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What Are You Creating?

Ask most people, "Are you creative?" and you'll probably get a puzzled look and a shrug. Artists are creative, and writers, and inventors. If you're not painting a picture, or writing a sonnet, or devising a mode of intergalactic travel, how creative are you?

Maybe it's the word, creative, that seems so intimidating. The idea of making something out of nothing, reminds us of the biblical connotation. Who are we to compete with a production like that?

But even artists, writers and inventors start with something. They begin with paint or clay, with words and their meanings, and with an infinite supply of what already is to create a new and different version.

Some of the most creative people I know do not wield paint brushes or pens. They are the problem solvers in the world. The tools they use are past experience and a way of seeing that is not obvious to most of us.

After spending most of the morning tinkering with the stereo amplifier that stopped working, my husband pronounced it "done." Not fixed, but its usable life was over. "That was a waste of time," he declared.

Not so. You learn something with everything you do, whether you classify it a success or not. He is a great problem solver because he's spent a lifetime experiencing what will and what won't work. His creativity lies in finding a solution or determining it's time to move on.

That's a skill everyone can master. As Einstein reminds us "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." The first step in fostering your creative mind is to step back and see the situation with different eyes.

Take a literal step away and do something totally unrelated. Take a walk, read a book, call a friend. You will come back with different eyes that may see something you missed before. Distance creates a new perspective.

If that doesn't work for you, question the assumptions you are making by being too close to the problem. Pretend you've just met someone and they are telling you about this same problem they are having. From the outside, looking in, what helpful suggestions would you offer to them?

Most of us can eagerly offer advice to other people because we are detached from the problem. Write down your ideas for them and then see how those suggestions would help you too.

Creativity thrives when the mind is free to wander. The subconscious mind, where all knowledge and our every experience is stored, has all the answers.

You are a creative being. What are you creating? A solution or a bigger problem?

 

"The human body has two ends on it: one to create with and one to sit on. Sometimes people get their ends reversed. When this happens they need a kick in the seat of the pants. "
Theodore Roosevelt

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One Response to “What Are You Creating?”

  1. debra disman says:

    MEL…this is a fabulous, succinct  and salient post!
    Sooo true:
    As Einstein reminds us "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." The first step in fostering your creative mind is to step back and see the situation with different eyes.
    Brilliant.
    This amazing talk on Creativity, by the inimatable John Cleese addresses the issue as well, and with much humor.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShmtsLhkQg&feature=player_embedded#!
    Check it out!
    And, thanks for the post!
     

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Mary Ellen Lapp reveals how the colors we wear, and the colors that surround us, even the color of the car we drive, impact out self image and affects how we are seen by the people around us.

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