Jack Uldrich
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Danger: Prevention Has Risks of Its Own

Posted in Paradox

Did you know that after childproof lids on medicine bottles were introduced, it led to a significant increase in the number of child poisonings? The reason is because parents became less careful about keeping the bottles away from their children. I am all for taking preventative action — especially to protect kids — but we…

Juggle Learning and Unlearning

Posted in Creativity, Paradox

Learning to juggle isn't about catching the balls, it's about throwing them. One reason many people have difficulty learning to juggle is because they can't unlearn the "catching" part. Letting go of old habits is difficult but if you can master the trick of unlearning you just might be able to better handle the new…

You Can Embrace Ambiguity: True or False?

Posted in Ambiguity, Paradox

In philosophy and logic there is something know as the liar's paradox. Consider the following statement: "This statement is false." If "This statement is false" is true, then it is false, which in turn would mean that it is actually true, but this would mean it is false … and so on ad infinitum. If…

Unlearn Your Mind-Set and Adopt a Mind-Flex

Posted in Creativity, Curiosity, Future, Imagination, Paradox

I have read that when we are born our brains contain somewhere near one hundred billion neurons, and it can make a nearly infinite variety of possible connections–or neural pathways. As we grow older, however, we "pave" over many (or "hard-wire" if you will) of these neural pathways because they are so critical to our…

Country Road Dangers

Posted in Paradox

The other day I discussed this interesting paradox involving bike helmets and suggested that innovative designers might be able to craft a solution. I'd now like to pose another opportunity to creative designers–design safer country roads. People mistakenly feel safer on country roads even though they are far more dangerous than urban streets. In fact,…

Your View is Distorted: Unlearn

Posted in Ambiguity, Creativity, Paradox

Take a look at the picture to the right. What color are the two birds? As hard as it may be to believe, they are actually the same color. (See the second picture directly below with the surrounding colors removed.) I think this optical illusion is a wonderful metaphor for how all of us–myself included–see…

Make an Impression: Leave Something to the Imagination

Posted in Paradox

Of all the types of painting, I most enjoy the impressionist artists. According to this fascinating article, I'm not alone. Many other people, ages 13 to 90, also enjoy impressionist paintings. The reason? The blurry images leave something to our imagination. In essence, we can create our own interpretation. It's a wonderful metaphor for the…

Underschedule to Overdeliver

Posted in Ambiguity, Creativity, Curiosity, Paradox, Spiritual, Wisdom

It sounds paradoxical. How can you over-deliver on results by under-scheduling your day? It's easy, really. First, by underscheduling your day you will give yourself some time to think and reflect. And, by taking this time you will, counter-intuitively, come to focus on those things which are truly important. You will drop the clutter from…

10 Ways to Step into Your Discomfort Zone

Posted in Creativity, Curiosity, Paradox

1. Become Uncomfortable in Your Own Skin 2. Study at an Anti-Library 3. Ask a Follow-up Question 4. Draw Outside the Lines 5. Make the Strange Familiar 6. Make the Familiar Strange 7. Argue with Yourself 8. Play it … Risky 9. Practice Imperfection 10. Know Doubt

Practice Imperfection

Posted in Curiosity, Paradox

"Practice makes perfect." It is a message ground into us from our earliest ages. There is nothing inherently wrong with the message. In fact, it is something I emphasize to my own children. It is, however, an incomplete idea. This is especially true in a field where absolute perfection can't be attained — a field…

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