Creativity Information

Creativity and Broken Eggs

In 1420, the dignitaries of Florence held a competition.

They offered the enormous prize of 200 gold florins to the architect whose genius could span the unfinished dome of the Florence Cathedral.

This was a great challenge. Even the original builders of the cathedral in 1296 left writings hoping that God would offer a solution because they did not have one.

Filippo Brunelleschi was the answer to their prayers.

He proposed the radical idea of a dome supported by a brick vaulting system that balanced the opposing forces, but without the customary central supports.

The experts called him mad.

Brunelleschi sought to demonstrate his design with a challenge.

He could stand an egg upright on a flat surface. Could they?

All were unsuccessful.

Finally, Brunelleschi cracked the bottom of the egg and set it down.

It must have been a mess, but it stood upright and demonstrated his idea.

The experts protested, but Brunelleschi remarked that they could have done the same if they had understood his design.

Of course, they did not. They didn't understand creativity either.

They were too mentally confined by their concept of the possible. Figuratively and literally, the thought of solving the problem by breaking the egg never occurred to them.

One imagines their frustration trying to balance the round egg on the marble tabletop and their groans when Brunelleschi demonstrated the sloppy, but clever solution.

We all have eggs we never think of breaking.

These are the fixed states of mind that we accept without question as "the way things are." These states represent the boundaries of our thinking and, therefore, our life experience.

Refuse to be confined by the eggs others never think of breaking.

Geniuses break eggs.

Break your share.

That's why they make paper towels.

About The Author

Copyright 2004 by Tony Papajohn.

Tony writes and speaks on success. Subscribe to his free SuccessMotivator e-zine at

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at


Four Ways Creativity Turns Your 'Job' Into Your Life's Work
We are born with all of the creative gifts we can ever use. Then they are systematically programmed out of us by the demands of modern life. In 1965, a thoughtful researcher named George Land developed a creativity test for NASA to help select ...

Want to Nurture Creativity? First, Get the Culture Right
Is creativity inborn or can it be taught? David Yager, CEO of the University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia, believes it can be taught. It's one of his main areas of focus at the institution. Yager is working on building a Ph.D. program on ...

Grand Island Independent

Chapman students showcase teamwork, creativity as part of Destination Imagination
Grand Island Independent
CHAPMAN — Five Chapman School students are able to put their creativity, teamwork and problem-solving skills to the test as part of the school's Destination Imagination team. The Chapman School Destination Imagination team consists of fifth-graders ...

Team behind RJ campaigns shines again at regional creativity ...
Jordan Times
AMMAN — The marketing team behind the now famous Royal Jordanian (RJ) media campaigns once again put Jordan's creativity under the regional spotlight, seizing the Grand Prix at the Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity for the second year in a row.

and more »

Laralyn McWilliams on rediscovering creativity following trauma
Emotional distress caused by uncontrollable life events robs us of our creative power. This was the message from Laralyn McWilliams, chief creative officer at Skydance Interactive who, at an emotional talk at GDC 2018, recounted her experience ...

Workplaces must embrace creativity to enhance productivity | Expert column
With productivity and efficiency gains in decline, how does a business continue to succeed, grow and compete in the marketplace? The answer is creativity. Whether it's a new product, a new process or a new service, finding and developing that next ...

Business Day

Joburg festival: Africa, the one source of humanity and creativity
Business Day
To celebrate the transformative power of African creativity in music, fashion, art and photography, the One Source Live festival brings together artists in Johannesburg. The event is inspired by Absolut Vodka's "one source philosophy" — the brand is ...

and more »

ECM Publishers

Finding creativity in science
ECM Publishers
The innovation center is less than a year old, and Westlake is already working on improvements. Next year the center will offer capstone type classes where students will work on a project to present at the end of the term. Westlake said he would also ...

Santa Clarita Gazette (satire) (press release) (blog)

Creativity Advocacy – Divine Drivel
Santa Clarita Gazette (satire) (press release) (blog)
When I worked with Bette Midler for a short stint in 2016, she affectionately called my Creativity exercises “drivel.” After all, she's an industry veteran and a can-do professional. She is well aware that no one ever gets anywhere in entertainment ...

and more »

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Ingenuity, creativity and Plan A
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Ingenuity. I've always looked up to MacGyver. I can't say I ever watched the show, but I understand the concept. You can do anything with a little ingenuity and a paper clip. Right? The thing I want to talk about today is creativity. Some have it. Some ...

Google News

home | site map | Ocean Art
© 2006