Fun is Fundamental | Driving Eureka! #19



The feature story this week is a classic excerpt from the back of my first book Jump Start Your Brain. This excerpt is entitled Yink’s It’s designed to make you stop and think about who you are and how you are living your life.   

In a change - I’ve included a double book excerpt. The book segment is the legendary section on how Fun is Fundamental from Jump Start Your Brain.

The Brain Brew Whiskey Academy discusses the importance FUN when it comes to crafting craft whisk(e)ys.

To go DEEPER on any of the articles - listen to the companion DRIVING EUREKA! Podcast.




Newsletter 19 Key Image-1


This week’s feature story is different.  It’s an excerpt from my first book Jump Start Your Brain.  I’m including it because I think in todays - we need to stop, think and have a little laugh every now and then.

With a nod to the legendary Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) here’s our take on the need to recapture innocence and open our mind. 

To view a VIDEO of me reading the story with color art CLICK HERE.


Yink’s IT!

There once was a Yink who knew how to think;
He was especially good at pretending.
This Yink was a guy with his head in the sky,
he could dream sweet dreams without ending

When Yink was a kid, Dreaming was all that he did,
And he often would think a great thought.
While his pals watched TV,  Yink would set his mind free
To invent, which he did quite a lot.

He thought of umbrella hats,
Of an electric ball bat - That never misses when ever it swings,
Of shoes with large wings and kites without strings
to name but a few of Yink’s idea things.

But the older he grew, The less this Yink knew.
Or so he thought when he started in school.
He learned to draw straight, And to never be late,
But mostly he learned dreams are for fools.  

Yink decided to try to grow a necktie.
He bought a dozen identical suits.  

And quick as a blink, Yink learned not to think
In meetings with corporate recruits.  

Yink turned off his mind,
Joined the workaday grind,
And got a job with a reputable firm.
He bought an average home with an average loan,
Which he pledged to repay on a 30-year term.

Then one day, Yink’s boss,
A Mister Herman Mc Moss,
Told employees the outlook was dire.  

Sales were a crawling,
Profits were falling,
Said McMoss, Our fat’s in the fire.  

What we need is an it!
A great it, to wit:
An idea to fill rivals with fear.

An “it” that won’t quit,
An “it” with true grit.
And who I choose for the job is right here! 

McMoss pointe to Yink,
Who wanted to shrink
To the size of a little bug’s ear.  

For Yink doubted not
If an “it”wasn’t got,
He’d most assuredly be out on his rear.

“What is it you mean?”
Yink, asked, his gills green,
“by an “it” that won’t quite with true grit?”
Said McMoss, “Don’t ask — this job is your task, “All I know is I’ll know it when I see it!”

So Yink sat and thought.
He was in a tight spot.
He grimaced and grimaced and groaned.
All his “its” were the same, each one of them lame.
His brain dribbled and drabbled and droned.

Yink thought a lot.
So hard did he think,
He practically turned orange, purple and pink.
And yet… 

He could draw a straight line
And be right on time,
But he’d forgot how ideas are made.

Still, he jotted a note
To pass of as “it,” so he hoped
To escape the boss’s office unscathed. 

Unfortunately, Mr. McMoss did not see Yink’s “It” with a positive light.
This “it” is the pits.” McMoss said in a snit
“Not even close…it’s nowhere in sight!” 

Then Hermann McMoss became particularly cross:
I’m not yanking you, Yink.
I Want it’s that don’t clink
Your it is rinky dink
Furthermore your it stinks!” 

Yink asked yet again for a how, what, why, when,
For some hint where an “it” could be found.
Said McMoss, “You got me.  But I’ll know when I see - -
Please don’t ask me right now to expound.” 

Yink grew so morose,
He turned white as a ghost.
He barely kept a stiff upper lip.
That night, his little girl,
A Yinkling named Pearl said,
“Ease up Dad - come on get a grip!” 

“Lets play, Dad — it’s fun;
You chase, and I’ll run.
Never mind all those its, ands and bits.
Lets run through the yard
And play really hard.”
So they did, and Yink forgot all about “it’s” 

And after a while, Yink started to smile.
The best “it” this side of Topeka popped into
His head; and Yink instantly said
“I christen this “it” a Eureka!” 

Yink quickly perked up
And promptly worked up
A Eureka! Report right away.
It wasn’t hard what he did;
He just thought like a kid.
His boss didn’t know quite what to say.  

Yink, you’ve done yourself proud,
I’ll say it out loud. Said McMoss
On the corporate PA

Your ‘it’ is pure gold
Your ‘it’ breaks the mold.
It’s the  best ‘it’ ever - - hurray!” 

Because of Yink’s it,
McMoss Inc. scored a hit.  

Yink and his boss had much occasion for laughter.
It became Yink’s style to think like a child,
And he lived happily long ever after. 

This excerpt was written in collaboration with David Wecker - my vote for the greatest writer on planet earth.  To be honest, if I have any ability to write - it is 100% due to this teaching.

When it came to writing humor (something the first book was filled with) David taught me a simple lesson.

“If we’re not laughing when we are editing our writing then it’s likely that readers won’t be laughing when the read it the first time.”

As I pulled out and read Yink’s It I laughed once again.  I hope you enjoyed it.



Jump Start Your Brain 2.0 Book Excerpt
Fun is Fundamental 


This week I thought I’d go back in time and share an excerpt from the revised edition of my first book Jump Start Your Brain.  It is a classic excerpt made wonderful with the great writing of David Wecker.

There’s no way around it. You absolutely must have fun. Without fun, there’s no enthusiasm.  Without enthusiasm, there’s no energy. Without energy, there are only shades of gray. It’s a law of creativity physics.

“If it isn’t fun, why do it?”

Jerry Greenfield
Co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Rolling Stone Magazine, July 9, 1992

You might as well try surviving for a week without oxygen as create without fun. Creative ideas are a natural by-product of exhilaration.  Not of tedium. This isn’t an exam. This isn’t school. It’s recess.  No -- it’s a field trip to the fun house.

Hard-core academic research underscores the link between creativity and fun. Alice Isen of the University of Maryland made the point in an article she wrote for The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.   

She described a study in which two groups of college students were shown two different videotapes, then given a range of creative problems to solve. The first group saw a five-minute clip of bloopers lifted from “Gunsmoke,” “Have Gun, Will Travel” and “The Red Skelton Show.” The students in the second group watched a math video entitled “Area under a Curve.” I’ve never seen this production myself, but I imagine it is every bit as gripping as the title makes it sound.

Guess what? The students in the first group -- the ones who’d been laughing and were in a good mood when they took the test -- were found to be 300 to 500 percent more likely to come up with successful solutions to the problems they were given.

Stop. Think. Look how easy this is. You can increase your brain power three- to five-fold simply by laughing and having fun before working on a problem. 

The process of fun begins down in the gut with a good belly laugh. Here are a few methods for mining belly laughter from your everyday routine:

  1. Check out a Country Music Karaoke Night at any Holiday Inn near any Japanese auto plant in the Midwest.

  2. Dig through your past for your most embarrassing moments as a child, as a youth -- the  ones that, despite the passage of time, still make your toes curl under with self-incrimination.  Trade them with your friends.  You go first.

  3. Distribute a couple dozen whoopee cushions to your fellow passengers the next time you take a bus, a plane or the Staten Island Ferry.  Encourage them to use them.  There’s something about that sound.  It’s so ... so juvenile.

  4. Give your boss a wedgie -- or, as it’s referred to in some parts of the country, a snuggie.  A wedgie is what happens when you sneak up behind someone, grab the waistband of their trousers or underpants and yank it upward so that the seat of the aforementioned garment becomes wedged snugly between the cheeks of your victim’s nether-most region.

  5. Rent a stack of old-time comedy flicks.  For inspired lunacy, you can’t go wrong with W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers or the Little Rascals.  If you think you have it bad, spend a half hour watching Laurel and Hardy trying to move a piano up eight zillion flights of stairs in east L.A.

  6. The next time you and your friends go out to eat, let food dribble out your mouth and down your chin.  Pretend not to notice.  “What?!?  What!?!  What are you looking at?!?”

  7. Tickle somebody.  A good place to start is at the knee. Squeeze it. Pretty soon, you’ll be laughing, too.

  8. Peruse most any issue of the “Weekly World News.” Believe it or don’t.

  9. Turn down the sound on a really bad 1950s-vintage Grade-C science fiction flick and supply your own dialogue.

  10. Wrap your arms and legs in aluminum foil.  Wrap a football helmet in foil and put it on your head.  Attach two aluminum pie pans side by side and wear them as a chest protector.  Fashion a shield and sword from cardboard, and wrap them in foil, too.  Walk up and down the sidewalk in front of your house or apartment, brandishing the sword.  Watch your neighbors’ faces. 

With the possible exception of No. 4, you’ll find that laughter uncoils tension, relaxes invisible guards and opens minds to new thoughts. When you’re feeling fun, you open the doors to your whole brain. When you’re having fun, you open the floodgates to bold, ridiculous, original thoughts. Original thoughts don’t seem so absurd as they do when you’re not having fun. 

Consider how often you laugh on a typical day. Chic Thompson --  author of “What a Great Idea!” -- told me that the average five-year-old guffaws about 110 times a day. As the years pass, our laughs-per-diem quotient drops until, by the age of 44, we typically yuk it up only 11 times daily.   Given the natural order of things, the human mind is at its creative peak at the age of five. It’s also quite easily amused. The correlation is as direct as it can be.

By the age of 44, we’re bogged down with obligations. Our shoulders are slumped, our brows are furrowed and we have a hard time mustering a grin. Which means we have less fun. Which makes us less creative.


Our new Riverboat series of whisk(e)ys celebrate Cincinnati’s role
as the commercial birthplace of Whisk(e)y in the USA.  
They also make AMAZING cocktails.

Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy:
The Importance of FUN in our Whisk(e)y

I believe that key to our success with our Brain Brew whisk(e)y products and collaborations is the sense of fun and joy we incorporate into them.   

Sadly, many whisk(e)ys - especially the expensive ones - are very serious - prudent and proper.  In my world that’s boring.   The pictures on the front are of old dead people or old buildings.   With our products we have some fun - with full label color art, mischievous branding, etc..   

I believe that as David Wecker taught me with writing - if you’re having fun creating the product your customers will have fun enjoying it.  They will feel your spirit. 

It’s the same with cocktails.  While I love the classics - it’s a ton more fun to discover amazing new tastes.   

HOMEWORK - PART 1:  Here’s something simple you can do to spark some fun - go to the website - and open a few of the newsletters.  Pick 3 of the cocktails that you are least familiar with and give them a try tonight.  They are all 100% proven and reliable.   

HOMEWORK - PART 2:  Then create your own Cocktail Invention.  And then go to my public Facebook page by clicking here…and post your cocktail name and recipe.  Let’s make it a celebration of FUN whisk(e)y cocktails.

Remember the Maine

This is a 1939 cocktail by Charles H Baker.  It’s part sazarac and part Manhattan.  It’s named after The Maine, a US naval ship that mysteriously exploded and sank off the coast of Havana Cuba (controlled by Spain at the time)  in 1898.  This event would help spark the Spanish-American war - leading to Cuban independence


2 oz Deck Hand Rye (or another craft rye)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1tsp Absinthe

Step 1: Add ice to a Boston Shaker along with all of the ingredients.
Step 2: Stir.
Step 3: Strain into a martini glass.


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Doug Hall

The Driving Eureka! Newsletter is a compilation of case studies, new techniques, thought provoking insights, an occasional rant, and excerpts from my books 



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