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Made You Think


Aug 9, 2023

“A river of material flows through us. When we share our works and our ideas, they are replenished. If we block the flow by holding them all inside, the river cannot run and new ideas are slow to appear. In the abundant mindset, the river never runs dry. Ideas are always coming through. And an artist is free to release them with the faith that more will arrive. If we live in a mindset of scarcity, we hoard great ideas.”

Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In true Made You Think fashion, our 100th episode is full of tangents. This week, we read The Creative Act by Rick Rubin which emphasizes the importance of being genuine and vulnerable in the creative process, showing that your own struggles and authenticity can result in meaningful and powerful creative work. 

We cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Giving life to the ideas in your imagination
  • Publishing cadences of different successful book series
  • Rick Rubin's backstory in the music industry
  • How media's incentives have shifted from accuracy to clicks
  • Tactics to unblock your creativity

And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow NatNeil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.

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Show Topics:

(0:00) Welcome to Episode 100- We want to say a big thank you to all of our listeners! Whether you were around for our first episode in 2017 or joined us sometime afterwards, we appreciate you listening to our show.

(1:01) Nat talks about how he manages his current content schedule from articles and newsletters to podcasts and short form videos. 

(4:48) Today, we’re discussing The Creative Act. Think of it as a 'mindset' book rather than a tactical book, and how you can go into reading this book to get the most value out of it.

(9:15) This is a great book to read early in your career as it addresses common mental roadblocks you may face within the creative process. Oftentimes, what you output may not be the same as what you initially planned in your mind, but that doesn't make it any less valuable.

(14:10) Getting out of your own way is a large part of creativity. The importance of mixing it up and giving attention to even the most simplistic ideas you may have.

(19:35) We share a little bit about Rick Rubin’s backstory and how he came to work with so many famous musicians. As the founder of Def Jam, he has worked with several talented musical acts including Johnny Cash, the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, and more.

(23:43) Why you should keep the scope of your work smaller, and how that helps you to recognize your work as a moment in time rather than something that has to define you forever. 

(29:06) How book and TV series often rely on the momentum from their viewers and readers for the continued success of their future releases, though that momentum can be difficult to drum up. 

(32:51) Some authors take long breaks between each of their books while others churn them out right after another. It goes to show that the creative process looks different for everybody.

(36:17) A lot of the news outlets serve the purpose of entertaining rather than informing. When compared to WWE, it's something that we know is a sham or is fabricated, but it's still amusing to watch.

(42:52) Dangerous positive feedback loops between the media, people seeking their names in the news, and those consuming it. Media’s incentives aren’t necessarily to get things right but to get more clicks and views. 

(49:29) Despite some leadership issues within the past decade in America, we've stayed afloat. How long can we stay this way?

(56:02) The power of the US dollar and inflation rates in the US vs. other countries. 

(59:54) That wraps up this episode. Thanks again to our listeners for hitting the 100th episode milestone with us!

If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes and tell a friend. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! You can say hi to us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS@adilmajid@nateliason and share your thoughts on this episode.

You can now support Made You Think using the Value-for-Value feature of Podcasting 2.0. This means you can directly tip the co-hosts in BTC with minimal transaction fees. To get started, simply download a podcast app (like Fountain or Breez) that supports Value-for-Value and send some BTC to your in-app wallet. You can then use that to support shows who have opted-in, including Made You Think! We’ll be going with this direct support model moving forward, rather than ads.

Thanks for listening. See you next time!