What Makes an Original: Psychologist Adam Grant on the Paradox of Achievement and How Motivated Dissatisfaction Fuels Creativity. “To be perfectly original,” Lord Byron famously quipped, “one should think much and read little, and this is impossible, for one must have read before one has learnt to think.”
In Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (public library), organizational psychologist Adam Grant — who has spent years studying the counterintuitive psychology of success — brings contemporary social science to the timeless validity of Byron’s words, examining the contextual nature of creative genius and demonstrating that the most groundbreaking innovations aren’t spurred by arbitrary sparks of mystical epiphany but by intelligent and informed dissatisfaction with cultural defaults, translated into a radical and purposeful desire to upend those defaults. Grant — an immensely pleasurable writer who interpolates elegantly between T.S. Originality involves introducing and advancing an idea that’s relatively unusual within a particular domain, and that has the potential to improve it. Grant writes: Tapping Into the Daily Rituals of Our Great Creative Minds.
History can teach us a lot about the way we work today.
Benjamin Franklin rigorously planned and segmented his daily routine in an effort to accomplish good each day. Thomas Edison used an epic to-do list to fuel his prolific innovation and inventions. Out of superstition, Tchaikovsky took a daily two-hour walk. His return was timed precisely: not a minute early, not a minute late. Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, researched and profiled 161 artists, composers, philosophers, playwrights, scientists, writers, and poets. We recently spoke with Mason about the work rituals and routines of great creative minds. We all start each day on equal footing. 6 Famous Artists Talk About What It’s Like to Overcome Fear and Create Beauty. Long before I was publishing articles for the world to read, I wrote in a private document.
The Pain of Creating. Posted on 28 Jan | 1 comment I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.
My most romantic dream about writing is being like Ernest Hemingway living in the Florida Keys, sitting at a typewriter (okay, a computer), writing in the morning, and spending my afternoon and evenings at the pub down the street sharing drinks with locals and tourists. But in the process of contributing to this blog, I am learning that writing is not such an easy task. Drafting original, meaningful pieces is at best difficult and at its worst devastating. This experience has given me a new respect for those who are artists, whatever their medium and style. In his book The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker writes, “I think taking life seriously means something such as this: that whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. References Becker, E. (1973). May, R. (1975). Frustration. SCAMPER a creative thinking technique.
How to Solve Difficult Problems by Using the Inversion Technique. Here’s a new framework for thinking about how you solve difficult problems (like losing weight and getting fit, creating more innovation in your company, learning a new skill, or otherwise changing your behavior).
I call this strategy the Inversion Technique and author Josh Kaufman covers it in his book, The First 20 Hours. Here’s how it works. The Inversion Technique The way to use the Inversion Technique is to look at a particular problem from the opposite direction.  For example, if you want to be a better manager, then you would ask, “What would someone do each day if they were a terrible manager?” Here’s an in-depth example from Kaufman’s book… By studying the opposite of what you want, you can identify important elements that aren’t immediately obvious. Using the Inversion Technique will often reveal daily errors that you may not realize you are already making. Becoming Smart vs. Say you want to create more innovation at your organization. Reducing Risk Click here to leave a comment. Creative People Say No. A Hungarian psychology professor once wrote to famous creators asking them to be interviewed for a book he was writing.
One of the most interesting things about his project was how many people said “no.” Management writer Peter Drucker: “One of the secrets of productivity (in which I believe whereas I do not believe in creativity) is to have a VERY BIG waste paper basket to take care of ALL invitations such as yours — productivity in my experience consists of NOT doing anything that helps the work of other people but to spend all one’s time on the work the Good Lord has fitted one to do, and to do well.” Secretary to novelist Saul Bellow: “Mr Bellow informed me that he remains creative in the second half of life, at least in part, because he does not allow himself to be a part of other people’s ‘studies.’ ” Photographer Richard Avedon: “Sorry — too little time left.”