Seven Secrets to Unleashing Your Creative Genius by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman


According to Kaufman you need to create a space where you can discover things about yourself, and that is most likely to happen when you leave yourself open to new experiences. And what exactly does that mean?  At the core it’s ” the drive for exploration and curiosity, and the constant temptation to get outside your comfort zone and embrace the unknown, ” Kaufman explains.  “In your everyday life you could be open to new experiences in any moment.  Try as best as you can to keep your prior stereotypes and anxieties to yourself and try not to impart them into the world. Try to see things as they truly are and be curious about everything. Be curious about ANYTHING.


Seven Secrets to Unleashing Your Inner Genius by Dr. Scott Kaufman

3. Break Beyond IQ

“Standard ways of thinking about intelligence leave out the whole person,” says Kaufman. “They leave out the passions or the values that one holds, the personal goals and dreams that someone has and  what they want to achieve, as opposed to  imparting a certain task on the person.”Frank X. Barron , a psychologist who pioneered the study of creativity in the 1960s, broke away from the longtime assumption that intelligence was the essential trait of highly creative people.  Scientists now agree with Barron that to understand creativity , you need to look beyond the IQ test. ” There’s this traditional notion of intelligence solely comprising  cognitive information processing , like we’re robots, our ability to problem-solve abstract information,” says Kaufman. “But I do think that’s a hindrance, because intelligence is moe broadly an adaptation to our environments, and the creative thought processes that come into play are so connected to being able to adapt to any environment, not just for abstract information that is derived from your everyday life.


I teach drawing and design and one of the first sketchbook assignments I give to the students is to pick a shape and draw it 50 times 50 different ways. This gets their imagination flowing and allows them to address different design concepts we’ve discussed; line,value,variety , etc.

I myself engage in this exercise often, making a several variations of a shape . I have posted the many variations on a shape….. there are definitely more I could come up with.. color being an additional aspect I have even touched yet. try it yourself with a shape of your own choosing.

Do you see the basic shape I started with and it’s variations throughout all the sketches?

Seven Secrets to Unleashing Your Inner Genius by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

  1. Don’t force inspiration..   Sometimes you have a deadline that compels you to be creative, or task that requires some imaginative elements.  But focusing on goal-driven production may backfire.  “Inspiration is not something willed. It’s hard to wake up in the morning and say , “I’m going to be inspired today.” The more you try to force it , the less likely you are to start. , you need to create a space for people to discover things about themselves.   -Dr.Barry Kaufman 

I like these words….!

DESIDERATUM –  something wanted or needed.

ORENDA –  a mystical force  present in all people that empowers them to affect the world or to effect changes in their own lives.

QUERENCIA – a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you find your most authentic self.



” I have no  special talent,” Einstein once wrote to a friend, “I am just passionately curious.” Leonardo actually did have special talents, as did Einstein, but his distinguishing and most inspiring trait was his intense curiosity. He wanted to know what causes people to yawn, how they walk on ice in Flanders, methods for squaring a circle, what makes the aortic valves close, how light is processed in the eye and what that means for the perspective in a painting.  He instructed himself to learn about the placenta of a calf, the jaw of a crocodile, the tongue of a woodpecker, the muscles of a face, the light of the moon and the edges if shadows. Being relentlessly and randomly curious about everything around us is something that each of us can push ourselves to do, every waking hour, just as he did.

from the book, LEONARDO da VINCI  by Walter Isaacson 2017


Not everything needs sharp lines. The 15th. century of Leonardo and Columbus and Gutenberg was a  time of invention ,exploration, and the spread of knowledge by new technologies.  In short, it was a time like our own.  That is why we have much to learn from Leonardo.  His ability to combine art, science, technology, the humanities and imagination remains an enduring recipe for creativity.  So, too, is the ease with which he was a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily  distracted and at times heretical.  Florence flourished in the 15th century because it was comfortable with such people.  Above all, Leonardo’s relentless curiosity and experimentation should remind us of the importance of instilling in both ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but also a willingness to question  it – to be imaginative and , like talented misfits and rebels in any era, TO THINK DIFFERENT

from the book, Leonardo , by Walter Isaacson 2017


Leonardo was not blessed with the ability to formulate math equations or abstractions.  So he had to visualize them, which he did with his studies of proportions, his rules of perspective, his method for calculating reflections from concave mirrors and his ways of changing one shape into another of the same size. Too often, when we learn a formula or a rule- even one so simple as the method for multiplying numbers or mixing a paint color- we no longer visualize how it works. As a result, we lose our appreciation for the underlying beauty of nature’s laws.

The Science of Creativity –