The Power of Minimal
Finding balance to empower your creativity
by Kelsey Ruger
with speaker notes Added
The Power of Minimal
Finding balance to empower your creativity
by Kelsey Ruger
Note: It’s not just
about products. The
gr...
Partnership for a Drug-Free America - So I can do more coke (1980)
[VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGAVTwhsyOs]
No...
Minimal?
If your job requires you to create ‘things’

you’ve probably been challenged 

by this word before.
Minimal?
I wasn’t sure I knew how I would
describe minimal if someone put me
on the spot for a definition.
min∙i∙mal (adj.) [min-uh-muhl]
1. very small or slight in size or amount.
2. smallest in amount or degree.
3. relating to ...
If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come.
Simplicity is extremely important for happiness.
Having few desires, fee...
If that’s the case, pretty much everyone is chasing
the dream of achieving a minimal lifestyle.
Right?
Meet Jason
Back to reality. Design BS?
People actually don’t seem to want or like
the idea of minimal - and maybe aren’t satisfied
with what they have.
How do you get someone
excited about the idea of
minimal?
Minimal isn’t necessarily about getting rid of
everything you own, living in a white box with a
shaved head.
First of all…
min∙i∙mal (adj.): relating to or being a minimum.
Minimal works best when you stop thinking result
and start thinking abou...
For me ‘minimal’ is a process of
uncovering the meaning or
building blocks needed to
maximize your output.
For me ‘minimal’ is a process of
uncovering the meaning or
building blocks needed to
maximize your output.
Note: The Goal ...
Most people and companies don’t understand the
process of finding essence or meaning. It’s having a
profound effect on our a...
Most people and companies don’t understand the
process of finding essence or meaning. It’s having a
profound effect on our a...
my creative journey
I came to a realization
Creativity Isn’t Complex
If you do two very minimal things you will always
maximize your creative output.
Stop living in your head.
Stop living in your head.
Note: ‘creatives’ have difficulty getting the rest of
the world to embrace some of the fundament...
Stop living in your head.
Practice creative habits.
Stop living in your head.
Practice creative habits.
Note: Habits help make the
most of your creativity by
activate the rig...
Focus on problems
not just outcomes
Balance periods of
exploration and execution
Externalize the
creative process
Build co...
Practice creative habits.
…well one habit in particular
Balance periods of
exploration and execution
The goal isn’t to properly define
Being Minimal
The goal isn’t to properly practice
Being Minimal
Three ways to practice minimal
How I learned to balance complexity and simplicity
Be Human Rethink Opposites
Shift Simplic...
Be Human.
LESSON 1
There is a lot of
confusion with how
most people view
‘minimal’. 
Spending more to get less?
The trouble with minimal living is that, though it
can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn’t ...
Simplicity is human. 

It’s real.  It’s natural.
Rethink Opposites.
LESSON 2
We all talk about the idea of simplifying
Somewhere inside we crave complexity because
we think we can produce more with i...
The intention of voluntary
simplicity is not to dogmatically
live with less. It’s a more
demanding intention of living
wit...
Work actively to balance meaning by subtracting the obvious
and adding the meaningful.
New ideas about opposites
Simplicit...
LESSON 3
.
You can’t solve your problems with the same thinking you used
when you created them. Take a break from the problem by
shif...
Multi-tasking is a myth, you need to be present to be
productive. Lack of attention and focus creates additional
stress an...
Hard work is over rated. It is depleting and is rarely
rewarding. Intensity in work is about passion. When we
are passiona...
Work life balance isn’t what it used to be. The lines
between work and non-work have been blurred. Stop
trying to balance ...
Don’t overthink it, it’s always easier than we think.
Get out of your head
Be Human
Rethink Opposites
Shift Simplicity
Pra...
You might have less, you might have more 

but if you can be human, understand opposites, and shift simplicity 

you’ll ea...
Kelsey Ruger
http://www.themoleskin.com
http://www.twitter.com/themoleskin
Thank You.
• Light Bulb (icon_122) - Edward Boatman (3,4,18)
• Thumbs Up (icon_12734) - Nick Holroyd (7,10)
• Box (icon_2058) - Travi...
Creative Mornings Houston June 2014 - Minimal
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Creative Mornings Houston June 2014 - Minimal

  1. 1. The Power of Minimal Finding balance to empower your creativity by Kelsey Ruger with speaker notes Added
  2. 2. The Power of Minimal Finding balance to empower your creativity by Kelsey Ruger Note: It’s not just about products. The greatest work we do is on ourselves
  3. 3. Partnership for a Drug-Free America - So I can do more coke (1980) [VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGAVTwhsyOs] Note: The gap between what we can do and what we think we should do is growing.
  4. 4. Minimal? If your job requires you to create ‘things’
 you’ve probably been challenged 
 by this word before.
  5. 5. Minimal? I wasn’t sure I knew how I would describe minimal if someone put me on the spot for a definition.
  6. 6. min∙i∙mal (adj.) [min-uh-muhl] 1. very small or slight in size or amount. 2. smallest in amount or degree. 3. relating to or being a minimum. 4. a minimum amount, quantity, or degree; negligible. 5. barely adequate or the least possible. Maybe the definition isn’t the best place to start.
  7. 7. If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital. - Dali Lama
  8. 8. If that’s the case, pretty much everyone is chasing the dream of achieving a minimal lifestyle. Right?
  9. 9. Meet Jason Back to reality. Design BS?
  10. 10. People actually don’t seem to want or like the idea of minimal - and maybe aren’t satisfied with what they have.
  11. 11. How do you get someone excited about the idea of minimal?
  12. 12. Minimal isn’t necessarily about getting rid of everything you own, living in a white box with a shaved head. First of all…
  13. 13. min∙i∙mal (adj.): relating to or being a minimum. Minimal works best when you stop thinking result and start thinking about mindset and process Second…
  14. 14. For me ‘minimal’ is a process of uncovering the meaning or building blocks needed to maximize your output.
  15. 15. For me ‘minimal’ is a process of uncovering the meaning or building blocks needed to maximize your output. Note: The Goal is to align with the underlying motivation s that drive those moments when we seek less
  16. 16. Most people and companies don’t understand the process of finding essence or meaning. It’s having a profound effect on our ability access our creativity. Especially for creative output
  17. 17. Most people and companies don’t understand the process of finding essence or meaning. It’s having a profound effect on our ability access our creativity. Especially for creative output Note: Our underlying motivation is to seek out meaning. That is never going to change.  It’s a fundamental part of who we are.
  18. 18. my creative journey
  19. 19. I came to a realization
  20. 20. Creativity Isn’t Complex If you do two very minimal things you will always maximize your creative output.
  21. 21. Stop living in your head.
  22. 22. Stop living in your head. Note: ‘creatives’ have difficulty getting the rest of the world to embrace some of the fundamental things we believe because we have a tendency to be way too ethereal or in our heads about concepts like minimal, and our explanations of these topics are anything but minimal.
  23. 23. Stop living in your head. Practice creative habits.
  24. 24. Stop living in your head. Practice creative habits. Note: Habits help make the most of your creativity by activate the right behavior when the time calls for it
  25. 25. Focus on problems not just outcomes Balance periods of exploration and execution Externalize the creative process Build comfort with ignorance Get used to breaking things Tell Stories Create connection through overflow Embrace periods of play Foster your inner child Nine Habits for Raw Creativity The essence of creativity
  26. 26. Practice creative habits. …well one habit in particular Balance periods of exploration and execution
  27. 27. The goal isn’t to properly define Being Minimal
  28. 28. The goal isn’t to properly practice Being Minimal
  29. 29. Three ways to practice minimal How I learned to balance complexity and simplicity Be Human Rethink Opposites Shift Simplicity
  30. 30. Be Human. LESSON 1
  31. 31. There is a lot of confusion with how most people view ‘minimal’. 
  32. 32. Spending more to get less? The trouble with minimal living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn’t easy, and we often spend more to achieve it.
  33. 33. Simplicity is human. 
 It’s real.  It’s natural.
  34. 34. Rethink Opposites. LESSON 2
  35. 35. We all talk about the idea of simplifying Somewhere inside we crave complexity because we think we can produce more with it.
  36. 36. The intention of voluntary simplicity is not to dogmatically live with less. It’s a more demanding intention of living with balance. This is a middle way that moves between the extremes of poverty and indulgence. - Duane Elgin
  37. 37. Work actively to balance meaning by subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. New ideas about opposites Simplicity is not good or bad. Simplicity isn’t a value judgement. Focus on actions not definition. Balance is not an end state.
  38. 38. LESSON 3 .
  39. 39. You can’t solve your problems with the same thinking you used when you created them. Take a break from the problem by shifting from a “working” state to a resting state. take a productive pause. Work and play dont’ have to be opposites. Fun and rest are a part of a productive workforce. “Work Productively” “Work For Balance”
  40. 40. Multi-tasking is a myth, you need to be present to be productive. Lack of attention and focus creates additional stress and makes us less productive. To work toward balance, be present in the moment. “Managed Mind” “Managed Time”
  41. 41. Hard work is over rated. It is depleting and is rarely rewarding. Intensity in work is about passion. When we are passionately engaged we are instantly energized. You goal should be to find more work that will put you in flow. “Work Intensely” “Work Hard”
  42. 42. Work life balance isn’t what it used to be. The lines between work and non-work have been blurred. Stop trying to balance your work and your life. It’s all the same thing. Instead focus on doing things that drive your energy reserves. “Work Life Energy” “Work Life Balance”
  43. 43. Don’t overthink it, it’s always easier than we think. Get out of your head Be Human Rethink Opposites Shift Simplicity Practice the habit of balancing execution and exploration Whether you call it simplicity, reduction, or life-editing
 being minimal is an active state. To Recap….
  44. 44. You might have less, you might have more 
 but if you can be human, understand opposites, and shift simplicity 
 you’ll earn more freedom, more creativity and ultimately more happiness.
  45. 45. Kelsey Ruger http://www.themoleskin.com http://www.twitter.com/themoleskin Thank You.
  46. 46. • Light Bulb (icon_122) - Edward Boatman (3,4,18) • Thumbs Up (icon_12734) - Nick Holroyd (7,10) • Box (icon_2058) - Travis J. Lee (12) • Lego (icon_3439) - Jon Trillana (14) • Maze (icon_53610) - Gilbert Bages (16) • Confused (icon_47686) - Jhun Capaya (27) • Clock (icon_1303) - by John Caserta(28) • Man (icon_40150) - Wojciech Zasina (29) • Tightrope (icon_25573) - by Luis Prado (32) Noun Project Credits

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