Tag Archives: Creativity

Creative Thinking: A How-To Guide

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Creative thinking is a potential we are all born with. If you don't use that potential, it is probably because you don't know and apply the simple principles for developing it. We can remedy that right now.

The two basic principles of creative thinking are:

1. There are methods and techniques of creative thinking.

2. Making these methods and techniques a part of your mental habits will make creative thinking easy and automatic.

An entrepreneur sees the potential profit in a situation, because his mind is trained for that. A lawyer sees the potential problems, because that is how his mind is trained. How we repeatedly think becomes a habit, and that is how you train a mind. Learn the techniques of creative thinking, use them until they are a habit, and creative thinking will be as natural for you as lying is for a politician.

The Techniques Of Creative Thinking. There are dozens of creative problem solving techniques you can learn to use. "Concept-combination," for example, will have you mixing roses and clocks to create the first alarm clock that wakes you up with a gentle release of fragrance. Use the technique of "random-presentation" and a cell phone can give the idea to do your dictation with a pocket tape recorder while you walk, so you'll have time for exercise and still get your work done.

Creative thinking goes beyond just solving specific problems or inventing new things. A truly creative mind is always coming up with the questions too, not just the solutions. To be more creative all the time, focus on three things:

1. Challenge your assumptions. What if a restaurant didn't have employees? Customers could pay a machine as they enter, and feed themselves at a buffet. If everything was as automated as possible, maybe one owner-operator could run a large restaurant alone. Challenge everything. Do you have to go to work? Do pools need water? Is education always a good thing?

2. Change your perspective. Imagining a dog's thoughts about your busyness could clue you in to the unecessary things you do. Thinking dollars-per-day instead of per-hour could give you a plan to let employees go home when they finish a certain quota. Greater efficiency would be almost certain, and you could adjust daily pay and quotas so both you and employees made more money. Look at everything from several perspectives.

3. Let your ideas run wild. Flying furniture seems silly, but it may lead to the idea of a hover-lifter. Slide the device under furniture and it lifts it with a cushion of air, making for easy moving. Don't stifle your creativity. Relax, let ideas come, and know that you can always discard them later.

Creating Creative Thinking Habits. To make the above techniques into an automatic part of your thinking, just use them enough. Usually it takes several weeks to develop a habit, so you need a way to remind yourself each day during that time. Try writing a few of your favorite techniques on a card and carrying it with you. Pull it out throughout the day and apply the techniques to anything. Soon, more creative thinking will be a normal part of your life.

Creative Ideas to Follow Up After a Presentation

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In this day and age, it's simply not enough to call on someone and make a presentation. If you don't follow up at least 7 times, you are wasting your time, as well as theirs. The more time you put into getting to know your potential customers, the better your relationship will be.

Because of that, you need to follow up after a presentation, at least 7 times, and sometimes longer. Here you'll find some creative ideas to follow up that will be sure to impress anyone.

1. Your first follow up should be a hand written note, thanking them for their time. Use a nice card, embossed with your logo, if you want, or just a simple "Thank You" card available anywhere.

2. Second, find some "Cheese Straws" at a specialty store, and send it with a note saying: "Grasping at straws to find the perfect solution to...(include a problem you can solve for them)? We can help! This is not only a cleverly worded reminder of your presentation, but something for them to taste and remember you by.

3. Rolodex cards are excellent reminders: include a note that says: "We are always at your fingertips when you need us!" Make sure your rolodex card has the little tab at the top with either your name, or the biggest benefit of using your services: this will make it stand out from the others cards in the file.

4. Next, send a bag of popcorn with a note saying: "Just popping in to remind you that we can.... " (mention one of the benefits of using your services or products).

5. A coffee mug imprinted with your logo, and filled with some coffee packets and even a cookie could be next: this will remind them of your visit every time they enjoy their coffee.

6. A seed packet with this message: "We would love to help you grow your business" is another original idea that will leave a great impression.

7. Chocolate business cards will be a tasty reminder of your services. This one may be a little more expensive, but well worth the cost. You'll need to pay for a plate with your logo, but it's a one time cost that will pay you many times over. The chocolate business cards are a great conversation starter, and something that will separate you from your competition.

These are just a few ideas: there are many more ways to keep your name in front of your potential clientele.

And to keep track of what you did, create a folder for each presentation and set up your follow-ups before you even go to your presentation.

You are now on your way to success: good luck with your next presentation!

Creativity – How To Have More

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To have more creativity, follow this two-step plan:

1. Encourage creativity.

2. Train your brain to be more creative.

Start on both of these right now, and you can experience greater creativity today.

Encourage your creativity and you'll increase your creativity. Of course, this is true of most things you want to see more of in your life. Encouragement can work wonders, but how do you encourage creativity?

Start by paying attention to it. Our subconscious minds tends to give us more of what we pay attention to. Ignore the creative aspects of your life, and you are telling your subconscious that they are unimportant. Consciously note when you're creative, and your subconscious mind will start feeding you more creative ideas. Just look for it and you'll find more of it.

You can encourage creativity by writing your ideas down. Start keeping an "idea journal." Do this regularly, and 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. Then your subconscious can work on it, and may transform into something very creative.

For more creativity in your life, start putting creative ideas into practice. If you paint, paint something totally different from your usual subjects. If you sell houses, try a new approach. Even just driving a different route to work to see if it is quicker can encourage your creativity. Just get your mind working outside of its regular patterns.

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

Creativity Training

To dramatically increase your creativity, develop creative habits of mind. If you watch a good comedian, you'll see that she has trained her mind to look for the "different angle" on everyday things. Why not train your mind to do the same?

Start challenging assumptions, for example, until it becomes habit. If you're looking for ways to get more customers, stop and say, "Do I really need more customers?" It's a question that suggests other creative solutions, like finding ways to make more money off existing customers, or ways to cut expenses. It could lead to more profitable ideas. Challenge assumptions is a great way to have more creativity in your problem solving.

While driving to work, randomly choose anything you see and ask what it can teach you about whatever problem you are working on. A helicopter might make you think about a way to track where the car goes when you loan it to your kids. Palm trees may lead to a new design for patio umbrellas.

These two techniques are called "Assumption Challenging" and "Random Presentation," and are classic creative problem solving techniques. There are dozens more. If you train your brain to habitually use these or other techniques, and provide it with a little encouragement, you really can have more creativity.

 

Positive Thinking and Your Creative Mind – 7 Steps to Success

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You have a bright idea hidden somewhere in the back of your mind that you just can't wait to test out. The question is, do you really want to bring it out into the light? What could motivate you to churn your creative, inspiring juices to their utmost flavor?

Did you know that it always helps to set a time limit to your personal goals? Set yourself up so you can accomplish the most tasks in record time. For example, mowing the lawn in an hour before the big game on TV. A correct and positive attitude in whatever you do will make things easier, and even enjoyable.

It's simple. If you begin to allow yourself a bit of positive thinking then you will begin to realize things that you never thought possible. Thinking big is indeed the American Way and that what made our country prosperous. You can follow other great Americans who tapped into their creative mind and began to thing big..

Discover some tips to make it through your first week of possibility thinking even if you're just sitting in your favorite couch. Your mind is constantly at work for you. Tap into it's great resource while doing everyday activities.

1. Act. You must take passionate action towards living your life by design. Talk is cheap. Action = deposits in the bank of a passionately authentic future. My mother (probably quoting someone else) always said, "Action speaks louder than words". Without action, passion is void.

Dreams become reality when you simply start by tinkering with your mind, then with your hands. And if the idea weakens or falters you can always go back to it later until you finish it. Thomas Edison and his Dream Team had to go back to the idea of a light bulb and recalculate it over 1,000 times before the first working light bulb begin to light the world.

2. Love. Commit to yourself. Then commit to those you love to powerfully create a life you can love. Instead of reacting, commit to creating from your heart and soul, out of love rather than fear. The American Dream will always be there, but a dream will still be a dream without motion. Be amazed as the transformation begins.

3. Live. Embrace moments and opportunities. Recognize and embrace the thought that each moment is perfect regardless of its outcome. Every time you hit on something that may appear too extreme why not give it a shot anyway. See if it will work. You may be surprised with the results. If you are not then decide to use that moment to learn from it and make the appropriate shift. Learning and growing from mistakes and failures is a part of living.

4. Be grateful. Dwell completely in a place of gratitude. Learn to utilize what you have in your hands and make use of it in the most constructive way. Necessity is the mother of invention. Have you ever been stuck without something you needed and had to make do with something else? (MacGyver,from the famous tv show, was famous for that!) How grateful were you that you had the means to solve your situation? Slipping into neediness will become less of a habit when you repeatedly shift towards gratitude and away from poverty consciousness.

5. Be Passionate. Use a Passion Formula of Recognize/Reevaluate/Restore in place of the Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda whirlwind. The former is based on increased knowledge and abundance while the latter focuses on scarcity and lack. As you face people or tasks that may seem harder than scaling the summit of the Himalayas, allow yourself to realize that the task is just as important as giving out orders to your subordinates. You would rather be richly passionate!

6. Laugh. Keep humor at the forefront of thought, laughing at and with yourself whenever possible. You may find yourself quite entertaining when you loosen up! I have yet to see a comedian ever go hungry even though his jokes are as 'old as great-grandma'. Life has too much to offer to allow yourself to mope around in self pity. Humor is very attractive, very passionate: life-giving.

7. Discover Your Purpose. Believe that you are the architect of your destiny. Realizing how you wish to be remembered when you pass from this life is a truly driving force. Your purpose for being can be a seemingly simple as being a great parent to as elaborate as discovering miraculous cures.

When you have a strong purpose no one can take your passionate future from you except for you! Truly, as long as there's still breath in your body, there is no end to how much you can accomplish in a lifetime. Discovering and following your purpose will enable you to enjoy your work. Celebrate in the discovery that acting on your creative mind's thoughts is fulfilling your purpose. Watch everything flow into place with perfect, passionate precision.

Activate your positive thinking. Stretch your imagination. Think bigger than you feel comfortable. Act on your thoughts. The number one tip here is action. You want to start practicing these steps.

Think about this: It is unfortunate that so many people still do not use a computer because it appears too complicated to begin using. Or maybe they just keep putting it off till a more convenient time. These are just a couple of limitations one can set up for themselves. Limitations and failure to act on ideas and opportunities leave many as a dim bulb in a dark corner.

Alert! You are not doomed to darkness. You are interested in living a life of purpose and love. The wonderful, creative idea in you is about to be released. You are interested in doing this because you are reading this article. Fortunately if you truly desire something, the will to attain it will open your creative mind to find a way.

Now you need only to begin to act on your desire to create. Act now! Make your path to creativity and follow your purpose. Take your first step today with a positive attitude.

How to be More Creative and Enhance Your Creativity

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Before thinking about how to be more creative, let me begin point out some real barriers that some people seem to have when wanting to enhance creativity, have a think if any of these things are applicable to you and your life;

1. Lack of time. This is not as major as you may think. Linking thoughts and ideas only takes seconds. It can happen anytime, anywhere. Provided you are in the right state and pay attention to your own experience.

Creativity in my opinion is more about the quality of the time you have and being receptive to yourself. Though this does take some time.

2. Fear of being judged. When I worked for a national newspaper and we had brainstorming sessions, individuals were often scared of expressing ideas. Creativity results in unusual ideas and perhaps even being different in some way. They can be thought of as strange, odd or challenging. Fear of being considered weird, stupid or just different often kills creativity. If I feared people thinking any of those things about me, I would not bother getting out of bed in the mornings; I love the fact that people think I am all of those things!!

3. Lack of self-esteem. When you do something creative, you go beyond the bounds of what has been safe and familiar in the past, to yourself and maybe even others. When you are not sure about yourself, being different in any way can feel risky or make you feel vulnerable. The danger is that you give up your new insight to just blend in. Smash out of those shackles!

4. Fear of failure. This inhibits us. If you are making a new connection in your brain there can be no inherent "right" or "wrong" about it. Failure can only have two meanings really; firstly, that it didn't work in the way you wanted it to. Secondly, Someone else did not like it. But so what??!! I have to tell you all that I get many comments on how I generate so many successful projects and am often asked how I do it. I always point out that these projects are actually only about 10% of what I have imagined. The other 90% didn't work or didn't get out of my brain.

Creativity is not reserved for genius only. Einstein was brilliant but he is not necessarily the best model of creativity for us. You do not need specialist expertise to be creative. The fruits of your creativity may manifest in many, many differing ways, in fact I expect so.

If at any time you doubt your ability to be creative, remind yourself that several times every night you create an entirely new dream, which you script, act in and watch, which involves all your senses and has effects that can last long after they are over. This creation is so very effortless most people don't even recognise it as such.

How to be more creative.

Ok, so how does one actually go about getting more creative. Let me give you some ideas;

1. Find the right frame of mind. Explore what states you associate with being creative. Discover properly what it is that triggers and maintains you being creative. What's your best time of day? The best environment? Do you need to be alone or with others or alone in the midst of others? Do you need sounds or silence or background sounds? Build a profile of your creativity state, then make time and space for it on a regular basis instead of waiting for some divine intervention and for it to just happen on its own.

2. Cultivate dreaming. Pay attention to your experience of life and attention to your existing creativity rather than dismissing day-dreams and dreams. Don't allow yourself to waste what you may already be discovering by ignoring it.

3. Ask yourself "What if?" and "What else?" and "How else?" Always go beyond what you fist thought, find more and more different ideas.

4. When and/or if you hit a problem, pretend your usual solution is not available. This can work in many different ways. If your PC crashes today, how else might you do your work? If you usually argue face to face, what would happen if you wrote your feelings down instead? Some solutions may be no better than the ones you're used to: others may offer you brilliant new opportunities. Do something different. I wrote about that idea in an earlier article entitled Do something Different, go check it out.

5. See how many different results you can get with the same ingredients. I am sure many of you know that there is a cookbook called "Recipes 1-2-3" by Rozanne Gold, in which every recipe is made out of only three ingredients.

Some recipes use the same three ingredients but different processes or quantities come up with different results.

You can have some great fun by taking an every day object and imagine or think about how many other uses it can have, you can even think about how to combine them with other objects.

6. Think of different ways to do the familiar. Change the order in which you do things, use different things, use your less favoured hand; as soon as we break routine, we move from a state where we are on auto-pilot to one where we are alive and alert. You exercise unfamiliar brain connections and help build new links in your brain. A glorious feeling!

7. Look out for the difference that makes the difference. When you encounter something that strikes you as different, ask yourself what it is about it that is so different or new or unusual. Where does the key difference actually lie?

I want to mention a strategy that is well talked about in NLP circles and that I have used for many years and that is the Disney Creativity Strategy.

The Disney creativity strategy is for developing your dreams and giving them the best possible chance of becoming reality. It is named after Walt Disney, who often took on three different roles when his team was developing an idea; the dreamer, the realist and the critic. Robert Dilts, an NLP pioneer, modelled and developed this strategy as an NLP tools. Some of Robert's articles that he kindly donated can be found at my website.

The strategy separates out these three vital roles involved in the process of translating creative ideas into reality so that they can be explored separately for maximum clarity and effect.

Many companies have specialists in each of the three fields and I have done consultancy work with companies myself whereby I have asked different team members to take on one of the roles. You can also play all three roles yourself as I often do in coaching or business consultancy, with your own wants, needs and goals.

However, the usual way to use it is to allocate three roles to different people (realist, dreamer and critic) to assess plans or tasks. Ask someone to act as the dreamer and tell you all the possibilities of the idea. Ask someone else to examine exactly what would be involved in putting it into practice (realist), and someone to take a hard look at it and really evaluate its strengths and weaknesses (critic). You may want to rotate the roles. If doing it on your own, be sure to keep the roles very separate and write them down. I do this with lots of my own ideas and with changes I want to make in my life.

You can even use this in a meeting broken down into three stages; Each role as a separate stage. Get everyone brainstorming and being creative first; then get them thinking about what would actually have to happen in practical terms; then get them critically evaluating the possibilities.

I suggest that you have some fun being creative and doing things differently to generate more creativity. It feels wonderful and if you have found that your progress to success or the outcomes you desire has been blocked or gone stagnant, then think about being more creative in how and what you are doing.