A Summary of the Main Idea of

The Spark and the Grind

Ignite the Power of Disciplined Creativity

By Erik Wahl (2017)
Creative genius is often immortalized as a eureka moment where one event triggers the spark of inspiration. People love the idea of an aha! moment – like when Isaac Newton supposedly had an apple fell on his head and discovered gravity.

Creativity really doesn't work that way. Isaac Newton, for example, had been working hard for twenty years to immerse himself in math and science before he made any breakthroughs. His notebooks had more than a million words in them by the time he made his discoveries. At most, he was a hard worker who was intensely curious.

And even then, if Newton had noticed gravity but didn't add the grind of execution and providing proof for his discoveries, he would today be remembered merely as someone who had some interesting ideas. To come up with something genuinely creative, you need both the spark and the grind. The best way to set the stage for inspiration in the future is to treat creativity more like a lifestyle and less like a single serendipitous event. To achieve an ongoing and constant stream of fresh creative ideas, you have to live an authentically innovative life. That involves seven steps:

ERIK WAHL is a graffiti artist, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the founder of his own consultancy firm, The Wahl Group, and has spoken at conventions organized by Microsoft, Disney, NBC, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Erik Wahl is famous for making paintings of thinkers, leaders and cultural icons during his presentations which he then auctions to raise money for charities. He is also a TED speaker and the author of Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius. Erik Wahl is a graduate of the University of San Diego.