How to Be, Do, or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anyone can be taught how to be, do or have whatever they want (within reason), contends consultant and personal coach Boldt in this extensively revised and updated version of his Manifest Your Destiny: Life Planning with a Punch (1984). Employing the same approach as in his 1991 classic, Zen and the Art of Making a Living, he offers a mix of inspiration, philosophy and how-to in a step-by-step format that entails creating a vision, committing to it, following through and periodically evaluating one's progress. Rooting his concepts in common sense and clear language, Boldt illustrates them with bracing quotations, graphics, related questions and exercises (including examples of how Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo might have responded to them). As in his other books, readers can dive into the chapters in any order that dovetails with their goals, skills and interest level. Those familiar with Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way books will find Boldt's daily log and "manifestation journal" familiar, while those who have read widely in the genre will find his approach to topics like visualization, overcoming fear, and sharpening one's focus and decision making reminiscent of Barbara Sher's Wishcraft, Susan Jeffers's Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580083089
  • Publisher: Random House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Creative Life: Yours for the Taking

Every child is born a genius.


Is it really possible for you to be, do, or have anything? Can you, in fact, create what you want in life? Once you have mastered the secrets of the creative process revealed in this book, you will be able to create virtually any outcome you desire. Of course, there are limits on what any one person can realistically do or accomplish in a lifetime. Yet the boundaries of these limits extend so far beyond what we typically imagine we can do, as to deserve little more than mention. What Thoreau said of the human race applies equally to us as individuals: "Man's capacities have never been measured, nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedent, so little has been tried."

    It is a fundamental premise of this book that we are all innately creative creatures. Simply put: To be human is to be creative. Yet in order for you to take full advantage of your innate creative abilities, it is vital that you see yourself as a creative person. In studies designed to uncover the critical variables that predict creativity—what makes one person more creative than the next—researchers looked at IQ, socioeconomic background, education, and a host of other factors. They were surprised to discover that the only variable that correlated with creativity—the only variable that could reliably predict whether or not an individual would demonstrate creative ability—was the individual's belief that he orshe was a creative person. People who believe they are creative actually are more creative than others.

    The first step, then, to unleashing your creative power is to accept—no—to affirm and celebrate that you are a creative person. Unfortunately, many of us (it is probably safe to say most) do not see ourselves as naturally creative. We often fail to recognize and appreciate our innate creative capacities because we hold limiting concepts about ourselves and about what it means to be creative. Many of us have come to believe that creativity is the exclusive domain of professional artists. Writers, dancers, painters, musicians, actors, and the like—these are creative people. For the rest us, creativity is something we are to admire from a distance, not something we are to know and live with as an immediate and familiar part of our daily existence.

    In most cultures, including our own Western European culture prior to the eighteenth century, all of the practical arts of everyday living were considered equal in significance to what are today called the "fine arts." Before the era of machine manufacture, all of the practical arts from candlestick making to printing, from furniture making to blacksmithing and a host of other activities were recognized as vehicles through which individuals could express their innate creative abilities.

    Whatever your vocation or calling in life, you can express yourself creatively through it. Moreover, opportunities for creative expression are not limited to your career. Whether you want to improve your personal relationships, furnish a new home, plant a garden, or cook a meal, you have the opportunity to express yourself creatively or to resign yourself to the tired habits of routine. Beyond the increased joy and beauty that specific applications of your creativity bring, your whole attitude toward life changes when you come to recognize that you have creative control of it. You come to recognize that you are the master of your own destiny.

    The creative process is not something special or mysterious. This book will outline a simple, step-by-step formula that anyone can use to gain creative mastery in his or her life. One of the important things we will discover along the way is that developing creative power is simply a matter of gaining conscious, deliberate control over what are more typically automatic and unconscious processes. Gaining creative mastery is not so much a matter of doing different things as it is of becoming more aware of what we are already doing, and doing it more consciously and deliberately.

    We can define creativity as "the process of bringing into form, ideas or ways of living that either previously did not exist at all or did not exist for an individual or group of individuals." Throughout this book, the term manifestation will be used to indicate the creative process. In this context, manifestation means "the process though which thoughts come to take concrete form in the physical world." Another definition of the word manifestation is "a materialized form of spirit." People in many traditional cultures throughout the world viewed the whole of the universe in just this way. They experienced the natural world as "a materialized form of spirit." They recognized that their own spiritual, mental, and emotional energies had a profound impact on the environment in which they lived. They understood that their thoughts and feelings played a critical role in creating their experience.

    Throughout the nineteenth, and most of the twentieth, century, mainstream science rejected the natural philosophy of traditional cultures as mere superstition. Today, many people have come to recognize that traditional cultures have a great deal to offer in the quest to understand the nature of reality. Science, too, is coming to recognize that we cannot separate the spiritual, mental, and emotional from the physical. Research in the field of medicine in particular is helping us to better understand the complex nature of these relationships. In recent years, a host of studies have confirmed the role that thoughts, feelings, and life attitudes play in physical health. For example, the immune system, the body's first line of defense against disease, has been shown to be directly affected by our mental outlook and emotional state. These seeming intangibles actually alter our biochemistry.

    If thoughts and feelings play an important role in creating health and illness, it is safe to assume that they play an equally vital role in shaping the entire range of our experience. By learning to gain mastery over our thoughts and feelings, we can take creative control of our lives and begin to actively shape our destinies. We can channel energies that are currently being wasted or scattered, and focus them into a determined effort to realize the life of our dreams.

    Today, in an era of corporate down-sizing and increased environmental awareness, we hear a great deal about waste: wasted time, wasted money, wasted natural resources. Yet the greatest waste is unrealized human potential—the love, talent, and innate abilities within countless millions that never find their true expression. Above all, this is the waste we must address. This book is written in the hope of providing you with inspiration and information that will help you to realize your destiny and fulfill your dreams. Never for a moment underestimate what you can be or accomplish. The call to greatness, the challenge to be all we are, goes out to all of us.

    In studying the lives and writings of the greats of history, be they artists, scientists, humanitarians, or exceptional political leaders, I have found a profound, almost uncanny consistency in their thoughts and attitudes toward life as well as in their belief in their own creative powers. Virtually without exception, and regardless of their personal backgrounds or the fields in which they excelled, they had somehow intuited or learned what I have come to recognize as universal principles of creative manifestation. Now, you too will have access to these principles, and with them, the keys with which to unleash your own creative powers. The rest of this book is devoted to revealing these principles and assisting you in making them come alive in your own life.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Chapter 1 The Creative Life: Yours for the Taking 1
Chapter 2 The Manifestation Formula: Understanding the
Creative Process 5
Chapter 3 Finding Balance: The Key to Personal
Fulfillment 17
Chapter 4 Vision: Opening to a World of Possibilities 29
Chapter 5 The Vision of the Artist: Introspection 45
Chapter 6 The Vision of the Scientist: Observation 67
Chapter 7 Focus: Developing Your Powers of Concentration 87
Chapter 8 Decision Making: Establishing Your Priorities 105
Chapter 9 Motive Testing: Listening to Your Heart 127
Chapter 10 Goal Setting: Fixing Your Destinations 141
Chapter 11 Desire: Creating Lasting Motivation 161
Chapter 12 See It: Visualization 175
Chapter 13 Believe It: Affirmation 191
Chapter 14 Receive It: Act with Expectation 209
Chapter 15 Value It: Reward Your Progress 229
Chapter 16 Commitment: Going the Distance 249
Chapter 17 Discipline: Mastering Distraction 263
Chapter 18 Daring: Overcoming Fear 285
Chapter 19 Diplomacy: GainingCooperation 311
Chapter 20 Detachment: Learning to Grow 335
Beyond Commitment 357
Appendix 365
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