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Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  15 reviews
It's true: a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Yet that's what we do when we spend our weekend -- and neurons -- reliving a workplace squabble, spend a family visit chewing over childhood issues, or spend hours beating ourselves up when someone brings one of our own long-held (but never worked on) ideas to fruition. This kind of obsessing gets us, like a hamster on a whee ...more
Unknown Binding, 218 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by New World Library (first published 2010)
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Magdalena
According to the Oxford English Dictionary I have on my shelf, an obsession is an unhealthy attachment to another person, being, object or idea; a condition in need of a cure. Eric Maisel’s latest book is not about a condition in need of a cure. Instead he writes about the productive obsessions at the heart of all meaning making. These are the big ideas and visions that great people pursue with the kind of devotion that is required to do anything long term and large scale. For artists of all kin ...more
Candywrap
Feb 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Make absolutely no sense.
Ron
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: culture, psychology
Obsession according to Eric Maisel is the pursuit of some thing or idea to the extent that nothing else in the world matters. This is true, obsession always connotes an unhealthy focus on some thing to the detriment of every one else. Eric thinks there are two sides of obsession, the one described above and another type of obsession that he calls ‘productive obsession’. This is an obsession that can produce healthy positive things or ideas that will benefit mankind, if not mankind, then at least ...more
Rachel Cheeseman
May 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Do not buy this book. There are about 6 pages of it that are worth reading, but the rest of it is simply about the importance of naming something in your life as a "productive obsession." That's the thesis, and the substantiating work is a collection of comments from the author's website users at different stages of their experiment with a productive obsession.

Name your productive obsession. Figure out if an internal fear of failure or rejection or something else is keeping you from pursuing you
...more
Paul Deveaux
This book starts out okay and then finishes with a wimper. It spends too much time defending and defining the idea of productive obsessions rather than talking about how to overcome the obstacles and actually do what you need to do. Maisel uses a lot of quotes from people in his groups to add substance to the book. Not a very practical book although Maisel does have some great ideas. I suspect that he got a lot of pushback from his academic peers for this idea and hence this book is a somewhat d ...more
Tami
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not all obsessions are negative. Some can actually make a real difference both at a personal level and for those around us. So says the authors of Brainstorm. In fact, having a good obsession may be the key to living a happy, healthy life.

Brainstorm asks us to look at that one thing we obsess about. Not the daily troubles or the problems but finding solutions and creating something worthwhile. Some people call it our life purpose. Others call it a passion. No matter what you call it, really it’
...more
Sieran
Jun 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This could be better if there were some more tips and information about the phenomena, but...

I loved the basic idea, "Productive obsessions", loved the analogy of "neuronal gestalts of long duration", the tons of success stories, and troubling experiences of many 'productive obsessors', etc. it's an extremely encouraging, inspirational, uplifting book...

Also, I like this "making meaning" to combat "existential depression" argument! Existentialism......oooh...This is going to be one of my central
...more
Jennifer Louden
I love so much about Eric's work. This book raises such great questions about how to risk big ideas, how to take on the hard challenges of creation, how to pony up to bigger ideas. I only wish he had given more insight into how to think deeper and develop ideas - Eric your next book idea!!
Sambasivan
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this book very useful particularly when i am chasing my productive obsession of reading one book every day this year.
Christie Wright
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! Definitely for every creative person!
Deanna
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Just couldn't get into it. Seemed a bit rambling.
Jeffrey
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good.
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Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of more than 40 books in the areas of creativity, coaching, mental health, and cultural trends. He is a psychotherapist and creativity coach, and writes for Psychology Today and Professional Artist Magazine and presents workshops internationally.

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