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CREATIVE CAFFEINE

A dose of creativity stimulation

 to ignite fresh thinking

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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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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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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Waking up my creative thinking. Step one.

What is it about the first step that can make a new endeavour so hard? Even unachievable.  The stony silence of the blank page. The indeterminable dread of the empty spreadsheet. The mysterious darkness beyond the lighted path. Your mind grappling with where to place your foot: How? When? Where? Should I? Can I?

I am experiencing this first-step fright as I undertake simultaneously to begin a journey to develop my creativity, whilst at the same time developing learning to help others do the same. Two wise people recently said to me, on two separate occasions, “Stop going on courses and trying to get more qualified, you banana*! <my addition*>  You have everything inside of you that you need. Just start.” (You know who you are @TanyaVanderWaal and @LisaLinfield.) It was just the kick in the pants I needed.  

So here goes.

I have this weird sense that my whole life has been a slow process of waking up. I love waking up. Let me clarify. I love waking up...

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"If you wait until you are ready, you will be waiting the rest of your life." Lemony Snicket