Welcome to Session Four, and in this session I'd like to shift our attention a little from creative ideas to applying creativity to our own lives and careers. This is about reinventing yourself and your career using the notion that creativity is widening the range of choices. And all of us, in our careers have many, many choices. And we sometimes feel trapped by taking the path that we've chosen. In college, I decided to study economics and become an economist, probably should of been a writer, a journalist or many other things. And afraid I didn't see the light until it was almost, almost too late, not quite. So, my point is that your life itself and your career are creative design projects. They are not set in stone, they are not a one way turnpike with no exits chosen when you go to college. Your life and your career are design projects and you can widen the range of choices. In fact, you probably have to do that because the skills that help you earn a living, can quickly become obsolete. For example, a whole range of managers, mid-level managers used to deal with the flow of information. They used to process information and pass it up to senior management. And with modern software and computers, they're not longer needed. Those jobs are gone, and they're gone forever. So, do you believe that you are designing your own life and career? Do you believe that you need to redesign it from time to time? Are you allowing others to design your life and your career for you, or are you shaping your own destiny, and constantly looking for ways to widen the range of choices and looking for that Holy Grail, which is to make your living by doing things that you love to do so much that you would probably do them even if you weren't paid for doing them. So my co-author, and co-deliverer of this course, co-designer of the course, Arie Ruttenberg, has written a wonderful book together with a psychologist named Carlo Strenger, Life Take Two, published in the Hebrew language. But they've summarized the book in a Harvard Business Review article, published seven yeas ago, called The Existential Necessity of Midlife Change. And the point here is that we need to be like Walter Mitty, we need to be dreamers, we need to dream about what we would truly love to do, about what our passions are, but you have to connect the dream somehow to reality. Otherwise we are simply fantasizing, and nothing will ever happen and we will remain trapped in whatever boring thing we happen to be doing right now. Strenger and Ruttenberg suggest to me a link to a creativity method developed by an author named Steven Johnson. He's written a wonderful book that I highly recommend, and the name of the book is Where Good Ideas Come From. He's written a fine book, looking at a great many ideas and analyzing the process that created those ideas. And the method that created many great ideas, Johnson calls the method of the adjacent possible. And it's a career planning, career designing approach as well. And the idea is to take where you are now, all the skills and knowledge and experience that you have, and then move sideways to some different area, and move far enough so that it's challenging and new and requires you to learn new skills. But, not so far away that it becomes impossible and unrealistic, a Walter Mitty dream. It's unlikely that I can become a concert pianist and perform in Carnegie Hall. But I can become possibly a writer of fiction, using my experience in research writing and writing non-fiction. The method of the adjacent possible, where are you now, where would you like to be? What direction would you like to move? How far can you move to make it challenging, interesting, new, and fresh, but not so far as to be utterly impossible? Where Good Ideas Come From. So analyze where you are and find the optimal distance for your imagination regarding your career. And you may need to do this several times in your career. It takes courage. It's risky, challenging, but that's also part of the fun. Psychologists have something called approach avoidance. When you're trying a new adventure, I've climbed two mountains, Kilimanjaro and Kazbek in Georgia. There's approach avoidance, it's a great thrill, it's a great challenge, but a the same time difficult, cold, hard. Those two things together make the experience rich and valuable and of great interest. Steven Johnson, in his book, makes a very important point that great ideas don't emerge always as a eureka moment, where you see everything full blown. Great ideas evolve slowly. They start has a hunch, and they mature, and they connect, and they grow. A really good idea is the invention of Tim Berners-Lee, the computer scientists who completely changed our world by inventing the World Wide Web. And this is the story that Johnson tells about how Berners-Lee came up with the World Wide Web idea. When he was a child, Tim Berners-Lee read an old book from the Victorian era about the portal of information. And then a decade later, he was working at the Swiss CERN laboratory where the linear accelerator was, and partly inspired by the book he tinkered with a project that allowed him to store and connect chunks of information like nodes in a network. And then a decade later CERN gave him another project, a project where he could invent something that enabled scientists working on the CERN project from many countries. And the linear accelerator generated huge amounts of data. The scientists then had to go back to their home universities all over the world and work on the data, and share, and collaborate, and communicate over long distances. So he managed to find a way where documents on different computers could be linked through something called hypertext links, which has become the language HTML. After decades, Berners-Lee's original slow hunch matured and developed, and the World Wide Web was born, first to serve the scientists at CERN. And of course, Berners-Lee made it available to the entire world, and he continues to pioneer the basic idea of the World Wide Web being open and free and accessible to everyone without censorship or any sort of limitation or control. Ideas evolve, give your ideas time. Some of the methods for coming up with creative ideas involve incubation. Take your idea, think about it, work on it. Develop it, and then put it aside on the shelf and do something else. Your brain will continue to work on it. And as it works on it, you will come up with improvements to your idea. And this is all going on in your subconscious mind. And then, when you come back to the idea, your idea will be much stronger and much more improved, with many additions to it, and many solutions. And that incubation time is really important. Malcolm Gladwell has written a book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Even when we're not thinking, we are, because our subconscious mind is working. So take the problem, think about it, get it installed in your brain, let your brain turn on and start to work. Do something else. Your brain will continue to work and possibly produce a truly wonderful solution. Well then end session number four, and when we come back, we'll go on to session number five. In session five I want to talk to you about very great creative people, Einstein, Da Vinci, and Edison. And they're very, very different processes for coming up with ideas that have changed our world.