An Inspiring Read – author Paul Arden

This is a must read for anyone wanting to break out of self-limiting beliefs around creativity and succeeding in life. The world’s top advertising guru, Paul Arden has complied a pocket bible full of motivating and insightful messages that have changed my thoughts towards my own negative thought processes and ability to succeed as a creative practitioner.

This read came to me at a very crucial time, as yesterday I had the opportunity to present a three minute digital ‘showcase’ on me as a creative practitioner. Having came away with the feeling that I had missed the mark completely, and more than likely failed to meet the brief requirements, I most definitely needed ‘a kick in the backside’ pep talk from Paul Arden.

The chapters that really stood out for me were:

It’s right to be wrong

where Arden suggests that when we avoid focusing on trying to be right, many other possibilities become available. In my case yesterday, I developed a great ‘left field’ concept even though it didn’t relate very well to the topic. I’m far from perfect, and I probably never will be, but I can make the effort to become better than I currently am. I can certainly give myself credit for taking a risk and I also must hold on to the courage that propelled me to put myself out there in the world.

Do not seek praise, seek criticism

Yesterday I felt deflated when other class colleagues were praised for their efforts individually, and my name wasn’t mentioned. Considering the benefits of seeking out and accepting criticism enthusiastically rather than seeking praise, has lifted my spirits allowing me to be prepared for another insightful lesson and learn from my mistakes. Again none of us are perfect, and we are all different people with our own set of potential weaknesses and strengths. Which brings me to the next pearl of wisdom…

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

I often need the reminder of this obvious truth.

Don’t give a speech, put on a show

Had I not failed to introduce my topic and how it is a creative suggestion of the brief outline, I would have certainly put on a show rather than given a speech. I enjoyed being the story teller in my presentation, it was just a shame that not many people had a clue why I was saying what I did.  I then adopt another tip from Arden…

Fail, fail and fail better

And all is as it should be in my world, and I can…

Achieve the unachievable

By aiming beyond what I am capable of and pushing through the barriers where my self-limiting beliefs put an end to things.  I need to define where I want to be in reality, and visualise it happening. Before the end of the week, I intend to have a clear vision in mind, for what and where I want to be as a creative practitioner, and how good I want to be in this reality.

Watch the Score!

a prime example of the wise words of Paul Arden

a prime example of the wise words of Paul Arden


Arden, P. (2003). It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be. London: Phaidon Press.

Lisa Duddington. (2011). Usability and UX Blog. Retrieved on 17 April, 2013 from


2 thoughts on “An Inspiring Read – author Paul Arden

  1. fatspatula says:

    What I learn’t from school and tertiary study is that the less compliments and more bewilderment you get – the more original your path is and the more interesting the journey. Take the path less followed, it leads to the more interesting and unique viewpoints. But we are funny creatures – always craving praise.


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