Title: The Riddle: Where Ideas Come From and How to Have Better Ones

Date Completed: 8/17/2011

Author(s): Andrew Razeghi

Copyright: 2008, Jossey-Bass

# pages: 215

Genre: Non Fiction

ISBN: 978-0-7879-9632-1

This book changed the way I look at things forever.  That is something that doesn’t happen with every book I read, but should probably be one of the goals of any book, especially nonfiction.  If you are in the mood to introduce a new way of thinking into your life, you should pick up this book.

Are you creative?  That is something that most of us answer as a yes or no question.  I would have answered ‘no’ before reading The Riddle.  One concept that I got from this book that had never occurred to me before is that creativity is not limited to what we traditionally call the arts.  You see, I can’t sing, play an instrument, dance, or draw, so I’ve always considered myself a left-brainer.  But, Razeghi points out that creativity associated with solving problems is called innovation.  Innovation and creativity are the same processes with different outcomes.  I solve problems all day long.  Voila!  I’m creative.  I’d like my membership card please!

I started Building a Bookshelf to solve a problem.  There are lots of families out there who are struggling to put food on the table and pay the rent.  They can’t afford to buy their kids books.  I wanted to solve that problem.  I came up with a creative (innovative) way of doing this.  Was my idea earth-shattering?  No, I didn’t reinvent the wheel.  But, we’ve given out over 3,100 books this year.  That could make a difference to at least one of the kids we touched.

One of the other big lessons I took from this book is that it is important to expose yourself to many different parts of life.  When you get outside your comfort zone, you experience new things.  These new things can help you look at those things within your comfort zone in a new light.  I have always believed in learning new things from a philosophical stand point.  I just never made the connection about how the information I learn in an area way outside my daily life could be beneficial to my daily life.  So, I encourage you to do something different today.  Pick up a magazine for a topic you know nothing about.  Instead of checking your usual websites, find a new one.  Or, instead of picking up another romance novel, pick up The Riddle.  You’ll be glad you did.