Creative Intelligence – An A to Zzzzz

A is for Aha, Ha ha and Ahh, three dimensions of creative intelligence.   The creativity theorist Arthur Koestler gave us these.  Aha is a  sense of insight, when we move beyond what we formerly knew: the Yes! Eureka! I get it! moment.   Ha-ha is our sense of the absurd, the way we laugh when opposites combine, waking us out of our usual, singular way of seeing. Ahhh is the  peace and freedom we feel when we sense our interbeing with others, with something beyond ourselves.

B.   Begin with being – Be. Just. Where. You. Are.

C.   Can. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford

D.   Dimensions of Mind. You have three: 1. Surface (Ego) Mind. 2. Deep (Emotional/Imaginative) Mind. 3. Beyond (Inspirational) Mind. Your creative intelligence encompasses all three dimensions.

E.   Enthusiasm. (Literal translation from ancient Greek: “the creator within”) Find your enthusiasms so creativity can commence.

F.   Fear: the best way beyond it is through it.

G.   Gather for growth. “People are like earth. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” Plato.

H.  Hurry is rarely necessary. Creation takes its own sweet time.  Slow down, you’re movin’ too fast… life is lovely, all is groovy.

I.   Imagination is not some sort of icing on the cake of life. It’s the oven in which it’s baked.

J.  Just as it should be. That’s how life is. Even when it doesn’t feel that way to our surface minds.

Continue Reading →

Creative Can Do – Boosting Self-Belief

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right,” said Henry Ford. Or, as my old Irish auntie used to grumble, “You get what you put in for.”

It would be hard to find a philosopher, sage, counsellor or coach who’d disagree.

It’s no secret that self-belief is the central pillar of success — but it’s easy to forget. Or to underestimate its importance in the creative process.

To give your self-belief a boost at any time, do this F-R-E-E-Writing Exercise. Set a clock for 15 minutes, allowing 3 minutes each for the following five questions.

  • What do you believe in?
  • Do you believe enough to convince others?
  • Do you believe enough to succeed?
  • How are your success and your belief intrinsically linked?
  • How might you strengthen your belief?

F-R-E-E-Writing is a much more creative way to where you want to go than setting goals or plans.

Regular free F-R-E-E-Writing (where you F-R-E-E-write for a set time or number of pages, putting down whatever comes to mind will), over time, really boost your belief.

As if by accident, you’ll find your horizons expanding — and yourself soaring right over them.

It Aint What You Do Its The Way That You Do It

THAT’s What Gets Results.

Apologies to those of you who’ll have the Bananarama version of the old song invading your brain for the rest of the day — but this saying is key for creatives.
People are always asking how they can be ‘more creative’. They want a formula, something they can buy, or apply. People, it’s creativity.  Having more is as all about approach and attitude, a way of meeting the moment and whatever it is you want to make happen.

Here’s a sort of How-To:

H is for Honesty

First, some bad news: you’re not perfect. The good news is you don’t have to be. All you have to be is honest, with yourself and others, about who you really are and what you want really to create. That in itself will put you ahead of the millions who’d rather do anything else but. So “be yourself,” as Oscar Wilde once said. “Everyone else is taken.”

O is for Openness

Creation is always co-creation.  A combination of your conscious will, your unconscious mind and whatever life is deciding to sling your way today. You need practices that keep you open and alert to what’s going on at the various levels: physical, emotional, imaginative. Otherwise you’re forever circling the surface of things and getting distracted. Choose your favoured practice — FREEWriting, meditation, mindmapping — and do it often. Daily is best.

Continue Reading →

How To Excel

In the early 1990s, three psychologists visited Universitat der Kunste, the esteemed arts academy in West Berlin, to study a cohort of elite  violin students and see what made them so very good.

As a control group, they selected students from the education department training to be music teachers. Though this group were also serious about the violin, their playing ability was more average.

What the researchers wanted to understand was why. Was there a shared behaviour among the members of each group that made the excellent players better? Were they more dedicated, for example? Did they practice for longer? Or was it something innate to the individuals, with no statistical variation?

The researchers did a series of in-depth interviews with both groups and gave them diaries to carefully log how they spent their time, in college, while socialising and at home.

Continue Reading →

Getting The Creative Habit

“Being creative is a full-time job with its own daily patterns. That’s why writers, for example, like to establish routines for themselves.

The most productive  ones get started early in the morning, when the world is quiet, the phones aren’t ringing, and their minds are rested, alert, and not yet polluted by other people’s words.

“They might set a goal for themselves — write fifteen hundred words, or stay at their desk until noon — but the real secret is that they do this every day.

In other words, they are disciplined. Over time, as the daily routines become second nature, discipline morphs into habit. [...]

Continue Reading →

Creative Anxiety Versus Useless Worry

When you set out to live or work in a more creative way, people worry.

We like to do that. Find a newspaper from a few years ago and see how few of those apparently important and urgent anxieties actually came to pass.

How even if they did, other conditions arose, rendering the outcomes unimaginably different.

And ask how the worry or anxiety helped.

I’m not talking about the sort of creative anxiety that gets things done, or natural stage fright ,but the sort of worry that marketing guru Seth Godin has defined as ‘experiencing failure in advance’.

Continue Reading →