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About the Author
Contributor residences (city, state or country if outside the US or Canada): Cincinnati, OH
Read an Excerpt
Creativity starts with the willingness to look at the world through innocent eyes. It involves shaking ourselves from our prejudices and established thinking patterns. Copthorne
MacDonald, an expert on the cultivation of wisdom, explains how innocence helps us discover new insights:
“We find ourselves looking at the same old data, but we now see it in a dramatically different way. We experience another valid and sometimes more significant way of understanding what is.”
Sadly, the world grinds away at our trust and our innocence. Experience teaches us to doubt, to scoff and roll our eyes. In no time at all, the world can turn a genuinely creative individual into a Real World Adult. At that point, there’s not much of the real you lefttoo often, just a job title on a business card, a nameplate on an office door, a number on a badge, a face in the crowd.
Think back. Remember when you were young and the world was a glittering place of limitless possibilities? Everywhere you looked, you found something new and different. Remember the magical feeling that you could do anything simply because nobody was telling you otherwise.
A child’s word is made of spirit and miracles. We sometimes think that children should follow us, listen to us, become like us. Follow a child closely for an hour. Not to teach or to discipline, but to learn, and to laugh.
– SARK, “A Creative Companion”
Or to put it another way:
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”
– Aldous Huxley
The key word is “spirit.” The goal is not to remain a child for the rest of your life, but to retain that childlike spirit of wonder and a willingness to innocently believe in possibilities. As children we have a natural innocence. As we age we lose it. I believe that one of the greatest benefits of spending time with children and grandchildren is that they teach us the virtues of innocenceIF we are aware and open to the learning.
Three Quick Examples of Innocence
EXAMPLE NO. 1: TRUTH IS RELATIVE TO THE CUSTOMER’S VIEWPOINT
One day, I was reading Big Bird’s Color Game to my then three-year-old daughter, Tori. On one page, Big Bird was shown thinking of something orange that’s good to drink. “I bet you can’t guess what it is,” so said Big Bird in his word balloon.
On the next page, Tori had a choice of a half-dozen orange-colored itemsa butterfly, a T-shirt, a jack-o-lantern, a toy boat, a tiger lily and a glass of orange juice.
Which one did you pick? Tori picked the tiger lily because of its long stem, which she took to be a straw. When you’re three years old, “good” equals “fun.” And it’s a lot more fun to drink through a straw than from a plain old glass. The tiger lily might not have been the answer Big Bird had in mind, but it was a valid response to the question.
Table of ContentsWhy A “2.0” New Edition?
Act I: Brain Training
- We Hold These Truths To Be Self-evident
- IdeasThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- The Eureka! Formula for Creativity
- Explore Stimuli
- Leverage Diversity
- Drive Out Fear
- Welcome to the Ranch
Act II: Jump Starts
- Top Ten Stimuli Jump Starts
- Top Ten Industrial-strength Jump Starts
- Top Ten Group Creativity Jump Starts
Act III: Go For It
- Real World Survival Guide