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Unthink
Cover of Unthink
Unthink
Rediscover Your Creative Genius
by Erik Wahl
Borrow Borrow
In the tradition of A Whole New Mind and The War of Art, graffiti artist and corporate thought leader, Erik Wahl explores the power of creativity to achieve superior performance.

Somehow we’ve come to believe that creativity is reserved for the chosen few: the poets, the painters, the writers. The truth is creativity is in all of us and re-discovering it is the key to unlocking your fullest potential.

Unthink
pushes us beyond our traditional thought patterns. It will inspire everyone to realize that we are capable of so much more than we have pre-conditioned for. Creativity is not in one special place—and it is not in one special person. Creativity is everywhere and in everyone who has the courage to unleash their creative genius.
In the tradition of A Whole New Mind and The War of Art, graffiti artist and corporate thought leader, Erik Wahl explores the power of creativity to achieve superior performance.

Somehow we’ve come to believe that creativity is reserved for the chosen few: the poets, the painters, the writers. The truth is creativity is in all of us and re-discovering it is the key to unlocking your fullest potential.

Unthink
pushes us beyond our traditional thought patterns. It will inspire everyone to realize that we are capable of so much more than we have pre-conditioned for. Creativity is not in one special place—and it is not in one special person. Creativity is everywhere and in everyone who has the courage to unleash their creative genius.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One 1

    What Was Right About You

    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

    —Pablo Picasso

    Ask a roomful of five-year-olds how many are artists and every hand will shoot up. Ask a roomful of thirty-five-year-olds the same question and you might get one reluctant hand. Why is that?

    The answer to that question begins by understanding who you and I were as children.

    For years studies have shown that you were born with an ability to initiate new ideas and solve problems uniquely. "Children have an inbuilt drive for discovery," explains Tim Seldin, president of the International Montessori Council. "This drive for discovery continues to develop as they grow and become more adventurous in the things that they try out, from making mud pies in the garden to starting a worm farm in the living room. Children are born with marvelous imaginations and a keen desire to explore the world."1 In other words, you were born an artist—an individual with a large capacity to learn, adapt, and develop new ideas and solutions at any moment.

    As a child, your brain thrived off what neurologists call your "right hemisphere"—the part of your brain that's in charge of intuition and creative, social, and visual skill: the part of your brain that embraces new and unconventional ideas, the part that is fascinated by surprise, the part that doesn't need everything to be neat and tidy and perfectly defined in order to find value. As a result, your mind was an ever-looping reel of whys and, more important, why nots. Curiosity was on overdrive. Imagination was rampant. Inspiration was anywhere and everywhere. The world was your canvas and the rules of creation were few if any.

    Young boys turn sticks into swords and fight imaginary battles on a daily basis. They turn gutter streams into mighty rivers on which to sail their paper-made ships. Adventure, imagination, risk—these are hardwired into young boys. The type of toys they have or the locale in which they play doesn't matter either. If a journey beckons, they will find what they need or make it out of anything in reach.

    Boys don't need to be taught to be creative. It pours out of them. And they are not the only ones.

    Young girls transform themselves into ballerinas with lip gloss and any dress that fans with a twirl. Their dolls and stuffed animals become companions on a quest to find their prince and attend the great ball. Or they too venture off into the great unknown—to make the next great discovery, or to find the buried treasure, or to simply explore the outer reaches of their imaginary world.

    For young boys and girls alike, exploration is their daily reality.

    Do you remember when your days were governed by your imagination? You could be whoever or whatever you wanted. You could travel around the world—even beyond the world—at the drop of a thought. There were no rules that said you couldn't or shouldn't because it wasn't time productive. Pragmatism, logic, and even safety did not stand in the way. You were free to sculpt your days into works of art—tangible representations of your unique creativity—filled with joy, enthusiasm, and fulfillment.

    We functioned this way as kids because our worldview was incomplete. To learn and grow, we needed to be mass collectors of information through our various senses. We were learning a language. We were figuring out how to relate to others. We were discovering the laws of physics and learning how to run and jump, and to use our muscles and limbs more efficiently. In short, we were cross-training for the many scenarios life would eventually toss at us in rapid succession. Our primary environment...
About the Author-
  • Erik Wahl is an artist, author, and entrepreneur who has become a catalyst for inspiring professionals to achieve extraordinary levels of performance. Internationally recognized as a thought provoking graffiti artist and one of the most sought-after speakers on the corporate lecture circuit, Wahl’s process of creating “disruptive innovations” in both art and business has led to countless stories of breakthrough success. Wahl’s artwork has raised millions of dollars for charities and can be seen hanging prominently in executive offices around the world. Erik, Tasha, and their three sons live in Southern California.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 22, 2013
    In his thought-provoking first book, graffiti artist, entrepreneur, and corporate lecturer Wahl challenges assumptions about business life and posits creativity and a child-like spirit as the key to career and life success. When the author lost his desk job after the dot-com bubble burst, he assumed life as he had planned it was over. But far from it: the experience forced him to realize that creativity is the key to success in any endeavor, and indeed the only source of groundbreaking ideas. In a revolutionary strategy for a business book, Wahl actually encourages “goofing off”—that is, experiencing unstructured time in order to allow curiosity and spontaneous thinking to develop. In explaining his convictions, Wahl advises readers to be provocative, intuitive, and original in their quest to achieve success in business and in life, sprinkling in examples from companies such as Zappos and the NFL. This strong work offers an uncommon way to realize one’s true calling. Agent: Erin Niumata, Folio Literary.

  • -Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The War of Art and Turning Pro

    "Erik Wahl's UNTHINK is Creative Detox at the highest level. It's a kick in the pants that will send you sailing out of the box -- back to "beginner's mind," to child-like courage, to that place of play where all wonderful work originates. Erik Wahl is a force of nature. UNTHINK is his relentless, playful ethos in a bottle. I love the concept, I love the title. Five Un-Stars!"

  • -Ken Blanchard, bestselling co-author of The One Minute Manager "UNTHINK will catapult you forward to unlock and unleash your creative genius. This thought provoking book is an extension of Erik Wahl's electrifying keynote performance that will inspire you grow your dreams and challenge your traditional thought patterns to achieve excellence in both business and in life."
  • -Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Whole New Mind, Drive, and To Sell Is Human "Erik Wahl has made creativity his life's study. In the pages of UNTHINK, you'll find inspiration for your own creative journey. Even better, you'll discover that you won't have to travel far -- the answers are all around you."
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