Customer Reviews for

Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2014


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  • Posted September 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Scientific Look At Creativity That Leaves The Reader Asking, "How?"

    In Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions, Eric and Ann Maisel suggest that obsessing over an idea can be healthy, if the idea is related to creativity. Based in psychology, Brainstorm suggests that we waste too much time and energy on unproductive thoughts, and if we force those thoughts out of our brains while at the same time focusing on creative ideas, the possibilities are endless.

    Brainstorm is highly theoretical in that it very frequently discusses human potential in ideas and concepts that seem very possible. However, it offers little to no practical application of the concepts. The book's ideas are primarily demonstrated by quotes from individuals who have participated in the Maisels' productive obsession groups, but very frequently is there any explanation as to how any of these individuals achieved their results.

    The most practical help within the book are the chapters on determining what is productive versus non-productive and how to choose a productive obsession that is worthy of your heart's strongest desires. Each chapter concludes with a real-life example of a creative individual, famous or not, who succeeded in conquering the boundaries and bringing new ideas to fruition.

    Another important chapter in the book explains to the reader that creativity is not necessarily about the end product by rather about appreciating the journey along the way. Focusing too heavily on the end product can impede the natural twists and turns that creativity takes along the way. Perhaps the end product will be quite different from what the individual set out to initially create. And perhaps it will be much more extraordinary.

    Without the practical application explaining just how to get to these stages of creative awakening, the book leaves the reader saying something along the lines of, "That's great, and I believe what the authors are saying. But how do I get there?"

    The book is also based in science rather than spirituality. So those creative types who believe creativity is strongly linked to a higher power or creative flow of energy in the universe may find this book dry and unemotional. For most artists and creative types, the emotion that comes with creativity is one of the highlights of the journey. Thinking of creativity as strictly scientific without any divine intervention impedes the artist and leaves him asking, "Then what's the point?"

    Brainstorm is worth reading and adding to a library of books on creative inspiration. However, it is much less inspiring than other books, like The Artist's Way, for example. For practical examples and real-life how-to exercises, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron would be much more worthwhile investment, as it truly helps someone get out of a creative slump, deal with the issues related to blocked creativity, and move forward into a creative existence.

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    Brainstorm can help you find fulfillment

    Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions by Eric and Ann Maisel.

    Right away, the authors make a big promise. "If you take my suggestions and accept my challenges, you'll embark on a journey more amazing than any you could contrive by land, sea or air." Does the book deliver? I say yes. The book shows how using the power of "productive obsession" can overcome internal resistance and enable you to use the power of your brain to live more fully and do more.

    Productive obsessions stir up the mind. You choose your PO to match your desires, dreams, goals and ambitions; one that taps into your natural abilities, interests and talents. And dream big, stretch your horizons and go all out by allowing your brain to explore the ideas and projects that have habitually been pushed aside. This will lead you to find fulfillment and purpose and thus experience a greater sense of well-being.

    Chapters are short. The book is a quick read and organized to show how the PO process works while including real-life examples using testimonials from groups of participants who allowed their brains to following a nagging, recurring need. Overall, their end results trend toward fulfillment in the form of tangible results and increased happiness. The exercise of productive obsessing opened a new world of possibilities enabling participants to express their authentic selves.

    If you can get past the initial chapters which delve into the study of psychology and give some context for the scientific basis of the book, then you'll be able to finish the book. If it weren't for this and the odd chapter criticizing public school education, I'd give the book five stars. I found them distracting and of little value to the overall theme and tone.

    Bottom line: This book is about being authentic which leads to happiness. If you have a passion for cultivating daisies, cooking with red wine, publishing poetry, building a business, writing a thesis, then go ahead, allow your brain to get busy and get happy and go for big and bold expressions of your obsession!

    I recommend the book to anyone who is curious about making more of their life. The authors have created a simple roadmap to guide the reader through this thought- and action-changing plan. Also consult this article in the June 2010 issue of Psychology Today for more insight.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2010

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