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. 

A Hut of Questions: A Friday Interlude from Information

I often write information-laden articles. But numerous psychology studies would support my saying we often need to welcome a space of not-knowing. "A disposition to wonder," that perpetual questioner Socrates reminds us, "is the beginning of all wisdom." Why? Because not being a know-it-all is the beginning of true knowing. 

Every Day is a Poem: The Three Highlights Game

The most innovative people I interview regard each day a certain way. An opportunity. A window. A portal. A day can be more than a list of tasks to check off. I'm convinced each day is a collective poem begging to be shaped and written by each of us. How are you going to experience your days this year?  

Intentions Pave the Year with Creative Purpose

I'm a cheerleader for creative action. Getting things done. Making ideas happen. But I want meaningful things done. And I want to make ideas happen with right intention. Right intention with right action can make for a doubly powerful creative life in 2011. 

Creating 2011 with Imagination, a Forgotten Tool

 For most of us motivated by meaning more than money, we must get to the core to keep our business's heart beat thumping through good times and bad.One oft-forgotten tool, inherent to your creativity, can help you get to your professional heart and envision your professional year accordingly: imagination.  

Gratitude, Authenticity, & Entrepreneurship: A Creative Round Table

As we head toward the year's end and find ourselves in the season of gift-giving, it might be insightful to reflect on gratitude. In this imaginary round table discussion culled from e-interviews, four creatives reflect upon gratitude, authenticity, and entrepreneurship.

Three Acts to Make 2011 a Wonder Year

Okay, I know you might want to let wonder roam on its own, untethered by too much will or intention and, for crying out loud, goal-setting for the new year. But will works if coaxed the right way. Reflect, anticipate, and just be - these three acts and some accompanying resources can show you how wonder and will can play together.

An In-House Retreat Can Refresh the Creative Mind

The creative mind savors uninterrupted time to wander, roam, hone great ideas into creative action. But who has that time? Or space? An in-house retreat of 4 hours or 48 hours might be just what you need before the holiday frenzy begins.

Flipping the Wonder Switch for Activism

Do you want to live for a cause larger than yourself? Heed what stops you in your tracks with mysterious delight, puzzling joy, and an unnamed sense that something else that is at once part of you and greater than you is worth fighting for.

Balance is Out. Obsession is In.

How can we indulge our obsessions without them consuming us? In his new book Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions, psychotherapist Eric Maisel and Ann Maisel suggests we "forget life balance" in favor of "productive obsessions."

Think Like a 47-Year-Old to Boost Your Creativity

Ask 10 adults to offer an example of a wondrous person, and I'd wage that 9 of them would point to a child. Children have their own version of wonder, but so do adults. In fact, many adults have the capacity for a richer form of wonder than do most children.

How to Be Idle and Blessed

The Virginia coast sun wilts the air here in Cape Charles, and everything - the tongue, the mind, the pace - slows down. My wife, baby daughter, and I are vacationing although the industrious American in me wants to claim I'm researching wonder. How might we quiet the mind with delight, pleasure, and joy in the name of (gulp) productive idleness? Here are some tips taken from the shores of Cape Charles.   

From Awful to Awesome in Metamorphosis Moments

You could wake up one morning in the middle of your house in the middle of your life and say, "This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. How did I get here?" and realize you're a cockroach - a sort of Inferno-meets-Talking Heads-meets-Kafka moment. In other words, you could realize you no longer are sure who you are, how you belong, or where you're going. How do you respond? How can you switch from fear to wonder, from awfulness to awesomeness in confusing times?