Posted in Business, Excitement, Inspiration, Learning, Life, Positive Thinking

"Why It Is Important To Explore Creativity – 4 Ways To Be Creative And Add Fun To Your Work"

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Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

What is creativity? According to Lexico, powered by the Oxford dictionary, it is “The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.”

When I think of being creative, I think of someone like my granddaughter, who loves and excels at the creation of art. I also think of myself when I was working for an organization. And in my employee reviews, my creativity was always mentioned as one of my top assets.

There are many forms of creativity. The act of creating a drawing, a porcelain bird, a piece of art you hold in your hand, or what seems like an opposing form, an idea for creating a new product and the promotion of that product, or a new way to solve a problem.

Creativity is thinking outside the box. Someone can look at items and events with a different lens and find patterns and connections that no one else can see. It is taking those patterns and connections and creating a solution to a problem or creating a new product or theory.

“Creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our ‘inner’ pool of resources – knowledge, insight, information, inspiration and all the fragments populating our minds – that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world and to combine them in extraordinary new ways.”

— Maria Popova, Brainpickings

Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematical genius, said that the insight for his work came to him in his dreams.

Albert Einstein had the extraordinary scientific achievement, the discovery of the principle of relativity, after having a vivid dream.

Niels Bohr, whose dreams lead him to the discovery of the Atom 

 “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” 

— Mary Lou Cook

Creativity is a skill. It is a skill which is becoming more and more valuable.

When you look at the ever-changing world we live in; creativity is necessary to create new jobs and also new and better ways to change the way we look at existing industries.

One problem we have right now is climate change. When you list the causes of climate change, you will find many areas where creativity will be required to create innovative new systems.

Many people worry about the loss of jobs, but jobs will be created to replace those outdated industries and systems.

We are all born with natural creative talents, but quite often, those talents are not utilized and become dim. Some of us will be more naturally talented than others.

It is possible to increase our creativity just as we are able to learn any new skill. It is necessary to learn techniques to build creative skills.

To develop a creative mindset, you have to be able to challenge existing assumptions, be open to new ideas and possibilities. As with learning any new skill, you have to step outside your comfort zone and experiment and consistently ask questions.

Dr. Robert Epstein, a psychologist and creativity researcher, has identified four core competencies that enhance our ability to think creatively and generate novel ideas. https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/can-learn-creative/

  • Capture new ideas

Find an effective way to preserve novel ideas as they occur, without judging them or editing them. Carry a notebook and write down your ideas or use a voice recorder.

I use a notebook to write down ideas for my blog and articles published on Medium.com.

  • Seek out challenges

Stop avoiding challenging problems or projects. Think about the possible ways to generate new ideas and solutions. Seeking challenges may lead to failures, but accepting failure is a necessary part of being creative.

With any project we do while learning any new skill, we face failure. It is part of life. When we fail, we learn the most.

  • Broaden your knowledge and skills

Whenever we acquire knowledge and skill that is outside of our current area of expertise, we expand our abilities. With more diverse knowledge, we will be able to make interconnections between what we know and something we had never considered previously.

  • Manage your surroundings

When you work in the same surroundings all the time, there is nothing to stimulate new thoughts. When you think of a classroom or your office, it is always the same. But if you introduce something out of the ordinary, it can stimulate you to think in a different way.

Change your environment by going outside, go to an exhibit unrelated to anything you usually do or have an interest in.

Read books about subjects unrelated to what you do or how you think. Listen to different music, go to an art class, or enroll in a college class you would never have considered before.

Diversity will help you move out of your comfort zone and stimulate your brain. Your thinking will change, and you will become more creative.

“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” –

– Edward de Bono

Creativity is becoming more important and more valued by employers.

Your ability to think outside the box and be creative will be essential in all aspects of your life.

Some of the skills you will need are effective communication skills and your ability to interact well with a diverse group of people.

Critical thinking, such as dissecting a problem and logical reasoning, is an ability you should work to develop. Employers value people who are self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-monitored.

You should look for classes, webinars, and written material to gain as much knowledge and skill in this area as possible. It will serve you well at work and in any area of your life.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”

— Maya Angelou

 I believe that you add fun and happiness to your life when you add creativity.

By being creative, our life is more exciting and stimulating. We are more relaxed and live more in the moment, and we become more confident. We are more fun to be around.

Every time we open ourselves up to something new through creativity, we become less afraid. Because of learning, it’s okay to challenge ourselves; we are more likely to continue and open our world to endless possibilities.

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” 

— Kurt Vonnegut

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day!

Posted in Curiosity, Excitement, Inspiration, Learning, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

What Is Mental Dexterity? How You Can Increase Yours

Photo by Emily KenCairn of Apiary Studio on Unsplash

Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.

Tom Robbins

Mental dexterity” means a sharpness of mind, or skill in thinking creatively and understanding and expressing something quickly and easily.

When you think of dexterity what comes to mind? I automatically think of flexibility.

The definition of flexibility is the quality of bending easily without breaking, the ability to be easily modified, or the willingness to change or compromise.

Our brains have that flexibility, that power — our wondrous mind and the possibilities that each of us carry within us. How many of you think about your brain, and it’s capabilities?

To some extent, each of us is aware on some level, but I believe most of the time we are not. For the most part, our brain goes about its busy work without any thought from us.

We should be paying more attention because inside our brain is the potential for so much more. We have to stimulate, or exercise, our brain for it to be flexible, and maintain its dexterity. We should treat our brain as we would our bodies if we were training for a marathon.

Have you ever heard of Neuroplasticity? Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to regenerate itself. It is similar to rewiring an engine. Our brain automatically does this based on our experiences or stimuli.

It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of our interactions with our environment. From the time the brain begins to develop in utero until the day we die, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing needs. This dynamic process allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences”

– Celeste Campbell (n.d.).

How exciting is that! Think of the possibilities. We reboot our computers, but our brains reboot themselves. Humans have the potential for extraordinary change.

So how do we stimulate and nurture our brains to produce brain growth and enhance our abilities?

There are so many options and, guess what? Many are the same, or similar, to what we are already encouraged to do for good health and longevity.

Yoga – yes, yoga. It is physical activity, and it also helps connect your brain to your body. The breathing practice creates mindfulness. Yoga can be a form of meditation which connects you to your mind and creates focus. It requires self-discipline and concentration. Practicing yoga can lead to a self-analysis of our mental and emotional state.

Physical activity/exercise – Exercise increases our heart rate, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen sent to our brain. Physical activity also stimulates the release of chemicals that effect the health of brain cells and the growth of new blood vessels in the brain. Exercise helps produce new blood vessels in the brain and the abundance and survival of new brain cells. That is so exciting!

Learning new skills – Do something new and different, such as a new language, playing chess, learning to play a new instrument. I like all those ideas, but this is my favorite: learning a new subject. Researching and learning about the brain would be an immense undertaking. There is so much to learn.

Reading Fiction Books – Yes, one more reason to read, I love it! The storytelling aspect of a novel is a multi-faceted form of communication that engages a broad range of brain regions. Studies show that reading improves our brain connectivity. When we read fiction, the neurons in our temporal cortex trick our mind. We think we are doing something, but we are not.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/reading-fiction-improves-brain-connectivity-and-function

Being creative – Drawing, painting, working with clay, fabric art, and yes, writing. When you are creative, you are using different areas of your brain. The creative mind is always working, and your brain is activated by what you are doing.

Learning to play a musical instrument – When you play a musical instrument, it creates a better connection between the left and right side of your brain. The left side controls your motor functions, and the right side is learning the melody. Your cognitive function that helps you carry out any task improves when the two areas work together.

We have so many options available to us to improve ourselves. The fact that we have the capability to regenerate our brain means we can regenerate how we think, what we do, and how we influence the world. We can make our minds stronger, better and because of that we can do the same with our hearts and bodies.

Our brain is like a magic box that holds so much more than we can ever imagine……Don’t limit yourself.

Janelle Kene

Think of the possibilities if we all could do this, if we choose to do this. Power up, people!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day…may the regeneration begin!

Posted in Communication, Curiosity, Inspiration, Learning, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How To Be Successful As An Introvert, I Was, So Can You!

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“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.”

~ Michaela Chung

The quiet one, I was the quiet child who became the quiet adult. I always enjoyed being alone and you could often find me buried in a book. I was comfortable and content.

There was nothing wrong with me, but I was worrisome for my mother. She felt I was too quiet. I went to a small parochial school in a nearby town, and I had no friends near home. My quietness became an issue. As a result, my parents decided to send me to the local school.

Did I make friends? Sure, but it made no difference to me. I was who I was. In my mind, there was no problem, ever. It was my mother’s problem, not mine. I did the same crazy things other kids did. However, I was still the kid who was quiet and spent most of my time reading. To me, that was a perfect world.

Slowly, as I got a little older, I became a little bit more open. Not that much, but it started to become more necessary. Group discussions, debate sessions, reading something I had written to the whole class, all made me squirmy and uncomfortable, but I had to do it.

So the progression began from school and then to work. I always did well, and my performance reviews were always good. I was smart, I was determined, and I was focused. Give me an assignment, and I was committed to doing the best job I could, even going beyond what was required. I always excelled at anything written. It was the group interaction where I was uncomfortable.

That pretty much describes an introvert. Introverts may be quiet, but we are great listeners. When we speak, we give well thought out answers. We are very observant and may learn more about someone by just watching their body language. We may not say much, but we are always focused and are very aware of everything that is going on around us.

Introverts are self-sufficient because we like being by ourselves. We like figuring things out by ourselves. We are great thinkers, and we love to read, are curious and eager to learn new things.

People will refer to us as a reserved person, quiet, thoughtful, and they may think it is difficult to get to know us. We do prefer to sit back and observe, and we are uncomfortable drawing attention to ourselves. I remember it so well when I would be in a meeting listening to everyone else, and I wanted to ask a question or offer an idea but I just could not.

So how do introverts succeed in business?

After a meeting, I would sometimes send an email, call, or stop by someone’s office for a one on one conversation. I would say that I had taken some notes, thought about it, and had developed a plan that I would like to discuss. There was safety with that approach because I did not have to talk in front of the whole group.

I slowly learned to step outside of my comfort zone by using that technique. I decided to take a speech class. Speaking in front of a group is one of the biggest fears people have. It was a small class, which made it much easier, and I worked hard to be more comfortable. Every time I had to present something in class, I would practice. I would have something prepared, and I would stand in front of a mirror and do it over and over. That made it so much easier. That practice served me well going forward in my career.

The most challenging experiences I had were the work-related social get-together’s. I was required to attend, and it was excruciating. I hated small talk, and I could not wait for it to be over. There was nothing easy about it.

I would try to find one or two people that I was friendly with, or I knew they felt the same way I did. I even tried to think of things I could ask people ahead of time. If I knew someone had a particular interest, I would ask them about that. If they were involved in an organization or charity, I would ask questions. I could not wait to leave and would do so as quickly as I thought I could get away with it. That was the best I could do at that time. Now looking back the best suggestion I can make is to relax. In the scheme of things, how important is it? It is not a life ending event. Smile. It is always more comfortable when you smile. You may want to hide in the bathroom, but I think the best practice is to decide before you arrive to walk up to people and hold out your hand, shake theirs, and say hi, how are you. Get it over with and then relax.

Social networking was also the pits for me, and I relate to it just like the required get together’s. I think it is easier now than when I was working. There are so many ways to find information on other people and to reach out to them online. An example would be Linkedin. You can establish a relationship before you meet them face to face, which will make it so much easier when you do. You can use this technique with business associates as well as customers.

When you are at work, you do need to put yourself out there. Be friendly, smile, be social by asking questions. Be approachable. If someone walks by, say hi and ask how they are. It is an easy, natural gesture to adopt.

Your body language is a big tell-tale. You want to appear confident and competent. Do not slouch or avoid eye contact. The way you hold your body and the movements you make all tell a story, and it is a story that everyone reads.

To be successful as an introvert, you have to put yourself out there. Take baby steps, and you will learn to be more comfortable, and you can keep pushing yourself to move forward. You can still be you, but you need to stretch yourself. As you continue to push yourself, people will notice. They will see your strength and your capabilities.

I started my job with a customer service organization in an entry-level position, and I slowly pushed myself to succeed. I worked full time as a single mother and went to college part-time. I used all the excellent introvert skills I had to move up the ladder into a management position. I was named the employee of the year and was a speaker within my organization, as well as outside of work. Was I comfortable doing all of that? Not at first, but by the time I retired, it all felt natural and very, very good.

Being an introvert is not a bad thing. I would say we are pretty awesome because we are.

An introvert is an asset in every aspect of life. Here are a few quotes about the benefits of being an introvert:

Creativity – “Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune into their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there.” Susan Cain

Academic Performance – “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking

Health – “For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.” Jonathan Rauch

Business Success – “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” Susan Cain

From one introvert to another, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Inspiration-Where Do We Find It?

Are you looking for a Light Bulb moment?

Do you ever struggle looking for creativity? An idea to pop into your head or something as simple as a pop of color or an image you see that takes you in a different direction.

Usually it is easy to find inspiration but not always. Just the other day I struggled. I thought I had an idea, a decent idea. When I started to put it down on paper it was pathetic. I kept writing and stopping, looking at the words. There was no flow, it was disjointed. It was a jumbled mess.

I stopped, took a break and came back, Thought it would help but it didn’t. If anything it got worse. I rearranged, I deleted and rewrote. Read it again and almost deleted the whole hot mess. Made myself stop and then shut it down. I walked away and left it for the next day.

I spent time doing other things. I went outside, I read some articles, looked at quotes. Then I spent time outside, poked around in my flower gardens, did some planning, walked the dog and finally went to bed.

So the next day I returned to my writing. I started to reread and then decided that was a bad idea. It was just bad enough that I did not want it to influence my next effort.

I started fresh on a blank space and started to write. This time it worked. I was writing using the same idea but this time I found a flow. The writing was clear and concise. It made sense. Hoorah!

Never before have I had that problem. The interesting thing for me is the fact that I used the same idea for both attempts. One worked and one didn’t. I think my mind was the jumbled mess that first day OR was I truly inspired by the idea? Maybe I needed to trash the idea and look for something that created a spark.

Look at all the time I wasted. If I had been truly inspired I would have been able to write the story and then potentially write another. Two stories. Awesome!

I could have trashed the story but kept the idea and written it later. I did that but I should have done it right away and saved all that time. Good learning experience so it wasn’t a total lose.

All of this has made me wonder about how to find something that really creates a spark. Something that excites me. Sometimes I believe that I limit myself because I have been trying to establish a niche for my blog. I think I am overlooking something that interests me because it is not about my area.

Does this limit me? I think it does. Yesterday I read a blog written by someone that is a totally different creative. She is a painter, she is also an entrepreneur and she is always attempting new projects. She finds her inspiration everywhere. Yesterday I realized she is an excellent writer

The one thing she talked about that made total sense and inspired me was to always be working. Schedule a time to work, in my case, write and just do it. Do it even when you do not feel creative and you do not have an idea. Just sit down and put pen to paper and see what happens. You may end up writing a wonderful story, a great blog, some creative ideas or nothing at all. You have practiced your craft so it really is a win-win.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso

The really important thing I took away from reading her blog yesterday, She does not limit herself. She has been doing this for a long time and has learned a great deal which she is nice enough to share.

There is certainly something to learn from that. I am just starting out so I know I can’t do it all and I need to take my time. At the same time I cannot limit myself. I have to be open to all ideas.

The more we practice our craft the more inspired we will be. The more I write the more ideas will pop into my head.

Everyday is filled with ideas. Tuck them away in your mind and your heart. The practice of just sitting down and writing when you are not focused on anything at all is such a good one. You may have been affected by something you saw, something you heard and did not realize it’s potential for your writing. It may just flow out of you when you are just sitting there writing about whatever pops into your head.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have an inspired day!