Michael Gelb, author, "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci" and "How to Innovate Like Edison."

Air Dates: April 4-6, 2015

This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Michael J. Gelb, pre-eminent authority on the application of genius thinking, and a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. Gelb is the author of “Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age,” (co-authored with Kelly Howell) which presents the most important, scientifically valid, and useful information on improving one’s mind as one age. His other books include the popular “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci” and “How to Innovate Like Edison.”

Current neuroscientific studies have revolutionized our understanding of the power of the brain. The old notion that one’s brain’s potential was fixed at age 5 and after age 30 the brain began a slow but inevitable process of decline has been overturned.

We now know that the brain is designed to improve with use. Gelb takes the scientific discoveries the neurologists have made, and adapts them for use in the everyday life of Americans. The research shows that 15 minutes of something that’s new and challenging provides the most brain benefit -- the more challenging it is, the more robust the process of waking up the new circuitry. Among the activities that reap great brain rewards are juggling, learning a new language, and playing chess or bridge.

Gelb warns of the self-fulfilling prophecy that happens when people turn 30 and the first time they forget something they say, “Oh I am losing it. I am having a Senior Moment. I am not what I used to be.” Teachers know that kids always forget stuff - homework, lunch, jackets, etc. When the teacher confronts the fourth grader saying, “You forgot all this?” The fourth grade child doesn’t say, “Oh my god! I’m 10 years old and my memory is going. I am having a Junior Moment!”

Other fascinating brain research shows that optimistic, positive people seem to outlive negative, pessimistic people by an average of more than seven and a half years. Gelb explores how our thoughts affect our brain and reminds us that our brains are designed to improve with use.


“We don’t stop playing because we have grown old. We grow old because we have stopped playing.” --- Common Saying

“In a field cluttered with misinformation, Michael Gelb is an authentic source of practical wisdom for those who seek to develop their creative powers.”--- Murray Gell-Mann, winner, 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics