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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Drives Creativity? By Harvey Mackay

Whether you are working on a project, starting a business or writing a blog, creative thinking is essential. Unfortunately, it seems that at those times when you most need to be creative, the mind doesn't function at its peak. Harvey Mackay, author of five New York Times bestselling books, two of them considered to be among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time -- Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, offers some practical advice. Janet

Imagine if you could turn on creativity like starting a car, rev the engine to get up to speed, cruise along in the fast lane, and then park it in the garage until you needed it again. Is there anything you couldn't accomplish?

We've all had days when the engine stalls, the tire is flat, or road construction brings traffic to a screeching halt. Nothing seems to get us going.

You can't always sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Amateurs wait for inspiration. The real pros get up and go to work. They understand that you are not born with creativity... and you have to cultivate creativity on an ongoing basis. Here are some ideas: 

Keep a journal.  Record ideas as soon as they come to you by keeping a notebook close at hand all the time. A real notebook, not a digital one, is best, allowing you to make sketches and drawings, but anything that lets you capture your thoughts will work. When you need to charge up your creativity, search your notebook for ideas and examples. 

Search your environment for inspiration. Artists find inspiration in many unlikely places. If looking at the same four walls every day limits your perspective, add some elements that help you see things in a new way -- pictures, plants, books, even toys. 

Question everything. Ask "why" and "how" to determine if there's a better way to solve a problem. Another favorite question of mine: "What's missing?"


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