THE POWER OF STORYTELLING

Each and every day as we are building our businesses, we all know the key to a successful presentation is a product being sold to the end-line consumer and/or sponsoring a new person. In an upcoming issue, I am going to write about the difference between making a sale and having customer loyalty in the sales process. In the sales process, you are fighting many different types of animals. For most of us who are in direct sales, you have 45 minutes to present a product/business concept and make a person believe in you, your product, and more importantly have them make a decision that they want what you are offering.

When you are presenting the business, it is very easy for you to get very factual and completely lose the interest of your prospect. When you tell a story about the success of someone who is using the product or have a person give a live testimonial about how much they love being a distributor, you will keep the interest of new people who are listening for the first time.

For most of us, the first time in our lives that we were ever presented with the concept of a live audience was back in kindergarten when we played “show and tell”. Everyone was always interested in what you were saying because you were simply telling a story. We have all heard of the famous K.I.S.S. rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. When presenting your business or product, the key play is to tell a story and keep it simple. Everyone can relate to the grandmother, who can talk about their grandchild as the most beautiful, precious child in the world. She will make you feel as if her grandchild would be such a gift to own as your own. You need to take that same simplicity and utilize it during your presentation and create the same result – ownership of your product.

As you tell stories, people will remember those stories versus all the facts in the world. “FACTS TELL, BUT STORIES SELL.” They should want to get involved in your business or purchase your product because all of the success stories that you told. People love to be part of a winning team. Storytelling keeps people tied into you and your presentation. I always say when in doubt during a presentation, tell a story in order to bring people’s attention back to you. When I present, I ALWAYS tell many stories because when I was first introduced to direct sales, what perked my ears was a story of a young lady who had a lifestyle I wanted. The personal story of her lifestyle is what made me decide to get involved in the business. In that business, I went on to build an enormous organization and all I did was tell my story and tell the company’s story over and over!

Combining the key strategy of storytelling along with the correct mindset, you can achieve your wildest dreams!

Find your WHY and Fly!

John Di Lemme
www.FindYourWhy.com

THE POWER OF STORYTELLING

Creative Thinking: A How-To Guide

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 Thinking: A How-To Guide

Create Your Own Destiny

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.

Create Your Own Destiny

Positive Thinking and Your Creative Mind – 7 Steps to Success

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.

Positive Thinking and Your Creative Mind – 7 Steps to Success

Who Wants to Work?

I feel a loss when pragmatism wins over the mystical. There is a greater magic at work when you engage with Source. I believe that strength and optimism combined with hard work will keep marketing principles and other learned strategies working well for success. I have a much different story to tell.

I’ve spent many years in the corporate world and in the service and sales industry. Letting those learned and hard-work principles go to engage in a relationship with the divine has been one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever faced. So why face it? Why not stick with the old ways?

Simply put, the mystical, the divine, the source energy, or God if you like, wouldn’t let me go. No matter how hard I worked, I simply did not see the results I desired. There was a transformation already underway and I would be embracing a new way of living. You cannot deny who you truly are. As I moved away from working hard and focused more and more on my gifts, passion & purpose, magical things began happening.

In spite of all my marketing and business focused activities, none of my prospects had become a client and none of my projects came to life. Strangely, people from across North America were finding me, and rarely through my website. As long as I engaged in a relationship with the source and exercised faith, clients began showing up. Clients that were looking for the gifts that I had to offer and the connection I had to share.

This has pushed me deeper into a relationship with the mystical, the metaphysical, the spiritual – so many words to describe the same thing – and practicing a new way of being in this world. It is much simpler, much more organic, much more peaceful, and in many respects, very easy. Well, easy when I get out of my way.

There have been times when I’ve been in a complete and utter panic over what was not materializing. I’d come close to reverting to an old pattern and headaches would show up and more resistance in mind, body, and spirit. Within 24-48 hours, I’d back off from my worries, unable to give-in and give up the dream. I’d trust and just as suddenly, abundance again made itself known.

I see this pattern, these ups & downs, as part of the training I am receiving. To deepen my relationship with the divine. To trust source. To trust my true calling, passion and purpose. To express more fully who I am and thereby be a much better guide and teacher to those who wish to engage in the same relationship with the source of creation.

Magic lives everywhere. Being pragmatic can work, but who wants to work?

Who Wants to Work?

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.

Being First, Being Original, Being Innovative

The 7 Keys To Your Creative Genius

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.

The 7 Keys To Your Creative Genius

Permission To Be An Artist – Granted!

Since I’ve been offering Artist Retreat Day programs, I’ve been hearing a lot about the concept of “permission”. Some artists who said yes to a retreat day shared that this was a much-needed structure to enable and empower them to FINALLY give themselves permission to take time for their creative work.

Others just couldn’t say yes, just couldn’t give themselves permission.

What does it mean to have permission to do something? My thesaurus tells me that other words related to permission are: consent, sanctioning and authorization.

Consent signifies agreement, validation that what you’re doing meets with specific expectations, criteria and guidelines. It sounds solemn and like someone has faith in you. Sanction is an even more formal declaration of acceptance and faith.

Authorized to Create

Authorization well, that implies that you’re something special. That not just anyone is meant to be painting this painting, writing this song or designing that jewelry. You have been specially authorized to do it.

And why? Because you have the unique gifts that are necessary to bring that creative project into being. Who authorized you? The same power that granted you those gifts and skills whether you choose to think of that as God, the universe, Spirit, or another name. As we read in the Science of Getting Rich [link], we’re not given the desire to do something without also giving you the skill to carry it out.

Why is it so difficult to authorize ourselves, grant ourselves permission and consent, to sanction our own creative work? Sometimes we seek this permission from others, unconsciously (or consciously) hoping they’ll deny it, so we won’t really have to venture into the scary world of living up to our potential.

A lot of these words symbolize that external permission is needed. And sometimes it is.

Permission from Others

Whether you want to attend an artist retreat day, meet a deadline or just develop a new idea that came to you overnight, you’ll sometimes need permission from the people you share your life with to take the time for your creative work.

It might mean delegating household work or child-care or rescheduling a date or planned event. All of you might also need a willingness to be flexible and to accept that sometimes things don’t get done right away. It also means ensuring an environment of support for your work.

Will others give you permission? Of course you can’t control what anyone else thinks, says or does, but consider this: our loved ones will take cues from us about how serious our creative work is to us. If we’re constantly putting it on the back burner, putting our work down, and letting it be the first thing to go when things get stressful or busy, we’re teaching others to treat it the same way.

If we don’t take our creative work seriously, why should they?

Permission from Self Artist at Work

I think what’s even more important is the permission we give ourselves. There are so many reasons we deny ourselves permission to pursue our creative work. Fear tops the list. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of what people will think of us, fear of being good, fear of being terrible, or fear we’ll let someone else down, to name a few examples.

Sometimes we hold on to earlier instances when we were denied permission, denied access, not sanctioned or authorized, or when our work was criticized or belittled. Some of us have even been told, directly, NOT to pursue our creative work (“don’t give up your day job”, “find another path”, “you have no business doing this work”), which hung a big UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS sign on the door of our creative hearts.

So hang a new sign on your creative heart one that reads “Artist at work”. And in fine print, “This work has been sanctioned by _______” (the name of your source of Power).

10 Signs That You’ve Given Yourself Permission To Be A Creative Artist

1. The first words out of your mouth when someone asks “and what do you do?” are “I’m a songwriter/artist/sculptor/writer, etc.”.

2. You work steadily at your craft, whether it’s working on or re-working pieces or promoting your work.

3. You teach your loved ones to treat your art seriously.

4. The materials and resources that you need to create with are part of your budget and are planned expenses every month.

5. You’re committed to your learning, growth and development, participating in artists groups and discussion forums and seeking out mentorship and coaching.

6. You don’t let mistakes or criticism stop you from taking your next steps.

7. You’re building the resources you need to support yourself financially, emotionally and spiritually.

8. You’re conscious of your physical lifestyle habits and choose the ones that won’t interfere with your creative work.

9. You find opportunities to pass on your knowledge and support wherever possible, to someone who’s had less experience than you have.

10. You consistently say no to requests for your time, energy and commitment that will take you away from your creative work.

Permission To Be An Artist – Granted!

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

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.

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

Creative Imagination

Creative imagination is more than just active imagination. To be able to actively imagine things, to see and hear things in one’s mind, is an important ability. It doesn’t have to involve much creativity, though, does it? Daydreaming, for example, is a process of imagination. It can consist of an elaborate fantasy world, but one full of all the things that many people think about.

Creative imagination, then, has to include the ability not just to imagine things, but to imagine original things. It is seeing things that others don’t see, and coming up with new ideas. So how do you cultivate this?

Creative Imagination 101

First, exercise your basic imagination. It can be as simple as thinking in pictures more, or listening to music in your mind. Play little “movies” in your mind, until you can watch them on command. This is a simple process, but for those of us that can’t easily do it naturally, it can take a lot of practice. Fortunately, it is not an unpleasant activity.

The second part of developing your creative imagination is to get more creative in your thinking and imagining. Start by paying attention to your creativity. Our subconscious minds give us more of what we pay attention to. Ignore creative aspects of your life, and you’re telling your subconscious they are unimportant. On the other hand, if you note when you’re creative, your subconscious mind will start feeding you more creative ideas.

Different surroundings can also encourage your creativity. Want more creativity in your love life? Hike up a mountain with your partner. Do you write? Try sitting on a roof to write. Want new ideas for your business? Take a notebook to the park and sit by the duck pond. A change of environment can get your thinking out of it’s ruts.

You can play games that exercise your creative imagination. One such game uses a technique called “concept combination.” Alone or with other players, you combine random concepts or things in new ways, to see who has the best idea. A thermometer and a billboard, for example, could generate an idea for a sign that checks the weather and adjusts the message accordingly (“Come in out of the heat for a cold beverage,” or “Come in out of the rain and warm up with our gourmet coffee.”).

Don’t Wait For Creative Imagination

Creative inspiration certainly can strike at any time, but it strikes more often when there is work instead of waiting. So if you want to come up with creative inventions, start mentally redesigning everything you see. Imagine a better bicycle, a faster mail service, or a better chair. Continue this for three weeks, and it will become a habit.

Of course, creative imagination goes beyond solving specific problems or inventing things. Truly creative minds are always coming up with the questions too, not just the solutions. If you want to be more creative all the time, focus on three things:

1. Changing your perspective. A child might think that working just to not work (to retire) is silly. Thinking from that perspective might give you ideas for how to make money doing things you enjoy. Seeing the world as a bear sees it might give a painter imaginative new ideas. Looking at things from a customer’s perspective is a sure way to find creative improvements for a business. See everything from several perspectives.

2. Challenging your assumptions. What if restaurants didn’t have employees? Visitors pay a machine as they enter, feed themselves at a buffet, and everything is as automated as possible, so one owner-operator could run a large restaurant alone. Challenge all your assumptions for practice. Do you really have to pay rent? Do swimming pools need water? Can exercise be a bad thing?

3. Let your ideas run wild. Does a flying bed seem silly? It could lead to the concept of a helium mattress. When you get off it in the morning, it floats out of the way, up to the ceiling. Perfect for small apartments. Don’t stifle your creativity. Relax, and let ideas come. You can always discard them later.

For these techniques to be a habitual part of your thinking, use them regularly. Since it takes several weeks to develop a habit, remind yourself to use them each day. Jot a few of your favorite techniques on a card and carry it with you. Look it over throughout the day and apply the techniques to anything. Soon, you’ll have a more creative imagination.

Creative Imagination