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Books to Unleash Your Creativity

Books to Unleash Your Creativity

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About the list

Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. If you have ideas but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative. DO you want to be more creative? I think we all do. Get inspired by one of the books on this list... Read more

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An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake

Srinivas Rao

The creator of the Unmistakable Creative podcast makes a counterintuitive argument: By focusing your creative work on pleasing yourself, you can increase your productivity, happiness, and (eventually, paradoxically) the size of your audience. Creating for your own pleasure--whether you're writing a novel, composing songs, or painting a landscape--can seem pointless. It's tempting to focus on pursuing money and fame, rather than the process itself. But as Srini Rao warns, creating then turns into a chore that can harm your self-esteem and suck the pleasure out of life, rather than being a source of joy. Rao, host of the podcast The Unmistakable Creative, argues that we should counter this thinking by intentionally creating art for ourselves alone--an audience of one. In this book he shares the fascinating true stories of creatives who took this path, along with actionable tips and the research of creativity experts. You'll learn, for example: - How Oprah's intentional focus on her own work rather than the opinions of everyone else catapulted her into one of the most popular talk shows of all time. - How being process-driven can not only help you produce more work, but can make you happier outside of your creative time. - How to put together a creative team of rivals whose feedback can help you hone your craft and filter out useless feedback. By playing to an audience of one, we can find more happiness, increased productivity, and a greater sense of community.

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Deep Work

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2016 | Cal Newport

Rated by 26 people

Read the Wall Street Journal Bestseller for "cultivating intense focus" for fast, powerful performance results for achieving success and true meaning in one's professional life (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take). Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way. In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. 1. Work Deeply2. Embrace Boredom 3. Quit Social Media4. Drain the Shallows A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world. An Amazon Best Book of 2016 Pick in Business & LeadershipWall Street Journal Business BestsellerA Business Book of the Week at 800-CEO-READ

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The Happiness Advantage

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2010 | Shawn Achor

Rated by 1 people

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • The happy secret to greater success and fulfillment in work and life—a must-read for everyone trying to flourish in a world of increasing stress and negativity   “Thoughtfully lays out the steps to increasing workplace positivity.”—Forbes   In the book that inspired one of the most popular TED Talks of all time, New York Times bestselling author Shawn Achor reveals how rewiring our brain for happiness helps us achieve more in our careers and our relationships and as students, leaders, and parents.   Conventional wisdom holds that once we succeed, we’ll be happy; that once we get that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But the science reveals this formula to be backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.   Research shows that happy employees are more productive, more creative, and better problem solvers than their unhappy peers. And positive people are significantly healthier and less stressed and enjoy deeper social interaction than the less positive people around them.   Drawing on his original research—including one of the largest studies of happiness ever conducted—and work in boardrooms and classrooms across forty-two countries, Achor shows us how to rewire our brains for positivity and optimism to reap the happiness advantage in our lives, our careers, and even our health. His strategies include:   • The Tetris Effect: how to retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility so we can see and seize opportunities all around us • Social Investment: how to earn the dividends of a strong social support network • The Ripple Effect: how to spread positive change within our teams, companies, and families   By turns fascinating, hopeful, and timely, The Happiness Advantage reveals how small shifts in our mind-set and habits can produce big gains at work, at home, and elsewhere.

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The Creative Habit

2006 | Twyla Tharp,Mark Reiter

Creativity is not a gift from the gods, says Twyla Tharp, bestowed by some divine and mystical spark. It is the product of preparation and effort, and it's within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life: In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative. In The Creative Habit, Tharp takes the lessons she has learned in her remarkable thirty-five-year career and shares them with you, whatever creative impulses you follow-whether you are a painter, composer, writer, director, choreographer, or for that matter, a businessperson working on a deal, a chef developing a new dish, a mother wanting her child to see the world anew. When Tharp is at a creative dead end, she relies on a lifetime of exercises to help her get out of the rut, and the Creative Habit contains more than thirty of them to ease the fears of anyone facing a blank beginning and to open the mind to new possibilities. Tharp's exercises are practical and immediately doable-for the novice or expert. In Where's Your Pencil? she reminds us to observe the world-and get it down on paper. In "Coins and Chaos," she provides the simplest of mental games to restore order and peace. In Do a Verb, she turns your mind and body into coworkers. In Build a Bridge to the Next Day, she shows how to clean your cluttered mind overnight. To Tharp, sustained creativity begins with rituals, self-knowledge, harnessing your memories, and organizing your materials (so no insight is ever lost). Along the way she leads you by the hand through the painful first steps of scratching for ideas, finding the spine of your work, and getting out of ruts into productive grooves. In her creative realm, optimism rules. An empty room, a bare desk, a blank canvas can be energizing, not demoralizing. And in this inventive, encouraging book, Twyla Tharp shows us how to take a deep breath and begin!

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