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It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden

November 4, 2013



This is a collection of great advice, well-written, from creative director Paul Arden (1940-2008). As the title suggests, its central premise is that natural creative talent is much less important than drive, courage, vision and a relentless work ethic. Full of little, ADD-friendly snippets of wisdom, this is a good book for any creative person to have on their shelf. A few of the many passages I highlighted:

 There is no instant solution. The only way to learn is through experience and mistakes. (p14)

 Firstly you need to aim beyond what you are capable of. You must develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end. Try to do the things that you’re incapable of. (p17)

 Have you noticed how the cleverest people in school are not those that make it in life?…Very simply, they get overtaken by those who continually strive to be better than they are. (p20)

 Do not seek praise. Seek criticism. (p26)

 Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you…Ideas are open knowledge. Don’t claim ownership. (p30)

 90% of advertising inspiration comes from other advertising…To be original, seek your inspiration from unexpected sources. (p88)

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