Clarity First Newsletter,
July 26, 2019


“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” – Regina Brett

Clarity First

A notebook about how we work, and learn, and love and live.

My friend and client, Steve Abdow, describes sailing in the summer this way: “Start out slow, then pull back”. This week the heat forced me to do the same. And when I did pull back it felt really good. Debbie and I even took Thursday off to go to the beach with friends. I hope that you too, dear reader, are making good use of your annual permission slip to be lazy. Happy Friday.

New Economy

An economy that serves the world, instead of a world that serves the economy

“While business has contributed to the mass destruction of our resources, it also holds the key to the solutions. Therefore, the call to business is necessary as corporations are in fact some of the largest economies in the world, transcending borders with far-reaching influence. Responsible business models are good for the world and they can open many opportunities as well. There is simply no reason not to incorporate the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in business and capital strategies, innovations, products and services throughout the supply chains.”

Book Excerpt: The Trillion Dollar Shift: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” by Marga Hoek.


“We are trying to give the world positive ways of dealing with their feelings.”

By now you’ve heard that Tom Hanks has been at work on a film about Mr. Rogers. The film will be released in theaters in November. The trailer was released this week. I’m already crying.

Film Trailer: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Personal Development

An equalizer and an antidote to hatred and aversion

Illustration by Tomi Um.

JoAnna Hardy teaches us the famed Buddhist practice of metta – offering love to ourselves and others.

Article: How to Practice Loving-Kindness

Identity Design, Packaging

Design is a major influencer in purchasing decisions

Simple typography. Single image. Bright color.

“While we put a lot of focus on website design and digital trends, packaging and labels can impact everything. From whether you make a purchase off the shelf, to how you feel about a product when you open or use it.

“Here, we are looking at eight key packaging and label design trends of 2019, and how they aren’t just for physical elements. Many of these same design trends are making an impact in the digital space as well. And while we know packaging trends tend to have more shelf life, literally, how do digital and physical design trends impact one another?”

Article: 8 Packaging and Label Design Trends

Creativity, Personal Productivity

Use the idea machine technique and make sure you both consume and create.

Ayodeji Awosika writes a blog post most days. And he says that in spite of this prolificacy he has too many ideas, not too few.

“Whether you’re an artist, an entrepreneur, or just someone wanting to ascend in your career, your ideas will carry you. People talk about execution, but still, the ideas are the seeds.

“The more you cultivate them, the more creative you can become. Yes, execute, but execution without creativity makes you a robot.

“If you’re stuck about your next move, need fresh ideas, or want to be more creative in general, use some of my idea-generating strategies.”

Article: How To Never Run Out of Ideas, Stay Creative, and Become Prolific


How to use cinema to remind each other of the value of connection, and of hope.

This is a lovely 2 minute film by agency Droga5 and production company Epoch Films. It’s a feel good film that uses the tropes of group support, improv experience, sharing yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone to make you feel good about being human.

I’m less impressed that the whole thing is sponsored and signed by Nordstrom. Really? Using human spirit to paper over consumerism is cheap at best and dishonest at worse.

Imagine this ad with one change. This ad would be so much cooler if it didn’t close with the Nordstrom logo, but a phrase like “Shop Thrifts” instead.

But quibbling aside, the ad’s promise is spot on. An open mind really is the best look.

TV ad: An Open Mind is the Best Look

Communications Strategy

Nonprofits must achieve better engagement or the causes they care about will be at risk. 

“Nonprofits struggling to keep supporters excited about their causes should follow these five recommendations to make the most of Stanford behavioral scientist B.J. Fogg’s model for getting people to act.”

Article: Keeping People Engaged in Your Cause With Help From Behavioral Science


Reina del Cid is the stage name for singer-songwriter Rachelle Cordova, and the name of her eponymous folk/rock band based in Minneapolis.

They’re on tour in the West this month, and they stopped by a riverside in the Rogue Valley in Oregon to record this delightfully charming cover of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. Enjoy. This is perfect music for a summer afternoon.
Video: Harvest Moon

Image of the Week

“French artist Julien Pacaud calls his work ‘digital collage’ as he uses a computer to create his artworks rather than the traditional method of scissors and glue. Self-taught, Pacaud claims he works by instinct. He flicks thru vintage magazines and old books looking for an image that will inspire him. Once found, he scans these images, stores them, before returning to them to find out where they might take him. When he starts a collage, he has no set plan. It develops by trial and error, accident and chance. A process which eventually reveals its own path.”

Article: “Myths Of The Near Future”: The Modern Collage Artworks Of Julien Pacaud

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by me, Mitch Anthony. I help people use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as a pedagogy and toolbox for transformation. Learn more.

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