Book Review: The Charge by Brendon Burchard

I recently purchased a book written by Brendon Burchard, titled The Charge - Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive. Having read the introduction and a bit about the author, I looked through the chapters to see what the rest of the book had to share.

The chapter titled The Drive for Creative Expression caught my eye and when I discovered the opening quote, something clicked right away. "There is a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one 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

I had found this particular quote many years ago and it had renewed a dream of being an artist when I was in the midst of raising children and busy with the many tasks of being a mother and wife. It made me aware that although I might not make original art, or even good art after years of not picking up a brush or a pen, my work is still my interpretation alone and not like any one else's. I was intrigued to read what this chapter on creative expression would reveal.

A few pages in, I came across a line in which Burchard says, "I believe there is nothing more powerful in life than allowing our own individuality to shine through, to light the world with our own unique divineness." Reading those words inspires me... I've figured out that much of what has held me back from fully expressing myself in my art is perfectionism and fear of failure... to produce a master work or art worthy of comment. By letting go of that, I've learned to enjoy being creative simply for the sake of the joy it brings and I've produced more work as a result.

He goes on to state that neurologically, being in touch with your creativity activates your right brain, the abstract, big thinking side which is intuitive, emotional, and disruptive. It allows us to think outside the box and question what is conventional and logical. And connecting with your right brain, or creative thinking, not only brings fulfillment and a happier life, it is apparently the way we will continue to find employment in a changing world.

While the next pages argue that being a creative thinker is the next wave of change in a left brain dominated work culture, the light bulbs were going off for me in contemplating what he quotes Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind as saying. Creatives will enjoy the benefits off the richest rewards and the greatest joys in the future due to the fact that nearly half of wages and salaries in the U.S. are now earned by artists, designers, and creative minds such as engineers and scientists. Not only that, the increase in social media - Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and other platforms is driven by our need for creative expression. As much as we lament the time suck of posting and viewing photos of food, sharing quotes and video, we have an easily accessible way to share with others what is most important to us on a very personal and daily level. Being able to express ourselves through social media as well as in the work place is a new hallmark in the way we will craft our lives in the future.

The rest of the chapter outlines a series of activities to help you figure out how well you are expressing yourself in your life through relationships, leisure time, and contribution to the whole. There are also "Charge Points" at the end of this chapter and all the chapters that encourage thought on how we can employ more creative thinking into our daily tasks.

With that, I charge you to find some ways to incorporate creativity into your life and recharge your artistic batteries. Here are some suggestions to make some Creative Soul Juice:

- Doodle on a sheet of paper. If you haven't doodled in a while, check out this website. Scan your doodle and make it the wallpaper on your computer screen, tablet, or phone. 

- Sing in the shower or on the way home in the car (carpooling may take on a whole new dimension)

- Make dinner a creative affair with colorful napkins, bright flowers for a centerpiece, a new tablecloth or place mats and music.

- Use highlighters or markers to decorate your to do list or your grocery list. Better yet, draw your list. 

- Dance in the rain. We've sure had plenty of that on the East Coast this month... take an umbrella and galoshes out and experience what it feels like to see your community from the perspective of a duck.

- Abandon a piece of art your next lunch date, at the library, grocery store or gas station. Leave a note and say you're sharing a creative moment with the next person that comes along. It could be a postcard, a small piece of your own art, or a small token.

- Find a way to use your creative ideas at work and see what the results are. Share an idea that you've had to improve or streamline a task. Decorate the breakroom with quotes on sticky notes. Bring fresh flowers in to brighten your desk. Change the art work on your walls to something inspiring and uplifting.

Share your ideas here by commenting on some ways you intend to express your creativity by reading this blog post.


Cheryl said…
Love this review! I am on my own creative journey even being a creativity coach so I will definitely give this book a look!
Unknown said…
Great Post, must get this book - thanks for the review :)
Unknown said…
Creativity is a way to help open your mind to coming up with solutions. Doodle away - - it will bring peace and joy!
Unknown said…
I really enjoyed "Drive" by Dan Pink, so this book sounds like a great read. Thank you for sharing and helping to get creative juices charged and flowing!

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