Barnet Bain

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Creativity: Resilience in Chaos

In “The Book of Doing and Being,” acclaimed filmmaker, broadcaster and creativity expert Barnet Bain teaches “the skill set that is the antidote to the exponential disruption of life as we know it”

The future rushes toward us, change happening at an ever-increasing rate. Many people have no sense of what security looks like, for their jobs, future and children. Education, from cradle to college, struggles to catch up with a new reality: success now hinges on our ability to dream, to innovate, to create.

To survive and thrive in these challenging times requires resilience in chaos. Creativity is the one skill set that can give people the resilience they need, says Barnet Bain, acclaimed filmmaker, broadcaster, educator and author of “The Book of Doing and Being: Rediscovering Creativity in Life, Love and Work” (Atria, 2015).

In “The Book of Doing and Being,” Bain brings teachings from his popular creativity workshops to print for the first time, showing how anyone can ignite creative imagination and innovation.

“I want to encourage people to stretch themselves in their old understanding of creativity,” says Bain, producer of the Oscar-winning film “What Dreams May Come,” and executive producer of the Emmy-Award nominee for Outstanding TV Movie, “Homeless to Harvard.” “Every one of us, every human being alive, is masterfully creative 24/7. I want people to understand that and develop a relationship with that.”

Each child is born with natural curiosity and creativity. But along the road of rote education (what Bain calls hand-me-down culture and values) many of us lose the spark of creative joy.

Storing and regurgitating information no longer matters – it’s what we create with it that will define whether or not we thrive. Yet our educational systems are only beginning to recognize this reality.

“The work that children are going to be looking at in 10 years is not going to look anything like it does now,” he says. “Anything that can be automated will be automated. Anything that can be computerized will be computerized… It's not going to look like anything we can conceive from here. So what are we preparing these children for? If we're not preparing them to fire up a skill set of creativity, then we will not be serving them at all.”

What’s needed is a “curriculum that generates intimacy” with the skills of creativity, says Bain, who serves as an adjunct assistant profesor in the The Spirituality Mind Body Institute Master’s Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.

“The Book of Doing and Being” reflects Bain’s belief that “only through creative acts can we rise above our conditioning.” He challenges readers to question their usual ways of thinking, feeling and perceiving to open the vast potential of creative imagining.

The book features more than 40 activities, exercises, practices and even a “Creativity Quotient Quiz.” These are practical lessons for anyone seeking to jump start or complete a project, launch a new business, create a work of art or even experience more fulfilling relationships.

“The Book of Doing and Being” teaches you how to rewire your brain to unleash ultra-creativity; find freedom from self-criticism, perfectionism, and other obstructions to productivity and creative expression; and how to harness the two forces of creativity: inspiration and action. Bain shows how anyone, regardless of age, education, or experience, can discover and heed the call of their purpose. The book’s tools and exercises will enrich educators, entrepreneurs, parents and anyone who wants to tap into creativity for richer lives and relationships.

“It is the quality of the work that we do in the world that is meaningful, and the quality of the relationships that we nourish,” he says.

In 2016, creativity exercises from "The Book of Doing and Being" will be woven through the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation's annual curriculum. The partnership, around the foundation's 2016 theme "Sparking Aha Moments," will empower families, schools, educators, employers and government representatives to focus on creativity in education and work. Also coming in 2016 is the film version of “Milton’s Secret,” a family drama based on the book by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman, starring Donald Sutherland and Michelle Rodriguez and directed by and executive produced by Bain.

"Bain authentically demonstrates that “BEING” with the right attitude puts your aptitude on steroids, so that you’ll be active in “DOING” for your success." ~ Peter Guber, owner The Golden State Warriors, co-owner Los Angeles Dodgers, and author of Tell to Win.

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