The Universal Traveler

Yesterday a great thing arrived, my new copy of the book The Universal Traveler: a Soft-systems guide to creativity, problems solving and the process of reaching goals by Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall.

My first exposure to this book was as a freshman design student at Iowa State University back in the spring semester of 1987 – Design Studies 101 class. This book was one of the texts. All design college students were required to take the course, and many on-the-ball engineering students took the class too.

After the course I gave my copy to a teacher in my home town, Bedford Iowa. This teacher, Linda Gray Smith, was the person who did the most to teach me HOW to think, not WHAT, but HOW. She also was in charge of a great program called Future Problems Solving. The book fit right into that program, so I was glad it found a home.

Unfortunately, by the time I appreciated the book, copies were almost impossible to find. Last week, I decided to look again. I was THRILLED to find it on Amazon in and updated version. The ISBN is: 1-56052-679-3 and is published by Crisp Publications.

This book is a golden treasure for anyone wise enough to consider themselves “creative” or smart enough to decided the want to be.

The thing that really amazed me is that I’ve been working through some philosophical stuff lately – Western “Make it Happen” attitudes toward goal-setting v. Eastern “Let it Happen” attitudes toward non-doing, non-knowing (Taoist stuff…). I’ve been meditating on the words “surrender” and “receive.” Then just last Sunday it hit me that all the meanings of “surrender” and “receive” can be combined in the one word “accept.”

The Universal Traveler showed up yesterday. As I was skimming happily through the book, a major section jumped out at me – a full several spreads on the importance of “Acceptance.” Synchronisity!

The quote at the top of the page about accepting things as they exist or accepting responsibility to change them is my new motto. It should be yours too. It applies to every client situation. It applies to every spark of creativity. It applies to you – become a Universal Traveler yourself!






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