Creative Confidence Book Summary - Creative Confidence Book explained in key points
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Creative Confidence summary

Tom and David Kelley

Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

4.2 (195 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley is a book that encourages readers to unlock their creativity and unlock their potential. The book provides practical examples, stories, and exercises to help readers boost their confidence and transform their personal and professional lives.

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    Creative Confidence
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 9

    Creativity is about all kinds of imaginative innovation, not just genius masterpieces.

    What is creativity? Is it daubing breathtaking paintings, sculpting Greek icons out of marble slabs or writing sonorous music?

    Great creativity sometimes finds its expression in the fine arts, but it actually has a much broader application. Creativity means simply using your imagination to create something new.

    This broader definition embraces many different aspects of creative work that otherwise go unseen. Not only does it include the work of artists, but also the work of more analytical types, like CEOs or computer programmers.

    Indeed, these analytical types express their creativity whenever they make something new: for example, when the computer programer creates a novel web interface, or the CEO develops a new business strategy.

    When we employ this broader definition of creativity, we discover that we are all born to be creative.

    As young children, we finger-painted and danced around the room. We built tree houses with our own hands and found interesting solutions to the problems we faced.

    Unfortunately, as we grow older, many of us stop acting out our creativity. However, we never actually lose the ability altogether.

    In fact, you can think of your creativity as a muscle that you can train and use to find innovative solutions to problems.

    Even if you haven’t flexed this muscle for a while, it only takes a bit of training and hard work before you can make it strong again.

    Just look at the magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) technician Doug Mietz – very much the analytic type. He struggled to find ways to make children feel safe when they were being scanned in one of these intimidating machines, but with the help of the authors, he was able to train his creative muscle in order to find a solution.

    His imaginative solution involved completely changing the look and designs of these clinical machines to something adventurous, like a pirate ship or a UFO. The kids then saw the experience of getting scanned as an exciting adventure rather than something dreadful.

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    What is Creative Confidence about?

    Creative Confidence shows us the amazing value and impact that creativity has in our everyday lives. In fact, being able to think creatively can increase your happiness and success in both your professional and personal spheres. Luckily, artists and musicians don’t have a monopoly on creativity. With the right techniques and mind-set, anyone can think creatively.

    Creative Confidence Review

    Creative Confidence (2013) by Tom and David Kelley is a book that explores how to unleash our creative potential and overcome the fear of failure. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • Through inspiring stories and real-life examples, the book shows us that creativity is not limited to artists and designers but is a crucial skill for everyone.
    • It provides practical exercises and techniques to help us develop our creative mindset and problem-solving abilities, empowering us to think more innovatively.
    • With its engaging and accessible style, the book keeps us hooked from beginning to end, ensuring that the journey to creative confidence is never boring.

    Best quote from Creative Confidence

    Theres no word in the Tibetan language for creativity. The closest translation is natural.

    —Tom and David Kelley
    example alt text

    Who should read Creative Confidence?

    • Anybody interested in the process of innovation
    • Anybody who wants to rekindle their own creative energy
    • Anybody who wants to change the world for the better

    About the Author

    David Kelley is the founder of IDEO, one of the world’s leading innovation and design firms, as well as the founder of Stanford University’s Institute of Design,

    His brother, Tom Kelley, is also a partner in IDEO, and the author of the bestselling books The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation. In addition, he is an executive fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

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    Creative Confidence FAQs 

    What is the main message of Creative Confidence?

    Unleash your creative potential and overcome self-doubt with Creative Confidence.

    How long does it take to read Creative Confidence?

    Creative Confidence can be read in a few hours. The Blinkist summary takes just 15 minutes.

    Is Creative Confidence a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Creative Confidence is worth reading as it empowers and inspires by showing how creativity can be applied in all aspects of life.

    Who is the author of Creative Confidence?

    The authors of Creative Confidence are Tom and David Kelley.

    What to read after Creative Confidence?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Creative Confidence, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
    • Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman
    • The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova
    • The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Mindset by Carol Dweck
    • Resilient by Rick Hanson with Forrest Hanson
    • The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
    • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
    • Untangle Your Emotions by Jennie Allen