• Being Smarter Than Others

    Being Smarter Than Others

    One of the many inspiring quotes by Steve Jobs is this: “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” But Jobs also recognized he was […]

  • The Eudaimonic View of Happiness

    The Eudaimonic View of Happiness

    “Acting is what I love to do. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t think of it as work. It’s really fun for me.” Dakota Fanning has also said, “It’s fun to know what I want to do – you know, when I grow up. I have friends who say, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll […]

  • Too Much Perfectionism

    Too Much Perfectionism

    “Were it not for perfectionism, we would be in short supply of all those myriad human activities we deem extraordinary, excellent, outstanding or great in quality.” Psychologist Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D. continues: “Once upon a time perfectionism was perceived not as neurosis, but rather as a sign of commitment, caring, and devotion to one’s work…” […]

  • The King's Speech, identity and personal growth

    The King’s Speech, identity and personal growth

    Who we think we are – or are not – so often impacts what we consider possible for us and what we actually do with our talents and creative passions. Director  Jane Campion earlier in her life commented, “I never have had the confidence to approach filmmaking straight on. I just thought it was something […]

  • Can Depression Help Us To Be More Creative?

    Can Depression Help Us To Be More Creative?

    “Though my dark side is dormant right now, it continues to play a big role in whatever capacity I have to be creative.” Jessica Lange said of her depression years ago that “it was really a tough one. And when I came out, I felt like I had gone through something and come out the […]

  • Self Care For Your Creative Life

    Self Care For Your Creative Life

    Why bother with self care? Aren’t we busy enough just trying to keep up with complex lives and be creative and successful? Taking steps to stay replenished with energy and positive attitude helps keep us healthy and productively creative. “The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able […]


Peter D. Kramer on normality and mental health

Peter D. Kramer on normality and mental health

Being exceptional is by definition to be out of the ordinary, not normal in some notable ways, and according to some common standards of behavior or values. Processing information much faster, for example, or being able to generate many more creative and unusual ideas than most people, or being highly sensitive. Looking in a direction […]

Nurturing creativity in solitude

Musician Ani DiFranco produced her album, “Educated Guess,” entirely on her own. An interviewer asked, “Your approach, your energy on the current tour and on the new album seem different. Why is that?” DiFranco: “The difference is solitude. I have it in my life now, and I didn’t for years, at all… now I’m alone […]

Letting Go of Perfectionism

Letting Go of Perfectionism

“We are constantly bombarded with perfection.” This is a poster for the movie “Closer” (2004) with Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen, directed by Mike Nichols. Flawless faces – probably airbrushed. Owen has been a powerful image and personality to me in all his films I’ve seen – a mensch, someone of strong […]

Our potential for evil and malevolent creativity

Our potential for evil and malevolent creativity

Megamind: “All men must choose between two paths. Good is the path of honour, heroism, and nobility. Evil… well, it’s just cooler.” Psychologist Rollo May explains the classic Greek conception of the “daimonic” or darker side of our being (unlike the demonic, which is merely destructive) is “as much concerned with creativity as with negative […]

Morty Lefkoe on personal growth without needing positive beliefs

Morty Lefkoe on personal growth without needing positive beliefs

Do we need to create new beliefs? By Morty Lefkoe ReCreate Your Life “The Lefkoe Method is very effective at eliminating negative beliefs. But why don’t you replace them with positive beliefs?” This is a very common question so I decided to devote this week’s post to answering it. For many years we did attempt […]

What about being happy?

What about being happy?

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” Robert Louis Stevenson The sort of glee that we appreciate in babies is only one sort of being happy – there are a wide range of related feelings and experiences, including cheerfulness, contentment, exuberance, pleasure, optimism, prosperity, vivacity, passion, well-being. The […]

Self esteem and actors - low self confidence

Self esteem and actors – low self confidence

Many creative people report feeling incompetent, inadequate and having low self esteem at times. But there are ways to shift those feelings. A number of film actors report they don’t watch their own movies. When you can be seen in close-ups on twenty foot high theater screens, it may be especially hard not to criticize […]

On Meaning: The Silver Lining of The Recession

On Meaning: The Silver Lining of The Recession

By Laura Berman Fortgang –  Human beings have often engaged in the search for meaning, but today’s economic downturn has brought the subject to light in a new way. People are re-evaluating whether their financial power to accumulate possessions and wealth is the only determining factor of their happiness and success. Some are being forced […]

Katie Freiling: Unleash Your Creative Genius

Katie Freiling: Unleash Your Creative Genius

Entrepreneur Katie Freiling notes, “Your business is your art… And you are the artist, the creator. “Everything you do as an entrepreneur, whether it’s writing, speaking, coming up with innovative ideas, etc… is sourced from your creativity. “Unfortunately, many of us have lost our connection to this infinite source of creativity within us… and it’s […]

Dancing With Our Unconscious

Dancing With Our Unconscious

Being creative and realizing our talents involves self-awareness and respecting who we really are, including our unconscious depths. In an interview about her film “Flightplan,” Jodie Foster commented, “When you’re a dramatic actor you look for films that hit you in the gut, in this unconscious place that really moves you, and then you can’t […]

The Secret and spirituality

The Secret and spirituality

In his article The “Secret” Is Really No Secret At All, Dennis Merritt Jones, DD says “There is, without question, a spiritual element that is infused in the Law of Attraction that is no secret. “Buddha certainly knew the power of the Law of Attraction, when, in the Dhammapada, he is quoted as saying, ‘Our […]

 Challenging stereotypes of giftedness: What Makes You Gifted?

Challenging stereotypes of giftedness: What Makes You Gifted?

I used to think I couldn’t be gifted because I didn’t fit my image of gifted people: geniuses, successful, ambitious, confident, comfortable with themselves and basking in adulation. I figured because my personality often elicited criticism from others it meant I was hopelessly inadequate and flawed. Surely not gifted. But what really makes us gifted? […]

Myths Of Creativity in Business

Myths Of Creativity in Business

In a Fast Company magazine article a few years ago, Bill Breen addressed business creativity and innovation in the workplace and asked, “What can leaders do to sustain the stimulants to creativity — and break through the barriers?” He outlined a number of myths related to developing creativity that psychologist Teresa Amabile (Harvard Business School) […]

Are you too intense?

Are you too intense?

Mia Wasikowska portrayed an emotionally intense teen gymnast in the psychotherapy drama series “In Treatment.” She has commented, “As a teenager I was very anxious. I had a lot of energy and passion that I wanted to channel into creative things, and I always felt like I wasn’t achieving enough.” [From my post Mia Wasikowska […]

Developing Creativity Daily

Developing Creativity Daily

This is a new version of my newsletter – now published as a daily to include many more of my posts. You can read it online in a larger format, and subscribe at: Developing Creativity Daily ~~~~ Originally posted 2013-07-13 11:53:54.

Our developed minds can be dismissive

Our developed minds can be dismissive

The image is food critic Anton Ego from the movie Ratatouille [video clip]. I was reminded of the stuffy and dour character while reading Laura Berman Fortgang’s The Little Book on Meaning, and her reference below to “high analytical ability.. often black-and-white thinkers.. Quick to decide what is good and what is bad..” I know […]

Creative Development: Actively Caress Wonder. Play.

Creative Development: Actively Caress Wonder. Play.

“An artist must actively caress wonder: for fascination, like the desire to play, can be eradicated by the rigors of living.” Eric Maisel “There is a myth, common in American culture, that work and play are entirely separate activities.” That is a quote by Laura Seargeant Richardson, a principal designer at frog design, who “specializes […]

Do you have expertise to share?

Do you have expertise to share?

By Phillip Mountrose and Jane Mountrose Many gifted individuals have expertise to share and this may include you. The issue is how to make your expertise into a profitable business. Experts Academy with Brendon Burchard solves this problem. His goal is to turn you into a generously paid expert. As we all know, there are […]

Developing Creativity: Excitabilities - Our Teeming Brains

Developing Creativity: Excitabilities – Our Teeming Brains

What are Excitabilities? One of the key concepts of Polish psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski, MD, PhD (1902 – 1980) is that individuals with strong “overexcitabilities” are good candidates for higher level development. Stephanie Tolan, a writer and advocate for extremely bright children, notes the original Polish word for psychiatrist Dabrowski’s concept of overexcitabilities or […]

Too Much to Contain - Intensity and Creativity

Too Much to Contain – Intensity and Creativity

Joss Whedon (writer, producer, director: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, The Avengers etc) received the 2009 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism from Harvard. In his acceptance speech, he talked about discovering existentialism as a teenager from seeing Steven Spielberg’s movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” “Literally, I just had an epiphany,” Whedon […]

Who is Gifted - Harry, Ron or Hermione?

Who is Gifted – Harry, Ron or Hermione?

By Cat Robson Comparing myself to high achievers in the news makes me want to give up and eat chocolate. But gifted adults, and young people, aren’t just the ones who win awards and get interviewed in the media. In her article Who’s the gifted one: Harry, Ron or Hermione?, excerpted here, Lisa Natcharian examines our […]

Gina Trapani on work and life meaning and old tech

Gina Trapani on work and life meaning and old tech

Gina Trapani is a “Blogger and software developer. Commander in Chief of my one-woman army.” (@ginatrapani profile) In a New York Times interview, she talks about work and purpose, among other topics. [Q. You work at the intersection of good work habits and psychology or self-awareness. What’s a tip-off that a time management or productivity […]

Developing Creativity With Patience

Developing Creativity With Patience

“And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless […]

Stop being run by your feelings

Stop being run by your feelings

By Morty Lefkoe At one point or another, everyone has uttered the words: “I am happy.”  And: “I am upset.” Notice what happens when you say: “I am [something].” You are describing yourself. Any words that follow the statement “I am” is your description of yourself. Moreover, when we say, “I am [something],” it feels […]

More Intelligence, More Creative?

More Intelligence, More Creative?

How do intelligence and creative ability interact? Do we get more creative with more intelligence? Dean Keith Simonton, PhD thinks “Intelligence is purely a cognitive construct. Creativity on the other hand, I see as being much more complex.” Like other writers on creativity, he makes a distinction between “little c creativity” and “big C creativity.” […]

Change comes from awareness - not willpower

Change comes from awareness – not willpower

“If self-improvement worked, it would have by now. Getting where you want to be has everything to do with awareness, and nothing to do with willpower.” Cheri Huber – from Unconditional Self-Acceptance (Audio CD) She is founder and resident teacher at the Zen Monastery Peace Center in Murphys, CA, and the Palo Alto Zen Center. […]

Being brutally honest with ourselves - the basis for self growth

Being brutally honest with ourselves – the basis for self growth

Brigid O’Shaughnessy [Mary Astor]: Help me. Sam Spade [Humphrey Bogart]: You won’t need much of anybody’s help. You’re good. Chiefly your eyes, I think, and that throb you get in your voice when you say things like ‘Be generous, Mr. Spade.’ Brigid O’Shaughnessy: I deserve that. But the lie was in the way I said […]