Hello from Denarau Island in Fiji. It’s a long way from New Zealand to LAX, so we’re taking a breather at an amazing rest stop in the South Pacific.
That means this trip around the world is coming to an end. It’s hard to believe we’ve been gone over six months — it’s certainly been a transformative experience. I’m not quite the same person that departed last August.
Change happens in other ways, of course — but not as often as we’d like. We can’t rely on willpower alone to change our lives in any meaningful aspect. It takes something more; something bigger.
This week I’ve got an article for you that explores meaningful and intentional change through the science of perseverance, passion, and habit.
Woven throughout is the story of how I was able to change a big part of my life by simply following the instructions that the research reveals:
P.S. Don’t miss the rest of this week’s issue — I give you the straight dope on the CBD craze (no charge for all the bad puns), Trudi Roth explores ways to enhance your creativity at work, and the Further Flashback provides a solution to the mysteriously missing John Cusack movie from 1985.
The blunt truth about CBD
By Brian Clark
As a resident of weed-legal Colorado, it’s been a bit amusing to watch CBD-mania catch fire in less tolerant jurisdictions. Fellow Coloradan Adam Bornstein gave the low-down on CBD in his Born Fitness newsletter last week, so I figured it was time to talk about it in Further.
“CBD” stands for cannabidiol, which is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. THC, on the other hand, is the psychoactive part of the plant. Translation: THC gets you high, CBD doesn’t.
So what exactly is everyone excited about? The promised benefits of CBD are many, but let’s see what we know about it for sure.
When you separate out CBD from the rest of the plant, you’re left with a medicinal substance that may help with a variety of ailments. One of the most accepted is for the treatment of epileptic seizures:
The research is so compelling that the FDA recently approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex, which will be available by prescription for those with rare forms of epilepsy.
Then there’s a whole host of other claimed benefits that are less established: CBD will help your chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, glaucoma, insomnia … even cancer. These are the areas that have most people excited, and yet there’s no definitive research that says CBD helps with these afflictions.
Why? It’s the crazy classification of cannabis under United States federal law:
It’s part of a Schedule 1 narcotic, which means that studying it can be enormously complicated. That uncertainty hasn’t stopped a legion of new CBD oils from coming to market, however.
At this point, CBD is worthy of a little skepticism. And as Bornstein points out, you should also be skeptical of the unregulated sources that you’re buying the stuff from, especially in areas where cannabis is illegal.
A joint effort
Medical marijuana has led the way to broader legalization in the U.S., and many people anecdotally attest to the pain-relieving aspects of THC (probably because it is psychoactive). CBD, on the other hand, interferes with the binding of THC to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and dampens the psychoactive effects.
Put another way, CBD balances the THC out. Your pain is alleviated without getting you stoned to the bejesus belt. The current craze, however, says CBD alone does the trick, but I’m not sure the sufferers of chronic pain who use the full chronic are convinced.
It may be possible that CBD users are experiencing a placebo effect based on the belief that it will work. For example, fake medication is just as good at relieving migraine headaches as rizatriptan, a widely used migraine drug — as long as patients believe they’re actually getting rizatriptan.
Or it could be possible that CBD really is a miracle remedy, and worthy of all the hype. If so, that will make the many decades of cannabis prohibition seem even sillier.
How to smuggle creativity into your work
By Trudi Roth
As a kid, I was confronted by mom’s favorite George Bernard Shaw quote every time I opened the refrigerator:
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
It’s true that without imagination, wonder, and risk-taking, things get old, fast. Embracing your creativity as a concept is easy; summoning it on a daily basis can be more challenging.
The opposite of play doesn’t have to be work – much like the opposite of success isn’t failure, but apathy. I stole that nugget from professional consultant and author of Creative Trespassing, Tania Katan.
It’s simple, really. You just have to know how to smuggle some creativity into your work day.
Tipping sacred cows at work
Being a “disruptive company” is applauded these days, but being truly disruptive at work sounds like something that might get you fired or cause you to lose business. Or will it?
One of my favorite things Katan offers up are productive disruptions. These are little exercises designed to bust up norms and juice your workday with creative fuel.
It can be as simple as swapping seats with a coworker, so you literally see things from a different perspective. Or ditch your desk (and phone) and get lost taking a walk, which has been proven to boost your creative output by as much as 60%.
Turn and face the strange
Seek the strange in the familiar. The most extraordinary ideas can often be found in the most ordinary spaces. ~ Tania Katan
When you open up to the idea of creative trespassing, you also free yourself up to spot magic in the mundane. If that sounds like some kind of Jedi mind trick, it is.
It’s also how Katan re-imagined the women’s restroom symbol as wearing a superhero cape to foster female empowerment. She co-created the viral #ItWasNeverADress campaign for an otherwise mundane B2B software company.
While that’s inspiration worth stealing, it’s also about sneaking in your own sense of humor, quirks, and imperfections into your work on a regular basis.
So go ahead: give yourself permission to commit acts of nonconformity and indulge in a little creative trespassing. After all, the most criminal thing you can do to your creativity is decide you don’t have time for it.
Better Off Dead – John Cusack
CBS Theatrical Films, 1985
1985’s Better Off Dead — starring a young John Cusack — is special among 80’s teen flicks. The mix of black humor and surreal comedy is hilariously quotable. And it’s also one of a small group of popular films that you can’t find streaming anywhere. You can’t even buy it on iTunes. You can, however, watch the entire film on YouTube. You’re welcome. Now … I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS! (YouTube)
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