May 19, 2021
76 Provocative Quotes on Uncertainty and Letting Go


"I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few." - Brene Brown

"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers." - Erich Fromm

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity." - Gilda Radner

"As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don't deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity." - Pema Chodron

"Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller


"I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." - Rainer Maria Rilke

"I'm working on my own life story. I don't mean I'm putting it together; no, I'm taking it apart. It's mostly a question of editing. If you'd wanted the narrative line you should have asked earlier, when I still knew everything and was more than willing to tell." - Margaret Atwood

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings." - Wendell Berry

"Let go of certainty. The opposite isn't uncertainty. It's openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow." - Tony Schwartz

"Now that we have met with paradox we have some hope of making progress." - Niels Bohr

"Old Newtonian physics claimed that things have an objective reality separate from our perception of them. Quantum physics, and particularly Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, reveal that, as our perception of an object changes, the object itself literally changes." - Marianne Williamson

"I took a test in Existentialism. I left all the answers blank and got 100." - Woody Allen

"Everything you've learned in school as 'obvious' becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines." - Buckminster Fuller

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

"There's no such thing as a completely fresh start. Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every new beginning comes at the cost of an ending." - Jennifer E. Smith

"I learned that it was in hard times that people usually changed the course of their life; in good times, they frequently only talked about change. Hard times forced them to overcome the doubts that normally gave them pause. It surprised me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice." - Po Bronson

"All you have to do is to pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step." - Paulo Coelho

"The silence between the notes makes the music. And lest we forget, the longer the silence, the more incredibly beautiful and powerful the music when it finally swells and the symphony goes on." - Brianna West

"There are far, far better things out there than any we leave behind." - C.S. Lewis

"The longing for certainty is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with." - Tony Robbins

"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." - Andre Gide

"I can live with doubt and uncertainty. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing that have have answers which might be wrong." - Richard P. Feynman

"The future is uncertain, but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity." - Ilya Prigogine

"Where the fog is thickest, begin." - Marty Rubin

"Madness is the result not of uncertainty, but of certainty." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security there is." - John Allen Paulos

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars, makes me dream." - Vincent Van Gogh

"Sometimes you just have to try, even if you know it won't work." - Junot Diaz

"All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process." - Harold Geneen

"All great changes are preceded by chaos." - Deepak Chopra

"Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don't get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It's a very tender, non-aggressive, open-ended state of affairs." - Pema Chodron

"To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous." - Chinese proverb

"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty, not knowing what comes next." - Ursula Le Guin

"Faith means living with uncertainty, feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark." - Dan Millman

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

"It's a dark place, not knowing. It's difficult to surrender to. But I guess it's where we live most of the time. I guess it's where we all live, so maybe it doesn't have to be so lonely. Maybe I can settle into it, cozy up to it, make a home inside uncertainty." - Nina LaCour

"Give your heart permission to let go of the need for certainty and leave space for the unknown." - Amber Cantorna

"So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late." - Lee Iacocca

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality." - Albert Einstein

"A truth which comes to us from outside always bears the stamp of uncertainty. We can believe only what appears to each one of us in our own hearts as truth." - Rudolf Steiner

"If you aren't in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret." - Jim Carrey

"I think if a poet wanted to lead, he or she would want the message to be unequivocally clear and free of ambiguity. Whereas poetry is actually the home of ambiguity, ambivalence and uncertainty." - Billy Collins

"There will be very few occasions when you are absolutely certain about anything. You will consistently be called upon to make decisions with limited information. That being the case, your goal should not be to eliminate uncertainty. Instead, you must develop the art of being clear in the face of uncertainty." - Andy Stanley

"The thing about aging is all your old lovers, pretty much if they were really friends, become your family. It's great. You have those terrible feelings of possessiveness and uncertainty go out the window. You have what you shared. You know you would help each other in times of trouble no matter what." - Gloria Steinem

"In conditions of uncertainty, humans, like other animals, herd together for protection." - James Surowiecki

"Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of not knowing." - Mark Danielewski

"Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." - Steve Maraboli

"What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong." - Robin Williams

"Not everything needs to be fixed." - Randy Pausch

"It is impossible for you to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have." - Cheryl Strayed

"Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'." - Viktor E. Frankl

"Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go." - Hermann Hesse

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

"To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit."
- Jack Kornfield

"When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else." - Joseph Campbell

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need." - Lao Tzu

"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet." - Rumi

"We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell

"Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed." - Wayne Dyer

"Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energy moving forward together towards an answer." - Denis Waitley

"You've got to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old - whatever 'the old' means for you." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

"Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go." - Anais Nin

"When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them." - Andy Warhol

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." - Alan W. Watts

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." - Rumi

"Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." - Lao Tzu

"All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride." - Sophocles

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T. S. Eliot

"Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive and express what we really are." - Miguel Angel Ruiz

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself." - Alan Alda

"Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves." - Swami Vivekananda

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." - C.S. Lewis

"It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult." - Seneca

ANYTHING is poss.jpg

A funny story about not knowing
A story about trust against all odds

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2021
APPLIED CREATIVITY: A New Book by Mitch Ditkoff


You know what I just realized? I wrote a book without realizing it. Really. For the past 11 years, I've been writing a series of articles on creativity for my Heart of Innovation blog. Then, semi-caffeinated, just a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that, hidden within my blog, not unlike the white arrow hidden in the FedEx logo, was something unseen -- an entire book. Like a 250-page book. I'm in the process, now, of editing it.

If you would like an alert when it's available, simply email I promise not to sell, rent, barter, or give away your email address. I will treat it with utmost confidentiality.

What follows are 82 of the 100 chapters in the book. If one of them strikes your fancy and you'd like to read it, shoot me an email ( and I will send you the link before hell freezes over.

1. The Hero's Journey and the Creative Process
2. Ask for All the Help You Need to Create Something New
3. The Six Sides of the So-Called Box
4. Insect Sex: Why You Need to Ask Why
5. The Creativity Manifesto

6. An Invitation to Dive Deeper Into Your Own Creative Process
7. Idea Brahmacharaya
8. Skillset vs. Mindset
9. The Challenge Most Creative People Face
10. One Hundred Lame Excuses for Not Innovating

MD back cover33.JPG

11. Fifty Two Quotes on the Creative Process
12. Why Tell Stories?
13. Twenty Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower
14. What Does It Take to Learn Anything New From Somebody Else?
15. The Beauty of Feedback. (It's Not a Weapon. It's a Mirror).

16. Thirty Two Quotes on Mastery
17. The Art of Non-Judgmental Listening
18. To Create the Future, See Hidden Patterns and Challenge Them
19. Twenty Five Simple Ways to Free Up Your Creativity
20. Try to Love the Questions

21. The Perception of Ideas as Problems
22. Storytelling as a Way to Transmit Tacit Knowledge
23. Enter the Movie Theater of Your Own Creative Process
24. Finish What You Started: Five Feet Off the Ground
25. Frame the Real Problem: Josef the Baker

26. Frustration and Constraint as Catalysts for Creativity
27. Are You an Idea Addict?
28. A Real Life Example of the Power of Giving Feedback
29. What I Learned from Listening to Bolero for 14 Hours
30. How to Foster a Sustainable Culture of Innovation

31. How to Tell a Good Story
32. One Hundred and One CreativiTeas
33. Innovation as a Happy Accident
34. The Martial Arts of the Mind
35. What Porcelain Dogs Can Teach Us About Brainstorming


36. The Awesome Power of Immersion
37. How to Attract a Big AHA
38. The Real Value of Confusion
39. The Path Is Made By Walking On It
40. Ten Chemical Salesmen Step Over the Line

41. Why AHA and HAHA are Related
42. How I Started My Business: It All Began With Balls
43. Twelve Ways to See What's Not Immediately Obvious
44. Using Story as a Way to Communicate Big Ideas
45. What Have You Accomplished?

46. Quarantining Your Mind
47. Quitting and the Poetry of Life
48. The Pool Player and the Non-Linearity of Life
49. What You Can Learn from the FedEx Logo
50. Why Immersion is So Important

51. Dreaming the Solution
52. On Finding the Elegant Solution
53. Define Your Real Problem
54. The Finger Snap
55. The Fisherman and the Investment Banker

56. The Sanctuary Within
57. Move the Hole
58. Fourteen Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas
59. Innovation Begins with Fascination
60. How to Sell Without Selling


61. Non-Judgmental Listening as a Catalyst for Innovation
62. Go Beyond Your Limiting Assumptions
63. How to Create an Idea Factory
64. The Value of Nothing
65. Brainstorming vs. Braincalming

66. On the Brink of a Breakthrough
67. Standing on the 50-Yard Line
68. Creators on Creating
69. Look to Nature for Creative Breakthroughs
70. Free the Genie

71. What You Can Learn About Creativity from W.C. Fields
72. Why People Work in Cafes
73. How to Start a Business After You Retire
74. The Riches Under Your Pillow
75. The Cure for the Creative Blues

76. The Good Thing About Bad Ideas
77. Thirty Ways to Know If You Have What It Takes to Innovate
78. How to Move From Your Left Brain to Your Right
79. Act As If!
80. What You Can Learn from Steve Job's Introduction of the iPhone

81. Need a Breakthrough? Take a Break
82. Listen to Your Subconscious Mind
My clients
My online course on unleashing creativity

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2021
Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and the Creative Process

Suit man and lightbulb2.jpg

"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." - Joseph Campbell

During the past 50 years, quite a few researchers, social scientists, and psychologists have written about the creative process, positing a number of models to help clarify its stages. All of their models are deeply considered and relatively easy to understand. The model I prefer, however, is one that was never conceived to explain the creative process, but the archetypal human adventure we are all on -- a model conceived by the mythologist Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth.

Campbell's original Hero's Journey model consisted of 17 stages. At the risk of oversimplifying Campbell's construct I offer, below, a modified version of it as conceived by Dr. Beverly Nelson and Joseph Dispenza -- a model that captures the essence of Campbell's wisdom and is easier to remember. (A link to Campbell's original 17-step monomyth is noted at the end of this post).

What I like about the Hero's Journey model is that it very accurately describes the process a human being goes through when attempting to create anything truly meaningful to them. In my experience, the creative process is very much a classical hero's journey. The more we understand the nature of that journey, the better our chances of actually embracing, enjoying, and completing it. Are you ready?


1. THE CALL TO JOURNEY: Have you ever felt called -- like the universe itself, was tapping you on the shoulder to get your attention -- that there was something for you to DO that absolutely HAD to be done and that if you DIDN'T do it you would end up feeling like you had chickened out? This calling is always preceded, according to Campbell, by some kind of disruption -- the end of the status quo and the recognition, as Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ so memorably stated that, "Toto, we're not in Kansas any more."

This disruption can take many forms. It can show up as a traumatic event, like a near death experience, the end of a marriage, the loss of a job, your home burning down, or Covid-19. Or, it might show up in a more intoxicating way -- like a dream, epiphany, or visitation from your muse.

Most commonly, human beings resist The Call to Journey. Where letting go would, ultimately, be the right move, we hold on. We tighten, clench, dig in our heels, cling to the past, and procrastinate.

If YOU are thinking of enrolling in The Year of Living Creatively (or have already enrolled) it is likely that you are feeling called -- that something deep within you has gotten your attention and you are now at the intersection of "Life As I Know It" and "I Have No Fucking Clue." Welcome to the fun house. Let the games begin!

2. THE PREPARATION: In order to transform nothing into something, you will need to prepare for the transformation. There is no way around it. Farmers do this every season. Committed to having a harvest, they roll up their sleeves, plough their fields, fertilize the soil, and do whatever is needed to help nature take her course. You, too, will need to roll up your sleeves. You, too, will need to prepare for your creative journey. What, specifically, this preparation looks like is completely up to you. By the way, The Year of Living Creatively can help.

3. THE ENCOUNTER: Every aspiring creator eventually runs into obstacles. Every fairy tale has its Big Bad Wolf. Luke Skywalker had Darth Vader. Cinderella had evil stepsisters. And Jesus had Judas. That's just the way it is. Or as the Buddhists like to say, "No mud, no lotus."

The obstacle is not the problem. The problem is how you relate to the obstacle. Do you freeze, procrastinate, stick your head in the sand, and eat another quart of ice cream -- or do you summon your courage and proceed?

The good news? In the Hero's Journey, allies and mentors show up all along the way to offer their help, bearing all kinds of gifts -- winged sandals, mirrored shields, magic beans, and maybe a foot massage. For the moment, think of The Year of Living Creatively as an ally of yours -- the assistance you need to help you navigate the creative process with as much power, resilience, and confidence as possible.

4. THE HOMECOMING: All major rites of passage have some kind of "honeymoon period" associated with them -- the intoxication phase when everything is new and our lives are animated by the energy of "anything is possible." That's a good thing. It keeps us in the game. It provides the fuel we need to keep on trucking. Eventually, however, this phase comes to an end. The buzz wears off. Holy Grail having been discovered, head of the Minotaur having been decapitated, we need to integrate what we've learned. We need to sustain the effort on a daily basis -- the "chopping wood and carrying water" phase of life when we practice what we've preached (or what's been preached to us).

In Joseph Campbell's taxonomy of life, this is known as the Homecoming -- the part of the process when the hero, after all kinds of adventures, gets the chance to LIVE their wisdom. The mountain has been climbed. Now it's time to do the laundry with the same consciousness that received the Ten Commandments the week before.

5. THE TELLING OF THE TALE: Storytelling is our species' most powerful way of sharing what it knows -- a form of communication that has been going on forever. Indeed, neuroscientists tell us that human beings are hard-wired for storytelling. It's what we do and how we do it -- translating our life experiences into a form that not only attracts attention, but delivers our message in the most memorable way possible -- the message of what we've learned... and what we know... and what will be useful for other people to consider as they continue on their journey -- or, perhaps, return from one.

The Telling of the Tale is the final stage of the Hero's Journey and, for those of us attempting to unleash our creativity -- a way to clarify our wisdom and be of service to others at the same time. YOU, as someone on the journey will not only be on the receiving end of many tales, you will also be the teller of tales -- the deep expression of what you've learned along the way. Your insights. Your moments of truth. And, ultimately, your wisdom. And all in service to the greater good.

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." - Joseph Campbell

Campbell's 17 stage monomyth
Year of Living Creatively content
The creator of the course

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2021
PRENTISS UCHIDA: Entrepreneur Catalyst


Prentiss Uchida is an Entrepreneur Catalyst. His business coaching, mentoring and consulting services, honed over 50 years of launching successful start-ups and holding management positions in various organizations has made a profound difference in the lives of countless entrepreneurs.

His heart-centered, mind-opening approach to business sparks insight, clarity, confidence, and the kind of inner knowing that enables entrepreneurs-at-the-crossroads to learn quickly, adapt, and make the kind of wise choices that lead to success.

Bottom line, Prentiss teaches people how to fish in the often turbulent waters of 21st century business. And he does so with integrity, warmth, and wisdom.

Knowing that experience is the best teacher, Prentiss establishes the kind of relationship with his clients that allows them to understand new inputs quickly, apply them to their current challenges, and mine the depths of their past experiences in a way that elicits insight.

The compass Prentiss abides by in his entrepreneurial coaching efforts? Something he calls the "feel good guide" -- the evolved, but often hidden, aspect of human intelligence that has a knack for getting to the heart of the matter quickly. Indeed, actions that originate from this state of awareness create the kind of forward movement that radically increases the odds of success.


At the core of Prentiss' business coaching is a great wisdom, honed from a lifetime of learning, service, street smarts, and a deep commitment to tapping into the source of success.

As Clifford Stoll, American Astronomer and author once wrote: "Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom." And it is this wisdom -- translated into action -- that Prentiss helps entrepreneurs discover in themselves. The end goal is to provoke and help bring along as many entrepreneurs as possible, to their own personal success.


"In just five minutes, Prentiss provided me with the information and insights I needed to clarify my path forward -- a path it would have taken me months to come up with on my own." -- Ritchie Polido

"Prentiss Uchida is the best business mentor I've ever had -- and I've had at least five before him. Bottom line, Prentiss helped me go from zero to more than $1 million in sales. His patience and understanding inspired me to continue with my business when I wanted to give up." -- Peter Turcios

"The expertise and precision of Prentiss' business coaching is incredibly rare! As a result of his efforts, I have experienced a tremendous boost of confidence. His style of coaching fully connected with my needs and directed me to what I needed to do first. Without his help I would be still procrastinating." -- Alima Brya

"Prentiss was able to evaluate my vague description of my business and get to the essence of what was wrong. He cut through my confusion and enabled me to determine where to direct my efforts. I didn't always want to hear what he had to say, but his counsel was right on. I appreciated working with someone who held me accountable, despite my excuses." -- Frank Joel

"Prentiss Uchida understands business and is able to provide insight into the heart of the matter with very little information. He provided valuable feedback that helped me evaluate my business in new ways to change my core strategies. Locked doors opened for me." -- Adam Harn

"Excellent insight and advice." -- Gregory Johnson

"Prentiss Uchida is amazing, awesome, informative, super professional and a very nice man. I am so grateful for his support. He is the kind of person I aspire to be like." -- Jennifer West

"Prentiss Uchida is a great business coach." -- Peter Campbell

"The experience, guidance and information I received from Prentiss exceeded my expectations." -- Tom Alleeson

"Prentiss Uchida is not only a great business coach, he is also a sage. For the past 30 years, whenever I got stuck or confused in the process of growing my business, Prentiss was always there for me with the kind of questions, perspective, and insights that sparked breakthroughs. Prentiss has a knack for distilling down complex matters into ways that less business-savvy people, like me, can get in a heartbeat. And he does it with kindness, clarity, and humor." -- Mitch Ditkoff


Prentiss Uchida, born in San Jose, California, grew up on a farm and then, with his family, for three and a half years, was imprisoned in a War Relocation Center, before moving back to San Jose. He received a BA in Mathematics from San Jose State University and, upon completing college, worked for the Lockheed Missile and Space Company. During the next 50 years, Prentiss held a variety of management positions in both private and public companies. He was one of the Founders and CEO of Vector General (a pioneer in 3D graphics and CAD whose system was used in the original Star Wars movie), CEO of the Inner Game Corporation (a training and development company founded by Tim Gallwey), CEO of Secom General (a NASDAQ mini-conglomerate of automotive component manufacturers), Director of Instar Infomatique (a French medical software company), Director of Kahootz (an enterprise software company), and Managing Director of VanderBolt GmbH (a German technology transfer company). He has also crashed and burned as a commodity trader -- one more source of humility.

Prentiss is currently a mentor for SCORE, a member of the Board of Directors for the Heart Mountain Foundation, and a member of the Board of Directors of WAFA, a Denmark NGO. Previously, he has served on the Advisory Board of Stanford University's WEMA Executive Institute and on the Los Angeles Board of Directors for the United Way. Prentiss currently lives in Moorpark, California and has three grown children and four grandchildren. When he's not coaching and provoking aspiring entrepreneurs, he is practicing yoga, playing his guitar, and writing songs.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2021


This just in! You have a big, beautiful idea that you want to manifest -- a cool project, venture, or aspiration you want to get out of your head and into the world. Maybe you've been hatching this egg for years or maybe it's just made itself known to you. But no matter how long you've been noodling on this grand possibility, it's likely that you... er... uh... sometimes feel doubt, disengaged, discombobulated, or despair.

Welcome to the human race! Your resistance comes with the territory of trying to birth something new and wonderful. Which is precisely what The Year of Living Creatively is all about -- a two-month online course for anyone committed to transforming their creative aspirations into reality. Like YOU, for instance.

Selected topics below are addressed in the course. And while you're at it, feast on the quotes from some extraordinary people who know what it takes to navigate the often mysterious and crazy-making creative process. Ready? Fasten your seat belt...

1. Follow Your Calling: "Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you." - Mahatma Gandhi

2. Embrace New Beginnings: "Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

3. Clarify Your Vision: "A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind." - Antoine Saint-Exupery


4. Cultivate Patience: "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." - Confucius

5. Go Beyond Self-Doubt: "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." - Sylvia Plath

6. Discover Your Real Question: "There are no right answers to wrong questions." - Ursula K. Le Guin

7. Trust Yourself Deeply: "Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts." - Rita Mae Brown

8. Let Go of Perfectionism: "And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." - John Steinbeck

9. Make Friends With Uncertainty: "The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers." - Erich Fromm

10. Rethink Success: "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." - Albert Schweitzer

11. Acknowledge Daily Progress: "Research has shown over and over again that the more you acknowledge your past successes, the more confident you become in taking on and successfully accomplishing new ones." - Jack Canfield


12. Embrace Polarities: "The greater the contrast, the greater the potential. Great energy only comes from a correspondingly great tension of opposites." - Carl Jung

13. Honor Thy Intuition: "Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next." - Jonas Salk

14. Go Beyond Your Obstacles: "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." - Moliere

15. Transform Your Limiting Assumptions: "Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won't come in." - Alan Alda

16. Attract Alchemical Collaborators: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

17. Let Discipline Be Born of Love: "Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." - Mozart

18. Be Willing Not to Know: "By not knowing, not hoping to know and not acting like we know what's happening, we begin to access our inner strength." - Pema Chodron

19. Create More Time: "You will never find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it." - Charles Burton

20. Reframe Failure: "I have not failed once. I've just found 10,000 ways that didn't work." - Thomas Edison


21. Find Your Courage: "I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me." - Erica Jong

22. Take Some Risks: "If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner." - Tallulah Bankhead

23. Experiment! Pilot! Try New Things:
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso

24. Be a Divine Maniac: "Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission." - Peter Drucker

25. Act As If: "By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired." - Nikos Kazantzakis

26. Originate Bold, New Ideas: "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

Think for Yourself.jpg

27. Learn from Feedback: "Average players want to be left alone. Good players want to be coached. Great players want to be told the truth." - Doc Rivers

28. Establish Your Creative Workspace: "There is no ideal condition for creativity. What works for one person is useless for another. The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself. Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn't scare you, doesn't shut you down." - Twyla Tharp

29. Embrace Solitude: "Nothing will change the fact that I cannot produce the least thing without absolute solitude." - Goethe

Improv ladu.jpg

30. Be Playful: "The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct arising from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves." - Carl Jung

31. Simplify: "It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas." - Charles Peguy

32. Be In the Moment: "I'll play it first and tell you what it is later." - Miles Davis

33. Persevere: "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth

34. Ask for Help: "You can do anything, but not everything." - David Allen

35. Dream Big: Blue Sky Thinking: "The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." - Albert Einstein

36. Complete What You Started: "Genius is infinite painstaking." - Michelangelo

37. Let the Old Forms Die: "Every act of creation is, first of all, an act of destruction." - Pablo Picasso

38. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: "I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life -- and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." - Georgia O'Keefe

39. Honor What Makes You Unique:
"There is a vitality, a life force, that is translated to you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost." - Martha Graham

You have a story11jpg.jpg

40. Change the Old Story You're Telling Yourself: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou

41. Tune Into When and Where You Get Your Best Ideas: "Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?" -- Albert Einstein

42. Maintain Your Positive Momentum: "An object at rest tends to stay at rest. An object in motions tends to stay in motion." -- Newton's First Law of Motion

43. Incubate! Lay Fallow! Let It Be! "It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing." -- Gertrude Stein

44. See Through New Eyes: "It's not what you look it. It's what you see." -- H.D. Thoreau

45. Embrace Messiness, Awkwardness, and Frustration: "Confusion is just a name for an order that is not yet understood." -- Henry Miller

46. Honor Your Crazy Ideas: "If at first the Idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." -- Albert Einstein

47. Boundary Alert: Know When to Say No: "When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself." -- Paulo Coelho

48. Develop a Practice of Creativity: "There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well." - Agatha Christie

49. Establish Your Creative Workspace: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." -- Arthur Ashe

50. Diffuse Your Inner Critic: "If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?" -- Maya Angelou

51. Pause and Reflect: "We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience." -- John Dewey

52. Get Out of the Box "He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch." - Jean-Luc Godard


53. The 12 Traits of Highly Creative People
54. Nurture or Fracture: Doing the Significant Other Dance
55. Persevere No Matter What
56. Play the Long Game
57. The Relationship Between Haha and Aha

58. Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind
59. Act As If
60. Discover the Elegant Solution
61. Increase Your Focus and Attention
62. How to Be a Creative Catalyst
63. How to Identify Your Blind Spots

64. The Wisdom of Rumi
65. The Wisdom of Albert Einstein
66. The Wisdom of Leonardo DaVinci
67. The Wisdom of Georgia O'Keefe
68. The Wisdom of Elon Musk

69. The Wisdom of Pablo Picasso
70. The Wisdom of Helen Keller
71. The Wisdom of Frank Zappa
72. The Wisdom of Nicola Tesla
73. The Wisdom of Michelangelo

74. The Wisdom of John Lennon
75. The Wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi
76. The Wisdom of Martin Luther King
77. The Wisdom of Prem Rawat
78. The Wisdom of Amadeus Mozart

79. The Wisdom of Frieda Kahlo
80. The Wisdom of Steve Jobs
81. Where and When Do You Get Your Best Ideas?
82. Spark Your Creative Imagination
83. The Power of Immersion

84. The 12 Traits of Highly Creative People
85. After the Honeymoon: The Messy Middles
86. Innovation Is All About Making New Connections
87. Let the Old Forms Die
88. Freely Express Yourself
89. Let Go of Attachment to Results

The Year of Living Creatively
The Year of Living Creatively Manifesto
Who Is The Year of Living Creatively Really For?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:03 PM | Comments (1)

Who Are We?

Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.
Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Authorized Reseller Logo –
Workshops & Trainings
Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
Brainstorm Facilitation
High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
Cultivating Innovation
Your "best and brightest" are the future leaders of your company, but unless they know how to foster a culture of innovation, their impact will be limited. A one-day workshop with us is all they need to begin this journey.
Our Blog Cabin
Our Heart of Innovation blog is a daily destination for movers and shakers everywhere — gleefully produced by our President, Mitch Ditkoff, voted "best innovation blogger in the world" two years running.
Team Innovation
Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN