A Quarter Million Steps: Creativity, Imagination, & Leading Transformative Change
by Anthony Paustian, Ph.D.
BookPress Publishing

"Imagination and creative thinking are on the decline."

In a thought-provoking manner, the book focuses on our need for “Imagineering,” with the process that the author sees as beginning with inspiration, then moves into creativity and is followed up by innovation. Using the Apollo Program and the moon landings as a prototype for transformative change, the book takes us through how to reach our goals for our own endeavors. Looking at the naysayers in our lives who tell us we can’t do something, denying our own imagination and creative efforts (and those of others), and staying stuck in a small box and a small way of thinking cause us problems. But the book explores the creativity of others including leading-edge companies who have used the expansive techniques he describes here.

These techniques include the following: mastering needed skills; using creativity as an ongoing process; motivation, connection and application of the process; looking at the bigger picture; actively finding and listening to the answers; cultivating a positive image; finding the joy in what you do. These can be aided by visualization, daydreaming, learning new things, learning to focus, and asking questions. Other processes include simplifying your life, keeping a journal, and learning to become a leader—all of which lead to a growing perspective for the reader.

The author, utilizing his own life processes, brings a unique perspective to this work. It is imaginative, inspirational, and creative. Besides the excellent information, the author’s use of personal and professional stories leads to an engaging book. With his background in psychology and business, he offers a unique look at these various topics.

With exercises throughout the book, the reader is given more opportunities to learn about becoming more innovative. As studies continue to show, creativity is often bred out of us at an early age as we learn we must color within the lines to be honored. But what we know, and what the author relates, is that we need to color outside the lines or at least expand them a bit to be more creative.

What needs to happen is for us to become more passionate, more engaged, more connected to ourselves and to others for transformation to take place. Being entitled, just doing what little we can do to get by and expecting life to come easily, becomes the antithesis of the creative process. The Apollo Program was not about limitations; it was about expansion, lofty goals, leadership, taking chances, strategic planning, open communication, trust, hard work, and potential; after all, it was a quarter of a million miles to the moon. If we examine how this program came about, we can see the myriad of potential that was developed by so many creative people.

Overall, the book is well-written as well as informative for all people who want to expand their capacities in leadership and innovation. It cuts across both work and play, for it will intrigue the business leader as well as the artist. The end-of-chapter notes entitled “Taking a Few More Steps” are not only a nice summary but also allow the reader to work on specific issues such as creating a sounding board, visualizing your goals, simplifying your life, and utilizing the author’s time assessment worksheet. This is an excellent read for all who want to expand upon their physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and financial health.

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