If you want the definitive toolkit* to creativity you need to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  But don't expect to get it at the first go.  Be prepared to read it about 17 times.  That's how long it took me before things finally started clicking.  Of course if you are wiser it won't take as many readings.  Note that I said wiser, not smarter.  Traditionally us entreprenuers are a super smart, go-for-the-jugular, loaded on moxie types.  Not very strong in the wisdom department though...

So while you wait for Flipkart's awesome delivery service to get it to you, here is the short version.  


Every human being oscilliates between two states: the dynamic and the static (fixed, frozen, etc).  

The dynamic state is when all your creative juices are firing and you can already see your spaceship preparing for the interstellar jump to Alpha Proxima.  The static is when reality hits you right between the eyes and slows your dream down to a crawl.  

Sounds familiar?  This is the point at which most people lose it. The static is overloadin their circuits and they lose sight of the dynamic.  Your product looks sicker than a wet monkey, investors are screaming, bills are piling up, and at that moment you think maybe, just maybe Alpha Proxima - even though you have all the necessary theory in place - is a bit too far fetched.

That's the begininng of the death spiral.  To avoid getting sucked into the gravitational force of that black hole you need to get back your dynamic edge WITHOUT forgetting your current static situation.  

The obvious question then is - how? How do I pick up the dynamic thread of my dreams in the face of overwhelming evidence that I can't do it.  

The answer: Quality.

Our normal understanding of quality has to do with physical things. But this Quality is something totally different.  No this is not the Six Sigma type of quality either.  This Quality is something that we instinctively know.  This Quality is what fired the dynamic vision in the first place.  All you now need to do is turn its light on the static situation you are in and sure enough you'll get back your  dynamic edge.


Yes, I know.  A bit mumbo-jumboish.  But the fact is, it works.  Just get yourself into a Quality state of mind, the rest will flow easily.  Our resident monk will attest to it am sure.

*If you are primarily logical, rational, and subscribe to an empricial (WYSIWYG) worldview.  Which is pretty much the case with most entreprenuers.   

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PHAEDRUS haunted me for years...

I read the book when I was 20.

Just ordered it from flipkart again as I was writing the post.  :)

I picked it up around the same age but only began reading it many years later.  Lost my old copy and was kicking myself for losing it.  Phaedrus, if you stop to think about it, he is scary. But the way he pushes at the boundaries of empirical dogma is totally exhilarating.  The feeling I get is that he approaching the same point that our sages and mystics have been pointing/leading the way to but from a totally different direction.  

Thank you for sharing Abey. 

Get the book, you'll love it... I hope. :)

Just got the book.  I swear, Flipkart Logistics is going to change the face of Indian courier services.  

Alok, pop quiz: what does Phaedrus mean? ;) 

its greek

In the original Pirsig equated Phaedrus to mean Wolf.  In this edition's preface he clarifies he made a mistake and Phaedrus actually means "brilliant" or "radiant"!  

That actually makes even more sense within the context of what the book is doing....


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