By Erik Wahl
Crown Business, $23.00, 224 pages
Erik Wahl wants you do things differently and he has writtenUnthink to convince you to do exactly that. Too often people either get into ruts or follow the prescribed paths in their lives and careers. Wahl shares his personal story and tells the reader exactly how he made the journey from the typical path to a destination of creativity with no boundaries. The book begins with how children learn and interact with their world. Children are driven by discovery and adventure and are not concerned with doing things the way it is “supposed” to be done. Wahl shares all sorts of research and studies to prove his points. Ignorance, mystery and play are paramount to children. They do not wait until the time is right; they just do it in the moment. The opposite spectrum is being an adult. As an adult, we have preconceived notions of who we are and what we “should” do. This belief stifles creativity. Wahl shares an example of a Microsoft manager trying to solve a problem but he was looking at it from the logical standpoint rather than really turning the process upside down. Once he turned it upside down, the answer came-and it made a big difference for consumers, as well as, Microsoft.
“What you need to know-what perhaps no one has ever told you-is that an artist is anyone who challenges convention.”
Wahl’s book is loaded with research and examples. His message is clear – question the status quo by stepping out of your comfort zone, being uncomfortable and taking the risk to do things differently. I found myself nodding, smiling, laughing and thinking about Wahl’s message. This is a powerful book and if you dare to accomplish what Wahl suggests, your life will be very different, and perhaps even better. Act through the fear. You might be surprised at the outcome.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff