Book Review: Imagine

Ever wonder how people come up with their brilliant ideas? Or how some individuals seem to have endless catalyzing inspirations, while others don’t even contribute to group work?

In his new work, Jonah Lehrer takes on the idea of creativity as a series of insights – insights that can be cultivated and created, not always forced. Using information from several recent case studies, he brings together the use of certain drugs as focusing agents, creating the right environment for inspiration, and a dozen other tools we can use as thinkers and doers to build imagination and creativity into our lives.

Unlike some recent books about insight, creativity, and understanding scientific research, Lehrer uses language that is both accessible and respectful. He doesn’t talk down to the audience, but instead brings the reader to a place of greater awareness by acknowledging where we likely come from (demographically), and also encouraging us to seek out new information and insight on topics we haven’t already researched. Additionally, it’s not all cortices and neurons – this book is both science and practical application.

I watched Mr. Lehrer speak on C-SPAN books one day while cleaning the house. During his lecture, he shared a lot of valuable wisdom and insight, but didn’t seem pretentious. It was then I decided to read this book. Not only are the stories of famous creatives using a variety of techniques to enhance focus and creativity quite fascinating, but the subtly-added real world tips for improving my own creativity and focus filtered into my daily habits before I realized I had begun them.

So what’s the point of all this hard work, if inspiration and insight don’t just happen?


Cultivate your creativity.

If you can do it, why would you not do it?

The ways we explore and develop our focus, our working memory, our inspirations, our shared wisdom – these are the ways we generate more brilliance in the world.

As small business owners, entrepreneurs, and creative people, we rely on each other much more than we know to share the insights, the light-bulb moments, the flashes of brilliance. A friend’s great idea might help you see a new business venture or shift your perspective on a challenge in ways that are profound and real.

Did you know that masking tape was inspired by sandpaper?

It’s true. After reading Imagine: How Creativity Works, I’m so eager to share my ideas and inspirations with my small circle of business colleagues – because who knows what amazing brilliance we can create when working together!

until next month,

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