Peter Himmelman’s musical beginnings were with a band he formed with some friends in Minneapolis, Minnesota called Sussman Lawrence. He split from the band in the mid-1980s, focusing on a solo career as a singer and songwriter.
But here’s what’s interesting about his story – at the same time he launched his solo career as a rock star, he made a choice to live a life in observance of the 3,300-year-old laws of Judaism. This means Peter observed all the traditional daily rituals, the weekly Sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday), and the numerous holidays over the course of a year. As you might expect, this had a profound impact on his music career, but it was a choice he made on
A prolific songwriter and an incredibly fun and engaging entertainer on stage, Peter released many albums over the years. In the mid-‘90s, he shifted gears from rock stardom to writing music for television and movies. He was nominated for an Emmy for his theme song for the CBS show Judging Amy, and was nominated for a Grammy for his children’s album, My Green Kite.
He’s still writing music like crazy, and has shifted gears again – now teaching creativity, mindfulness, and leadership to corporate and executive teams around the world through, believe it or not, songwriting. Peter is incredibly grounded, self-aware, creative, and innovative and has a lot to share during the podcast. Check it out.
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
4:45 – “When you describe to people what you do, what do you say?”
8:45 – His first go at teaching songwriting.
11:45 – How he got his first group of students an incredible breakthrough in creativity.
15:15 – How losing his “regular” job composing music for a TV show lead to a huge breakthrough and the next phase in his life.
20:10 – On taking his first corporate training gig for The Gap.
21:00 – How he got his first gig with a band when still a teenager.
24:15 – Thoughts on creativity and being in the moment.
25:40 – How “Marv” and the fear of failure kills creativity.
28:00 – How fear leads to shame, then abandonment, then death. That’s what keeps us from being creative.
30:20 – Definition of creativity. In the absence of fear, taking action.
37:20 – How any of us can change the world, any time, any day.
48:00 – On keeping the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday for the past thirty years.
51:30 – On the 3,300-year-old Jewish laws and how they still apply today.
55:15 – The freedom in structure.
1:01:15 – The impact of honoring the Sabbath for thirty years of his life.
1:07:00 – Daily rituals and his technique for meditating.
1:15:35 – “Winging it” in a public speaking engagement; how structure, notes, and a plan would have helped.
1:22:00 – Getting his black belt.
1:29:13 – Sleep: on waking up at night regularly, and how he gets back to sleep.
1:32:14 – On being “nice” versus being “cool.”
To learn more about Peter, visit his website, PeterHimmelman.com, and check out his corporate creativity and leadership program, BigMuse.com.