Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives by Maria Popova

“Modern psychology knows about how belief systems about our own abilities and potential fuel our behavior and predict our success. Much of that understanding stems from the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, synthesized in her remarkably insightful Mindset: The New Psychology of Success — an inquiry into the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives.”

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently By Carolyn Gregoire

"It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self ... Imaginative people have messier minds.” While there’s no “typical” creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here are 18 things they do differently." 

Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind By Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire

“Is it possible to make sense of something as elusive as creativity? Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Revealing the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, along with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire untangle a series of paradoxes— like mindfulness and daydreaming, seriousness and play, openness and sensitivity, and solitude and collaboration – to show that it is by embracing our own contradictions that we are able to tap into our deepest creativity." - Summary from Amazon

Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

"Creativity is about capturing those moments that make life worth living. Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reveals what leads to these moments—be it the excitement of the artist at the easel or the scientist in the lab—so that this knowledge can be used to enrich people's lives. He discusses such ideas as why creative individuals are often seen as selfish and arrogant, and why the "tortured genius" is largely a myth. Most important, he explains why creativity needs to be cultivated and is necessary for the future of our country, if not the world.”



Mastering Creative Anxiety Sharon Quirt speaks with Dr. Eric Maisel 

Eric Maisel, Ph.D is widely known as a creativity expert who coaches individuals and trains creativity coaches through workshops and keynotes nationally and internationally. 

Design Matters with Debbie Millman: Lisa Congdon

In this inspiring interview, writer and designer Debbie Millman speaks with Lisa Congdon about her unlikely path to a flourishing creative career. They discuss how Lisa found her way to illustration, the transition from creating for pleasure to creating for clients, what it's like guiding students through their early creative life, and feeling like an imposter throughout her career, even in moments of success and achievement.  


Your Elusive Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert


In her wildly popular TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) discusses the creative processes of some of the great artist's through history. It's a humorous and relatable look at how we find and channel our muses to fulfill the call to create. She provides some of her practical tips to combat our inner critics and help us tap into our inner resources for a more creative life. It's a lovely talk and Gilbert exudes charisma. 


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (Video summary) by Brian Johnson

"The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.Though it was written for writers, it has been embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, military service members and thousands of others around the world."

Ira Glass on Storytelling (Animation) by David Shiyang Liu 

In this beautiful kinetic typography piece, artist David Shiyang Liu captures writer and host of This American Life Ira Glass's legendary interview on the art of storytelling. A helpful reminder for all creatives but especially beginners to show up every day, do the work, and be patient with yourself. Developing creative skillsets takes time, and there are no shortcuts, but when we give ourselves that time to develop and bridge that gap, the rewards are infinite. If you've seen this video before, now is a great time to watch it again — this is an awesome reminder we all need to hear from time to time. 

 Anything else you'd add to this list? Comment with your suggestions below! 

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Creativity.

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Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.