How to Increase Your Creativity…And Your Success

When it comes to success…as any kind of writer, or as an entrepreneur in any area…creativity is important…really important.

Albert Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  He also said: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

The marketplace in which we live is constantly changing.  We humans have what seems an insatiable appetite for new…new products, new services, new art, and new art forms…new anything! 

What the marketplace requires, therefore, is your creativity.  Your ability, your willingness to expand your abilities to create new ideas, new solutions, new ways of living.

What that requires of you…of me…of anyone who chooses to affect the world in which we live…is to return to the imaginative and creative voices in our minds when we were 6 — or younger!

Bravery required?  Yes!  This means abandoning the “tried and true”…taking risks without guarantees…exploring… ignoring…the “borders” of the known that we’ve been taught.  It means returning to the age at which we build “forts” from sticks, castles from sand, “pies” from mud, and entertained in our forts and castles those who existed only in our minds.

Creativity comes from unreasonableness.  It means ignoring our analytical, logical, judgemental, detail-oriented training.  It comes from humor, vision, music, imagination…and non-judgement! 

Creativity demands that you be curious…not smart.  There are, and will continue to be, many nay-sayers to block your curiosity, your creativity, and your tenacity when your exploration has begun to take hold of you, and you know you have an idea that…successful or not…must be shared.

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, said in 1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers.”   Lord Kelvin said in 1895 “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible“, and Daryl F. Zanuck, 20th Century Fox movie studio said in 1946 “Video won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months.” 

All of these…and many more…naysayers have been proven wrong.  They’ve been shown to lack “creativity… or imagination, ” by the brave individuals who chose to follow their dreams…their intuition…their inner voices… and chose not to follow the advice of the naysayers…the experts…the prognosticators…even their own self-doubts…to create for all of us a better, richer, world in some way.

Is each person who does this always successful?  Are you always going to get the “big score” when you create something new…even when you believe with your whole soul…your whole being…that what you’ve created is absolutely necessary…or offers such incredible value it should not be ignored?

No.  Absolutely not.  You won’t always be successful.  Ask Albert Einstein.  Or…better yet…ask Benjamin Franklin.  One of my absolutely favorite quotes is from Benjamin Franklin when he said: “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”   And when someone asked him about his attempts to invent the lightbulb:”Is it true that you had over 10,000 failures while trying to invent the light bulb?” he said “Young man, those weren’t failures.  Those were practice tests.  I learned what not to do from each of them.”

He also said: “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”

I know…this is hard to believe, but Walt Disney was actually fired by a newspaper for not having enough ideas.  And…before he built Disneyland…he went bankrupt several times as he pursued his imagination and creativity.

I love Richard Bach’s 1970’s story about the soaring seagull.  I have it in my library, and I still pick it up and read from it from time to time because it inspires me.   If you don’t have it already, I highly recommend it.  It’s called Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and has sold over 7 million copies.  It’s available now in many formats, including e-book.  However, before it was published for the first time, it was turned down eighteen times! 

 As Jonathan Livingston Seagull was transcending his current environment after continually trying new and different flying techniques unknown, and unsupported by the seagull community…and practicing, practicing, practicing,  he said to his friend: “”…. Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”

These are stories about accepting no limitations.  Stories of accepting no limits, no “norms”… no “you can’t do that,”  and instead…reaching out and embracing failure, often.  Instead of saying “Why can’t I?” they said “How can I?” again and again and again.

Do you want to “be”  your hero?  Do you want to increase your creativity, and take flight to your new world?  If so, you’ll need to take your blinders off your creativity!

For a beginning,  try:

  • Exploring a place you’ve never been before.
  • Listening to a new genre of music that you’re unfamiliar with.
  • Eating food you’re unaccustomed to.
  • Look at a problem through your “child’s eyes.”  In other words…remember when…

Rather than focus on negatives, as most of us are taught, look for the positive:

  • What’s positive or useful about your project or your position? 
  • What’s positive about your idea that others can use?
  • What’s positive about a specific idea you have that others can apply?
  • What positive things can you or your client do with your ideas?  Can you speak about them?  Write about them?  Give workshops, teleseminars? 
  • Can you donate your ideas, or the results of your ideas to others who may be interested, or may be able to develop them to a level you never anticipated?
  • Can you develop a membership site or start a forum where your ideas can be brainstormed with the collective result being better than you ever imagined possible?

And…perhaps…one of the best things you can do to increase your creativity…and your success…is to meditate.  Practice silence. 

J. Krishnamurti, in The Flight of the Eagle said:  “Meditation is not something different from daily life.  It is total attention. ‘Attention’ implies to attend, that is to listen, hear, see, with all the totality of your being, with your body, with your nerves, with your eyes, with your ears, with your mind, with your heart, completely.” 

Give in to your total attention and being.  By letting go of expectations…by surrendering to “the flight”; how the wind feels on your wings rather than having to know exactly where you are going, where and when you will land… you will find more synchronicity.  You will, as Lao Tzu says, be able to “Do less, be more.  Achieve less, have more.”

Creativity and success are yours for the taking.  Become again the child…without limitations…without the voices of the world to tell you your dream is impossible. 

Know only that in your kingdom the knight slays the wicked dragon and marries the beautiful princess.  Every time.  And, that the knight will go out…again and again…without fear, knowing that he holds the sacred gift of the intuitive mind…and…if he listens… that will allow him to succeed.  Every time.

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