Tag Archives: creativity

a return to self

“We mustn’t let our dreams die in the daylight because we lose focus while responding to the world’s lame interests or false emergencies.”  — Brendon Burchard

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Have you noticed how much time you spend attending to the demands of others while letting go of the string that your dreams are attached to.   You may be doing work that is not your best work, or you may be working for someone who is a tyrant or you may be abused by words or actions of others and you retreat from being truly who you are.

A return to self isn’t about being selfish it is about being authentic and living the life you were designed to live.   Your gifts, talents and strengths were meant to be used and not hidden from the world and too often it is the case that your best talents are not put to their best use.

Too many people have had their dreams crushed by others who were in full pursuit of their own interests.  You might be one of those people who have worked for a bully or someone who didn’t want to help you be your best.  You may be doing work because it was what someone else wanted for you and you wanted to please them.  You may have given up your dreams so that someone else could achieve theirs.   What happened when you did that?   What did you lose?

What are your strengths?

What are your dreams?

What are you giving up to live the life you are now living?

What would it take for you to start using your strengths and to start moving towards your dreams?   A return to self would allow you to be your best self and to allow you to make your best contribution.   What do you think?

Be creative …

“It’s not about breaking the rules. It is about abandoning the concept of rules altogether” – Paul Lemberg

What does it take to be creative?   Normally it takes  a big leap from where you are right now so that you would create a sense of personal risk.   It is a step into the unknown, it is a new experience, and it would be foreign to your way of thinking.   Certainly there is incremental creativity which is based on taking what you know now and extending it in a new direction.   What I am thinking about takes a bigger leap, it means leaving behind the set of assumptions you use to bound your creativity.

How do you get outside of your own way of thinking?   What causes you to stretch?

Some people use tools like mind mapping to extend their scope of thinking.    A new resource called Murally looks interesting and may open doors to collaborate in new ways.

Stanford is offering a class in creativity and there is approximately 35000 students participating.   How do you manage a class of 35000?    How do you review the work of 35000 people who are turning in work?   No matter what the assignment is the idea of reviewing that volume of work is prohibitive.  35000 students is probably more students than most professors teach in a lifetime of teaching.

When you are pressed with a challenge you’ve never experienced before, what do you do?    Do you think in a new way or do you follow the patterns that you habitually use?
What about a different approach?

What if you were asked to meet people from some place in the world you’ve never been what would you do?   What would you have in common with others?  Well that was the first assignment in the class on creativity.   Here’s a sample.

 

 

break through

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

It is a day of possibility, new ideas, new dreams and new desires rest on your mind like a drop of dew, enough to make a presence and not enough to create a change.  What would cause those ideas to swell and break through the complacency?

Consider these questions:

1. What would you like to create?

2. Imagine that you are in a movie theater and they are playing the story of your life, what would you be watching?

3. What goals would make you a better person if you were to accomplish them?

4. What holds you back from having your own breakthrough?

Consider those questions, contemplate and feel free to send me a note outlining your dreams.   What do you really want to do?

creativity … right brain thinking

“True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.” — Eckhart Tolle

Where do your best ideas come from?

Are you able to use your creative talents daily?    When do you use your creativity?

Creativity leads to innovation if action is taken and that is what thwarts many creative people, the inability to take action.    Having great ideas works when something becomes of them.   Perhaps you have tons of great ideas and they are carefully written in a book, the ideas are there but they aren’t going anywhere.  What would it take to take the best ideas and take action on them?

If you are thinking, “I’m not a creative thinker” then try to different approaches to solving problems.   For example Daniel Pink suggests that you give the problem to someone else to solve.   Gretchen Rubin the author of the “Happiness Project” has these suggestions to generate new ideas.

Some people just draw pictures and link those pictures to a central theme, or do what is popularly called “Mind Mapping“.    There are other brain storming methods that can be used to generate new ideas, ideas that can improve your life.    Visiting a book store can be a good way to look at things in a new way, new ideas and new thoughts can lead to your innovative spirit coming to life.

Some ideas to cultivate creative thoughts:

1. Invite some friends over for a creativity party.

2. Take a walk

3. Journal – and then reflect on what you wrote

4. Solve a problem for someone else

5. Play with some children .. let them solve a problem for you.

6. Take something apart blindfolded

7. Read a book you normally wouldn’t read

The idea is to shift you out of your comfort zone, your normal zone of thinking, so that you exercise a part of the brain you don’t normally use.   Flip things upside down, tackle the idea from a different point of view and see what happens.    Change the rules to a game, like Monopoly or Scrabble, what can you come up with?

Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray, Love” talks about the creativity challenge …

What are your creativity challenges? What would spark a new idea? What would cause you to leap to action?

Intention

Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself: What is my truest intention? Give yourself time to let a yes resound within you. When it’s right, I guarantee that your entire body will feel it.   Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine

It is what gets you from point A to point B, intention.   It is a motivating and driving force that enables you to do and to be.   Everything that you do starts with with an idea.  The idea grows in size and power until there is action.   The natural growth of that idea into an energetic force is intention.

Intention to do.   Intention to be.   Intention is like a compass pointing you in a direction.    Attention that follows intention is what starts you on that journey to reach that goal.   The intention precedes attention to the goal.

Often what is needed to transform and idea or thought into intention is a catalyst.    Words can acts as catalysts,  words like “creativity”, “kindness”, “love”, “beauty”, “abundant”,  and “receptive”.

Take each word and expand the meaning of the word in terms of being a catalyst for doing and being.

Creativity

What can you create?    What idea can you take and add to it.    How is creativity like a flower?

 

 

Kindness

What does kindness look like to you?   What acts of kindness can you do today?  What does intentional kindness look like?    What does kindness feel like?

 

Love

What is the intention of love?   What does it take to be intentional about love?  What can you do to be intentional about love today?

 

 

Beauty

Observe.   Take some time out to discover beauty around you.   Just look and notice.   The act of being intentional about noticing beauty may be eye-opening.  What are you noticing?

Abundant

What does abundant mean to you?    Does it mean available?   Does it mean large in quantity?   Does it mean high in quality?   What is abundance?   Lack of want?  What do you have abundance of?    What are you desiring to be more abundant in your life?

Receptive

Open to something new.    How are you being receptive to your thoughts?   How are you looking at your thoughts in terms of creating more abundance, more love, more beauty, more kindness and more creativity?   Intention starts with your ability to receive into your life the very things that surround you today.   Use what you have to get what you want.   Use your creativity, use your kindness, use your love, use the beauty, use your abundant ideas to live with greater intention.

Listen to what Deepak Chopra has to say about intention.   What are you doing to be more intentional about your life?

power words

Living a life by design is considered by many to be the preferred path towards greater happiness. We create our world and we interpret the world we live in by the words we choose to use. It is not how the world appears to us that matters, as it the way we describe that world. Words form pictures in our minds, pictures of what is, a picture of what is yet to be, and pictures of what was. These words and pictures bring either comfort or pain.

Words that can produce positive emotions like:

Gentle breeze

soft sounds

Peaceful waters

Delicate fragrance

Harmonious laughter

Calm, warm, pleasant, …

What words evoke a sense of peace, tranquility, and beauty?

In the 1965 motion picture “The Sound of Music” the power of words were used to describe how song, music can infect the soul with the meaning of song.

The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years.
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears.
My heart wants to beat like the wings
Of the birds that rise from the lake to the trees,
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies from a church on a breeze,
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls
Over stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray.
I go to the hills when my heart is lonely,
I know I will hear what I’ve heard before.
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I’ll sing once more.

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Words create moods and are used to describe moods.

What words do you use that are uplifting, freeing and enabling? What words do you use that are draining, tiresome, weighty and confining?

By choosing words that are an expression of creation, building, designing, freeing and liberating you will see your life tendencies and interpretations start to move towards more abundance.

For the next week alter your thoughts, choose words that are a more powerful description of what you want your world to look like. Become an artist and use words that are vibrant in color, deep in meaning, lofty in expression and filled with uncommon beauty.

Passion and skill

“Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.” Twyla Tharp “The creative habit: Learn it and use it for life”

Skill and passion linked together create a powerful potion for success. Passion and opportunity linked together create a powerful elixir for success.

What happens when the passion is missing?

Perhaps the skill is there but the passion isn’t, or the passion is there and the skill is missing. It might happen often that one of the two, passion or skill is missing but we forge ahead without one of them and that is when we find that something is missing. Joy emerges when we are able to put both passion and skill into the crucible in the presence of a catalyst.

Too often both skill and passion are mixed together and nothing happens and as a result people walk away wondering if they are doing the right thing. The catalyst might be a bit of encouragement, or a person who continue to push for a result but it is an external force that ignites the passion and skill mixture. The catalyst might be bit of inspiration, a bit of wisdom, a kind word, a challenging word, a flash of insight or hard work late into the night.

What do you use as a catalyst for action? When are you able to use both your skills with your passions? Do you encounter joy when you are able to use both skill and passion?