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Creative Caffeine

A dose of creativity stimulation to ignite fresh thinking

Ten Podcasts to Spark your Creativity

We all need to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete on our minds from time to time and refresh ourselves. At Creativity Wake-Up, we find that listening to podcasts as we run or walk (keeping one earbud out to listen for traffic!) is a great way to let go of worries, change gear and get inspired.

Already a podcast listener? Brilliant! We invite you to explore some new territory. Not into podcasts? Excellent! A whole world of learning awaits. Alwin, don't debate it - just try it.

Ta-daaa! We've made you a (proverbial) mixed tape. Here's a handpicked list of 10 excellent podcast episodes that have challenged, intruiged and wowed us. Need a pick me up? There's something in there to encourage you, to inspire you, to tickle your fancy, to teach you about creativity and to give you a spring in your step.
(We'd love to hear what you think of them! Please post your comments on our Facebook page.)

 

#   Podcast Episode Duration Date
1 THE MOMENT with Brian Koppelman Interview with Julia...
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The Creative Mindset: Humour

Have you lost your sense of humour? Read on for tips on how to get it back!

How to know if you are taking yourself too seriously

According to Shola at The Positivity Solution, here are some telltale signs that you might be taking yourself a little too seriously:
  • You’re incapable of self-deprecating humor, being the butt of a lighthearted joke, or laughing at yourself.
  • You would never put yourself in a position where you could possibly look silly in front of others (singing karaoke, giving a presentation at the all-staff meeting, getting on the dance floor at a party/wedding, attempting to cook a fancy dinner for a group of friends, etc.)
  • You’re easily offended and take every little slight personally.
  • You’re overly image conscious and care way too much about stuff that doesn’t really matter (the car you drive, how “cool” people think you are, your job title, the amount of Twitter followers you have, etc.)
  • You need to have the last word...
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The Creative Mindset: Learner

To nurture a creative mindset, become a lifelong learner. Here's how:

1) Prioritise learning. Put it in your calendar!

One way to assess your mindset is to think about how much you value learning. Creative thinkers love to learn and prioritise learning. I'm not talking about you saying: "Yes, learning is important. I believe in lifelong learning."

I mean, if I came and analysed your calendar or watched you for a week, would I see you learning? Would I see you setting aside time and putting effort into learning new skills, reading books, talking to people to learn from them (and listening!)? Would I see you going beyond your domain and learning seemingly unrelated skills, reading about different industries, reading books from different countries, investing time in learning a language or a creative art?

Do you learn by doing or do you tend towards cerebral learning, keeping it in all as knowledge or theories in your head? We really learn when we put something into action and find out...

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The Creative Mindset: Self-Belief

When my mum was preparing to leave home after university, and travel alone to a far away land, her little sister worried. "Aren't you going to be lonely? Who will look after you?" "Don't fret," said my courageous mum (the eldest in the family and the path finder), "If I ever feel scared or alone, then I'll just look in the mirror and say to myself - Hello Sue, at least I've got you!."

Wherever we go... there we are! We'll always have ourselves. If we can learn to be our biggest fans and cheerleaders, imagine what we can accomplish!

I love this quote I came across: “Imagine if we obsessed about the things we love about ourselves.”

Give yourself a mental, physical and spiritual hug today. You are one of a kind. The world needs what you have to offer.

We ask all our students what their biggest creativity killer is. Time and again the creativity killer that tops the list is self doubt. It's the persistent voice in the head that tell us we're a failure because everyone around...

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The Creative Mindset: Curiosity

curiosity mindset Aug 25, 2020

Curiosity is integral to a creative mindset. It propels us forward to explore, to seek, to find out, to experiment, to ask questions.

How healthy is your curiosity? A lack of curiosity can lead to apathy, boredom, conformity, low empathy and a sense of being stuck. Pay attention to your thinking over the next couple of days and notice: Are you interested in finding out why someone who angers you behaves that way? Do you wonder how everyday technology and systems work? Do you wrestle with problems until you can solve them? Are you interested in finding out about your colleagues’ upbringings? Do you question beliefs or points of view you’ve held since your youth?

If your curiosity has waned, fear not! Curiosity can be nurtured and grown with deliberate intention and a bit of effort. Einstein said: “I have no special talent, I’m only passionately curious.”

Did you know…?
Sustaining high levels of curiosity is the starting point of creativity.
...

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I am just not creative!

 

Do you daydream? Do you remember with pleasure special times with friends or great sporting moments? Do you have sexual fantasies? Do you mix and match items, colours and accessories when you buy clothes to create your own style? Do you like different kinds of music? Do you have books at home you’d love to read but haven't gotten to yet?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes or even tends towards yes, then you ARE creative. What you believe about your creativity is more important than you may realise.

“If you fight hard enough for your limitations, you to get to keep them.” These are the words of Jim Kwik, world expert in optimal brain performance and a favourite teacher of mine. Are you fighting for this limitation that so many people hang on to? Have you said or thought, ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body’ or ‘I’m just not creative’?

If you have, please think of the possible implications. This is a self-limiting...

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On pivoting and firsts

We can’t call ourselves Creativity Wake-Up and not take our own medicine. We keep having to pause and ask ourselves: Are we being creative here? We keep pushing boundaries and doing things that scare us. Like our first WhatsApp workshop. Yes, a workshop over WhatsApp! This was actually a suggestion by a brilliant entrepreneur and world-changer, Thabiso Sebata owner of Start Media and founder of AlexBiz.

Thabiso founded Alex Biz to support and help develop entrepreneurs in his local area, Alexandra. He has about 100 entrepreneurs in his group. Earlier this year, we had worked with Thabiso to set up a pro-bono workshop with a group of around 25 of his members in April. Once the Lockdown prevented us from getting together, Thabiso indicated that a virtual workshop over a platform such as Zoom wasn’t feasible for his group owing to the prohibitive cost of and access to data. He suggested that we do the workshop via WhatsApp over an 8-hour period, using...

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Are you ready?

 

The new decade is advancing swiftly along and here we are Marching into month three already! If you haven’t taken any steps yet to develop, or even to investigate, your creativity, today is a good day to start. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. One of my favourite sayings goes: The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; the next best time is now.

A huge breakthrough for me in developing my creative intelligence has been getting over that first step. As a business science graduate who started out in banking and finance, I had misguided, old ideas about creativity belonging to artists. I also had a lack of understanding – no let’s just call it what it is… ignorance – about how malleable and changeable my brain and my thinking really is. Dr Caroline Leaf’s work (in particular, her book 'Think, Learn, Succeed') created a seismic shift for me in this regard. When I finally ‘got it’ that at a neurological level, we...

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Are you a lateral thinker?

conundrum lateral thinking Nov 04, 2019

Try these creative conundrums:

1.) A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so?

2.) If you put a small coin into an empty wine bottle and replace the cork, how would you get the coin out of the bottle without taking out the cork or breaking the bottle?

3.) A young brother and sister were fighting. Their mother decided to punish them by making them stand on the same sheet of newspaper in such a way that they couldn’t touch each other. How did she accomplish this?

What original solutions can you come up with to these situations?

Lateral thinking is about approaching a problem from an unusual al angle. It often flies in the face of logic. Psychologist Edward de Bono, who coined the phrase describes lateral thinking with this metaphor:

“You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.”

Lateral thinking in three steps:

  1. Think about what assumptions stop...
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A simple tool to help you think more creatively

bI expect, because you are reading this, that you are curious about your creativity. You've probably read quite a lot about it lately. This is fantastic and is an important step towards reshaping your brain for faster, more fluent and more original creative thinking. However, in the same way that reading about tennis will only get you so far on the court, you need to put your creative thinking into practice to truly develop it.

 According to a Harvard University study, innovative people spend 50% more time being INTENTIONAL about thinking differently.

 Here's a simple tool that I love from educator and speaker Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw, author of 'Intrapreneur' and 'Leading in the Innovation Age'. She calls it her BODS tool (to help us all become creative BODS!)

 The tool comprises four questions using the acronym BODS, which stand for: better, other, different and simple. Ask yourself these questions:

  • BETTER: is there a better way of doing this?
  • OTHER: how...
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"If you wait until you are ready, you will be waiting the rest of your life." Lemony Snicket