Where Do They Sell Creativity?

He left us in 1970, but his brilliance still leads us.

Abraham Maslow, professor and serious author, is famous for his Hierarchy of Needs, how we are motivated to act.

In his last book, “The farther reaches of Human Nature”, he instructs us: “The whole process of education, especially of technical professional education, has changed. To put it simple, there is little use in learning facts, they become obsolete too fast. There is little use in learning techniques, they become obsolete almost overnight…in every area of life there is obsolescence of old facts, theories and methods”.

Why are we interested?

Speedlearning teaches “How-to-learn”, and that changes with the individual, but does not get obsolete with the times.

It is Dr. Maslow’s vision that to be useful (read relevant), we must teach our students to be creative persons, to confront novelty, to “improvise”. He attacks what we have discovered to be the prime deterrent to learning – personal mutaphobia, (fear-of-change). Yes, we all deny membership in the club of “back-numbers”, but our experience replicates Maslow’s view – fear of the NEW and different is almost instinctual and that veil must be torn away. It is the job of self-actualizing folks to use our right-brain’s coping strategies to enjoy and create novelty. We must anticipate change and accept the challenge to smooth its path.

You agree, but how?

First, we must face-down the urban-myth that it is our job to exclusively use our knowledge of the past to deal with the present. Sure, history repeats itself, and human nature is as tough to crack as a tortoise shell, yet to be “creative”, we must be the “self-chosen”, who improvise based on new circumstances. NIH (not-invented-here), is our enemy, and synergy (working together), is our partner.

The answer to “how” is to consciously engage our right-hemisphere in its unique skills: pattern recognition, non-verbal reasoning techniques, using our spatial talents,

music and art strategies. Our right-brain is the seat of perception and intuition, also-known as creativity and imagination, and it requires oxygen.

Self-esteem is TRUSTING ourselves.

When we trust our own natures (left and right hemispheres), we open the door to improvising, coping, and creativity in the present. The first step is focusing on the here-and-now, getting to understand the requirements of a new environment. It means training ourselves to use our three super-senses: “see, hear and-feel” other people’s needs, through our “internal” auditory, visual and kinesthetic senses.


The answer is: internal visualization, listening to our own “still, small voice”, and opening ourselves to human emotions. That’s what it takes to “improvise” and be creative.

Where do we start?

Don’t laugh, but we must invite into our lives our own “child”, the eight year old who could delight in rolling in the grass, who laughed at life’s difficulties, and found fun and games in everything.

Maslow said, “If the only thing you have is a hammer, wherever you look you see nails!” Creativity is inborn, and the only reason it is invisible is our desire to be “adults”. It hasn’t died, it is snoring and slightly dormant.

“But I like my left-brain, and its common sense analysis!”

Our two brains work in tandem 100% of the time, it’s just a matter of dominance at a particular moment. When we sleep, our right brain rules without a battle, during daily beta-consciousness, our left-brain is in charge except during day-dreaming, and emotional arousal. Creativity occurs when we shift gears to our right brain and let it lead using intuition, together with our past experiences.


1. Study kids, think playfulness even during your work-day.

2. Think non-verbal analysis instead of exclusively using our linguistics skills of deductive and inductive thinking. Intuition is based on sub-vid, sub-vox and sub-kine, our internal senses. Permit them stage-center at the appropriate times, and stand-back and discover peak-experiences, new talents and skills.

3. Inspirations and epiphanies come after we invite them through playfulness as a life-style attitude.

4. There are three layers to our brain, not just our “thinking brain”. One: reptilian complex (impulses and instincts), rule.

Two: limbic system, seat of all our emotions including aggression and fear.

Three: our neocortex, our latest brain improvement which permits us speech, reading and writing.

5. Self-criticism, editing, judging and verification are left-brain techniques, and are extremely useful AFTER we have exhausted our right-brain creativity and imagination.

6. The most valuable two-words to initiate creativity are: WHAT-IF? See ya,
(Enjoy life and know we are getting better and better – if we choose.)


Author: Donna Holman, CPA, is a partner in an accounting firm in Miami, Florida. She is a specialist in learning, memory improve- ment and speedreading. Please view: www.speedlearning.org

Author's Bio: 

Donna Holman,CPA, is an educator and CEO of Speedlearning Institute, an affiliate of Long Island University, 8th largest college in the U.S. She is a partner in an accounting firm in Miami, Florida