stories told of this by his friends are quite dramatic) and actually get into the studio to paint.
At the heart of greatness is two working as one.
My own life is a small-scale example to how powerful a partnership can become, including a friend who has partnered with me on leadership projects for years and another who is partnering with me to create a board game.
I do need to let you know that halfway through the book the author starts rambling, speculating on the nature of creativity and life philosophy. And by the end, when discussing pairs breaking up, he merely tells the stories of pairs who broke apart, offering no insights or framework to understand why or how to prevent it. If he had finished at the same level he started at, it would have been one the best books of the year for me. As it is, it’s still worth reading.
And whatever the quality of the book, I’m convinced that finding a partner who can co-create with you might be the key to creating something great.
Have you ever experienced a true partner in creation? I have and it permanently changed my life.
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Scott WozniakThe Power Of Pairs

How Did Tim Reach His Dream?

What’s holding you back from chasing your dream? Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure you have more options than Tim Harris. But he still tried–and achieved it. See if you can spot the key to his success in this 3 min video.
Did you notice what the key to his success was? I think it was the people who believe in him. His friends and family did more than just encourage him (though encouragement is powerful). They partnered with him to live his dreams–spending time and money helping him get there.

It became their dream, too.

Who are your dream-partners? Who can you be a dream-partner to? Maybe the crucial piece you’re missing is a partner (or an entire team of them).
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Scott WozniakHow Did Tim Reach His Dream?

Getting Your Kids To Open Up–It Starts Young & Trivial

I was trying to get my son to go to sleep last night. This is NOT easy to do. He got my night owl genes so going to be when everyone else does is hard. He’s just not tired yet. And being three that means he makes a lot of noise and wants a lot of attention during that window. So when he started to tell me something, my instinct was to shut him down–to reminder him (again) that he’s supposed to be laying quietly in his bed.
But just in time I remembered something important: If I want my kids to tell me what’s going on in their world when they’re teenagers, I need to listen to what’s going on in their world long before they’re teenagers.
Evan just HAD to tell me something. So–this time–I did a good job asking what it was. 
“Spencer [a boy in his pre-K class at school], he, he, he [searching for the words]…he got a Power Ranger costume!”
This was said with great importance. In Evan’s world, you can’t get much cooler than the Power Rangers.
“Whoah!” I correctly responded.
“Yeah,” Evan continued, saving the best part for last. “And it is a RED costume!”
“Power Rangers are cool,” I said.
Evan nodded sagely, as if I had just spoken a deep truth of the universe.
But it wasn’t a deep truth. It was trivial and, let’s be honest, completely uninteresting to me. And I haven’t always responded with interest and connected with his little heart. He probably won’t remember this conversation or that Spencer ever had a Power Rangers costume. But I hope he will get used to telling me about what’s going on in his life. I hope we establish a pattern of sharing thoughts and feelings and what’s happening with his friends.
Since I want to have those discussions when’s he older, when those things really matter, I need to have those discussions when he’s younger and the topics don’t really matter. I’ve seen too many parents who don’t make time to listen to the trivial things their little children want to share. They inadvertently train their kids to not bother them with that silly stuff. But it’s not silly to the kids. It’s the stuff of their life. Then when their kids’ life issues aren’t trivial, the parents wonder why the kids don’t want to share.

Great conversations with your teenagers starts by talking about red Power Ranger costumes–at 9:45pm at night, in Evan’s case.
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Scott WozniakGetting Your Kids To Open Up–It Starts Young & Trivial