Dr. Ronald Alexander has a knack for being able to subvert one’s expectations. Look no further than the title of his new book, Core Creativity: The Mindful Way to Unlock Your Creative Self. Normally you’d think a work like the aforementioned would be authored by someone of a more homeopathic or holistic background. But it’s a welcome relief to see someone with that level of professional decorum embracing what is overtaking the postmodernist culture by storm. More and more echelons of thought are being questioned, methodologies considered traditional are being picked apart, and there’s something of a merging between more altruistic forms of thought and the colder, more real world outlooks of terra firma professions.
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As far as Dr. Alexander is concerned, however, the implementation of a creative mindset isn’t just something to shake up routine. It enhances it, the freedom and wandering nature of the right-brain when correctly applied proving beneficial for any individual, in any particular walk of life. “Let’s look more closely at this notion that creative people are lazy and waste time in not actively working. With almost no exceptions, the highly creative people I have met are disciplined.
They pick up an instrument or a paintbrush, get themselves to the dance studio and begin to warm up, set appointments to collaborate with others, and persevere at generating ideas until something comes to them. They have some sort of regular mindfulness practice that quiets the chatter of the analytical brain and awakens the parts of the brain involved in creativity,” he writes. “You might say that when they seem to be doing nothing, they are actually doing something very important: working with the brain and their mind state to prime themselves to experience high levels of creativity.”
The argument in essence is, creative people essentially lead the way in an uncertain time. One need only look at the history of creative works and innovation to see this is true. Consider some of the greatest works of literature – Stein, Hemingway, or Fitzgerald. Or, perhaps, some of the greatest pioneers of cinema, the moving art form – Kubrick, Spielberg, or Cameron to name a few. Much of left-brain thought owes a debt to right-brain innovation. Dr. Alexander is brave enough to articulate this, while never abandoning the tonal and ideological post from which he sits. In doing so, he proves his point through his own, personal example. “…A fixed mind-set is the belief that talent is more important than persevering at building skills.
A growth mind-set is the belief that what matters is working hard and smart toward your goals,” he states on this front. “…If you think about your own potential for transformation and success in achieving new goals, be honest with yourself about your beliefs. Examine them. Do they indicate a fixed mind-set or a growth one? Are you willing to develop a growth mind-set and to be open to greater possibilities for yourself?”
It’s the compassion that is so intriguing, along with the fact Alexander is able to remain neutral, objective, and genuinely insightful with his observations.