What IS Creativity?

We would all benefit from being more creative at times in our life wouldn’t we? Many of us seem to think it is beyond us or that we need to create some original idea. So what actually do we mean by being creative? Read on…

Here in America October represents the harvest of pumpkins, the glorious falling temperatures of Autumn celebrated in many places throughout the country with state carnivals, church festivals and musical concerts in the park as well as the start of many new initiatives in business, life and lots more besides.

When anyone is looking to make any kind of change in their life, often the approach they take needs to become attractive or appealing in order for them to maintain it and often it may not remain attractive or appealing for as long as we like. I get lots of people who tell me that they find it difficult to maintain enthusiasm or keep on investing the required levels of energy in order to make a real success of a project or a goal.

So, for that reason, I want to talk about enhancing creativity today. When you become more |creative|, you can begin to make more out of your every day experiences and perceptions of what it is that you are doing, you can make life more colourful and have more fun and joy when you are more creative.

So what actually is Creativity?

Good question. We can all be creative; creativity is about making new connections – and that is literally physiologically true within our neurology. Creativity is the mind’s growing edge. It often involves a lot of discovery. By creating new connections you build your brain power and develop mental and interpersonal flexibility which can begin to heighten your ability to do a huge array of things with more and more ease.

Imagine this; every time you link two things together, you create a third entity. That new connection can itself then connect with other ideas, additional possibilities. Imagine the impact this can have throughout a system like your brain!

Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon in 1965. That event changed our beliefs and thoughts about the universe. It also altered thoughts and beliefs about human inventiveness and skill: this event helped us to recognise that if we want something enough, we can find ways to do something that we may have believed were impossible before. I reckon this gave may people some powerful and liberating thoughts and beliefs about human capability. I heard on the radio recently that there are also plans to land on Mars now! I always fancied exploring the many wonders of space and beyond.

Being creative on an individual level has the same potential: when you connect things together, you go beyond both of them; and you have the possibility of forming new beliefs about yourself and your potential. I remember when I was first learning about NLP, hypnosis and my other beloved subjects, I was so excited, I would read so much material that I felt like my brain was literally growing and stretching. That’s not too scary is it?

I love working with children. They have such a vivid imagination, I can remember when I used to play with many imaginary friends for hours and days on end as a youngster. Children are amazingly creative, each of us has been a child (some still are!). Children show their creativity in the way they discover their environment and make their own meanings of it. Many children create new worlds while playing with toys, they don’t need elaborate or sophisticated toys, equipment or props, the meaning comes from within them; the meaning comes from out of themselves.

You need to give yourself permission and time (and energy) to make new connections and links which is what creativity is all about. It is about the process rather than the outcome or the final product. You can be creative at home or at work, when changing habits, updating behaviours, resolving issues, or just making life happier in any way you can. You can be creative with words, ideas, thoughts, materials, food and the kind of fun you have. You can partner your creative inspirations in your own surroundings or explore these urgings with your internal world.

In addition to this, creativity creates something new. That’s right, even if every ingredient is already known to you or is familiar. An insight for example, is creative because the new conclusion gleans from information you already had; it is the new perspective that makes the difference.

Above all, being creative returns us to that state where we are feeling confident and fully  centered in a playful spirit filled with a joyful presence.  It is about being absorbed and enjoying doing what you are doing, paying attention to detail, having a grand vision, being excited and playful, wondering what would happen if…

Advertisements
Posted in Creativity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why You Are AWESOME!

Why You Are AWESOME!.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Being First, Being Original, Being Innovative!

There is an often missed distinction between Being the First, Being Original, and Being Innovative.

To determine that someone (or something) has been the first, we need to apply a temporal test. It should answer at least three questions: what exactly was done, when exactly was it done and was this ever done before.

To determine whether someone (or something) is original – a test of substance has to be applied. It should answer at least the following questions: what exactly was done, when exactly was it done and was this ever done before.

To determine if someone (or something) is innovative – a practical test has to be applied. It should answer at least the following questions: what exactly was done, in which way was it done and was exactly this ever done before in exactly the same way.

Reviewing the tests above leads us to two conclusions:

1. Being first and being original are more closely linked than being first and being innovative or than being original and being innovative. The tests applied to determine “firstness” and originality are the same.

2. Though the tests are the same, the emphasis is not. To determine whether someone or something is a first, we primarily ask “when” – while to determine originality we primarily ask “what”.

Innovation helps in the conservation of resources and, therefore, in the delicate act of human survival. Being first demonstrates feasibility (“it is possible”). By being original, what is needed or can be done is expounded upon. And by being innovative, the practical aspect is revealed: how should it be done.

Society rewards these pathfinders with status and lavishes other tangible and intangible benefits upon them – mainly upon the Originators and the Innovators. The Firsts are often ignored because they do not directly open a new path – they merely demonstrate that such a path is there. The Originators and the Innovators are the ones who discover, expose, invent, put together, or verbalize something in a way which enables others to repeat the feat (really to reconstruct the process) with a lesser investment of effort and resources.

It is possible to be First and not be Original. This is because Being First is context dependent. For instance: had I traveled to a tribe in the Amazon forests and quoted a speech of Kennedy to them – I would hardly have been original but I would definitely have been the first to have done so in that context (of that particular tribe at that particular time). Popularizers of modern science and religious missionaries are all first at doing their thing – but they are not original. It is their audience which determines their First-ness – and history which proves their (lack of) originality.

Many of us reinvent the wheel. It is humanly impossible to be aware of all that was written and done by others before us. Unaware of the fact that we are not the first, neither original or innovative – we file patent applications, make “discoveries” in science, exploit (not so) “new” themes in the arts.

Society may judge us differently than we perceive ourselves to be – less original and innovative. Hence, perhaps, is the syndrome of the “misunderstood genius”. Admittedly, things are easier for those of us who use words as their raw material: there are so many permutations, that the likelihood of not being first or innovative with words is minuscule. Hence the copyright laws.

Yet, since originality is measured by the substance of the created (idea) content, the chances of being original as well as first are slim. At most, we end up restating or re-phrasing old ideas. The situation is worse (and the tests more rigorous) when it comes to non-verbal fields of human endeavor, as any applicant for a patent can attest.

But then surely this is too severe! Don’t we all stand on the shoulders of giants? Can one be original, first, even innovative without assimilating the experience of past generations? Can innovation occur in vacuum, discontinuously and disruptively? Isn’t intellectual continuity a prerequisite?

True, a scientist innovates, explores, and discovers on the basis of (a limited and somewhat random) selection of previous explorations and research. He even uses equipment – to measure and perform other functions – that was invented by his predecessors. But progress and advance are conceivable without access to the treasure troves of the past. True again, the very concept of progress entails comparison with the past. But language, in this case, defies reality. Some innovation comes “out of the blue” with no “predecessors”.

Scientific revolutions are not smooth evolutionary processes (even biological evolution is no longer considered a smooth affair). They are phase transitions, paradigmatic changes, jumps, fits and starts rather than orderly unfolding syllogisms (Kuhn: “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”).

There is very little continuity in quantum mechanics (or even in the Relativity Theories). There is even less in modern genetics and immunology. The notion of laboriously using building blocks to construct an ebony tower of science is not supported by the history of human knowledge. And what about the first human being who had a thought or invented a device – on what did he base himself and whose work did he continue?

Innovation is the father of new context. Original thoughts shape the human community and the firsts among us dictate the rules of the game. There is very little continuity in the discontinuous processes called invention and revolution. But our reactions to new things and adaptation to the new world in their wake essentially remain the same. It is there that continuity is to be found.

Posted in Creativity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

7 Blocks to Creative Thinking

We’re all skilled at creative thinking. It is, after all, the predominant way we think as children. The reason we lose the skill as we grow up is because of the blocks we put in the way. In this article I’ll show you 7 ways you can unblock your creativity and think like a child again.

Each of us has the power to be creative. It’s part of our natural make-up as human beings. The trouble is that, too often, we block our natural creativity and so make errors in thinking and give ourselves more problems than we should. Here are 7 ways to open up your natural creativity and keep the channels unblocked.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions. When we assume, we often make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Assumptions are examples of lazy thinking. We simply don’t wait to get all the information we need to come to the right conclusions. There is the story of the customer at the bank who after cashing a cheque and turning to leave, returns and says: “Excuse me, I think you made a mistake.” The cashier responds, “I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do. You should have counted it. Once you walk away we are no longer responsible.” Whereupon the customer replies: “Well, okay. Thanks for the extra $20.”

Tip: When you feel yourself wanting to draw conclusions, just wait until you have all the information.

2. See Things From Other Points Of View. A truly open mind is willing to accept that, not only do other people have other just as valid points of view from theirs, but that these other points of view may be more valid. A story is told that the modernist painter Pablo Picasso was once traveling on a train across Spain when he got into conversation with a rich businessman who was dismissive of modern art. As evidence that modern art didn’t properly represent reality, he took out a photo of his wife from his wallet and said: “This is how my wife should look, not in some silly stylized representation.” Picasso took the photo, studied it for a few moments and asked: “This is your wife?” The businessman proudly nodded. “She’s very small,” observed Picasso wryly.

Tip: Don’t have a monopoly on how things are. Things aren’t always what they seem. Be ready to consider other points of view.

3. Avoid Yo-Yo Thinking.  Some people tend to have a tendency to swing from a highly positive mood one minute to a highly negative one the next, all because of what they see in front of them. It’s like a yo-yo: up one minute, down the next. It’s far more healthy to stay neutral and not let emotions get the better of you.

Tip: Remember that things are rarely as good – or as bad – as you think they are.

4. Get Rid Of Lazy Thinking Habits.  Habit can be a major stumbling block to clear thinking and another example of laziness. Try this experiment. Write down the Scottish surnames Macdonald, Macpherson, and Macdougall and ask someone to pronounce them. Now follow these with the word Machinery and see what happens. Most people are likely to mis-pronounce it. This is because we tend to think in habitual ways and don’t like what doesn’t fit.

Tip: Don’t think that, just because things happened in a certain way once before, that they will happen like that again.

5. Don’t Think Like An Old Person, Think Like A Child. Research shows that the number of synapses, or connections, in the brain is greater in a child of two than in an average adult. The reason for this is that, while a child of two has no limiting world view, as adults we do. It’s like a sculptor who starts off with a large block of clay, more than he needs, and then gradually removes the clay as he moulds his sculpture. If we use our brain like a child, accepting everything without judgment, we can actually halt and reverse the brain ageing process.

Tip: Don’t worry about the myth of age. With the right stimulus and a passion for learning, you can actually improve your brain’s powers.

6. See The Detail As Well As The Big Picture. You may know the poem by John Godfrey Saxe called “The Blind Men and the Elephant”. This tells how six blind men of Indostan go to see an elephant and each try to work out what it is from touching it. One blind man touches the tusk, another the trunk, another the tail, and so on. Of course, not being able to see the whole elephant, they come to wildly different conclusions.

Tip: Try to keep the big picture in front of you while looking at details. It will help to put everything in its proper place and context.

7. Think For Yourself.  Taking time out to think is still frowned on in many organizations that prize activity over creativity. People who work in creativity-constrained organizations are likely to think the way they are supposed to think, or as others think, or as has always been the way to think. It’s like the blinkered thinking that Hans Christian Anderson describes in his story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Everyone in the land refuses to see that the emperor is naked and has been duped into believing he is wearing a splendid costume for his coronation. Only a young boy who has been ill and not party to the cultural brainwashing can see the truth and cries out: “Look, everyone, the Emperor is wearing no clothes!”

Tip: Don’t let others tell you how to think. When others ask your opinion, tell it to them straight.

Once you make these 7 techniques part of your habitual thinking patterns, you will amaze yourself with how easy it is to come up with fresh, innovative and creative solutions to all of life’s problems.

Posted in Creativity | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scribble This!

Scribbling is a new art form, much like the art of journaling, however you can doodle, mind map and draw to your heart’s delight.  This process allows you to depict a buried emotion that words cannot adequately express or depict for you.  So, do yourself a favor and stay cheerful as you take a pen in hand and let your brain communicate anything that is flowing through your mind.  Get these thoughts and feelings rumbling through your head down on paper.  This is known as a brain dump!  Allowing these silly little thoughts to find their own private space on the page, won’t disable your momentum by carrying around all these nonsense thoughts while you carefully try to sort them out during your day.  Your best choice is  get rid of those nagging thoughts taking up residence in your mind.  After all, you can tackle this situation in a healthier manner through using this simple scribble technique. 

Scribble any of your ideas down (including doodling or drawings) in a notebook and  give them a title if you want, but do make a concerted  effort of keeping them in a chronological order by date, so it is easier for you to recall the inspiration behind this urge to write down any messages.  Notice if your scribblings take on a certain theme.  You might be noticing a story is trying to emerge.  Have fun and enjoy this adventure!

Posted in Scribble Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join in the Scribble Fun

Welcome to the Scribble Society!

If you are a woman looking to find your voice,  look no further. Come write with us and watch your playful scribble turn into a story before your eyes.  This blog will be sharing various stories  highlighting tips and techniques how others like yourself,  scribbled their way to success.   You are cordially invited to participate in this Scribble playground as we help you find the courage to step out and share your story with your waiting audience!

Posted in Welcome to Scribble | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is SCRIBBLE?

Scribble Society is an on-line inspirational, educational and transforming Writing Community designed especially for women who want to find their voice and empower their lives!  Visit us at http://www.ScribbleSociety.com for more details about our programs.

Posted in Scribble Philosophy | Tagged , | Leave a comment