Your super power

Hi friends,

I am just finishing Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli. Wonderful book.

I’ve been struck over and over again by just how many times Steve Jobs wholesale reinvented his approach to life. He was completely wrong, accepted that, and then charted a brand new course. And did that a half dozen times! He evolved in such a way that one version of Steve would have completely contradicted the next. Just remarkable.

Not easy. But it worked out okay for him, I’d say.

I’ve been thinking on reinvention a lot, especially with next generation AI (hello ChatGPT!) making its splashy entrance. What reinventions will be necessary for you and me and our kids as we all navigate the upcoming AI revolution?

The pace of the Industrial Revolution was fast enough to upend economies and societies like nothing before it. But it was actually a multi-generational crawl, limited by the availability of raw materials, time, and man power.

🧠 What about AI?

The pace of change brought on by AI won’t be constrained by materials, time, and man power at all. In fact, it will have almost no perceivable constraints, because the necessary infrastructure for its universal adoption already exists.

This is going to be an incredibly fast, wildly bumpy ride.

But then yesterday, I realized something that startled me. I have a super power (and you do too, if you’re reading this) that rewires the brain to have precisely the traits necessary to adapt to the tumultuous changes in our bumpy, AI-fuelled future.

How amazing is that?!

This super power (that we already have!) is an activity that has peer reviewed studies over decades showing effects including:

  1. Faster brain development
  2. Faster learning across all subjects
  3. Higher standardized and IQ test scores
  4. Better language and reading skills
  5. More easily developed advanced motor skills
  6. Increased emotional intelligence
  7. Increased self-confidence
  8. Persistence in overcoming obstacles, and
  9. Intrinsic motivation for learning


Well I won’t leave you in suspense.

Your super power is: active music making.

Most people in America view music as enrichment. But that’s a mistake. There’s a reason wealthy parents invest hundreds of dollars a week in private music lessons for their children. They know the science that music is actually fundamental to a person’s growth in every category of growth! It’s not just a nice to have.

In a world that will change at a shocking pace, one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for our kids is to actively make music.

We can:

Join a church choir.

Start a jam session with some friends.

Sing bad covers of great songs.

And make making music a part of daily life. It will bring joy, comfort, and a sense of order to your world. It certainly does to mine.

Amid all the hubbub of AI and change in the world, I feel so incredibly lucky to have music in my life!

Keep making your music and have a wonderful week,

Edward Atkinson

✍️ One of my favorite quotes

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”

- Chuck Close

April 4, 2023