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Jonah Lehrer: The Origins of Creative Insight & Why You Need Grit


About this talk

Editor’s Note: We were disappointed to learn about the misquotations and mistakes in Mr. Lehrer’s book, Imagine. While we strongly disapprove of his behavior, we believe in the value of maintaining an historical archive. Thus, we’re leaving the talk online and letting you judge for yourself.

“The answer will only arrive after we stop looking for it,” says bestselling author Jonah Lehrer. Examining recent research into what drives creative insights, Lehrer breaks down how and why we have “aha!” moments. But insight isn’t everything. Those who achieve great things in the long-term also have another important quality: Grit, a single-minded persistence that helps them keep their eye on the prize and pushing ever-forward even when the “aha!” moments aren’t around.

Jonah Lehrer, Author

Jonah Lehrer is Contributing Editor at Wired and the author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. His new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, was released in March 2012. He is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Radiolab and writes the “Head Case” column for The Wall Street Journal.

Comments
  • Arati Kadav

    Is there a way to find a transcript of it.

  • Simi Ajayi

    This is probably the most profound video i’ve ever watched.

  • Sofia Garcês

    I love that he says that the epiphanies are all about the work!
    I truly believe that everyone can “grit” their way to creative genius!

  • Irene Lyon

    amazing!

  • Sheldon Gerard Pierre

    Great presentation and great ideas…now to put them to work

  • Leah

    I enjoyed watching this. Thanks!

  • ovidiust

    Simply Amazing and down to earth.

  • LAM Hamilton

    Fantastically inspiring

  • Janne Laiho

    This is probably the best talk on creativity that I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot. Thank you very much, I’m afraid I don’t have anything to add 🙂

  • Matt Kreiling

    Can someone post a link of the “Grit Test”?

  • JasonSBradshaw

    This is the geek coming out but what is the app he uses on his iPad with his presentation script / prompts?

  • Mark Boyd

    Really inspiring stuff. I was using Lehrer’s book recently to make use of an app that enhances how creativity works for me (http://blog.popplet.com/popple…. That may be all well and good, but this reminds me of that old David Foster Wallace line, when he was asked how he was able to write epic books he explained “I did the reading”, ie. the grit work.

  • Sunlinemedia

    True GrIT

  • Dan

    Just great and powerful insights all over the way! Creative genius is kinda at hand just need the right tools to dig it up! Thanks.

  • Aozo Osaa

    thanks for providing a novel and profoundly interesting way to think about the sayings “where’s theres a will, there’s a way” and “success is 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration”

  • Jay

    This speech was amazing – Although Spiritual Leaders, Coaches, Psychologists, and many others have been pointing to this phenomenon for a long time; specifically that our insights occur when we’re not working on them. It was great to hear more of the science behind it though. Another question to ask though, is what about those moments of insight that shatter paradigms (the first time someone tried to send speech through the air [radio], or the first time the Wright brothers thought they could fly). What gives them the initial “grit” to think they could accomplish such feats? Or what about when two people have the exact same idea for a patent, toy, website, or movie, and they live on opposite ends of the earth? They obviously don’t have the same life experiences, yet they both have the same impulse to bring them into reality..? A lot of jumping off points from this speech – excited to read his book

  • BrainBoy

    This talk was riddled with inaccuracies and out-and-out scientific mistakes. Read the original scientific papers that Lehrer mentions and you will see that he misses not only the details, but many of the basic principles.

  • Patrick

    I was wondering if this video would still be posted, and if there were any thoughts related to the new development re: his book Imagine. It appears @8caf5b4c5b2d4a3c8f6ea48b5fd89b16:disqus had hinted at some underlying issues.

  • Lynn

    He tells it so convincingly but the Dylan story is likely mostly made up. His book Imagine has been pulled off the shelves and I think this video should probably be taken off this site as well.

  • csd
  • qsdwe

    behance team, please remove this post. this guy is a fraud. thanks!

  • 99U

    We were disappointed to learn about the misquotations and mistakes in Mr. Lehrer’s book, “Imagine.” While we strongly disapprove of his behavior, we believe in the value of maintaining an historical archive. Thus, we’re leaving the talk online and letting you judge for yourself.

  • ams

    I’d like to hear him speak about how he thought he could get away with fabricating quotes from one of the most famous musicians around. How disappointing.

  • davidburkus

    Matt. You can find it on this site: http://www.authentichappiness….

  • Nathaniel Dunn

    A clever and compelling way of thinking. Jonah Lehrer fittingly proposed a range of concepts and motives encompassing his thoughts and ideas. Side note: I have watched the following presentation at least three times since it was first published. Good work.

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