Month: March 2017

Rope Slams
CreativityInspirationScience

Healthy Innovation

More often than not we tend to look at physical fitness as an experience born of vanity. As a result, It’s easy to assume that every hour spent in the gym is an hour spent trying to look better naked (which is certainly a perk of the practice). But its really much more. In fact, if you’re in the creative world, you may want to start focusing on your fitness to expand your mind.

So how strong is the connection between our creative brains and our physical bodies? Of course, there’s the widely known example that was so eloquently expressed by Reece Witherspoon’s character Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde:

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands!”

…They don’t!

But science explains this a little differently. When we participate in aerobic exercise and our heart rate is elevated, it leads to increased production of what is called Brain Derived Neutropic Factor (BDNF) inside the hippocampus. These increased levels of BDNF are responsible for creating new brain cells, which ultimately reduce stress, increase memory recall and, just like Ms. Woods said, make us happier.

So how does this relate to our creative brains? It’s all about memory and mental time travel. A 2007 study out of Nature Reviews showed that imagining the future is actually dependent on the same neural characteristics that are required for recalling the past. In essence, our memories and our ability to recount specific details from our past (going backwards) allow us to create our future (going forwards).

If exercise improves our memory and memory is required for creativity – doesn’t it make sense to work out? Simply put: yes. Personally, I don’t have to look much further than my own experience to know this is true.

So, people, train your body and train your brain! If you’re not very active now, start with a test: 30 minutes a day of intense cardio and see what the impact on your creativity is (or productivity, happiness at work, etc.). Regardless of whether or not the experiment works the way you expected, you’ll only yield a positive return on your effort… whether for your body, or your mind!
Ramblings

Welcome To The Futurish

My name is Cam, also known by exactly one person as the author of The Futrish (and yes, that one person is me). This is the first piece of content I’ll be publishing under the moniker, and if I’m being honest, I don’t know what to expect. See, when the idea of becoming a “content creator” popped into my head, I immediately questioned if my perspective, insight and experience could be compelling enough to stand out. That’s not to say that I lack the confidence, but the seemingly endless number of people who share tech-related content is staggering (and awesome). But then I thought, “Well, I’ve certainly pissed off a few people standing atop my soapbox over the years, so I must be saying something differently, right?” And here we are.

Of course, I’m well aware that there are no guarantees in the world of digital traction. True, I have no highly publicized successes under my belt, and you have zero knowledge of my background or experience. At this point, your expectations should be low — and I’m fine with that. My only desire out of this experience is to open up conversation with the understanding that being wrong isn’t bad (I will be wrong), and that there’s no such thing as “looking good.” Possibility exists through conversation, and this space should facilitate lots of conversation.

So, with the disclaimers now disclaimed, allow me to give you some of that background info you’ve been waiting for (I mean, you’ve read this far, so I can only assume). As far as personal details are concerned, here’s a few important ones:

  • I’m 28 years old.
  • I live in Kansas City.
  • I’m engaged to an awesome guy named Matthew.
  • I have two dogs, one of which was radicalized by ISIS (he’s an asshole).

And as far as my career is concerned, I’m presently the Co-Founder of a company called Ignition90. As a team, our primary value is in helping friends and founders discover whats possible in the world of their own ideas. Then, we help them define strategies that enable us to quickly design, test, build, market and launch digital products — effectively bringing their ideas to life. It’s the best job ever, and I’m not just saying that because it’s mine.

Prior to Ignition90, I worked at a few different agencies in the areas of product development and audience generation. I’ve also lived in Boston and San Francisco (where I had a product that failed — which is a different post), and ultimately came back to Kansas City to rediscover all the things I thought weren’t accessible to me as a product-nerd in the Mid-West (also, another post). With respect to product, these are my core values:

  • It’s better to invest in knowing individual people vs. the demographics that define them.
  • Users are people, not the other way around.
  • Money is not a goal — it’s simply a result.
  • Niche problems are worth solving.
  • The creation of digital experiences that manifest themselves in real-world, physical outcomes will have the greatest opportunity for success in the future.
  • Design is a person’s primary opportunity to understand whether or not something was truly made for them.

With that, I think this is a good time to wrap up my soft introduction as Cam from The Futurish, don’t you? Truly though, I’m super excited to share, connect and ideate with all of you! Feel free to add me on LinkedIn via http://bit.ly/2miqQWo. Otherwise, you can find me on Twitter @futurishcam or on Instagram as @thefuturish.

Cheers,

Cam