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UnThink – Erik Wahl

Full knowledge and creativity are inversely proportional. As one goes up the other goes down. That's a key point Erik Wahl makes in this insightful read. Throughout UnThink, Wahl focuses on how to re-engage our creative sides, that side so many of us have been told to tone down or hide from others so that we fit in. Well, it's time to put those old words aside and become our true selves, letting our creativity take center stage. Wahl discusses his own creative evolution, from a PR exec to a graffiti artist and sought after speaker. During his 60 minute presentations, Wahl creates art, often a portrait of someone significant to the audience. He challenges us to recapture the creativity we have inside and use that to propel us forward. Wahl points out that the more detailed information people have about a problem or issue, the less creativity they use to develop a solution. While you'd think it'd be the other way around, the more information you have the better the solution, Wahl gives us insight why the opposite is true. He calls upon the life of Albert Einstein, who made his brilliant discovery (the theory of relativity) early in his career. The more Einstein learned, the fewer insightful, creative contributions he made. When he didn't have all the answers, his creativity took hold. The more he knew, the less creativity came through. Think about how that has happened to you in your life. Have you faced a situation at work and as your creativity starts to come through, you stop it with immediate thoughts of "they won't like that" or "that won't work" or "legal/compliance won't let that through." So we stop being creative, we stop dreaming and we lose potentially great solutions because we thought too much and shut ourselves down.

Check out the book UnThink, and get reacquainted with the power of your creativity. Think about these two quotes: "My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso."

— Pablo Picasso

"In school, I was told to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy.' They told me I didn't understand the assignment. I told them they didn't understand life."

— John Lennon


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