The Problem-Solution Paradox of Creativity

To thrive as a creative means you must be an agile problem-solver. Consultant Jeffrey Davis explains how it's necessary to willingly track problems yet not over-focus when solving them.

5 Ways to Wander—First Draft Writing Advice

A first draft is a place to explore ideas, images, and premonitions. Later, you can go back to revision, revise, rewrite. Draft to discover. Craft to design.

The Art of Wandering for Writers, Part I

The uncertainty of starting a first draft drives some writers crazy. But uncertainty may mean you’re on the right path. Otherwise, you may be writing what you already know and, thus, what your readers already know, too.

Best Rest Practices for Optimal Productivity and Creativity

We know taking breaks optimizes work-and-create flow. But what are the best practices? And does your creativity benefit from a full nap or not?

Wonder and Delight Are at the Heart of Customer Experience

Wonder gestures are a new way of doing business drawn from an ancient way of making art. To finesse the power of surprise requires more than being gimmicky and manipulative.

The Creative Thinking Myth

The right-brained creativity myth isn't the only limited notion of what creativity is, what it requires, and how it happens. Again, let me be audacious enough to mention another one: the creative thinking myth. And you tell me what you think.

Myths of Right-Brained Creativity

Let me be audacious enough to try to dispel a big myth of creativity: the right-brain creativity myth.

Why Writing Trumps Positive Thinking Alone for Goal-Setting

Is there a science or an art to manifesting our dreams and achieving our goals? Is there something beyond wishful thinking and empty truisms that will up the chances that our wondrous best self will flourish in 2012? Yes. No. Sort of. Not exactly. Apparently. Possibly.

Conquer the Bugs of Distraction

Most creatives struggle with at least three kinds of distracting insects—life's fleas, society's gnats, and the mind's mosquitoes. Tools & resources can help you focus on doing your best work day-in, day-out.

Creative Vitality for the Midlife Body & Brain

Creatives age. Even by your late twenties if not sooner, the body creaks and falters. The mind's microprocessor slows down. And the physical energy that propels your sheer will and volition gets sapped. So you push through your work, knowing that you're not creating at your best but "good enough" and that faking it really well will have to suffice. What to do?

Vision + Mastery for No-Goals Creatives this New Year

Many creatives aren't goal-driven. At least not consciously. But maybe there's a way for us creatives to look toward the horizon without compromising the present.

Creativity & Time: 12 Riffs to Show Up & Shape Time

Instead of managing time like some begrudged worker, we can shape it. Think of yourself as a potter more than a manager. To show up and shape time as a creative has less to do with calendars and more to do with loving the mind. And the body.

Stupidity Rules for Creative Professionals

Productive stupidity pushes us beyond merely executing ideas and can lure us to extraordinary productivity.

Musings About the "M" Word for Creatives

Maybe a fresh look at what "the muse" is and isn't can help us creatives know what it takes to court it and keep it.

iWonder Tracker Steve Jobs, R.I.P.

Can one man alone leave behind such a creative legacy?

Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields: A Quick Book Review

Are some successful people innately or genetically disposed to "lean into uncertainty" and its three hobgoblins of fear, doubt, and anxiety? The just-released book by Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty pursues that question and offers grounded insight.

Buy a Book and Save a Life?

What if in putting together a book no one intends to profit financially from the book's proceeds? Even though the book might sell a million copies? And over 80% of the proceeds go to save lives? Welcome to a new way of thinking about editing and publishing a book. It’s the brilliant concept behind the book released today called End Malaria.

Creative Admiration: From Envy to Mastery

Would watching Michael Jordan waft across a basketball court inspire you to become a more skilled hoopster? Would listening to Eric "Slowhand" Clapton (tagged by Rolling Stone as the #4 guitarist of all time) goad you to dust off your six-stringer and try your own hand? I wonder what good admiration can serve us creative adults.

From Fear Toward Creative Mastery

When starting a new creative endeavor, fear of the unknown can override all joyful anticipation. But taking concrete stock of those fears and converting them into pursuit of mastery goals can revive your enthusiasm, help you avoid delusion, and lead to gratification.

Why the "Why" Matters in Exercise & Creativity

Exercise bores you. You'd rather spend your time working on ideas or projects than be at a gym. But you also know you need it. Maybe what will get you into yoga pants or power walking shoes is a meaningful motivation - and maybe the fact that moving your body benefits your creativity.

3 More Observations About Wonder-Centered Schools & Colleges

Granted, it will take more than Superman to make a difference in our schools and colleges. But the mounting national dialogue on creativity and education suggests we might be primed to do just that. Are we? If so, we'll have to address culture, colleges, and even good ol' uncertainty.

An Ideasicle Interview: Tracking the Environmental Mind, the Creative Yogi, and More

Ideasicle founder and advertising smart-guy Will Burns talks with Jeffrey Davis about the biological impulse to create, how serendipity and environment stimulate innovative ideas, how harnessed breathing directly affects the creative unconscious, & more.

Radical Ways to Renovate a House of Fear

Fear and doubt can take over our bodies like obnoxious house guests whom, after a few years, we've unintentionally allowed to move in for the long haul. Here are five ways to start rebuilding your creative house from the foundation.

Answers to Creatives Problems Aren't Within - They're Outside

It's Earth Day, and chances are you'll spend hours in front of a digital device and only minutes outdoors. Why would entrepreneurs, creatives & business people need to take a hike or plant a tree to hone their edge? Spending time outdoors could be a key way to expand your creative process - and optimize your creative mind.

Crafting a Creative Life Is a Challenge

Crafting an authentic, creative life is challenging. But that is just what you choose to do - you who refuse to make a cookie-cutter family or live in a predictable relationship or function like an automaton at your job or spend your weekends doing default mass-non-think activities. You choose to craft this one wild life.

Surprise! Shock Yourself into Creating Memorable Art & Good Word-of-Mouth

Being open to delightful surprise. Every. Single. Day. That's a practice worth my time. And worth yours if you're an artist, designer, writer, advertising genius, or anyone who has an audience, tribe, or clients.

Meaning, Magic, and the Wonder of Everyday Life: The Tracking Wonder Interview

Curious about just what 'tracking wonder' means? How to practice it? Why you'd want to? Portland Helmich, of Kripalu Perspectives, interviewed me recently on just these very questions and more.

Fertilize Confusion to Thrive During Creative & Life Challenges

Many people flinch at uncertainty, bristle at not-knowing, flee from confusion. But confusion can be converted into creative innovation and personal break-through. 

The Body Brings Wonder to Creative Innovation

Why would one of the nation's top-notch creativity teams (paid around $200,000 a day for some sessions) stretch before brainstorming? How does engaging the body stimulate creative innovation? The sciences are affirming some ancient wisdom about the embodied mind & embodied imagination.