Igniting Your Creative Spark
It appears that right here in the 21st century we face a level of challenge and even an opportunity that exceeds anything in the recorded history of man’s experience on this beautiful little planet that we’re all falling around on.
Fortunately we have the ability to deal with this new world that we find ourselves in because we can be innovative. The key for each of us is to just understand the incredible creative power that we each possess. It came with us as part of the innate, inherent gift of being born into the human experience and we need to know how to fuel that power with inspiration.
Literally, what I would like to be able to accomplish through my platform, is to be able to help others obtain a new level of creative understanding and to introduce some easy to use tools that will inspire people to new vistas of creative exploration for themselves.
Some years back I had a book in the marketplace. It was called “Hit and Fire” and these words were just acronyms. “Hit” literally stood for Human Ignition Technology. In other words, how do you ignite or spark the fire of imagination? “Fire” referred to Fuel Ignited Releases Energy.
H.G. Wells once said, “human history is in essence, a history of ideas”, and that's so true. All of man’s experience that has lifted us and pushed us forward in any age and in any culture, was the ideas of the individuals and within the collective that they acted upon and caused.
So something we need to ask ourselves in today’s world is, “are we in the habit of thinking that we’re not creative?” If that’s true, then maybe it’s time to abandon that myth because it is simply “a myth”. You are innately creative and you always have been and often times people just need to rekindle the natural creative spirit that flows within them.
You can probably remember back when we were in grade school and at that age level you had the unbridled creative energy and abundant curiosity just surging through you and you can see it in kids at that age today. It’s just in them and it exudes from them.
They can turn a box of wooden blocks into an entire city, they can take a lump of clay and make it into a dinosaur and they can take a cardboard box you’d normally throw away and make it a special hiding place, a little cave, a little hut. It’s just so fascinating what we used to do and if you’re anything like I was one of the real favorite things was to take a giant box of 64 crayons and capture the world in just a rainbow of colors. Occasionally it got a little out of hand by taking crayons and coloring the walls of the house but I could let my imagination soar and there was no limitation to what I could imagine and do.
Unfortunately somewhere along the way in the process of growing up and learning the rules we abandon the box of colors and we seem to give into the myth of thinking that as an adult we have to hide our creative instincts and instead conform to the tried and true path of how we’re supposed to act be.
Again, we trade in our little box of 64 crayons for a 29 cent ball point pen and the spark dies and is just gone and so we get into routines, a social acceptance, what’s politically correct and on and on. But we can't let the math continue to stifle the creative spark and to quash the big ideas that we have inside. And its tough when the inner critic sometimes murmurs in our ear, “Oh, you’re just not the creative type” or “you don’t have any creative talent” and similar unconscious thinking signals to your brain. That it’s fine to let other people do the creative work because we’re just not part of that and that is so wrong.
We need to destroy the myths that literally block our creativity. Once we begin flexing our creative muscle again we’ll begin to find out that we can produce a rainbow of big ideas and all of a sudden life is exciting and inspiring again.
There’s really no shortage of ideas in life. There’s just a shortage of people who can remember how to recognise them and creativity is a life long process. You don’t have to just sit down and say, ‘Now, I’m going to be creative and have a great idea’. It typically doesn’t work that way. Creativity takes time. Ideas have to form and incubate in the mind.
The following ideas are vital to the creative process
You literally have to have a burning desire to know about the world and everything that’s in it and what’s going on around you. Your curiosity can drive you to wonder if something in your life can be done differently or improved. Einstein said that the most beautiful thing about the human experience is just literally the feeling and the sense of wonder that we can generate in ourselves to everything around us.
Having openness to people and ideas
We have to be willing to accept people and ideas that differ from our own background and that’s hard for some people. Sometimes the openness allows us to explore new paths to diverse opinions which can lead to new ideas within ourselves. All around us there seems to be a blocking of people and ideas and their opinions and beliefs. We need to just break those walls down and be more available to people and what’s going on. Not necessarily to embrace it but at least allow ourselves to be exposed to it and I realise that we have to develop a risk tolerance within ourselves to be able to walk through life unafraid and to take risks now and then.
When I get on an elevator or meet people in the airport do whatever I’ll just walk right up to total complete strangers and smile and laugh and say, “Hey, how’s it going?”. Some people get scared and walk away and others appreciate that I’ll actually come up to them and talk to them. But your ability to tolerate risk and step over the edge once in a while seems to be where the newest ideas and the biggest payoffs really are.
By maintaining boundless energy for life. for being alive, for helping others and for making yourself a better thinker keeps your mind constantly moving. I know that for myself, literally, my brain just absolutely never shuts down because I try to maintain these kinds of ideas and it’s fun. Some of my best ideas happen just as I’m falling off to sleep. Others happen during the dream experience at night and others when I’m laying there half in and half out as I’m waking up in the morning
Take time everyday to encourage our own personal creative exploration
We need to investigate something new that we find interesting. Like listening to a new style of music. I get in a little bit of a musical rut mostly because living in Tennessee and Nashville and being born and raised in Nevada, Wyoming, I like country music which is really, really fun but to be able to expand the love of music in different areas can all of a sudden kick up a different creative perspective for it. (I still haven’t been able to learn how to tolerate opera but I hope to some day!).
Over time we’ll find that creative juices begin to flow with increasing ease and even enjoyment and pleasure in the process and you will discover that great ideas. When we come face to face with these great ideas, all of a sudden become the next profitable business idea may emerge and can launch us into our own financial fulfillment and/or fulfillment of our passion. Albert Einstein once pointed out that our imagination is our preview of coming attractions. Whatever we’re imaging it’s kind of what’s coming right around the corner for us. New ideas seem to have their roots deep in the creative essence of our very selves and we need to ask ourselves how can we bring them forth and into fruition.
The model that’s become the most accepted method of tapping into the creative essence within ourselves actually occurred back during the classical period of Rome and they talked about it and debated it in open forum, they then put it into a condensed, concise version back in the 19th century. It’s been been tested by human experience and was a four step process.
1. To really tap into your creative fulfillment you have to prepare yourself
They ancients believed that during the stage of preparation you firm up your understanding of the problems you want to solve or the opportunities you want to open for yourself and then you set out to gather information and resources or you research to solve it. In many ways all of life is a preparation for creativity, literally. What we eat, what we do, the way we dress and how we feel about ourselves is part of the preparation for just feeling creative and imaginative.
Incubation is the phase you had prepared yourself for. You’d gathered all the information you thought you could possibly expose yourself to and then you let it go. You just let it incubate. You don’t give it any more conscious thought. You don’t even give any conscious action towards solving your dilemmas or the opportunities that you’re seeking. You just let it work at a subconscious level and you just simply let your mind work on its own behind the scenes. You let the subconscious mind just take over and play with the information in making its own connection and then all of a sudden you’ll experience the “ah hah” moment, a moment of illumination.
This is where people say, “Oh my gosh, that’s it” and it’s a celebration - what’s happened is your unconscious mind has worked with the information that you’ve exposed yourself to and it’s discovered the solution! And it delivers it up and it works every time but you can’t force the point, it appears. You just let it take its own time. It’s likely to present itself when you’re relaxed and least expecting it. A lot of times people say it happens when they’re in the shower or driving in a car but when it happens, when a solution or an idea presents itself you have to capture it immediately.
3. Write it down
In other words you have to write it down! All of the studies into this kind of a thing show that you have about 10 minutes from the time you receive an inspired idea to write it down. If you don’t do that about 95% of the time it will slip and you won’t remember what it was because you’ll become distracted with people or things or events that are going on around you.
Then, of course, once you have the illuminated, inspired idea the fourth step is implementation. In other words after an idea presents itself the real proof is in the doing of the idea. To know – to do – to be. To dream, to do the dream and live the dream. Implementation is where the rubber meets the road and the idea is put into action. This is when you begin to refine and polish the idea and get others to adopt it and want it.
These four steps can really help you to get clear on how to tap into the creative part of who you are. In fact, something Ralph Waldo Emerson said was just brilliant. He said, “Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul and unbelief is in denying them”.
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