Essential Reads

Six Reasons Pop Singers Pronounce Some Lyrics in Odd Ways

'Secret Asian Man' and Other Mysteries of Song

Creativity Is Memory

Coming up with new ideas requires retrieving those ideas from your memory.

Criticizing Personal Autonomy

Self-realization comes not from control but from connection

How to Take on a Challenge

What does it take to make the impossible possible?

Recent Posts on Creativity

For the Love of the Muse

It has long been known that the mating motive can be a remarkably potent creative force. Indeed, many wildly creative individuals report being inspired by a Muse. But what about the rest of us? Does the average person spontaneously increase his or her creative display once the mating motive is active? And if the mating motive can increase creativity, how is this reconciled with research showing that the mating motive can impair cognitive functioning (see Interacting with women makes men stupid)? Finally, why are female Muses so predominant? Where are all the male Muses? I'm out of breath asking so many questions. Please read on already.

Lessons from the Science of Well-Being for New Graduates and their Parents

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on June 08, 2009 Curious?
Approximately 550 words of wisdom for students leaving the sanctuary of high school or college to enter the real-world. And the rest of us.....

Play Makes Us Human I: A Ludic Theory of Human Nature

By Peter Gray on June 04, 2009 Freedom to Learn
I've been working lately on a ludic theory of human nature. In case you haven't studied Latin in a while, I hereby inform you that ludic means playful. I'm calling it a ludic theory because if I called it a playful theory you wouldn't take it seriously. ... My theory--which I outline here--is that play is the germ we inherited from our ...

Coming into Balance

When coping mechanisms grow old

Oh Say, Can You See?

What does a fish counter have in common with an experienced baseball player? A blind conchologist with a visual artist? And what might they share with the people who clicked YouTube over 90 million times last month to see the unlikely Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle? Tease out the basic thinking tool that crops up again and again in each case, and you've got the beginnings of your answer-and a start on understanding the bases of human cognition and creativity.

Marriage and the Power to be Happy

Although this blog concerns the Age of Entitlement, I continue to be amazed when people protest about the "unfairness" of having to work to make their lives and relationships better. Unless you are lucky enough to have a personality predisposed to happiness, it does, indeed, take work to make yourself happy. The fact that you can work to make yourself happy is empowering; waiting vainly for someone else to do it for you is the ultimate in powerlessness.

How to Spot a Bad Leader

How often have we heard the phrase "power corrupts"? Often leaders become "intoxicated" by the increased power that their position gives them.

Taking the relationships of ADD seriously

All life conflicts have a funny side to them, but do relationships with individuals with ADD suffer more? Probably.

Sleepwalking on the Job

We all act mindlessly a good deal of the time, running on auto-pilot, and not fully present in our situations.

Paula Scher on Failure

By Jay Dixit on May 21, 2009 Brainstorm
Paula Scher is one of the world's most famous graphic designers, known for creating Citibank's umbrella logo as well as for design work for The Public Theater, The New York Times Magazine, the American Museum of Natural History, The New York City Ballet, and Herman Miller. She believes failure is the secret to artistic success. "You have to fail in order to make the next discovery," says Scher. "It's through mistakes that you actually can grow."

Definitely Sweat the Small Stuff!! (and it's mostly small stuff)

The Flash of Insight, The Grand Gesture, The Rousing Speech, The Last Straw. All of these are doppelgangers of The Big Thing, which too many of us wait for to come along and change our lives. The secret is, of course, that it's not coming. Worse, by waiting for The Big Thing, you could let the little things that make life rich, and accumulate into the important experiences of your life, slip away.

If You Could Train the Next Generation of Scientific and Technological Innovators….

If you could train the next generation of scientific and technological innovators, how would you go about it? What aspects of education, in school or out, would you add, change or jettison? Here's your chance to sound-off!

The Soloist: Part II

With a few forgivable missteps and obligatory dramatizations, The Soloist portrays schizophrenic Nathaniel Ayers, or as he prefers it, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Junior, in a richly nuanced and clinically accurate manner.

Innovation Loves a Crisis

By Moses Ma on April 30, 2009 The Tao of Innovation
The most interesting flavor of innovation is one without a name. It's the aha! that saves your behind exactly when things start falling apart. Let's call it... emergency innovation. It's 911 for management, when you tell your go-to team that everything is riding on them. Who you gonna call?

Inner Beginners, Entrepreneurs and the Future of Creativity

Creativity favors the inner beginner. This was the message we took home from a national symposium on creativity in Winston-Salem, NC. Three themes ran through our two-day experience like spring through the trees. Let's call them supra-disciplinarity, the creator as neophyte, and creativity as a positive social value. The future of innovation depends upon them all.

How to Lead: 7 Lessons from the Practice of Leadership

We asked more than a dozen top leadership experts for simple guides for best leadership practices. This is what they came up with.

Enough complaining about blogs, FaceBook and Twitter

I am getting a bit tired of all this complaining about our alleged obsession with connectivity and how dehumanizing it is. It doesn’t help, of course, that most of the complainers have their own blogs, FaceBook or Twitter accounts, like Russell Bishop over at the Huffington Post. The fact that I often find out about these rants because someone posts them on FaceBook, or that I read them on my Kindle (where I get the Post delivered several times a day) just adds deliciousness to the irony.