All art is a reaction to the first line drawn. Unless the artist sits in front of the canvas and paints, there can be no art. Unless the writer sits down and starts to type, there can be no book. Unless the musician plays their instrument, there can be no music.  Unless the sculptor begins to chip away at the marble, there can be no sculpture. Unless the explorer begins the journey, there can be no discovery. It is the same with everything in life, even civilizations; unless one acts nothing is created or discovered.

Let us imagine that your intention is to make a canoe. You will have, at first, some idea of the kind of canoe you wished to make. You will visualize the kind of canoe you wish to make. You will visualize the canoe, then you will go into the woods and look at the trees. Your desired outcome will determine your criteria for the tree you need. Your criteria might involve size, usefulness, and beauty of the tree. Your criteria might involve size, seating, usefulness, and design. Criteria both filter your perceptions and invest a particular situation with meaning and thereby, informing your experience and behavior at the time. Out of the many trees in the woods, you will end up focusing on the few that meet your criteria, until you found find the perfect tree.

Nothing happens until you take action and cut the tree down. You cut the tree down; remove the branches from the trunk; take off the bark; hollow out the trunk; carve the outside shape of the hull; form the prow and the stern; and then, perhaps, carve decorations on the prow. In this way you will produce the canoe.


Action has a way of bringing to our awareness only those things which that our brains deems important. You’ll begin to see ideas for your canoe pop up everywhere in your environment. You’ll see them in tables, magazines, on television, and in other structures, while walking down the street. You’ll see them in the most unlikely things, — such as a refrigerator, — that you use every day without giving them much thought. How the brain accomplishes such miracles has long been is one of neuroscience’s great mysteries.


Years back we joined friends for dinner at a famous Toronto restaurant “Carman’s Club.” While waiting for a table I was idly looking at a wall of photographs of famous people who had dined there. When suddenly, a man behind me said “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. Don’t you agree?” “I turned and said “Yes” politely. The man then introduced himself as Arthur Carman the owner of the restaurant.

“Let me tell you about myself,” he said. “I am an immigrant from Greece. I arrived in Canada with nothing. My first job was a low level menial job of washing dishes in a diner. I lived in one tiny room in a shabby house. Every night I would unscrew my lone lightbulb to save on the electricity bill. Over time, I became a waiter,  a chef’s helper and  chef. I saved every penny I could and finally was able to purchase a tiny diner.

I started to make enough money to buy a bigger diner, and then more diners. Eventually, I bought a restaurant and then bought more restaurants. I became very successful and rich. So rich I decided to join a very prestigious private club whose members were the wealthiest citizens in Toronto. I applied and was summarily rejected.

The majority of the members of the club had inherited their wealth and most had high academic honors and awards. I was rejected because of my early background as an immigrant dishwasher. It made no difference to them what I had accomplished in life from nothing. They perceived themselves as the intellectual elite and I would always be a dishwasher.

So you know what I did? I made more money and bought the building that was their clubhouse. I then evicted them and transformed the building into “Carman’s Club,” the restaurant you are standing in tonight. He then joined us at our table for dinner and, delightedly, regaled us all night with his stories about his life and accomplishments.”

The man who was rejected because of his early life in poverty buys their private clubhouse and turns it into a public restaurant (even calls it Carman’s Club) where all are welcome.

Carman’s whole life was a reaction to the first line he drew when he sought and gained his first job in his adopted country. It is not what we think or believe, it is what we do that is only thing of consequence in life.



Creativity consists of seeing what no one else is seeing, to think what no one else is thinking, and doing what others had wish they had done. Become creative.



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