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It may not be probable. But it’s possible.

mindset Feb 22, 2022

Are you lingering in the curtain wings of your life’s stage because it’s not probable that you will achieve your big creative dream?

If we look at statistics, it is probable that you will stay in your comfort zone. Most people follow a similar and predictable path. When they try something new, there are typically lots of challenges and setbacks. These tend to discourage another try. Given these probabilities, it is more likely that you will remain in your comfort zone. It’s logical.

Friend, I was lingering there for a long time.

But then I decided to leap out into the lights.

Step onto your stage

Something that helped me to take that leap, was learning the difference between probability and possibility. I learned this from my mentor and friend, Lisa Linfield, author of Deep Grooves: Overcoming Patterns That Keep You Stuck.  

Lisa explained that we tend to get stuck on whether or not something is probable. Is it probable that I will build a thriving business/...

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Be kind to yourself. Your creativity depends on it.

How NOT to start the year.

I had great intentions for the first week of January.

We had returned from a refreshing and happy family holiday at the coast. Johannesburg was blissfully quiet and bursting with green life from the abundant summer rains. The blank pages of my new year planner waited patiently to be filled with mind maps, plans, tasks, ideas, and doodles.

I love fresh starts and the promise of renewal that a new year brings (even if it is just in my own mind.) It feels like a Great Cosmic Control-Alt-Delete. I couldn’t wait to get started. During my down time away, ideas had been popping into my head: ways to grow our business, books to read, content to create, people to connect with, technology to acquire, updates to make and so on. My first priority was to get writing and to create a truckload of content from all my fresh ideas before business in South Africa kicks off again mid-January.  

Then a peculiar thing happened.

Having spent hours clearing out my...

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How to build Olympian perseverance

Imagine the feeling: You have dreamed of this moment since you were young. You have trained until every muscle in your body has ached. You have pushed through disappointments and overcome obstacles. You’ve hung on through uncertainty and setbacks. Now you are finally here. You enter the brilliantly lit Olympic arena with your teammates, flags flying, smiles beaming. This is it!

The Games show us what’s possible

I love the Olympic Games. I love how people from all over the globe become united by the joy of sports and the thrill of competition. I love being reminded how strong the human spirit can be.  Perseverance is a key element of the creative mindset, and the Olympic athletes have it in spades. Olympians embody the creative edge of pushing past what is possible in terms of human performance. They remind us what we are made of.

There’s another reason the Olympic Games are special to Celia and I; our mother is an Olympian! Our mum, Susan Leuner (nee Roberts),...

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Creativity's Secret Sauce

How to build perseverance and be more creative

One of the qualities I admire most in our great, former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is his patient and courageous perseverance. Despite huge obstacles and setbacks, he never gave up working passionately for his people. He is quoted as saying: “The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.”

When we look at what is happening in South Africa, the obstacles to moving forward can seem oerwhelming. Yet, if we take it one small step at a time and persevere, we are going to recover and rebuild, then grow and thrive. St. Francis of Assisi put it so beautifully when he said:

“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Perseverance is a key to creativity

Perseverance is one of the key mindsets of creative thinkers and innovators. Since creativity pushes us out into the unknown where outcomes are uncertain and risks...

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Yearning to create

I have a fluffy white Maltese-ish dog. Her name is Popcorn. I say ‘ish’ because she is a rescue dog and apparently, she is a mixed breed. She is super cute. I thought I adopted her, but it seems she has adopted me. I am her Person. She follows me everywhere. She is always at my heels. She hops in the car and rides with me wherever I go. She is so cute.

Listen to me! I am supposed to be a cat person, not a dog-person! And not a small-dog person! I don’t know how this happened.

If Popcorn gets shut out of my office somehow, she pines at the door. It’s a forlorn, melancholic sound. She just sits there and yearns, yelping quietly until she gets let in. Oh gosh, she is doing it now. Let me go and let her in…

 

When last did you last have that yearning feeling? (Not the small, craving, like the hankering after your favourite food, but the deep yearning of your soul.) Can you identify what you were yearning for?

Yearning is a kind of...

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A curious case of the creeps

I generally don’t think about insects very much at all. I moan about mosquitos. I hate flies. I love butterflies and moths. Bees are my favourite. They rock. Paper mites give me the creeps. That’s about the extent of it.

Do you think about insects ? Are you curious about them?

I few months ago, I decided to cocoon my insect-related ignorance and apathy (defined "I don't know and I don't care") and to transform it through curiosity into wonder and delight. The impact was a fresh and hopeful perspective, newfound interest, and the widening of my world.

Do these outcomes  sound attractive to you?

Then read on, and by all means, please try this at home!


 

Before we get into my insect story, I want to make sure you're not thinking curiosity is just for astrophysicists or kids with lots of time on their hands. Here are three things you should know: 

1. Curiosity is a clear sign of intelligence

In 2011* a study was published in...
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How do I know if I have a creative mind?

Find out what makes up a creative mindset and take the assessment below

Don’t you just love a sharp, good quality pencil. There’s nothing like putting a sharpened pencil to paper and making your mark. I get a thrill from a clean page in a good quality notebook and quiet pocket of time to write or draw. Perhaps a blank page intimidates you? If so, here’s a trick: just start.

 At Creativity Wake-Up, we like to think of creativity as a prized pencil, used for writing your life’s story. At the tip of the pencil, the lead or writing element, is your creative mindset, skillset and toolset. The mindset is at the base because this is the foundation of your creativity. You build your creative skillset on the mindset that you are development. To your creative skillset, you add tools. But it all starts with the mindset. Without the creative mindset, the skills and tools will not get you very far!

 At the back of the pencil, you have an eraser. It is...

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Is Not Letting Go limiting your creativity?

My struggle with letting go

His words punch me in the pit of my stomach. A twisting dread. A panicky longing. “I’ve sold the first lot. The buyer will be here any minute,” he says.  

My husband has been talking about selling our turntables and records for a long time. Suddenly it is all happening. It’s real. The collection of vinyl we have built up in our twenties and the Technics decks we spent so many happy hours playing them on will soon be gone.

“It makes perfect sense,” my rational mind tells me. He’s moved onto digital mixing and can get all of the music from the cloud. I haven’t put much effort into learning how to use our CDJs (digital turntables) and hardly play anymore. The records weigh a ton and take up a lot of space. They hold a lot of value but were gathering dust.  

Yet, in LockDown, I had hauled them out again and had a spin. I got my groove back and rediscovered the joy of mixing music that you can...

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How do we help people unlock creativity?

A search that unearthed a surprise

“Arggghhh!” The farmer clenched his fists and cried out in frustration. He’d lost a hammer in his field and was wasting precious time looking for it. Not that the hammer itself was so precious but it was solid enough to do damage to his machinery should it be ridden over. When he rang up a friend with a metal detector, neither of them were aware of the turn the day would take.

The friend set off into the field and began to scan the ground. After some time, the alarm sounded and he started to dig, thinking that he had uncovered the hammer. Instead, he pulled up an ancient gold coin. Wha? More digging. More coins and some jewellery. Flummoxed and thrilled in equal measure, he called the farmer and they dug together. They could not believe their eyes. Could it true? Was this real? What they had unearthed was a true treasure trove!

This is the true story of farmer Peter Whatling and his friend Eric Lawes. In 1992 they found what is...

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It’s funny how humour boosts creativity

 

Ooops!

It was late on a Thursday evening when Helen finally finished up her work and got ready to leave the office.  As she made her way out, she found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in her hand.

"Listen," said the CEO "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?"

As a young executive, Helen was eager to be of assistance. "Certainly," she said and she turned the machine on, inserted the paper and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as her paper disappeared inside the machine. "Thanks for your help. I just need one copy."

The creative origin story of Comic Relief

This Friday, March 19, is Red Nose Day in the UK. It is run by the charity Comic Relief which was launched in 1985 live from a refugee camp in Sudan during the Ethiopian famine. Red Nose Day is a campaign to end child poverty, using humour and grassroots fundraising as the basis of...

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