Grit is the stubborn refusal to quit.

— Jonah Lehrer

The most strong Jonah Lehrer quotes to get the best of your day

For too long, we've assumed that there is a single template for human nature, which is why we diagnose most deviations as disorders. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of minds. And that's a very good thing.

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People assume that they perceive reality as it is, that our senses accurately record the outside world. Yet the science suggests that, in important ways, people experience reality not as it is, but as they expect it to be.

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Rejection process is not fun. It's the red pen on the page, the discarded sketch, sometimes is the only way forward.

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The vocational approach at NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts) helps build grit in students. It teaches them how to be single-minded in pursuit of a goal, to sacrifice for the sake of a passion. The teachers demand hard work from their kids because they know, from personal experience, that creative success requires nothing less.

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...new ideas are merely several old thoughts that occur at the exact same time.

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The answer will only arrive after we stop looking for it.

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If you're trying to be more creative, one of the most important things you can do is increase the volume and diversity of the information to which you are exposed.

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Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity.

When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.

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The one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know.

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Every creative story is different. And every creative story is the same. There was nothing. Now there is something. It's almost like magic.

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And so we keep on thinking, because the next thought might be the answer.

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there simply is no way to describe the past without lying.

Our memories are not like fiction. They are fiction.

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About Jonah Lehrer

Quotes 45 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday June 25, 1981

Creativity shouldn't be seen as something otherworldly.

It shouldn't be thought of as a process reserved for artists and inventors and other 'creative types.' The human mind, after all, has the creative impulse built into its operating system, hard-wired into its most essential programming code. At any given moment, the brain is automatically forming new associations, continually connecting an everyday x to an unexpected y.

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Children can't help but create: they need to put their mind on the page, they want to paint, to sculpt, to write short stories.

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You know more than you know.

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Creativity is a catchall term for a variety of distinct thought processes.

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What you discover when you look at creativity from the perspective of the brain is that it is universal. We're all creative all of the time, we can't help but be creative.

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I want to give people theories, I want to expose them to scientific stories that force them to re-evaluate the way they use these three pounds of meat inside their head.

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The inconsistency of genius is a consistent theme of creativity.

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Creativity is not a trait that we inherit in our genes or a blessing bestowed by the angels. It's a skill.

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A lie told well is just as good as the truth.

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Creativity is a spark. It can be excruciating when we're rubbing two rocks together and getting nothing. And it can be intensely satisfying when the flame catches and a new idea sweeps around the world.

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It is ironic but true: the one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know. This is why we need art. By expressing our actual experience, the artist reminds us that our science is incomplete, that no map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness.

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Cities force us to interact with strangers and with the strange.

They pry the mind open. And that is why they are the idea that has unleashed so many of our new ideas.

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I always wanted to be a scientist, I always thought I'd be a scientist, that was the narrative I was carrying around. I worked in a neuroscience lab as an undergraduate and then after, almost five years in total, but I realized I just wasn't good at science. I didn't have the discipline for it.

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Design is the conscious imposition of meaningful order.

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The only way to maximize group creativity—to make the whole more than the sum of its parts—is to encourage a candid discussion of mistakes. In part, this is because the acceptance of error reduces cost. When you believe your flaws will be quickly corrected by the group, you're less worried about perfecting your contribution, which leads to a more candid conversation. We can only get it right when we talk about what we got wrong.

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Harlow would later write, "If monkeys have taught us anything, it's that you've got to learn how to love before you learn how to live.

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The imagination is unleashed by constraints. You break out of the box by stepping into shackles.

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It doesn't matter if people are playing jazz or writing poetry.

If they want to be successful, they need to learn how to persist and persevere and keep on working until the work is done... I bet there isn't a single highly successful person who has not depended on grit. Nobody is talented enough to not have to work hard, and that's what grit allows you to do.

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Just because an idea is true doesn't mean it can be proved.

And just because an idea can be proved doesn't mean it's true.

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We need to be willing to risk embarrassment, ask silly questions, surround ourselves with people who don't know what we're talking about. We need to leave behind the safety of our expertise.

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It's a hard thing to describe. It's just this sense that you got something to say.

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In fact, the only way to remain creative over time--to not be undone by our expertise--is to experiment with ignorance, to stare at things we don't fully understand.

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The great ages did not perhaps produce much more talent than ours,' [T.

S.] Eliot wrote. 'But less talent was wasted.

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To have a style is to be stuck.

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The best way to solve a problem? Try explaining it to somebody outside your field.

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[It's] troubling because it reminds us how difficult it is to prove anything.

We like to pretend that our experiments define the truth for us. But that's often not the case. Just because an idea is true doesn't mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn't mean it's true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe.

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Like a work of art, we exceed our materials.

Science needs art to frame the mystery, but art needs science so that not everything is a mystery. Neither truth alone is our solution, for our reality exists in plural

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While human nature largely determines how we hear the notes, it is nurture that lets us hear the music.

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When we venture beyond the edge of our knowledge, all we have is art.

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By the age of 3, children from wealthier households hear, on average, about 500,000 encouragements and 80,000 discouragements. The ratio is reversed in households on welfare.

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Even when alternative views are clearly wrong, being exposed to them still expands our creative potential. In a way, the power of dissent is the power of surprise. After hearing someone shout out an errant answer, we work to understand it, which causes us to reassess our initial assumptions and try out new perspectives. “Authentic dissent can be difficult, but it’s always invigorating,” Nemeth says. “It wakes us right up.”

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Knowledge can be a subtle curse. When we learn about the world, we also learn all the reasons why the world cannot be changed. We get used to our failures and imperfections. We become numb to the possibilities of something new

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