Zig Zag To Creativity

As part of my 2019 project to become a more creative person I have decided to read and report on a book entitled Zig Zag – The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity by Keith Sawyer.

Keith Sawyer is one of the world’s leading scientific experts on creativity. Maybe I chose his book first because I believe very much in the scientific method. He is an MIT graduate who has worked in several different fields and is now a Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The other reason for choosing him is that he writes in a clear easy to read manner.

The very first paragraph of the book is shown below. It struck me as being a fundamental issue when it comes to creativity.

Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. But creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people’s lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure.
–Stephen Covey

The quote says “ineffective people”, I think I would change that phrase to “lazy people stuck in ruts”. I have always realized that part of my problem with not being as creative as I would like, came down to laziness. I just didn’t want to put in the work to make it happen. As mentioned, we all get bursts of creativity from time to time, some of us more often than others, but being creative when you might not want to takes effort. I am very much looking forward to how this book helps me get off my butt.

The quote says that my “spirit of adventure” should make me more creative. Embracing change, which is one of my 10 Pillars of Life, so I hope I have the spirit Mr. Sawyer is talking about. I think I do, but I probably need some help in the “personal security” area.

Taking chances seems to come pretty naturally to me for at least the last decade or so. But I do realize that has not always been the case. Since the very definition of creativity is about taking chances on something unproven and new, I hope my newly found courage to face it helps in the project.

As I found from two-thirds of my life, taking the safe road is always easier but not as satisfying as being a more creative person. I am looking forward to finding new adventures in this new endeavor.

Next week I hope to get past the first page of Zig Zag. 🙂

Creativity Quote of the Day


I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.Jack London

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I was introduced to Jack London very early in my life. At the age of eleven, I couldn’t even imagine the world he was describing to me. He went on to be the first American author to become very rich from his writing.

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