I found a wonderful book that encourages and shows us how to think differently and more effectively. It repeatedly reveals to us how to gain a fresh perspective on challenges and opportunities. If you can apply the principles of this book to how you market your book and live your life you will have an amazing time.
The Creative Contrarian: 20 ‘Wise Fool’ Strategies To Boost Creativity and Curb Groupthink by Roger Von Oech is a masterpiece. I highlighted something on nearly every page.
The book is based an old approach by kings. These powerful rulers used to be surrounded by “yes men” who feared saying anything the king would not like. Kings know this, so he gave his jester or wise fool permission to parody and ridicule any proposal that was up for debate. Quite often, the wise fool shattered conventional wisdom and offer creative, contrarian advice. We, too, must call upon a wise fool that resides within us.
“How do wise fools look at things?” asks the author. “Well,” he writes, “they operate in a world that runs counter to conventional patterns. Everyday ways of perceiving, understanding, and acting have little meaning for them. They’ll extol the trivial, trifle the elated, and parody the common perception of a situation.”
How can you be a Wise Fool?
· Laugh at a problem and ridicule basic assumptions
· Point out hypocrisy
· See the benefits of looking at something backwards
· Doubt what others take for granted
· Test a belief out
· Seek out the ambiguity in a problem
· Look for alternative right answers
· Mock pet ideas
· Courageously stick your neck out
· Fool around with constraints
· Remove self-imposed limitations
· Break the rules
· Drop what’s obsolete
· Revisit an old idea that was discarded
· Shed your illusions
· Ask “what if?”, “why?”, and “why not?”
· Look for drawbacks in the majority view and see merits and possibilities in the minority view
· Question what might be missing
· Watch for sacred cows, dogmas, and hollowed policies
· Change the question that you think you want answered
· Manipulate and rotate your resources and vantage points
· Connect previously unconnected ideas together
· Do the opposite of what’s expected
· Adopt a child’s outlook to gain wisdom
· Get away from a problem in order to solve it when distracted by something else.
· Self-impose limits like s deadline to force different thinking
· Explain your problem to someone who knows nothing about it
· What’s obvious that you’re overlooking?
· Get out of your routine thinking and comfortable habits
· Do the reasons still exist to support why something is the way it is?
· Find the contradictions that are inherent in your own belief system
· Look for biases and perceptual constraints in your thinking
· Be humbling; park that ego
· Assume that you have cognitive blind spots -- find them!
Lastly, von Oech leaves us with this action step:
“Stay curious. Be the one who is continually asking ‘Why?’ Others may sometimes regard you as a smart-ass or a pain-in-the-butt, but persistent questioning is a hallmark of Wise Fool thinking.”
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.