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Book Review: Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life by Shelley Carson, Ph.D.

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Like a supercomputer adapting to ever-changing environments, understanding subtle patterns and making connections, the human brain is a miracle machine. But it is our creativity that separates us from other species, such as the turtle, which hardly changed at all in over 200 million years

Your Creative Brain shows how to expand the marvelous human brain to move from ordinary problem solving to great creative skill. Author Shelley Carson’s concept of creativity recognizes a creative idea or product needs to be novel or original, and has to be useful or adaptive. We should be able to apply these elements to any aspect of life to increase our productivity and happiness.

Your Creative Brain uses the CREATES model of neuroscience research for improved productivity and mental acuity, which can be presented as:

Connect, Reason, Envision, Absorb, Transform, Evaluate and Stream

So how can this help you? The book includes a lengthy questionnaire to identify your strengths and your preferred brainset. Identifying your preferred pathways to creative ideas can speed up your ability to focus and gain resolution quicker when grappling with problems or seeking new ideas.

There is a subtle preparation stage for the creative process, from gathering general knowledge and acquiring specific skills to problem finding and problem immersion. The incubation of ideas is also important; something we all experience when we’re unable to recall something and then it pops into our head without effort. It serves to prove you can’t force creative ideas.

Much of Your Creative Brain is quite technical, but challenge yourself and you can learn to cultivate a state of flow, or the “stream brainset” to increase your creative and productive moments.

You have to stay with the book to really put these techniques into practice in the real world. The final chapter will help you use your Your Creative Brain to work your way out of everyday problems that impede your productivity.

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