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by Brandon Love

Joel and I launched the final illustrated edition of Brainsprouting last night! Oh, what a feeling.

If you’re not already familiar, Brainsprouting is a book about creativity. Specifically, it’s a guide for becoming fearlessly creative, and learning to help others do the same. The book outlines our approach to designing solutions and facilitating idea-friendly spaces. It’s been read and reviewed by students, teachers, entrepreneurs and executives. And we’re really quite proud of the work.

To honour the launch of this long-coming project, here’s an excerpt from the conclusion. If you’re interested, you can order copies of the book here:

Creativity and Agency

There were a number of years when Joel’s mother, Mom, was unhappy. The family had just moved to a new city, and she was having a hard time meeting new friends.

It’s hard to say which happened first, a shift in mindset or a small action, but after nearly two years of relative loneliness, Mom decided to join a quilt guild.

Things started to change in big ways. Mom started volunteering. Eventually she got a part-time job. Since then, she’s learned to juggle and tap dance and do tai chi and she even teaches line dancing – all sorts of creative stuff. Now, Mom makes friends easily, but that’s not really the point.

As it so happens, there were also many years when Brandon’s mother, Mom, felt unhappy. Things weren’t terrible, but she seemed to want something more. She just didn’t know where to find it.

Then one morning, Mom saw a newspaper article advertising a naturopathic nutrition course, and it occurred to her that she might enjoy it. She’d always liked food, after all, so she took a chance and signed up.

She learned a lot, and her interest grew. In fact, Mom liked it enough to start a business helping other people improve their health. It wasn’t successful immediately, but she kept learning, kept trying, and over time, she found creative ways to make it work. Mom’s business is now going very well, which is a happy ending, but it’s still not the point we’re trying to make.

So what is the point? The point is that both Moms realized they had control of their own lives; they found agency. In both cases, a small creative step triggered a cycle of empowerment. Somewhere along the line, they started to take ownership over their own happiness, and that has made the difference.

Creating the Life You Want To Live

Perhaps the biggest role creativity has to play is its capacity to create a sense of agency in those who practice it. When we create, we experience firsthand the power of our own ideas. We experience the transition from idea conception to mature thought, and then, with enough work, the transition from thought to action. We can see the impact of our efforts on the world, and we can know that our choices to act made a difference. This is agency.

People won’t even attempt to change anything until they feel they have the ability to do it. Whether we’re thinking about changing the world or changing our lives, creativity helps us believe that we can.

Of course, a sense of agency isn’t the only thing that’s needed to make change. Change requires taking a risk in the face of uncertainty. Creativity builds fearlessness. Change requires mindfulness. Creativity helps us pay attention to our thoughts. Change requires motivation. Creativity helps us tap into our natural desires of curiosity, self-improvement, and contribution.

While creativity happens unintentionally all the time, we can choose to do it more often. We can become consciously creative.

When we create in any aspect of our lives, our empowered thinking will spill over into every aspect of our lives. For Joel’s mom, creating quilts led to deep friendships. For Brandon’s mom, creating healthy food sparked a passion for new pursuits. For us, the journey of creating this book has literally changed the way we live. Our methods with clients and students have been transformed. Our professional results have shattered expectations. Our personal relationships have reached new heights. Creativity has given us many reasons to be grateful, and our sense of gratitude deepens as the journey continues.

The outcomes of a brainsprouting session are seldom predictable, but are reliably rewarding. We can only guess at where your path will lead, but practice creativity, and a world of possibility awaits. Make the choice to be fearlessly creative, and you will create the life you want to live.


About brandonlovemagic
Brandon Love is a magician, speaker, and coach. He helps people un-stick their minds to become more creative and achieve the impossible. Combining his unique blend of awe-inspiring entertainment with experience-derived insights, Brandon creates an unforgettable experience on stage or up close. He is also the co-author of Brainsprouting: How to Become Fearlessly Creative & Have Better Ideas More Often.

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Creating the Life You Want to Live