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Tag creativity

Unblocking creativity

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Have you ever stopped to watch TED talks? A showcase of the world’s most brilliant thinkers, stretching our minds in never before thought of ways. It’s well worth the time.

I was watching Sir Ken Robinson the other day talking about education. He’s an expert on creativity and he challenges the way we educate our children. The way that most of our schools focus on the analytical subjects like maths and science as the holy grail while devaluing the creative such as art and music. And he made the observation that our education system is designed to mine our minds. All the good stuff stripped away just like you strip a mine of its gold. A terrifying thought. But take a child at a young age, contain them for hours on end, teach them what you want to teach them, repeat it over and over until they know it by rote, test them on it and voila! You’ve implanted a particular way of thinking. And all the good stuff, the natural urge to play, to explore and to create has been stripped away. You’ve created one perfect drone.

And here’s the rub. When you can get a child to think in a particular way, let’s call it a mindset, you block creativity. Because they can only see things the way they have been taught. There’s nothing else on their radar. But creativity is essential to life. It drives everything. It is the source of everything. Take invention. It’s difficult to invent something you haven’t first imagined. And while some people hold up scientific research as the be all and end all, they don’t stop to think that it’s actually creativity that drives the science. After all, you’ve got to have an idea worth researching in the first place. Just look around and you will see the power of creativity at work.

When we’re locked into a particular mindset – about money, about relationships, about our health, about the way we raise our kids, about anything in life – we literally can’t see any other way. Which means we can’t create something new.

So if you want something new in your life, challenge your mindset. Challenge the way you think. Challenge the beliefs you have that have probably been drilled into you by somebody else with another agenda anyway. The good news is that with the right training, those rigid, limiting mindsets can be overcome.

What’s (not) on your radar?

What will you challenge?

Flow

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They call it ‘Flow’. That effortless state of being in which we can find true happiness. That state of focus where we are so engrossed in an activity that we lose track of time and all other distractions. Maybe it’s being engrossed in a book. Or in the zone through physical activity. Or it’s your work. Or doing something you love.

What most people don’t realise is that our subconscious minds take over when we’re in the state of ‘Flow’. Thinking stops and the creative mind takes over. We are simply being. Fully present to the moment and the experience. Fully engaged. An effortless state. And the result… research shows it’s pure happiness.

But ‘Flow’ doesn’t always just happen, does it. Sometimes we need to make it happen. And we can do this by giving ourselves the opportunity to experience this state of being. Making time for the things we love. Prioritising what gives us meaning and purpose.

In the heavy demands of life, we need to be ruthless sometimes in protecting this private space for ourselves in which we can recharge and create for ourselves the opportunity to experience our own happiness. And it’s not selfish. In fact, it’s a community service. Because the happier you are the happier the people are around you. It spreads like wildfire.

Lots of moments in flow, equals a life in flow. And the more I discover and practice this, the easier my life becomes. Even through the rough times.

Where can you create ‘Flow’ today?

A Flash of Brilliance

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I once met a man who was paid to think. That’s right. It was his job to come to work each day and think. Just think. And while it sounds like a bit of a have, it turns out it was a really important job. Because this guy sat there all day and thought about the business. And how it could be improved so that it became more efficient. More profitable. This guy saved and made this company millions.

He wasn’t Einstein. He was just an ordinary bloke that realised the value of thinking.

Did you know that many of the most extraordinary ideas come from ordinary people?

Take the first lift ever built on the outside of a building. Story has it a bunch of architects were meeting with the hotel executive and discussing how to incorporate a lift into the hotel without losing too much business by closing down. The janitor was cleaning the room at the time and happened to have a flash of brilliance. What about putting the lift on the outside of the building? But do you think this simple brilliance was well received. After all, what would a janitor with a room full of ‘experts’ know. But then… well the rest is history.

Sometimes it only takes a slightly different perspective on a problem to open up a whole new world of possibilities. A little trust and time given over to the creative part of your mind to come up with something new. Most people don’t realise that creativity is subconscious. And it’s a powerhouse we all have.

What could a new idea mean for you?

What could a new idea mean for your business?

It may not even be a big idea. Sometimes the smallest tweaks make the biggest impact.

Creative Genius

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They do their best to stamp it out of us. Those creative dreams. And with the emphasis on reading, writing and ‘rithmetic it’s no wonder we have so many left brain zombies walking around. Not able to tap in to the creative genius living within.

I was watching a TEDxTalks this morning. And this young dude Logan LaPlante spoke better than many adults ever would. All of 13 years of age. And he talked about hacking. Not hacking in the sense of causing computer chaos. But hacking in the sense of mindset. Because hacking to Logan is simply thinking outside the square. Challenging a mindset that is the status quo with an alternate way of seeing things. Any mindset.

Sensing the creative genius within, Logan’s mum helped him hack his education. Removing him from the constraints of traditional school to allow the creative genius within him to grow. Making the decision to nurture her son’s mind rather than allow it to be held captive by the do’s and don’ts of the normal classroom. Despite the pressure against her. It takes a strong mind to go against the flow, doesn’t it. And most people don’t realize the education we give our kids is predominantly left brain. An emphasis on marks and IQ rather than EQ and creative intelligence. Worship of analysis, literacy and logic at the expense of right brain creativity. It’s a bit like valuing your left hand over your right. Doesn’t make sense, does it. Because we need both. But in a world where we are taught from a young age not to question, we so often sacrifice our right brain for our left. At what cost?

Because it’s creative genius that drives the world. It’s what brought us the age of computers. And space travel. And the humble ‘post it’ note. It’s what brings us cutting edge medicine, and solar energy. And while some people think it’s science that drives discovery, it’s actually creativity. Because behind every scientific development is the creative question… what if?

And when we’re creating, happiness follows. Just watch any child at play.

There’s no doubt creativity enhances our lives.

So how can you unleash your creative genius?

And how can you help your kids to nurture theirs?

 

Day Dreams

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Days like this just beckon me to swing in the hammock and dream away a few hours.  And while some might see this as indulgent, my experience tells me otherwise. Because when we’re relaxed and in that space the messages we send our subconscious are all the more clear. And it knows what to do. To make it all happen. I love that idea that the conscious mind is like a camera. After all, it’s the part that takes the photos which then imprint on our subconscious. And so I am sure I feed my mind only the images of the future I want to enjoy. Carefully stepped out frame by frame.

And I think back to my younger days I was caught daydreaming in class. Didn’t we just cop it. Or those times when to stop and daydream was mistaken for laziness.  As a culture we’ve learned not to dream, haven’t we. Had it beaten out of us. Because being busy is seen as a sign of strength. Not dreaming. What a mistake we’ve made. Because when we slow down we are at our most creative.

So it’s no wonder we all work so hard. Because we don’t take the time to plan it with our minds first. And it’s just common sense that all great creations begin with an idea, isn’t it. That computer or the phone you’re reading this on was once just a thought in someone’s mind. Thoughts made real. Hey, did you know you could strengthen a muscle by visualising it almost as much you can by actually moving it! Not suggesting for a moment you should be just lying around in that hammock all day, but imagine what you could get done in half the time by putting your mind on the job as well as your time and grunt.

So when was the last time you stopped to actively day dream? Where are your dreams taking you?