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How Bestselling Author Neil Pasricha Fuels His Creative Process

How Bestselling Author Neil Pasricha Fuels His Creative Process

With the release of his latest book, Our Book of Awesome, Neil Pasricha is now the bestselling author of seven books. He has also written thousands of blog posts, newsletters, and articles, and hosts the popular podcast, 3 Books. It’s safe to say that creativity is a core part of who Neil is and a key ingredient to what makes him happy.

One of the most popular TED speakers in the world, Neil has been dazzling audiences with ideas that skyrocket happiness into the stratosphere since the release of his first book, The Book of Awesome, in 2010. Neil returned to the world of “awesome” more than a decade later with his new book because “he needed it.”

In an interview with Matt Galloway on The Current, Neil said that, like many, his anxiety was at an all-time high during the pandemic. Feeling down and stalled as a result, he returned to what helped him in the past — celebrating the small joys in life.

This time, Neil opened it up to his community because he craved connection during a time where we had to stay apart. Community, he said, is the number one driver of happiness according to Harvard’s Adult Development Study, which is the longest study on happiness to date. As a result, Our Book of Awesome is a culmination of hundreds and hundreds of new awesome things shared from both his perspective and his community.

With the release of his new book, Neil spoke with Fast Company to share some of his battle-tested strategies that help fuel his creative process and give him more time to create, and, ultimately, be happy.

Balance Doubt and Decisiveness

Doubt can fuel us to be better, but it can also prevent us from ever starting in the first place. Neil said: “The danger for me actually isn’t that it’s not good enough. The danger is that I’ve waited too long, or I’ve second guessed myself…”

While Neil admits that he has quite a rigorous editing process of reading his articles 17 times over, letting it sit and then revisiting them 1-2 weeks later and soliciting other people for feedback, he knows his limits. He isn’t aiming for perfection and letting go of this notion can actually allow perfection to emerge from your work.

Good Things Come from Quantity

Neil has a creative mind when it comes to promoting his work. To him, quantity is key because you never know what’s going to work.

In preparation for the release of his new book, Neil reached out to several social media users who were often tagging their posts with the hashtags #selfhelp or #neilpasricha to offer them a free copy of his new book. He had a similar quantity approach with his last book, appearing on 100 different podcasts. His episode on Farnam Street was their most popular one to date, and he says that he wouldn’t have found that gem without doing each of those podcasts.

So, keep trying and keep producing work because you never know what will become your golden idea.

Find Freedom Within a Framework

Neil loves his monthly dashboard, a life-changing strategy that he describes as “four focus areas on 12 things I measure with a green, yellow, or a red mark each month. Green means I’m good! Yellow means I’m close. Red means I’m way off.”

It’s a flexible framework to help manage his many projects by keeping his main goals front and centre, while maintaining some flexibility for new opportunities as they arise.

“The definition of these dashboards is freedom within a framework,” Neil said.  “The frameworks actually relieve you of worrying… All these frameworks are actually just building in more time to get more stuff done.”

With infectious enthusiasm, heartfelt authenticity, and a “what works” authority, Neil Pasricha draws on the latest research in happiness to increase individual performance and create a more positive and productive workplace.

Contact us to learn more about Neil and what he can bring to your next event as a bestselling author and popular TED speaker.

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