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~ CREATIVITY ~

Compiled by Peter Shepherd


“Creativity reduces instinctual tension, it fuses pleasure with reality, and satisfies the libido.” —Peter Shepherd

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” —Richard Buckminster Fuller

“An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.” —Charles Dickens

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” —Henry Ford

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” —Linus Pauling

“You get told that the world is the way it is, but life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact; and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people no smarter than you. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” —Steve Jobs

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and have forgotten the gift.” —Albert Einstein

creativity quote

“Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.” —Jacob Bronowski

“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” —John Kenneth Galbraith

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” —Albert Einstein

“Change cannot be avoided... change provides the opportunity for innovation. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your creativity.” —Felice Jones

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.” —Horace, Roman poet

“Vision without execution is hallucination.” —Thomas Edison

“There are three kinds of people: 1. Innovators. 2. Imitators. 3. Idiots.” —Warren Buffett

“Some people say that dreaming gets you nowhere in life. But I say you can’t get anywhere in life without dreaming.” —Rose Zadra

“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.” —Jules H. Poincare

creativity quote

“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.” —John Schaar

“Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life. Certainly it is worth the risk.” —Leo Buscaglia

“The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question.” —Pierre Abela

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” —Albert Einstein

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” —Ronald E. Osborn

“The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives.” —Louise Hay

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” —T. S. Eliot

“Reason can answer questions, but imagination has to ask them.” —Ralph Gerard

“If we would have new knowledge, we must get a whole world of new questions.” —Susanne K. Langer

“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” —George Bernard Shaw

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” —Henry Ward Beecher

“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” —Copernicus

“A true knowledge of ourselves is knowledge of our power.” —Mark Rutherford

creativity quote

“To assume is to be deceived.” —Yiddish proverb

“High values offer broad vision. Broad vision gives rise to burning desire. Burning desire leads to focused intent. Focused intent stimulates committed action. Then God arranges the details!” —Wallace Huey

“Creativity is a marrying of our values, which determine the field of our endeavor, with our intentions, which draw to us the people, resources and finance. Creative genius values love and service and intends whatever is most urgently required.” —Wallace Huey.

“Creativity gives rise to the limited out of the unlimited, to sanity out of madness, to the valuable out of the priceless, to abundance out of nothingness, to the original out of the familiar and to hope out of despair.” —Wallace Huey

“To create an original work you must become a seer with eyes of spirit, that penetrate an invisible world and see the unformed future, which is the potential birthing place of an innovative product, service, invention or artistic achievement. Then you need to go into labour!” —Wallace Huey

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” —Joseph Chilton Pearce

“If you gave your inner genius as much credence as your inner critic, you would be light years ahead of where you now stand.” —Alan Cohen

“Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations.” —Albert Einstein

creativity quote

“Mastery is not perfection, it is journey, and the true master must be willing to try and fail and try again.” —George Leonard

“To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.” —G. W. F. Hegel

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” —M. Scott Peck

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” —Cyril Connolly

“It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits to our abilities do not exist.” —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“The man who comes up with a means for doing or producing anything better, faster or more economically has his future and his fortune at his fingertips.” —John Paul Getty

“The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.” —Michael E. Gerber

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” —William A. Ward

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“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” —John F. Kennedy

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” —Marcel Proust

“When freedom prevails, the ingenuity and inventiveness of people creates incredible wealth. This is the source of the natural improvement of the human condition.” —Brian S. Wesbury

“Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open. You’re able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others, without being crippled by your own judgment.” —Ralph Marston

“To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard of life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, live, and love.” –Leo Buscaglia

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” —Joseph Chilton Pearce

“When I take on a new problem, I’m not interested in how it’s been done before. I only want to know, of all the constraints people tend to assume, which ones are actually fundamental and which ones are just habit?” –Jeff Bonwick, Sun Microsystems

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” –Alan Cohen

“You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” –Buckminster Fuller

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” —Albert Einstein

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” —Arthur Schopenhauer

“Different is not necessarily better but better is always different.”
—Hugh Lendrum

creativity quote

“Imagination is everything; it is the preview of life’s forthcoming attractions.” —Albert Einstein

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” —George Bernard Shaw

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside awakes.” —Carl Gustav Jung

“No great artists ever sees things as they really are. If he did then he would cease to be an artist.” —Oscar Wilde

“Perhaps the only limits to the human mind are those we believe in.” —Willis Harman

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it... “ —Alan Kay

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” —Mary Lou Cook

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” —Wayne Gretzky

“You can’t depend on your judgement when your imagination is out of focus.” —Mark Twain

creativity quote

“The aspects of a thing that are most important to us are hidden to us because of their simplicity and familiarity.” —Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have run out.” —Chinese proverb

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” —Albert Einsten

“You are the masterpiece of your own life; you are the Michelangelo of your own life. The David that you are sculpting is you.” —Joe Vitale

“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.” —Belva Davis

“Life is creation -- self and circumstances, the raw material.” —Dorothy M. Richardson

“Life in itself is an empty canvas; it becomes whatsoever you paint on it. You can paint misery, you can paint bliss. This freedom is your glory.” —Osho

“”When something exceeds your ability to understand how it works, it sort of becomes magical.” —Jonathan Ive

“God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius.” —Anna Pavlova

“Change cannot be avoided... change provides the opportunity for innovation. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your creativity.” —Felice Jones

“Going against the grain may result in a few splinters, and it may rub a few people the wrong way, but going with it is like forcing your TRUE self to walk the plank!” —David Roppo

“When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.” —Anthony J. D’Angelo

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” —Annette Funicello

creativity quote

“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong.” —Carl Sagan

“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.” —Isaac Newton

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It often takes more courage to change one’s opinion than to keep it.” —Willy Brandt

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” —Margaret Shepherd

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” —Theodore Rubin

“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.” –Paul McCartney

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.” –Albert Einstein

“In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do we ever find them.” –Dr. Joyce Brothers

“Life’s gift to you is your unique vantage point. Your gift to life is expressing from it.” —Alan Cohen

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” —Abraham Maslow

“The deepest longing in the human breast is the desire for appreciation.” —William James

“Intuition is not contrary to reason, but outside the province of reason.” —Carl Jung

creativity quote

“The road to enlightenment is paved with authenticity, not imitation.” —Alan Cohen

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, it’s unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, there is a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice is yours.” —Noam Chomsky

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” —Charles Darwin

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” —Pantanjali

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that remains is a compromise.” —Robert Fritz

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” —T. S. Eliot

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” —Albert Einstein

“If you’re not living on the edge... you’re taking up too much room.” —African Proverb

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
—Goethe

“If life doesn’t offer a game worth playing, then invent a new one.” —Anthony J. D’Angelo

“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.” —Henri Poincare

creativity quote

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.” —WolfgangMozart

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” —George Bernard Shaw

“Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare.” —Japanese proverb

“The impossible is often the untried.” —Jim Goodwin

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” —Alexander Graham Bell

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” —Albert Einstein

“When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.”

“If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.”

“It takes more courage to alter an opinion than to stick with it.”

“Comfort is found among those who agree with you; growth among those who don’t.”

“Pay no attention to critics. No one ever erected a statue to a critic” —Werner Ehrhart

“Everything looks impossible for the people who never try anything.” —Jean-Louis Etienne


“Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

—Steve Jobs, Apple C.E.O.

“When you’re young, you look at most of the programs on television and think, ‘There’s a conspiracy! The networks have conspired to dumb us down!’ But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in the business to make money by giving people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic. You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution!” —Steve Jobs

“Without death there would be very little progress.” —Steve Jobs
To see what he means by this, read Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech at Stanford (June 2005) - a moving and inspirational message from one of my heroes. Also you can watch the video of Steve giving his speech at Stanford.

“You know, we don’t grow most of the food we eat. We wear clothes other people make. We speak a language that other people developed. We use a mathematics that other people evolved... I mean, we’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge.” —Steve Jobs

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with our life. We could be sitting in a monastery somewhere in Japan. We could be out sailing. Some of the team could be playing golf. They could be running other companies. And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it. And we think it is.” —Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” —Steve Jobs

Think different


Famously wrong insights . . .

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” —Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” —Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” —The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

“But what ... is it good for?” —Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968,commenting on the microchip.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” —Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” —Western Union internal memo, 1876.

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” —David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” —A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face not Gary Cooper.” —Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”

“A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” —Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’Cookies.

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” —Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” —Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.” —Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads.

“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.’” —Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.

“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” —1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.

“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” —Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” —Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” —Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” —Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”. —Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon”. —Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.” —Bill Gates, 1981

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” —H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.


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