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Personal growth: Eric Hoffer on the essentials of creativity September 22, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Development and Creativity, The Creative Process.
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Eric Hoffer writes that “…tinkering and playing, and the fascination with the nonessential were a chief source of the inventiveness which enabled man to prevail over better-equipped and more purposeful animals.”

He describes earliest “man” as “the only lighthearted being in a deadly serious universe,” a universe whose other living creatures were driven by a “grim purposefulness.”

Hoffer takes this further in his frequent assertion that the essential driver of human creativity is playfulness rather than high purpose.

“It is a juvenile notion that a society needs a lofty purpose and a shining vision to achieve much…one must be ignorant of the creative process to look for a close correspondence between motive and achievement in the world of thought and imagination,” he states.

If Hoffer is right, it makes one wonder then, if being overly serious and having excessively lofty goals in our artistic/creative efforts could actually be hampering our inventiveness, originality, and overall creativity.

Note: Quotations are from Hoffer’s book, Reflections on the Human Condition

– Dennis Mellersh


Personal development: Making progress without breaking bones September 12, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Development Potential.
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In our constant focus on reaching our personal growth potential, we can fall into the trap of self-abortion in the personal growth process.

This can have results totally at variance with our improvement goals.

Such as sometimes forgetting the maxim that our own growth should do no harm to the self-esteem and aspirations of others.

It can be a small thing, such the words and tone we use when explaining a principle to someone who is not yet beyond the beginner stage in self-improvement.

I believe it was Eric Hoffer who, commenting on an old European proverb, said:

“The tongue has no bones, but it can break bones.”

Words can be more hurtful than we may realize.

— Dennis Mellersh