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by Denise Shekerjian

  • ISBN: 0670831530
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Author: Denise Shekerjian
  • Subcategory: Psychology & Counseling
  • Other formats: mbr lit rtf lrf
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin Inc; 1st edition (February 28, 1990)
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • FB2 size: 1343 kb
  • EPUB size: 1609 kb
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 568
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I envy Denise Shekerjian because she had the opportunity to interview 40 recipients of MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

I envy Denise Shekerjian because she had the opportunity to interview 40 recipients of MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. I especially appreciate her somewhat unorthodox but immensely effective approach of weaving portions of the material generated by the interviews within the fabric of the book's thematic framework. These themes include taking on risk, learning through doing, sustaining concentration and drive, and building resiliency.

Start by marking Uncommon Genius How Great Ideas Are Born as Want to Read . Fans of Creativity, Inc. will find this an invaluable companion read. Shekerjian weaves together the themes she has learned by interviewing 40 MacArthur "genius" grant recipients

Start by marking Uncommon Genius How Great Ideas Are Born as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Shekerjian weaves together the themes she has learned by interviewing 40 MacArthur "genius" grant recipients. Each chapter picks up on a characteristic of creative genius and highlights a few thinkers who display or describe this characteristics well.

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By blending conversation and thumbnail biography with snippets of theory, Shekerjian divides the creative .

By blending conversation and thumbnail biography with snippets of theory, Shekerjian divides the creative process-and her book-into three parts. First, and most satisfyingly, she describes what it is like to stay loose enough to let creative ideas pour forth. Interviewing paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, she discovers that the wellspring of creativity is discovering one's particular talent-that which comes so naturally that one doesn't even think of it as a talent The tricky part, Shekerjian discovers, is accepting the risk and the ambiguity of finding the perfect form (""There's only one way it goes together, one best taxonomy, and I knew what it was,"" Gould adds).

by. Shekerjian, Denise G. Publication date.

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Uncommon Genius : How Great Ideas Are Born. by Denise Shekerjian.

How Great Ideas Are Born. About Uncommon Genius. Drawing on interviews with 40 winners of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship-the so-called genius awards -the insightful study throws fresh light on the creative process. Category: Psychology Personal Growth. About Denise Shekerjian. Denise Shekerjian is a writer, author, and attorney. Shekerjian has published two nonfiction books and nearly a dozen literary essays. She also assists clients with memoirs, blogs, resumes, essays, grants, and other nonfiction material. Her writing specialties are the creative. That was the hope, anyway, of Denise Shekerjian when she set out, in this ambitious book, to define the nature and roots of creativity and show ''how great ideas are born

How Great Ideas Are Born. 244 pp. New York: Viking. 'Ideas come when they want,'' Friedrich Nietzsche said, ''not when I want. That was the hope, anyway, of Denise Shekerjian when she set out, in this ambitious book, to define the nature and roots of creativity and show ''how great ideas are born. Thus ''Uncommon Genius'' doubles as a portrait of the foundation and its inner workings.

a book entitled Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas Are Born by Denise Shekerjian

Recall the RAT example of cottage, Swiss, and cake; if you’ve never heard of cottage cheese, are of Swiss nationality, or are of the unpopular opinion that cheesecake tastes disgusting, then the associative connection between these disparate ideas would be more difficult or perhaps not possible to grasp - here, Jobs likely would recommend to have greater personal experiences to reduce bias and. increase divergent thinking, and to eat more cheese.

Drawing on interviews with 40 winners of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship-the so-called "genius awards"-the insightful study throws fresh light on the creative process. Pages in category "Denise Shekerjian - Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas are Born". This category contains only the following page.

The author interviews forty MacArthur fellows--notable geniuses--and blends their insight with theory to guide the reader in cultivating personal creativity
Reviews about Uncommon Genius How Great Ideas Are Born (7):
Erennge
I envy Denise Shekerjian because she had the opportunity to interview 40 recipients of MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Her purpose was to obtain their thoughts about how great ideas are born, then share the responses with those who read this book. I especially appreciate her somewhat unorthodox but immensely effective approach of weaving portions of the material generated by the interviews within the fabric of the book's thematic framework. These themes include taking on risk, learning through doing, sustaining concentration and drive, and building resiliency.

According to Shekerjian, "What harnesses the idea of vision to the creative impulse is the notion that dreams unleash the imagination. And taking this one step further, where the dream addresses some greater good, there is an even stronger tendency to take risks and make the innovative leaps necessary to accomplish its goals. Limit yourself to your own private world and you've limited your creativity by worrying about how to protect what you've got and how to get what you're missing. Get yourself out of the way in pursuit of some greater good, in response to a strong pull of mission, and you've liberated the mind." (Page 96)

In collaboration with those interviewed, Shekerjian explores with her reader a perilous process through which a vision or insight is developed and refined until becoming a creative achievement, one that reveals "a new measure of human dignity." This process somewhat resembles medieval alchemy. That said, she offers this reminder: "Whether in science or in art, then, the ability to judge that a work is finished is more an act of commitment to the consciousness of the creative process than it is a sign of having expressed the last word." She is an active participant, sometimes resembling (to me, at least) a symphony conductor, other times a choreographer or an anthropologist, organizing and correlating contributions by the uncommon 40 to what becomes a substantial contribution to our understanding of a never-ending process.

Here's my own take on lessons to be learned from Shekerjian and those she interviewed:

o Identify and cultivate strengths to create a "safe haven" for creativity
o Realize that idea generation will be a long engagement
o Challenge risk to overcome fear but pick your spots
o Loosen up, open doors and windows, and be receptive to possibilities
o Share creations with as many other people as possible
o When creating anything, use what's essential, not everything available
o When serving a greater good, what you create is not about you
o Henry Ford: "Whether you think you can or can't, you're right." It's all about perspective.
o Expand horizons and see more, see further, and what's possible increases
o Whatever else the motivation may be, creativity is not driven by ambition for success
o Whatever is created may have a final form but the process doesn't
o Outliers are orphans and aliens who threaten what James O'Toole characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom"
o As Kipling suggests, treat "those twin imposters" -- success and failure -- the same

As I concluded reading Denise Shekerjian's book, I was reminded of an incident that occurred decades ago when I was in graduate school. One of my professors was discussing a French Romantic poet (I think it was Baudelaire) who had been asked for advice on how to write a poem. Long pause. Finally, reluctantly, he replied, "Draw a birdcage and leave the door open. Then wait and wait and wait. Eventually, if you very fortunate, a small bird will fly in...then erase the cage." Some of those interviewed create works of art. Others perform works of art. And still others (they are several in this book) whose lives have enriched humanity with decency and compassion, lives I view as works of art. However different all of them may be in most respects, however, they share this in common: Their creative achievement reveals "a new measure of human dignity."

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out David Shenk's The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent and IQ, Bruce Nussbaum's Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire, and Keith Sawyer's Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity. If you really want to put some white caps on your gray matter, read Gerald Edelman's Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On The Matter of The Mind.
Cordalas
"How are creative people able to look at the same thing as everybody else but see something different?" Denise Shekerjian relying on interviews with forty MacArthur Foundation Fellowship winners tries to answer this in "Uncommon Genius." The Fellows, all having demonstrated creative genius across a variety of pursuits, provide a glimpse inside their own experience with the creative process.

"All were driven, remarkably resilient, adept at creating an environment that suited their needs, skilled at honoring their own peculiar talents instead of lusting after an illusion of self, capable of knowing when to follow their instincts, and above all, magnificent risk-takers, and unafraid to run ahead of the great popular tide."

This is a great read for both those who have already embraced their creative potential as well as for those who have not. Shekerjian surfaces the common threads of attitudes and behaviors that foster creativity. Creatives can use this book to build on the "why" of their creativity with confidence.

For those interested in developing their creative potential, the book eliminates the mystery and lays out the "how" of being creative. But to be successful, one needs to make an "act of faith" in the "act of doing." Shekerjian's "doing" includes:

1. Find your talent.

2. Commit to it and make it shine

3. Don't be afraid of risk. Or even failure, which if seen in its proper light, brings insight and opportunity.

4. Find courage by looking to something stronger and better than your puny vulnerable self.

5. No lusting after quick resolutions. Relax. Stay loose.

6. Get to know yourself; understand your needs and the specific conditions you favor.

7. Respect, too, your culture. We can't, any of us, escape the twenty-first century. It's tucked up around our collective chin as snugly and as firmly as the bedsheet.

8. Then, finally, break free from the seductive pull of book learning and research and the million other preparatory steps that could delay the entire span of a life and immerse yourself in the doing.

"Uncommon Genius' is written in an easy, engaging style. I had a difficult time putting the book down. And I will be unable to lend my copy out...as I have ruined it for others with my many notations, and highlights.
Ganthisc
The author of this book tracked down and interviewed 40 recipients of the McArthur "genius award." This award is a cash grant given to creative people in many different fields; it enables them to work on, or not work on, whatever they please and not have to worry about money.
There was much about the creative process in this book that was new to me. Reading interviews with people who use the process every day is a lot different than reading about creativity in a "how to be creative" book. You get more of a sense of the range of ways people produce outstanding work. Shekerjian introduces us to people who are not only in the arts, but also science, teaching, ecology and conservation, political science, social services, and other fields. Many of these people are extremely quirky, and there's a lesson in that: trying to be like others, and be liked, is not the way to uncover your potential.
Shekerjian's prose is conversational and easy to read. However, at times I found it to be overly flowery and thus distracting. There were many involved descriptions of interview settings, which seemed superfluous. I found myself doing a lot of skimming to get to the core subject matter. On the whole, though, it's a well-written book, by an author who is clearly in love with her subject matter.

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