What You Need To Read Fluently


This is a hard topic. There is a lot that experts don’t know yet about the brain or how people read. This is because…

Because the brain is so complicated, nobody’s brain is wired perfectly for all of the jobs we need it to do.

But here is what experts agree on so far when it comes to reading:

● Speaking is natural, reading is not
● Fluent readers are good in three areas:
○ Sounding out words (decoding)
○ Recognizing words fast enough to read smoothly (rapid word recall)
○ Understanding what has been written (comprehension)
● Dyslexia is a problem with the first two reading areas:
○ Decoding — Breaking words into their sounds
○ Rapid Word Recall — Recognizing words quickly


All humans talk. Even non-verbal people “talk” using sign language or gestures. Speaking is natural.

But reading is not natural. You have to learn how to do it.

For 90% of human history, nobody was dyslexic. That’s because nobody had invented writing yet. Everyone’s brains were all wired a little differently. But early people hunted and farmed and wove and cooked without any trouble.

Even after writing was invented, only a very small number of people could read and write. Medieval kings often had official scribes to read and write for them, because even royalty didn’t know how. They didn’t learn to read because it took so much time and effort, and there were so few books — it just wasn’t worth it.

It was only as printing became widespread in the last three hundred years that more people learned to read and write. And so it was only in the last three hundred years that more people began to have the problems that we now call dyslexia.


To learn to read, the brain has to link together many different areas of the brain. None of these areas evolved to read. They all have other jobs already. When we make the brain do jobs it was never meant to do, the wiring can get crossed.

And that is exactly what we do when we read and write. Writing is a way of recording sounds and turning them into something that makes sense of sounds when you look at letters – mixing two different systems together.

Two Problem Areas

Remember at the top of this post that I said that fluent readers are good at recalling the right word, sounding the word out, and then connecting the word with the correct meaning.

And I said that two of these skills give dyslexics problems: recalling words and sounding words out.

Poor Word Recall

The first challenge for dyslexics is recalling the right words in the right order. Poor or slow word recall can be a toughie anytime a dyslexic uses language. It can show up when you are just talking, but it is especially common when you are reading. People who have trouble quickly remembering the right word may not do well answering questions in class, on oral tests or presentations, as well as anything that requires reading.

What does poor word recall look like?

Like everything else about dyslexia, poor word recall can have a lot of different looks. William James (Harvard professor from 1873-1907) was the first to describe when a word is just out of reach of your memory. A word being on the “tip of the tongue” is something that he, as a dyslexic, may have experienced a lot.

My daughter has the same trouble. When she was young, she would stop talking in the middle of a sentence. I would wait for her to start talking again. When she didn’t, I’d start in with my side of the conversation. My daughter would hold up her hand: “I’m not done talking.” When I asked her why she stopped talking in the middle of the sentence, she said that she was trying to remember the right word.

Carolyn Greider won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for her research on how cells in the body age. Her poor word recall looks a little different. While Carolyn was in school, sometimes the wrong words came out in place of the words she meant to say. My husband has the same problem. He might say “sweet” when he means “sweat”.

“When the time comes for your brain to process the information, the second word comes up faster than the first one. So when it’s in your head, all of a sudden, it comes out backwards and you think of the word backwards”.

— Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner, Olympic Gold Medalist.

Can’t Sound it Out

The other puzzle for dyslexics is that you don’t hear the separate sounds of the words.

Fluent Readers Sound It Out

To learn to read, everybody must learn to break words down into their separate sounds. That’s why beginning readers say “duh o g” for “dog”. People call this decoding or sounding it out. Putting letters together to create a word is called encoding or spelling. Most people learn to sound out and spell words easily.


Decode means to sound a word out by breaking it into its sounds. It is also called sounding it out.
Encode means to spell a word. It is also called spelling.
The separate sounds (“duh o g”) of the word are called phonemes.

Dyslexics Don’t Hear the Parts

But most people with dyslexia don’t hear the separate parts of a word. If you can’t hear it, you can’t sound it out. And you can’t connect the sounds to letters so you can read. For example, people in my family might hear “batter” as “badder” or “canned” as “can’t”. Even if they can break the word apart, they hear the wrong sounds.

“When I was in elementary school I was considered a poor speller and somebody who couldn’t sound out words, so I was taken into remedial classes…”

— Carolyn Greider, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine for research on how cells age.

Dyslexics Don’t Become Fluent Readers

Fluency is when a reader is able to sound out and remember a word easily enough that you have brain power leftover to understand the story. The end result of fluency is that wonderful feeling of being pulled completely into a book.

“I, myself, was always recognized . . . as the “slow one” in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was . . . an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day.”

— Agatha Christie, writer of Murder on the Orient Express and other mysteries, whose books sold over one billion copies.

Probably like most people with dyslexia, you have managed to learn to read by working harder than the fluent readers around you. You use lots of tricks to make up for your poor reading skills.

But because people with dyslexia have trouble sounding words out or remembering words quickly, you don’t become fluent readers. This can slow down your understanding of what has been written.

And not reading fluently can be very frustrating.


Allen, Scott. 2009. “11 Celebrities Who Overcame Dyslexia.” Mental Floss. October 9, 2009. http://mentalfloss.com/article/22968/11-celebrities-who-overcame-dyslexia.

Armstrong, Thomas. 2003. “Coming to Grips with the Musculature of Words.” In The Multiple Intelligences of Reading and Writing: Making the Words Come Alive.
Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/102280/chapters/Coming-to-Grips-with-the-Musculature-of-Words.aspx.

Crockett, Kathy. “Carol Greider, Scientist, Nobel Prize Winner.” The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Accessed November 9, 2017. http://dyslexia.yale.edu/story/carol-greider-ph-d/.

Jenner, Caitlyn. n.d. “Caitlyn Jenner Quotes.” BrainyQuote. Accessed November 9, 2017a. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/caitlynjen362264.html.

Eide, Brock, and Fernette Eide. 2011. The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain. New York: Hudson Street Press.

Fisher, Jennifer Engel, and Janet Price. 2012. Take Control of Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties: The Ultimate Guide for Kids. Waco, Tex: Prufrock Press.

James, William. “Principles of Psychology.” Classics in the History of Psychology, 1890. http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/James/Principles/.

Lawrence, Denis. 2009. Understanding Dyslexia: A Guide for Teachers and Parents.
Maidenhead [England] ; New York, NY: Open University Press.

Nicolson, Rod, and Angela Fawcett. 2008. Dyslexia, Learning, and the Brain. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Shaywitz, Sally E. 2003. Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level. 1st ed. New York: Knopf.


“Why me?” is the big question for most dyslexics. But people also want to know if it is something genetic, and if it is something that happens in other writing systems too. We’ll talk about:

● All cultures have people who are dyslexic
● Dyslexia runs in families
● Both boys and girls can be dyslexic
● Clinical or educational psychologists can diagnose dyslexia.


Cultures all over the world have dyslexics. People who read Japanese characters are just as likely to be dyslexic as people who read English, Polish or Arabic.

But the English language has lots of words that don’t follow the spelling or pronunciation rules. That means English-reading dyslexics have a much harder time than people reading Spanish or German, for example.


Because reading is such a new skill for humans, there is no single “reading gene”. That means that there are several genes that can cause dyslexia.

But the different genes that cause dyslexia do run in families. If one of your parents or a brother or sister has trouble reading, you are more likely to be dyslexic, too. If a father is dyslexic, his son has a forty percent chance of being dyslexic — if you had nine brothers, you and three brothers might be dyslexic.

Dyslexia affects adults as well as children. But we don’t hear about adults being dyslexic as much. For a long time, many dyslexics slipped through the cracks. If your parents or grandparents were dyslexic, they learned how to cope with their learning difference on their own. In fact, many adult dyslexics only find out that they have a learning difference as they listen to a teacher explain their child’s diagnosis and realize “That’s how I read!”


Both boys and girls can be dyslexic. But dyslexia is noticed sooner in boys because they tend to act out more when they’re frustrated. Girls tend to withdraw from activities to cope with their learning problems.


Medical doctors can’t diagnose dyslexia, because it isn’t a medical condition. It’s a learning difference.

To get a diagnosis of dyslexia, you need to be tested by a clinical or educational psychologist. Your public school might be able to test you, or they can give you the names of people in your area who can. Or you can go to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Provider Directory web page. https://dyslexiaida.org/provider-directories/ For adult testing, you might find some good information at the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) Adult Testing web page. https://ldaamerica.org/category/adult-testing/?audience=Parents


Cell Press. 2009. “Dyslexia Varies Across Languages.” ScienceDaily. October 13, 2009. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012121333.htm.

Eide, Brock, and Fernette Eide. 2011. The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain. New York: Hudson Street Press.

Helmuth, L. 2001. “NEUROSCIENCE: Dyslexia: Same Brains, Different Languages.”
Science 291 (5511):2064–65. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.291.5511.2064.

The International Dyslexia Association. “Promoting Literacy through Research, Education and Advocacy.” The International Dyslexia Association, November 12, 2001. http://www.interdys.org/FAQWhatIs.htm.

LD Online. “LD OnLine: The World’s Leading Website on Learning Disabilities and ADHD.” Accessed January 21, 2019. http://www.ldonline.org/.

“Learning Disabilities Association of America – Support. Educate. Advocate.” Accessed January 28, 2021. https://ldaamerica.org/.

Reid, Gavin. 2011. Dyslexia: A Complete Guide for Parents and Those Who Help Them. 2nd edition. Chicester: Wiley.

One-Minute World News. 2005. “Scientists Discover Dyslexia Gene.” One-Minute World News. BBC. October 28, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4384414.stm.

Shaywitz. 2003. Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level. 1st ed. New York: Knopf.

Wolf, Maryanne. 2007. Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Harper.


            Dyslexia is a hard subject. There’s a lot people don’t know about it. And there’s a lot that people think they know, but is wrong. In this post, we’re going to talk about:

  • What dyslexia isn’t 
  • What dyslexia is
  • How dyslexia affects people


            There are so many misunderstandings about dyslexia, let’s start with what dyslexia isn’t.

  • Dyslexia is more than just flipping your “b”s and “d”s. Everybody flips letters when they are learning to read.

“It caused more problems as a young kid, because the simple process of perceiving words on a piece of paper was hard for me. Many people think dyslexic people see things backwards. They don’t see things backwards.”— Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic Gold Medalist

  • Having dyslexia from how smart you are. In fact, many people who have dyslexia are brilliant.
  • Dyslexia is not a comprehension problem. You usually understand what written words mean once you sound them out.
  • Having dyslexia doesn’t mean that you are lazy. If you are dyslexic, you’ve probably worked harder than most people, just to keep up with everybody else.          
  • Nor is dyslexia a problem with your eyes. It’s a difference in your brain wiring.
  • Having dyslexia doesn’t mean that you are crazy. Dyslexia doesn’t cause you to act or feel differently, you just have trouble reading.
  • Dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. You just have a different learning style.

“…I remember having a tutor come down and take me out of class and bring me to a different room. It certainly felt like I wasn’t as good as the other kids.”

— Carolyn Greider, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine for research on how cells age.


            This is a tricky question. Experts don’t agree on exactly what dyslexia is, so there are a lot of different definitions.

Here is a common definition of dyslexia:

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

International Dyslexia Association (IDA)

In other words:

Dyslexia is a learning disability that you have because your brain is wired differently.

You may have trouble recognizing words, or sounding them out and spelling them.

These problems are separate from how smart you are, or how well your teacher teaches you.

Either of these difficulties may change your understanding of what you read, and slow down how fast you learn new words.

            Because researchers don’t agree on what dyslexia is, they don’t agree on how many people are dyslexic. The most common numbers given are that 10-20% of all people are dyslexic. That means that out of ten kids in your class, one or two of you are struggling to decode or remember words.


   Here is what scientists agree on:

  • Dyslexia is a learning difference.
  • Dyslexia makes it hard for your brain to learn that groups of written letters represent sounds of different words.
  • Dyslexia often makes it hard to remember the right word when speaking, or spell the right word when writing.

And here is what scientists are beginning to understand:      

  • Dyslexia gives people profound insights and amazing creativity.


            Part of the confusion about dyslexia is because there are a lot of places for reading to go wrong. That means dyslexia affects people in many different ways. Some people have trouble recalling the right word. Many need more time to sound out and spell words. Others have lots of trouble reading, and stumble over words when they have to read out loud. All these people can be considered dyslexic.

“I am, myself, a very poor visualizer and find that I can seldom call to mind even a single letter of the alphabet in purely retinal terms. I must trace the letter by running my mental eye over its contour in order that the image of it shall leave any distinctness at all.”

— William James, professor of Philosophy, Anatomy and Physiology at Harvard, 1873-1907; often called “the Father of American Psychology.”

WHAT DYSLEXIA LOOKS LIKE                                                

            Dyslexia has been called “word blindness” because some dyslexic people just don’t see the words.

            For many other people with dyslexia, the problem looks like the letters float on the page. The phrase “I have dyslexia” might look like “I hayx dsliae”.

            Some dyslexics have entire words float around on the page: They might read the sentence as “I have this.”

            Confused? Their eyes scan ahead and pick up the word from this sentence. That’s what dyslexia looks like for my son.

Illustration of shapes of words, floating words or letters, missing words.

            My daughter is a landscape reader. She only sees the shapes of the words. For people like her, “I have dyslexia” looks like:

Landscape readers’ brains plug in any letters of the right height. They might write the sentence as “L bena hjehiaxe”.

            Landscape readers have even more trouble when they have to read a word in ALL CAPS because everything is the same size.

            But these floating letters are just a symptom of the fact that your brain has trouble making sense of written words.

“The biggest problem with dyslexic kids is not the perceptual problem, it is their perception of themselves. That was my biggest problem.” — Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic Gold Medalist.

References Used

Armstrong, Thomas. 2003. “Coming to Grips with the Musculature of Words.” In The Multiple Intelligences of Reading and Writing: Making the Words Come Alive. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/102280/chapters/Coming-to-Grips-with-the-Musculature-of-Words.aspx

Caitlyn Jenner, https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/caitlynjen362259.html

Crockett, Kathy. “Carol Greider, Scientist, Nobel Prize Winner.” The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Accessed November 9, 2017. http://dyslexia.yale.edu/story/carol-greider-ph-d/.

Eide, Brock, and Fernette Eide. 2011. The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain. New York: Hudson Street Press.

Fisher, Jennifer Engel, and Janet Price. 2012. Take Control of Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties: The Ultimate Guide for Kids. Waco, Tex: Prufrock Press.

The International Dyslexia Association. 2001. “Promoting Literacy through Research,

Education and Advocacy.” The International Dyslexia Association. November 12, 2001. http://www.interdys.org/FAQWhatIs.htm.

Shaywitz, Sally E. 1996. “Dyslexia.” Scientific American, 1996:98-104.

———. 2003. Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level. 1st ed. New York: Knopf.

What We’re Going to Talk About

Anything that involves the brain is complicated, and dyslexia is no different. But we’re going to try to answer some of the big questions about dyslexia: What went wrong? Why me? How can I fix it?

We’ll look at what dyslexia is, and what it isn’t. We’ll talk about how the wiring of a dyslexic’s brain is different from a fluent reader’s.

Once we’ve got those answers, we’ll explore the unique positives dyslexia offers. Believe it or not, if you know how to take advantage of it, dyslexia can give you some advantages. The same brain difference that gives you problems reading may also let you see the world in new and unusual ways.

And we’re gonna learn all about it.

Dyslexics use both hemispheres of their brains to read.

The first thing you need to know is that, as a dyslexic, you have a different learning style from people who readers easily and fluently. Fluent readers take a lot of little facts and build on them to come to a conclusion or point. Dyslexics, on the other hand, need to see what the big picture is first, then fill all the little facts into it.

Because dyslexics tend to be big picture learners, I’ve used lots of images, headers and bullet points to let you know where we are going, and what the point of the section is.

So to answer the first question about dyslexia — nothing “went wrong”. Dyslexics just have a different learning style.


I’m going to use a lot of people as examples in this blog. Unless I tell you otherwise, every person mentioned is dyslexic.

What Happens in Our Brains As We Learn to Read


Reading is an essential skill, required for almost anything we do. For most of us, it’s an almost magical transformation – learning the letters, sounding out the words, putting them together with ideas … and then … the wonderful moment we find ourself pulled completely into a book. We’re reading fluently! 

But not everybody learns to read easily. Some people struggle to recognize new words long after their friends have moved on to more advanced books. These people may be dyslexic.

Why does the magic of reading happen easily for some but not for others? To understand how we learn to read, we have to understand how we learn any new skill.

Different Hemispheres, Different Jobs

The brain is divided into two halves,called the right and left hemispheres. The two sides of the brain are connected. They share information and work together. The brain needs both sides to function well.

But the right and left hemispheres of the brain are good at different things. They process information in very different ways. Think of it this way: the right brain looks at the whole, “big picture”, the left brain works with a limited number of details. 

Right Brain Jobs

When we are just beginning to learn how to do a task, we do more of our thinking in the right hemisphere of our brain. The right hemisphere works with huge amounts of information from all the senses. It is slow and takes a lot of energy, but sees the big picture as it explores. For the right brain, anything is possible.

Left Brain Jobs

The left side thinks in details, is logical, analytical and fast. To do this, the left brain limits what it looks at. Streamlining options means more brain power for other thoughts.

People Have Unique Strengths

Some people are very good at using the skills and strengths of both sides of their brains. Others think more with one side or the other, either being more analytical, or more intuitive. Most people are strong in some areas and less so in others. 

Learning New Things

When we learn something new, the right and left brain hemispheres have different jobs. As beginners, we start off using both sides of our brains, looking at everything needed to get the job done. By the time we’ve become an expert at the task, we are only using the parts we need, stored on the left side of our brain.

So to learn something new, our brain has to: 

Left HemisphereRight Hemisphere

1) decide what it is we want to learn 

2) take in a lot of new information
3) figure out what’s important to get the job done
4) correct bits linked together

Experts Switch to Left

As the skill becomes automatic, the left hemisphere limits options and possibilities. Only the bits needed to do the job are linked together. We store the linked bits together in the left brain.

We do the steps over and over again. By repeating them, we get better at remembering which bits are important and which bits we can ignore. The more we practice, the more often the correct brain areas fire together, the stronger the connection, the better we get.  The linked bits have become one smooth thought. It’s like our brains create little apps that run when we want to do something. Psychologists call these scripts.

When we are done, our brains only need to run the last step in the left hemisphere. Very fast. Very efficient. This is why practice is so important in mastering a skill — we are teaching our brains to fire in the right pattern.

Illustration: a little of the brain firing on the left rear hemisphere and none on the right as a kid concentrates on playing X-box.

Brain Apps 

Most of the things we do in life follow these scripts. Brushing our teeth, walking to gym class, using a cell phone — all use scripts. 

Once we learn the scripts, our brains go to them first. The brain apps work really well most of the time. And they leave the brain enough processing power to have a conversation with your friend as you walk to gym class. 

How We Learn to Read

For most people, it’s the same with reading. Beginning readers: 

Left HemisphereRight Hemisphere

1) see the letters and hear the sounds

2) attach the sounds to the letters
3) practice putting sounds to groups of letters as words
4) create scripts for what the words mean – they become sight words. 

Fluent (Expert) Readers Use Left Hemisphere

Our amazing brains learn to recognize language in squiggles on paper, slowly at first, then with increasing speed as we store the information in the expert left hemisphere. Pretty soon most people can skip the first three steps when we read. We recognize each word and what it means on sight, and quickly move on to the next one. This frees up enough brain power to read easily, and we get sucked into the book. We are reading fluently!

Sidebar: Fluency

Fluency is when a reader is able to decode and remember a word easily enough that they have brain power leftover to understand the story. The end result of fluency is that wonderful feeling of being pulled completely into a book.


Public domain

Do you see a bunny or a duck? Neither answer is wrong – they are just different. 

The reason you see a duck and your friend sees a bunny is that everybody’s brains process information differently.

It is the same with learning, including reading.

Learning Differences

Learning differences often show up in people as problems in school. In fact, you’ll often hear them called “learning disabilities.”

People with learning differences usually have average to above average intelligence. They just have trouble making sense of some skills that most of us take for granted. They see the world in a different way than people who learn easily.

But since the world is built for people who learn easily, people with learning differences face greater challenges.

Dyslexics Have Trouble Becoming Fluent Readers

Dyslexia is the most common learning difference. People with dyslexia struggle to become fluent readers. And not reading fluently can be an obstacle to overcome. 


Beginning readers use many areas on both sides of their brains to sound out words. Once they have learned a word, fluent readers use just a few areas on the left side to quickly recognize and remember it.

Dyslexics Have Different Brain Wiring

A hundred years ago, Samuel Orton, of the University of Iowa School of Medicine, realized that some children who had trouble reading had average to above average intelligence. Since then, researchers have proven that dyslexia can be a problem with any of the areas of the brain used in reading, or the connections between them. That explains why dyslexia looks different in every person who has it.

Dyslexic brain reading.

Dyslexics Stay On the Right

Sally Shaywitz, a researcher at the Yale Center for Diversity and Learning, has shown that one of the main problems for dyslexics is that their fast, efficient left-hemispheres have a hard time learning and remembering the scripts to recognize a word on sight. Dyslexics have a hard time switching to using just the expert left side where written-word scripts are stored. Instead, they use the right sides of their brains to sound out a word each time. 

People with dyslexia have to sound the words out many more times before they become sight words. This process takes more time and more brain energy. It is a slow and tiring way to read. 


Dyslexics can learn to read. But they have to see a word many more times to learn it.

Right Brain Use May Make Dyslexics More Creative

The same traits that make it hard for people with dyslexia to read may make them awesomely creative. Because dyslexics have a hard time moving to the left hemisphere to read, they use the right side of their brains more than other people. The right side of the brain is associated with creativity. That means dyslexics may be more creative than non-dyslexics.

The brain has two halves.

Beginning readers use both sides of their brains 

Fluent readers use the left side of their brain 

Learn to limit possibilities

Sound out and remember words

Efficient experts

Limit options or possibilities by using scripts

Let the brain get sucked into written words

Read fluently

Dyslexic readers use the right side of their brain 


Big picture

Cut to the gist of the idea

Reading is slow, not fluent 

But get very good at using creative right side 

Even better, dyslexics tend to be very good at cutting out the useless stuff, and getting to the main point, or “gist”. They can rearrange facts in their minds to come up with better solutions without worrying about what the “rules” are. They put the same facts together in fantastic new ways. People with learning disabilities literally see the world differently. They are the ultimate “outside-the-box” thinkers.

Connect the dots by drawing four straight, continuous lines that pass through each dot once, without lifting your pencil.


How we learn to read shows us a window into how our brains work. Everybody’s brain is wired a little differently. 

While most people learn to read easily, reading can be very hard for dyslexics. But it may give people with dyslexia a unique way of looking at problems. They often have the creative new “outside the box” ideas that can change the world!

Successful Dyslexics

Some of the most famous people in the world are dyslexic: Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers; Orlando Bloom, actor; Whoopi Goldberg, actor; Kiera Knightly, actor; Richard Branson, business entrepreneur, and founder of Virgin Group of companies; Anderson Cooper, TV anchorman; Steven Spielberg, producer of Star Wars, Transformers and Jurassic Park movies; Carol Grieder, Nobel Prize winner; Dav Pilkey, author of Captain Underpants; Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA, Magic Johnson, star basketball player and businessman.

Courtesy: Steve Gustafson (aka Smerdis of Tlön) under Creative Commons license.

Solution: Think outside the box.