Book Review: The Accidental Creative How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice

I finished up The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice, by Todd Henry, recently. I can’t recommend this book enough. My feeling though, is a book of this type can be seen as great or not depending on where you are with your knowledge of the subject at the moment. This one struck (me) while the iron was hot. I had all of the thoughts and feelings floating around in my head, and the book summed them up and articulated them perfectly. It also gave me some actionable advice.

First, the book was very well written and flowed very nicely. There wasn’t much fluff if any at all. It drove home points very directly. I find books that get right to the point easy to read and easy to absorb. I also respect that he cited other sources.

This is the third book on my scatter brain endeavor. All three books point to the same things you must do to gain focus and concentration (be mindful, deliberate, and have purpose). The Accidental Creative’s premise is that when you gain focus and concentration, creativity will follow.

The Accidental Creative in a nutshell revolves around 5 practices (FRESH).

  • Focus – Define your challenges and pick the most important ones to concentrate on.
  • Relationships – Choose your social circles wisely as they influence creativity.
  • Energy – Plan wisely (whole life plans, periodic check ins)
  • Stimuli – Garbage in, garbage out. So choose intellectually stimulating things to enjoy.
    • Create a study plan. Reading list, etc.
    • Have purposeful experiences (cultural, intellectual, etc).
  • Hours – Carve out specific time for purposeful thinking and creative endeavors.

It is no surprise to me that these same themes are mentioned in not only the last 3 books I’ve read, but also in a lot of other resources I’m reading too. I guess what this did for me is drive home the theory that creativity depends on focus and concentration.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m done with my discovery phase. No more reading books on focus, concentration, memory, creativity. It’s time to put the other 40 books on hold while I put things into action.

From The Accidental Creative, I’m going to:

  1. Create a reading list of classic books. And read them (duh).
  2. Go to museums, art shows, etc. with the family.
  3. Come up with a career skills study plan. Define areas/skills where I need to strengthen.
  4. Capture ideas in a journal.
  5. Define and prioritize challenges (work/company and personal).

I’m getting there!!!

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