Tag Archives: Creativity

Create Your Own Destiny

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We are constantly imitating others. When we copy other people, we can’t reproduce their charisma, talent or success. Externally, we can imitate their life, their way of dressing and drive the same kind of car, but this does not bring us fulfilment.

We can take another’s life as an example, but we must think hard before we follow them. Look at the virtues of others and ask yourself: “I have something valuable and worthwhile myself? How can I bring it out?” When you notice something bad in those around you, make a firm resolve: “Let me not nurture such vices”.

There is much hidden potential in each one of us. What should we do to make this blossom? When you activate yourself, you bring out all the strengths and talents that God has given you, all that is inherent in you, that is natural in you, something genuine and original.

Create your own identity. When you do this other people gravitate towards you. Activation leads to gravitation. Then you don’t imitate others. Instead others might want to be like you. We are used to paying more attention to the external world. We try to gain social approval by dressing ourselves in a certain manner.

We stand in front of the mirror and make sure that we are presentable before we leave the house. We trust the mirror implicitly. The mirror reflects our outward appearance, not our thoughts, feelings and relationships.

Does it reflect the love in your heart? You may go to your workplace dressed in your best clothes. When somebody provokes you there, you may retort in anger or sulk in silence. Either way your peace of mind is shattered. Now your beautiful dress does nothing to help you.

Only inner strength and equipoise can continue to keep you calm, cheerful and unruffled. For this you have to activate the divine core within, from which flows a perennial stream of peace and tranquillity.

Imitation cannot give you peace. So, watch your attitude, thoughts, words and desires. Be aware of the calmness in your inner core and try to retain it.

External beauty is temporary. Inner beauty is permanent and eternal. This is the beauty we need and this is what we gain when we activate ourselves. This is the beauty God recognises. So seek love, for you seek inner beauty. Direct your mind to a higher ideal.

When you see the divine beauty concealed in your own heart, you also see it in others. “Do not see, seek”. Don’t look merely at the external form, but also at the divinity within. Today when you see a beggar, you will give him alms.

You will not pat him on the back or shake his hand. If your child comes home, dirty from the playground and calls you “Mummy, Daddy …”, you hug him with love.

If a child in rags comes to you, you drive him away because you don’t love him. For the realised soul a beggar and a king are equally divine and beautiful because he has activated his inner core.

When you imitate you only see. When you activate you seek. The difference between “see” and “seek” is the “k”. That “k” is kindness or karuna.

When there is care, compassion and kindness, nothing else matters. So let us stop imitating. Let us evaluate ourselves and nurture the divine core within. Let us seek. Let us activate.


Being First, Being Original, Being Innovative

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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.


Ways to crank up your Creativity

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Creativity is a quality that we all have buried inside of us, one way or the other. It involves the invention of something new or the re-invention of something already existing to make it useful of interesting.

Some people’s creative abilities are closer to the surface and one can easily see the manifestations of them. People say that their creativity is “inborn”. For others, expressing creativity takes more time and cultivation. The important thing to note is that we can all be creative. You just have to take steps to extract it from within you. Try the following:

1. Change your perspective.

You might have heard the phrase ‘Think outside the box’. You should try looking at the situation from a different point of view. Change your perspective. Consider all factors that are affected by your problem or your concern. Try to breakdown the problem into several elements then shuffle them. Think of what would happen if an idea is replaced. This aspect is important in enhancing creativity because it helps you remove possible fixations that may hinder creativity.

2. Mentally move away from your current location.

Imagine how another person would react if subjected in the same situation. Picture how different situations would continue when dealing with the same problem. Application in different settings can be also be done; and then from there, adapt a solution to the current setting.

3. Let your imagination run wild.

Exercise your imagination. Modification can trigger creativity because you see things in a different light. You can also try to exaggerate or think of the extremes, be it magnification or minimization of something. Thinking of the possible differences between these two situations could produce ideas. This is the ultimate brain exercise.

4. Your comfort spot.

The environment has to be right. You should have somewhere you can focus without being unnecessarily disturbed so you can give a problem your full attention. This should extend to the people you are with. You tend to do better at something when you are with like-minded people. To put it simply, hang out with creative people to help enhance your creative abilities.

Most of the time, people tend to be more creative when they are with people who are doing the same thing. It was also found that if you wish to be more creative, you should try hanging out with creative people.

5. Time, time, time.

You can’t rush creativity. Hurrying does not help in the outflow of ideas. Your mind tends to go into a state of slight disarray when you are trying to force things. Studies show that results produced in this state are generally lacking. If you are low on time, then keep a list of activities like this one close to you. Go over each of the activities and exercise each one. Give it time.

6. Get help…communicate your ideas to others.

A different view of the problem could help. Better yet, many different views! Never be shy to ask. Diversity is very helpful in relation with creativity. Organize a brainstorming session. The spontaneous generation of new ideas helps in formulation of more ideas. The products of brainstorming can be the raw material in the construction of the idea.

Remember that in brainstorming, 4 rules are followed for it to be successful:
- There should be no criticisms. Criticism hinders the free flow of ideas. This can be postponed until the session has ended.
- Combining and/or modifying ideas are encouraged.
- Quantity is preferred over quality in brainstorming.
- Weird or strange ideas are encouraged.

These are just some ideas to get your creative juices going. They can be adapted to suit each individual. A large amount of it is down to you. How inventive can you be? How open are you? Remove the boundaries from your mind and you will find your creativity will increase.

How To Remember Things

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What’s the biggest problem with memory tricks? Remembering to use them, of course. There are many memory techniques that work well, but you’ll forget them when you need them most – unless you make using them a habit. So when you take the time to learn a technique, use it until it becomes automatic. Here are some to try.

Using a Story-List

I went to a party as a child. There was a game that involved looking at a table covered in 15 various items. After a few minutes, we were taken to another room, and each child was given paper and a pencil. We had to write down as many items as we could remember. I recalled seven or eight, but one boy won the prize by remembering all 15 items.

Years later I learned why he won. His father taught him a simple trick that none of us other kids knew. The technique is to tie the items together in an imaginative story. For example, what if you want to remember a list of the following things: Soap, milk, honey, fork, and flowers.

Start a vivid story in your imagination, adding each item to it as you go: At the sink, you reach for the SOAP. The soap dish is full of MILK, so you wash your hands in that. Then you comb HONEY into your hair with a FORK, and finally pick up a bouquet of FLOWERS and smile at the mirror. Say each item while mentally reviewing your “movie,” and you’ll remember all five things, even the next day.

Some Other Memory Tricks

Tell yourself to remember. When you learn a person’s name, for example, tell yourself, “remember that”. This signals your unconscious mind to rank this input as more important.

Know WHY you want to remember something, and HOW you’ll remember it. To remember a person, for example, ask why they’ll be important to you in the future, imagine where you’ll see them next, and connect that to anything you notice about them. Seeing the importance of remembering really helps, and additional associations (where you expect to see the person next) set the memory more firmly in your brain.

Do you ever forget where you put your car keys? You’ve probably tried retracing your steps, at least doing it in your imagination. This can work well, but even better is to prevent the forgetting beforehand. When you set the keys on the chair, see yourself walking in and setting the keys on the chair. You won’t forget where they are.

There are many more of these memory tricks. If you want them to be useful, though, don’t just read about them. Make a memory technique or two into a habit, starting today.

How To Increase Creativity

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To increase creativity, you need to do two things. First, you need to encourage it. Second, you need to train your brain. Start on both of these right now, and you can experience greater creativity today.

Encourage creativity and you’ll increase creativity. This is true of most things you want to see more of in your life. Encouragement can work wonders. How do you encourage creativity, though?

First, by paying attention to it. Your subconscious mind tends to give you more of what you pay attention to. If you ignore the creative aspects of your life, you are telling your subconscious that they are unimportant. If you consciously note when you are creative, and you look for opportunities to be creative, your subconscious mind will start feeding you more creative ideas. Look for it and you’ll find more of it.

Another way to encourage and increase creativity, is to write your ideas down. Keep an “idea journal.” If you do this regularly, you’ll notice that you often start having more ideas the moment you start to write. A so-so idea may normally be forgotten, but by writing it down, you may remember it, your subconscious works on it, and it can transform into something very creative.

You can also encourage greater creativity in yourself by putting creative ideas into practice. If you paint or write, for example, try anything new. Even just driving a different route to work to see if it is quicker can help. The point is to get you mind working outside of its regular patterns.

Just changing your surroundings can encourage creativity. If you want more creativity in your love life, go hike up a mountain with your partner. If you write, try sitting on a roof to write. If you need new ideas for your business, take a notebook to the park and sit by the duck pond. A change of enviroment can get your brain out of it’s ruts.

Creativity Training. If you want to dramatically increase creativity, develop creative habits of mind. Watch a good comedian and you’ll see that she has trained her mind to look for the “different angle” on everyday things. You can train your mind to do the same.

Challenge assumptions, for example, until it becomes habit. Looking for ways to get customers into your store? Stop and say, “Do I really need more customers?” The question suggests other creative solutions, like finding ways to make more money off existing customers, or ways to cut expenses. These may lead to more profitable ideas. Challenge assumptions to increase the creativity of your solutions.

As you drive to work, randomly choose anything around you and ask how it may be connected to whatever problem you are working on. A helicopter overhead might make you think about a way to track where the car goes when you loan it to your kids. A palm tree may lead to a new design for patio umbrellas.

The above techniques are called “Assumption Challenging” and “Random Presentation,” and are two classic creative problem solving techniques. There are dozens more. Train your brain to habitually use these, and provide it with a little encouragement, and you really can increase your creativity.

The 7 Keys To Your Creative Genius

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Here are 7 ways you can instantly access your natural creativity and create anything you like.

1. Think Like A Child. As adults we tend to think in a conditioned way aimed at showing how clever we are. Yet, as children, we were simply spontaneous and far more creative in our thinking. To re-capture your childhood curiosity, allow yourself to just wonder at things, to be completely present in the here and now, and to detach yourself from what you thought was real.

2. Make New Connections. To be innovative doesn’t require a university degree; it simply requires making a connection between existing ideas. For instance, did you know that ice cream was invented in 2000 BC yet it took another 3900 years for someone to come up with the idea of a cone? It’s when you take two seemingly unrelated items and use the spark of creativity that genius happens.

3. Be A Little Illogical. It is a peculiarly Western trait to want to tie things up in neat bundles. We prefer solutions to problems, and answers to questions. To be creative, you need to be comfortable with things that don’t fit. The Eastern tradition is more in tune with incongruence. As in this Zen koan, or problem: what is the sound of one hand clapping?

4. Laugh More. Tom Peters says that the creativity of a workplace can be measured by a laughometer, ie how much it laughs. Humour is one of the greatest creative devices. It jolts us out of our normal patterns and puts ideas together that shouldn’t go together. It has been found that after listening to comedy tapes, students’ ability to solve problems rises by 60%.

5. Think Outside Your Limits. Many of the products we take for granted today are the result of people thinking outside their limits. John Lynn recalls attending a computer conference in the 1980′s at a hotel when someone joked that the next thing they’d be thinking of would be computerised doors. When he went back to the same hotel 20 years later, all the doors used computer-programmed key cards.

6. Adopt and Adapt. To be creative doesn’t require blue-sky thinking. You can still be creative by adapting what works elsewhere. An American airline that wanted quicker turnarounds on their flights adopted the techniques of Formula One pit crews. Another source of ideas is nature. Georges de Mestral adapted the way certain seeds stick to clothing and invented Velcro.

7. Remember Your Dreams. Dreaming and day-dreaming can create a rich seam of ideas, because that’s when we relax and let the subconscious mind work by itself. The Roffey Park Management Institute calls this “washing-up creativity” because most flashes of inspiration come when we are walking the dog, sitting Archimedes-like in the bath, or doing the washing up.

Apply these 7 creative thinking techniques and make them part of your daily thinking and I guarantee that new solutions to your problems will open up to you with ease and speed.

Connect with Your Body

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When we’re in the creative flow, we can sometimes forget we even have a body, because our minds are exploding with color, sounds, words and images. But when unhealthy habits sap your body of its vitality and strength, your creativity and productivity will be sapped as well.

What could be more frustrating than the interruption of your creative flow by an uninvited headache, back spasm, dullness of mind or the “shakes”?

I once heard the expression that as a guitar player, I’m a “small muscle athlete” — meaning I need to warm up those muscles and treat them well. Perhaps as artists we’re ALL small muscle athletes. After all, we do need a good measure of physical endurance to get through our creative tasks.

Whether it’s sitting hunched over an easel, the repetitive movements of playing a musical instrument, the stamina to stand and walk on stage throughout an entire show or sitting at a computer keyboard for most of the day, our creative tools all require the use of the body.

To keep that body strong and resilient takes daily attention.

Day-to-day self-care practices such as getting enough sleep, eating three healthy and balanced meals that are evenly timed throughout the day (plus healthy snacks if you need them), moving your body actively and drinking enough water are all essential for taking care of your body.

Taking care of the body also affects the mind. Fatigue, malnutrition, inactivity and dehydration will all have adverse effects on the mind and the ability to problem solve, concentrate and connect ideas.

The Creative Cycle and Self-Care

Touring with a band, rehearsing for a show or burning the midnight oil to finish a painting before a gallery opening, are all examples of extraordinary circumstances where we might relax our self-care discipline and adopt a whole new set of rules.

Then, when the show or tour is over or the piece is finished, we sometimes sink into an anti-climactic “low” or a period of transition before we get back into the creative flow again.

The daily practices you keep when things are “normal” will build resilience for the times when these extraordinary circumstances come up. They also build habits and healthy living skills that you can draw on when life gets more challenging.

Put it into play

One of the best practices for a healthy body, mind and spirit is to get enough sleep and rest. Tonight, end your evening activities a half hour early and spend that time winding down. Release the worries of the day by writing or speaking about them. Calm yourself with a bath, tea, massage, music or a good read that doesn’t remind you of your work.

We can all come up with reasons why we can’t exercise, we can’t make different food choices and we can’t focus more on our health.

You have a unique creative gift to share with the world, but your creativity relies on a sound mind and body.

So which of your reasons for not taking care of yourself are more important than that?

7 Tips to Make You More Creative

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Many great things have started as an simple, creative idea. Consider donating some of your best ideas to help others. The more creative you are, the more ideas you will be able to create. You can be creative even if you don’t think you are.

I have known many people that were scared to use a computer for the first few times. However, after diving into it they became more comfortable. They were willing to take a risk and make some mistakes. The result was an ability to learn and do things they would never be able to do without the use of a computer.

Being creative and thinking up world-changing ideas occurs in the same way. Everyone can be creative but they have to be willing to start. The creative process will then become more natural over time.

Try the following tips to help you on your journey to be more creative:

1. Record your ideas on whatever is comfortable and convenient at the moment. What is important is that you record your ideas. In the past, I have forgotten ideas that I thought of when I was on a walk. Now I carry a digital recorder with me on those walks. At other times I use my computer, notepad or journal. Choose what will work best for you and make sure you have a way to record your ideas at all times. You never know when an important idea will surface.

2. Don’t limit yourself to ideas that seem possible. Capture all of your ideas. Even those that seem impossible to implement are important for a couple of reasons. First, what seems impossible to you may not be impossible sometime in the future or for someone else. Second, impossible ideas encourage further creative ideas that might be more likely to be implemented.

3. Change your scenery or location. A change in scenery can stimulate the creativity inside you. A change might be as simple as looking out a window. You can also visit someplace new like a park, beach, or mall. The new environment can foster new ideas.

4. Read on many topics. It is amazing how many things in a totally unrelated subject can prompt new ideas. By broadening your knowledge into more areas, you make your creativity potential grows.

5. Go for a walk. Some of my best ideas have happened when I was on a walk. This applies to any form of moderate exercise. I have heard of others that have written articles and speeches while waalking or jogging.

6. Focus in 10-15 minute increments. It does not take a significant amount of time to brainstorm some potential ideas. In fact, brainstorming works best when done for short periods of time. Concentrate for a few minutes on generate as many ideas to address a specific area or problem. Then capture anything that comes to mind throughout the rest of the day (see tip #1). You will have several ideas for consideration for little investment of time. One of those could become something tremendous for helping others.

7. Think big. What question are you asking to prompt your ideas? The larger the question, the larger the impact those ideas may have on the world. You can start by addressing smaller problems but don’t limit yourself to those. You have unique experiences, knowledge and talents that should be applied to helping others on a grand scale as well.

Follow these tips and you will be on your way to generating ideas that have the potential to change the world. Don’t let your previous lack of creativity keep you from developing and donating your ideas. Get started today.

10 Steps To Clear Thinking

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Does your mind sometimes feel like a television station you can’t quite tune in? You know there’s an interesting program on – or several, but everything is mixed with static. What if you could “tune in” at will, have clear thinking whenever you want it? Try some of the following.

Ten Clear Thinking Techniques And Tips

1. Take a walk. Science will eventually prove this to be a great way to improve the quality of your thinking, but don’t wait for the proof. Aren’t there enough other reasons to take a walk anyhow?

2. Stay away from sugar. If you want to understand what brain fog is, eat a sugary donut on an empty stomach, then do math problems twenty minutes later. What you will experience, along with the “sugar blues,” is brain fog. At least lay off sugar and simple carbohydrates when you need to think clearly.

3. Organized space means clear thinking. It’s rare that a person can actually work better in clutter. Organised working space means you won’t have the thought “where is that…” distracting your mind.

4. Get better sleep. Sleep requirements vary, but the minimum for most is somewhere around five hours. Some suffer if they sleep less than eight hours. The research, however, indicates that after a certain minimum quantity, the quality of sleep is more important to normal brain function.

5. Try meditating. No time? Just close your eyes, relax, and watch your breath for a while. Accept that your mind will wander, but continually return your attention to your breath. Five minutes of this, and afterwards you’ll feel a boost in your brainpower.

6. Resolve your “mind irritations.” Watch your busy brain. Maybe a call you need to make has been bothering you, just below consciousness. Find these stressors, and do something to let them go. For example, make that call, or put it on a list, and your mind will let go of it for now. Just seeing a problem and saying, “There’s nothing I can do about this until Friday,” will often stop unconscious worrying.

7. Don’t drink alcohol. At least don’t drink too much. While moderate amounts can be conducive to creative thinking, all the evidence says that it is bad for the long-term health of your brain.

8. Make decisions quickly. Nothing gets in the way of clear thinking like a dozen decisions hanging around unmade. If nothing else, decide when you’ll make the decision.

9. Get some fresh air. Go outside and breath deeply through your nose. You’ll get a good dose of oxtgen to your brain, and the change of surroundings can help clear your mind.

10. Satisfy your physical needs. Clear thinking is easier if you aren’t too hungry, thirsty, or hot.

You can think more clearly starting today. There are certainly more than ten ways, but you really only need to make a few of them a habit to have a more powerful brain. Why not try one or two right now?

Creativity and Rebellion: Why They Go Hand-in-Hand

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Studies on creative people have consistently demonstrated that creativity is associated with openness to new ideas, risk-taking, and being inner-directed. Do these traits put creative people at odds with the culture and people around them? The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.

Say for example that Jeremy is a creative child that performs below average in school. He may be seen as a poor student by teachers and parents for “daydreaming” and doing poorly on objective tests. His latent skills as a right- brain thinker might be underappreciated and underdeveloped.

Or consider the case of Alycia, a high school teacher who works in a constrictive environment. She is eager to try new teaching techniques but finds that her colleagues are traditional in their approach and even hostile to her ideas. What can she do?

There is little doubt that creative people will struggle in environments that are overly structured and they will feel frustrated with tasks that are not challenging. This helps explain why creative children often have trouble in school, their right-brain minds wandering while their left-brain teachers are trying to force them to memorize information that these creative children instinctively see as irrelevant or trivial to understanding the “big picture” in life.

Things often get worse for creative people when they enter the workforce. If they haven’t chosen their occupation carefully they may wind up in a job that is not well suited for their particular talents and gifts. Unfortunately, they may find this out the hard way by being bored and frustrated at work.

But the job itself may not be the problem. It may also be the social milieu of the workplace. Every workplace has its own personality which organically evolves and changes over time. Some workplaces value new ideas and risk- taking, an environment that will be very stimulating for a creative, risk-taker. Other environments are rigid and traditional, which will be frustrating and could lead to conflict and dissatisfaction.

Social psychologists have noted that some work groups suffer from groupthink, which is the tendency for some groups to feel superior to others and to downplay any evidence to the contrary. These groups value conformity and resist new ideas. An innovator will feel isolated and rejected by co- workers who support this type of environment.

These co-workers often adopt an unspoken code regarding people who are different or stand out from the crowd. They send overt and covert messages of rejection to a creative co-worker who proposes new ideas. These signals include ignoring a person’s comments or providing perfunctory, hollow praise or worse punishments such as threats and ridicule for proposing ideas that threaten the perceived integrity of the group.

Many people at work become comfortable with their daily routines and over time they defend these routines as something akin to being sacred. These kinds of people often bow to the timeworn expression: “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” but they over apply this attitude and to them nothing is ever really “broken” and to suggest otherwise is to threaten the comfort of their work routines. These people might respond in a venomous manner to creative and risk-taking co-workers who threaten their “comfort zone” by proposing new ways of doing things.

All of this suggests that creative people will often be at odds with people around them and frustrated by work environments and organizational structures that are rigid and unbending. This is partially due to the fact that creative people are attracted to novelty and new ideas and ways of doing things, and their creative minds are often generating alternatives to accepted practices.

The accumulated effects of these frustrations at school, work, or whatever the setting, may lead some creative people to adopt a rebellious attitude regarding rules and authority. When this happens the result may be frustration and conflict on all sides where a downward spiral results from interpersonal conflict and disagreement. This frustration may lead to a career change or disciplinary action in the workplace, an unfortunate byproduct of creative people not being successfully integrated into the workplace community.

These negative manifestations of rebellion can be avoided only when organizations and individuals are made aware of the interpersonal dynamics that distinguish different personality types from each other. One way to do so that is popular today is for co-workers to take the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory and to discuss the results with each other. While this test is not necessarily rigorous in terms of accepted statistical measures of reliability or validity, it serves the greater purpose of opening the door to discussing interpersonal response styles and to respect each other for these differences.

Workplace diversity is typically defined in sociological terms by placing people in black-and-white categories, for example gender, race, and age. Meanwhile, other important personality and interpersonal differences, such as creativity, rarely get the same amount of attention. And yet the creativity dimension is one of the most important because creativity and risk-taking are crucial traits for organizational health and survival.

In order to avoid the traps of blind rebellion and open conflict, organizations must do a better job of identifying creative employees and in fact nurturing creativity and respect for creativity in all their employees. This is not to suggest that common group practices such as “brainstorming” are necessarily a good way to nurture creativity. Creative people are often different from other co-workers in several ways that include interpersonal differences, inner- directedness, and work habits. These differences in style as well as substance need to be addressed in an open and comfortable manner.

Creative people must also be taught to understand themselves and to appreciate that they have needs that can only be met in certain ways. They may prosper as artists, entrepreneurs, or in other professions that encourage openness, risk-taking, and eccentricity. This means that our educational system must be more responsive to the needs of creative children and must offer ways for creative children to learn that fits their learning styles.

When schools and workplaces are better educated about creativity and are in a better position to integrate creative people into the community, then individuals and society will benefit. And youngsters like Jeremy will be more likely to reach their full potential and adults like Alycia will be able to enhance their work environment by contributing unique and challenging ideas.