Review: Clearing Your Mind for Creativity – John Kao

Several weeks ago, my friend at work was tauting that he had gotten this book for the Amazon Kindle iPad app over the weekend and it was a quick read.  I had my doubts, so I found it – downloaded it and here I am on a Boeing 737 bound for Los Angeles having just finished the quick little read.

Clearing Your Mind for Creativity by John Kao was written to help Harvard students open their minds to new ideas.  Often times our minds get trapped on a roundabout with no visible exit.  John wanted to help his students release their minds by diverting their thought process.

Here are five key nuggets:

  1. Change the Subject – if you are trying to design a building and having a mental block discuss art or photography to drop you back into that creative mind
  2. Shock the Familiar – move to something that is unfamiliar – magazines & newspaper outside of your comfortable genre can help bring creativity
  3. Future Thought – imagine what the future might look like – not necessarily five years in the future, but fifty years in the future.  Brainstorming is an active way to engage your mind in new ideas.

This book is a good reminder for anyone who needs to reset their creative mind.  The mind gets jumbled with all the process and “to-do” lists that we often forget to stop and relax.  By relaxing, the brain is given permission to breathe and re-charge.  For me, this will be a good quick study to come back to when I find myself banging my head against wall, because I can't get all furniture into a designated space.

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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