Creativity on Demand by Michael Gelb


“Practice is the most important element of practice. In other words, “Just do it.” Filmmaker Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” If you show up and practice every day, you will be transformed.” – Michael Gelb
It’s so true – so many people stay on the sidelines watching others take action and becoming successful. They then tell themselves they should’ve done it when they had the chance. Show up day in, day out – you will now be on the path to mastery.


“People with a fixed mindset believe that fundamental abilities like creativity, intelligence, or coordination are predetermined and unchangeable… Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that fundamental abilities like creativity, intelligence or coordination can be developed and improved throughout life.” – Michael Gelb
Another quote that I left out was in regards to the creative mindset: “And mindset is probably the most important influence on our creative ability.” – Michael Gelb
This was a real powerful concept that I learned just over a year ago when I was the president for AIESEC at my university. After learning this concept, I had a new lens of evaluating myself and others. I could quickly see what type of mindsets my team had and work with them accordingly. I was also able to see where I was being closed minded (fixed mindset) and actively work towards expanding my horizon in those areas. I highly suggest you learn more about fixed and growth mindsets if this is the first time you’re hearing about it!


“Step 1: Observe the Voice of Your Fixed Mindset
Step 2: Choose How to Interpret a Situation
Step 3: Answer the Voice of Your Fixed Mindset w/a Voice of Your Growth Mindset
Step 4: Take the Action That Is Based on the Growth Mindset.” – Michael Gelb
I’m interested in digging deeper with each of these steps in the book. Maybe there’s something I’m not doing just yet that can really propel me to become the person I want to be! (or maybe all that’s missing is time)


“Once you realize that you are born to be creative and that you can continue to cultivate your creative energy throughout life, the big question becomes: “What do I want to create?” In order to know what you want to create, it helps to know your purpose.” – Michael Gelb
The PN mentioned that Gelb has a whole exercise in the book that helps us clarify our purpose. I have a rough idea of some of my main values and beliefs, but I haven’t been able to stick it together so I look forward in doing the exercises.


A study was done with 56 people who spent 4-6 days on a nature-experience, disconnected from all electronics. They showed a 50% increase on creativity tests. In fact, a follow up study showed that just spending 3 hours in nature led to a 20% increase in creativity.
I don’t know how they measured this quantitatively, however, I do know that I do feel completely refreshed when I am with nature and have time to myself. It gave me time to think about my own values and how my current path.


“The process of shifting out of a fixed mindset to embrace a creative one will, for most people, generate significant anxiety. Rescuing the creative self that has been held hostage by the fixed mindset, pulling your dreams out of the quicksand of fear, and committing to a more creative life are acts of courage.” – Michael Gelb

My Take Aways

Brian Johnson (the creator of the PN) mentioned that there are 4 main ideas in this book and that he will only cover the first two. But even with that, there was such a vast array of knowledge and concepts that got me excited to pick up this book. One of the really nice things about this book is that this book is about the how as oppose to being very conceptualized. It means that I can take immediate actions upon reading this book. I really look forward to clarifying my purpose, and finding new ways to tackle my fixed mindsets.

If you are interested in digging out your inner creativity, maybe this book would be a good starting point as well. You can buy Creativity on Demand from Amazon here (please note that I will be getting a small amount from Amazon, though it does not affect how much you pay – Amazon just makes less money than if you were to go onto the website yourself). I also suggest you check out the actual Philosopher’s Notes (note they even have courses that consolidate many of the concepts in the books that Brian Joshnson covers and puts them into videos that are really easy to digest). This is the first program that I’ve signed up for and am definitely getting my money’s worth!

What other books have you stumbled across that helps you with accessing your inner creativity?


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