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One Book – MUST read

One Book – MUST read

In the past several years, I have read several books. Some of them were good while some were very good. Some I would say everyone should read and a very few I would say everyone MUST read. One of the MUST read is Seth Godin’s – Linchpin. This book in no unclear term says how to become indispensable. His definition of an art is worth remembering:

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that create change in another. 

I think art is the ability to change people with your work.  

It further states:

If it’s easy and risk-free, it’s unlikely that it’s art.

I am not talking today about Linchpin, but the MUST book for today is Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley of IDEO. This is a book about igniting creative confidence in all of us (Readers of this book). Yes, every one of us is a creative person. We all are an artist.

The book is a very easy read, full of real-life examples about how a common man can influence his surrounding with a little creative mindset and creative confidence. The author writes;

A creative mindset can be a powerful force for looking beyond the status quo. People who use creative techniques we outline are better able to apply their imagination to painting a picture of tomorrow.    

The creative person is also an artist, but he draws a picture in his imagination beyond the status quo. He sees possibility and potential. The book introduces the science of design thinking.

Design thinking is a methodology. Using it, we can address a wide variety of personal , social and business challenges in creative new ways.

Christoph Meinel and Larry Leifer define  that there are four principles to design thinking:

  1. The human rule – all design activity is ultimately social in nature
  2. The ambiguity rule – design thinkers must preserve ambiguity
  3. The re-design rule – all design is re-design
  4. The tangibility rule – making ideas tangible always facilitates communication

One profound message of the book is a quote from Prof. Carol Dweck (@Stanford):

“Believe that person’s true potential is unknowable; that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil and training.”

Regardless of our initial talent, aptitude or even IQ we can expand our capabilities through effort and experience.      

This is a huge confidence booster. May of us is bogged down with our circumstances be it a degree we have or IQ we are told we possess. We have our own parameters and limitations of what we can do and what is possible for us. Prof. Dweck demolishes that limitation, we live with and we have imposed on us. We all love and inspire to become Steve Jobs. His views from the book are inspiring beyond compare:

Steve Jobs never took the path of least resistance. He never accepted the world “as is”. He did everything with intentionality. No detail as too small to escape his attention.”

The authors write:

Everything in modern society is the result of a collection of decisions made by someone. Why shouldn’t that someone be you?

That you are not limited to only what you have been able to do before.

Creative Confidence and Design thinking can help the practitioners in solving real life problems. It helps to look at the problems more closely and personally. Things usually we ignore or complaint about become the raw material for our thinking process. You become part of the solution from part of the problem. From mere critique to action oriented creative person.

The purpose of introducing this is book through this glimpse is to make every reader a more creative person, shifting him from problem to solution mindset and explore the potential each one of us has.

As quoted by author Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art. (Another MUST read book)

“The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”   

Creative Confidence will help us in pushing this RESISTANCE little further and then a little more. Mostly fear of failure and social shame are the major causes of this RESISTANCE.

To overcome this, the book introduces the term ‘Karaoke Confidence’. Most of us are bad singers, but most of us would like to sing when supported by Karaoke System. Karaoke system instills confidence in novice singers.

Karaoke veteran can tell you…..there is often much appreciation and applause for the noisy but enthusiastic novice. Feeling the genuine support of the audience, that karaoke singer is encouraged to sing again, getting a bit better next time.   

Now to actually get this life-changing creative confidence one has to read the book. One action is better than thousand ideas.

As quoted in the book from Scott Woody, a biophysics PhD candidate;

So many of us lack courage to pursue a new idea or skill, just by taking action you are better off than ninety-nine percent of people.

I have no commercial interest in promoting this book, but I do have an interest in making readers more creative so that the lives they live become more meaningful and the world we live in become easier to deal with.

PS: Earlier in age one reads the book better it is. School going kids are the right age group. Well for others you are already very late so no more procrastination.

PPS: We are living in a sharing economy, so share this post if you like it. Readers will thank you for this.

Sunil Gandhi
Sunil Gandhi

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