Essential Reads

More Music, More Empathy

Could music be an effective way to curb bullying and reduce prejudice?

Why It's Imperative to Teach Entrepreneurship

Empowering young people to craft the lives they dream to live.

This Can Give You the Advantage in Online Dating

How to advertise yourself in online dating

Cognitive Signatures of Creativity and Genius

Deconstructing the creative feats of Nobelists and Pulitzer winners.

Recent Posts on Creativity

Anathema Art: Using Inmates' Art to Help Them Transcend

This post emerged from a conversation and interview with Angela Luttrell, founder of Anathema Art, an amazing program that uses art to help prison inmates transcend their limitations and circumstances.

Confessions From the Past

By Christopher Ryan on June 15, 2015 in Civilized to Death
An hour well-lived and deeply experienced not only distracts us from our mortality, it robs death by spending the only currency it can rob us of: time among the living.

Three Unexpected Ways to Get More Innovative

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on June 15, 2015 in Innovation You
If radical change is what you seek, then what you need is a stable foundation on which to build that innovation. Think of it this way: the infrastructures that support our modern world have done the heavy lighting for you.

It's Official: The Twitter Hashtag Is Now A Word

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on June 15, 2015 in Language in the Mind
It's official: the twitter hashtag is now a word. Human communication emerges, changes and continues to evolve in contexts of use. New technology is advancing the range and means available for human communication.

Five Reasons You Should Write a Book, Now

There are some surprising benefits to writing – even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer.

12 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Dreams, Answered

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on June 14, 2015 in Dream Catcher
What is the current scientific consensus concerning dreams?

Sparks of Genius Challenge #1: Visual Observing

Welcome to the Sparks of Genius Challenge. One tool at a time, we’re building imaginative muscle, exploring and expanding creative capacities. This month we focus on observing—an imaginative thinking skill good for all ages.

The Sparks of Genius Challenge

To exercise imaginative muscle you have to take on imaginative challenge. To nurture professional creativity you have to build on personal creativity. To prepare tomorrow’s thought leaders you have to encourage today’s inspired amateurs. We’ve said as much here in past years. Now we’d like to trade talk for action. Welcome to the Sparks of Genius Challenge!

Playing, or in Play?

Celebrating creativity and resistance is important. But those who care about play must acknowledge the counter-theme that is fundamental to Greek mythology. We may feel ourselves driven to play; but we may also be "in play" as we realize our desires.

Save the Cat

Since my office sits on the edge of the Hollywood hills, it is not infrequent that the latest snippets from the movie industry make their way into my office.

Finding the Humor in Sadness (and Monsters)

By Mark Peters on June 11, 2015 in Laughing Stock
Frank Lesser discusses comedy and his book Sad Monsters.

Can Watching a Film Character Sniff Make You Sniff?

By Siu-Lan Tan Ph.D. on June 11, 2015 in What Shapes Film?
Can watching a film character take a sniff elicit sniffing behavior in the audience? And if so, how might we explain this response?

Get Your Groove Back in Divorce

By Wendy Paris on June 09, 2015 in Splitopia
When you’re in the fever pitch of crisis, you need to access your best self to survive it. Sociologist Christine Carter talks about her new book, and how cultivating ease can help in hard times such as divorce.

Test and Train Creativity With Just One Word

By Garth Sundem on June 09, 2015 in Brain Candy
Your creativity depends as much on choosing to think creatively as it does on some intrinsic, natural gift.

Sorry, Emoji Doesn't Make You Dumber

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Language in the Mind
Far from emoji dragging us back to the dark ages, their advent has helped recalibrate our emotional intelligence: digital communication is catching up with the repertoire of communicative tools we have in the spoken medium. Emoji is an empowering addition to the hitherto, primarily, textual format in the digital arena.

From Brand to Brand New: How to Re-Create Your Brand

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Innovation You
Brand is of little value if it lacks innovation that makes it valuable. You can wait for a crisis to drive you forward like Chrysler or you can just do it, but that's another story.

When Your Mind Wanders

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Why do our minds wander and what do we think about when we are unable to concentrate on what we are doing? Research into mind wandering suggests that it isn't quite the time waster that people often believe it to be. A new review article suggests that mind wandering may have evolved as a way of making us more creative.

Teachers Should Reward Questions, Not Just Answers

By Hal Gregersen on June 05, 2015 in The Curiosity Deficit
How encouraging children to ask questions can increase their capability to innovate.

3 Steps to a Music-Enhanced Workout

Music can help make your workouts more efficient and effective (if used correctly). Here's how.

How to Write your Way to Bliss

Writing is healing and transformative especially if practiced during challenging times. It is a good way to give voice to your feelings and also helps foster awareness. It is a way to tap into our feelings to understand our true sentiments so that we may move forward with our lives. Writing encourages mindfulness which is a healthy way towards well-being.

The Insight Stance

Perhaps there is a way to boost insights. The Insight Stance is a mindset we can adopt to prepare ourselves to make discoveries. In contrast to other mindsets such as being critical of new ideas,or letting our minds wander, the Insight Stance is an active and curious approach to encounters and events. It uses the pathways that lead to insights.

When an Introvert's Brain Stops Producing

When your identity is all tied up in your fertile mind, a creative slump can feel like the end of the world.

The Boy Genius and the Genius in All of Us

In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, Tom Clynes tells a fascinating story about a boy’s pursuit of a passionate interest in nuclear physics, and draws some surprising conclusions about the nature and development of genius-level intelligence. Clynes considers the roles played not only by innate ability and environmental factors, but also by temperament, culture, and politics.

A Workover: A Communications Person Wants More Creativity

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 02, 2015 in How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

Tapping Into Your Omniscient Narrator

Writing about yourself in the third person narrative is a remedy for tunnel vision, offering an elevated, compassionate perspective on your life.

Ten Years of Rural Life

Ten years ago this week, Geoff and I were packing our belongings. We had bought a farm, sold our house, and were preparing to move to a place where we had no friends, no family, no connections, no jobs—a place where we had been only once before, two weeks earlier. What would our new rural life be like?

Thinking about Death and Pain Makes People Funnier

Death anxiety may promotes humor creativity

The Art Therapy + Happiness Project

Artistic creativity is primarily a force of health and well-being rather than a mirror of dysfunction or disorder. Therefore the real purpose of art therapy and expressive arts therapy is to facilitate individuals’ creative exploration and self-expression to find both the “pleasant life” as well as the “meaningful life.”

10 Ways to Be Creative

I got this cool box of illustrated cards and immediately thought of a zillion ways to use it. Here's a sample of a creative thought process.

Creative Rehabilitation For Brain Injury. Part 1: Concussion

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on May 31, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
Often good rehabilitation facilities for brain-injured people are not readily accessible or affordable. Creative programs involving family and friends as the rehabilitation support team can be very effective in these cases, and are in place for the long term, unlike rehab centers. In this first post I focus on concussion.