Getting to Yes, And

Dr. Eric Maisel: The Power of Daily Practice


Dr. Eric Maisel

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Kelly rings in the new year with best selling author and creativity coach Dr. Eric Maisel to discuss his book The Power of Daily Practice.

In improvisation, we create these prompts that allow us to be free to fail - you note that we need similar prompts in our daily lives to be our most creative selves.

“All day long, we're supposed to get things right. We're supposed to drive on the correct side of the road and pick up our kids at three and mow the lawn, do one right thing after another. And then somehow magically or mysteriously, there is a time in the day where we have real permission to make mistakes and messes. It's not easy to move from one place to the other. That's why I spend a lot of time with clients on the idea of ceremonial bridges. You have to have a way of moving to this other place where you have genuine really biting deep permission to make mistakes. So that's part of this initiation process: allowing yourself to move from one place to the other.”

And you write about the importance of play and imagination which is kind of drummed out of us as we become older.

“Well, one of the hallmarks of creativity has to do with something we did naturally as kids and then stop doing as adults, and that's being able to connect disparate things. For example, here's a salmon and here's a skyscraper. And a kid will naturally create a salmon shaped skyscraper. As we go through school, we are forced to stop doing that, we have to keep the salmon separate from the skyscrapers at all costs or we won't get the grades we want. So for me, play is that simple thing of making salmon shaped skyscrapers. Again, which is the hallmark of creativity.”

And understanding that the process is the most important thing to focus on, right?

“I'm trying to help people show up without attaching to outcomes. That's one of my main goals as a creativity coach, because if they have the power of outcomes in their mind too much or are too worried about how the thing is going to turn out, it won’t turn out well. And so I have to give them my little lecture about process and how reality is a process and only some things work. Only a percentage of what we do is going to turn out well, only a percentage of even the stuff that works is excellent. So there's a difference between good and excellent, and that the main thing is to show up. And so another way of saying this thing about showing up and not attaching to outcomes is to go there lightly.”

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