Discover The Creative Edge: Curiosity

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“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” -Leo Burnett

Creativity is a part of your very soul and a key element in every area of your life. Creativity is the ability to see the possibilities and potential in your life. Creativity is being able to see solutions while others see problems. Despite what you may think—“I don’t have a creative bone in my body”—creativity is not the exclusive domain of artists, musicians, and professional designers.

You are creative when you:

  • Make a gourmet meal out of five ingredients from your panty.
  • Chaperone twenty 10 year olds to a museum.
  • Stay on budget and on time for that new project at work.
  • Figure out how to drop one child at dance rehearsal and the other at volleyball.
  • See a potential problem with your client’s strategy, and diplomatically propose an alternate solution.
  • Organize a food pantry in your community.
  • When you ask what if.

Everyone has the ability to think creatively, problem solve, and generate more ideas. It requires practice, the same way you need to train your body for the marathon. All too often, we let our brain go on auto pilot and fail to nourish our creativity. One of the keys to being more creative is to be curious.

Walt Disney said “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” As Walt told it, his inspiration for Disneyland came from having a “Daddy’s Day” with his girls. They would go to carnivals and the girls would play the games or ride the carousel while Walt would sit and watch. As he looked about at other parents, watching their kids, he thought what if there was a place where parents and children could play together as a family.

Brian Grazer, producer of Apollo 13 (1995) and A Beautiful Mind (2001), has let his inquisitiveness run wild by pursuing what he refers to as a “curiosity conversation” with hundreds of movers and shakers. He says the secret is to allow the conversation to flow freely. In his new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, Grazer chronicles a lifetime of talking to strangers in an attempt to expand his own capabilities.

We were born curious. We used to ask endless questions, much to our parents’ dismay. We used to taste everything, sand, bugs and snowflakes. We made up stories and wondered why. We freely expressed ourselves in fun and exceptional ways. As children, we were told: the cow is not purple, stop fidgeting in your seat, stop daydreaming, and there is only one right answer.  It is time once again to discover the creative edge and play in the realm of your imagination and intuition, ask endless questions, ponder what if.

What are you curious about?  Pick a subject and research on line or go the library. Take a class. Try a new recipe. Ask someone about their life experience. What if you could change the world, what would it look like? Be curious. Interested in finding out moreGet an advance copy of The Creative Activist: Make the World Better, One Person , One Action at a Time. bit.ly/CreativeActivistsPubslush

Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week

 

creativity-and-innovation-source

Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week 

World Creativity and Innovation Week was the brainchild of Marci Segal. During World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 people are acknowledged, informed, inspired and encouraged to use their creativity – to be open to and generate new ideas, to be open to and make new decisions and to be open to and take new actions – that make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too.

It’s something you create it for your home, your school, your community, your business, with your customers.

Here are twenty things you can do starting today.

  1. Listen to my conversation with founder  and creative activist Marci Segal http://ow.ly/L9BhN
  2. Eat an ice cream sundae for breakfast
  3. Take a different route to work
  4. Make a meal you never did before
  5. Have your family make a centerpiece out of found objects
  6. Have a come as you wish you were party
  7. Talk to a stranger and ask them what they need…and get it for them                                                                             marci_segal_photo_
  8. Sing in the shower
  9. Learn something new
  10. Dream a better world and take one action step to make it a reality
  11. Imagine yourself as a superhero
  12. Ask what if questions
  13. Organize recess at your office
  14. Write a  big thank you to everyone you know and post it on Facebook
  15. Create a vision board on Pinterest
  16. Take a selfie
  17. Scribble and doodle
  18. Take an architectural tour of your hometown
  19. Plant a garden
  20. Visit a new art gallery or museum

The possibilities are endless, nothing is too small. This is your time to create new ideas, make new decision and take new actions.  Join me and other Creative Activists as we come together to support and share our creativity to make the world a better place. » bit.ly/CreativeActivists

 

 

Love Makes Your Life A Winning Adventure!

always based on love

 

Love Makes Your Life A Winning Adventure!

What does it mean  love makes your life a winning adventure? I received this email today and as I read it I cried. I hope these stories inspire you to think about  LOVE  and CONNECTIONS and what is really important in life. While you are reading them ask yourself the following questions: What do you value? What is your definition of success? Who do you want to spend your time with? Who do you need to thank? Who do you need to forgive? How can you be more loving? When was the last time you said I love you?

1.  Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class.  When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”
 2. Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s- what his top 3 tips are for success.  He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”
 3.   Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to meat the grocery store and gave me a hug.   When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001,  you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
 4.  Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying.  And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
5.  Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
 6. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed.   About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
 7. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling.  I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.”   I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?”  Because that’s where  I keep all my stuff,” she said.
 8. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics,  I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
 9. Today, a boy in a wheelchair  saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the  way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
 10.  Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant.  When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today.  If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”  It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
 11. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy.  Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said  was, “We can share it.”
 As we know, the best sermons are lived, not preached. What is one step you are going to take today to make LOVE  your  winning adventure.?

How Do You Create A Bold Vision For Success in 2015?

oprah vision

 

How do you create a bold vision for success?

 

There are three steps to creating a bold vision for success.

1. Clarify your intentions

Ask yourself a series of questions.  Write the answers in your journal.

What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2015?
What would you like to evolve most about yourself in 2015?
How would you like to make a difference in the world?
What would you like to be your biggest triumph in 2015?
What would you be most happy completing in 2015?
What advice would you give yourself?
What is the most loving service you can imagine in 2015?
What compliment would you like to receive?
What is the grandest adventure you can imagine?
What would you like to experience more of in 2015?
What would you like to explore or create in 2015?
What makes your heart sing?

2.Imagine  yourself one year from today.

What does your life like look? What does it feel like? Who are you if you have been successful? Imagine you are having coffee with an old friend and you are telling her about your year. Write your vision including as many details, feeling, and experiences as if they all came true.  Oh Mary let me share what an exiting year I had.  I published The Creative Activist in June. What a thrill it was to see the numbers from Amazon each week as they climbed to the top of the charts. I had a number one best seller in Personal Growth and Leadership category.  The launch party was so much fun. The DJ I hired played all my favorite songs, Celebrate, Let it Go, Climb. I got to dance with my granddaughters and Ali brought the baby. We got some great family photos to send to mom.

3. Create a vision board.

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or Dream Board) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images and words from magazines, cards or Pinterest that inspire you. The theory is that you surround yourself with images of what you want to have in your life or images of who you want to become. They are really simple to do and very powerful.

There are two types of vision boards. The first is for opening and allowing and the other is when you know what you want to manifest. I have been doing both types for many years.

When I went through a deep depression in my mid-thirties I could not see any way out. I did not know what joy and happiness could look like so I collected images of pictures that made me smile. I put them in a book and I spent time every day looking at them and it freed my mind to consider something new and different. I eventually came to the other side. Before I ever thought of interviewing over 120 leaders around the country and becoming a speaker and a radio show host I created a vision board of Oprah and other influential leaders I admired like Eve Ensler who wrote the Vagina Monologue and started a movement. I put this in my office and looked at it all the time.                         vision board

In 2013, I decided it was time to release 50 pounds and get active and I made a specific board that had images of me at a thinner weight that I put on the fridge and one with images and words such as “it is safe to lose weight” in the bathroom where I could see it all the time. Since then I have lost 60 pounds.

Last year I created a vision to write The Creative Activist: One Person Can Make A Difference. I will have the first draft finished by Dec. 31st, 2014. Having a powerful vision, written and visual, keeps me motivated and inspired when I hit “road blocks”. We all have days like that but looking at my vision board on Pinterest just makes me smile. It reminds me who I am serving, my work matters and I can contribute to making the world a better place.

Supplies for Creating a Vision Board:

Poster board

Manila envelopes to collect materials

Scissors

Glue sticks, rubber cement or fabric glue Markers, gel pens, glitter pens

Photographs of you

A big stack of different magazines as well as different kinds of paper: post cards, gift wrap, stamps, maps, calendars

The Seven Steps of Creating a Vision Board:

Step 1: Go through your magazines and pull out pictures, words or headlines that strike your fancy. Have fun with it. Don’t censure yourself. If an image or word appeals just tear it out. I know many people like to use a scissors, but ripping is important to the experience. It increases your creativity, imagination and intuition. You can trim them later.

Step 2: Go through the images and see if any themes emerge. I was working with a client and she was amazed that what began as a general” I don’t know what I want to do with my career”… blossomed into something very specific based on the images she choose. It actually brought her clarity.

Step 3: Eliminate any images that no longer feel right.

Step 4: Glue everything onto the board. You can add writing, stickers, glitter or other materials.

Step 5. Title it

Step 6: Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it often.

Step 7. Spend time looking at it and journal about your experience. What feelings and thoughts have come to the surface? What action steps or strategies have emerged from the images?

If a traditional vision board does not resonate try these options.

Mandala

Mandala is the Sanskrit word for magic circle. Throughout history it has been part of spiritual and religious practices from Buddhist monks to Native American medicine men. Draw a circle within a circle. In the smaller inner circle put a picture of you as your most happy and radiant self and fill in the images in the larger circle what you want. Sometimes I place a spiritual icon or a peaceful image such as a lotus flower in the center.

Pinterest

Over the last few years I dove deep into Pinterest. I have boards about confidence, success, gratitude and forgiveness.I just finished creating a three year Vision Board. They never fail to inspire me and put a smile on my face. http://www.pinterest.com/dazzlingdivarae/

 

What is your bold vision of success in 2015?actions

 

Tags: vision boards, personal growth, creativity, success

 

 

 

 

TEDx: It’s On Us

TEDx: It’s On Us

A week ago I was at an Engaging Speakers conference and someone mentioned that Naperville was looking for speakers for their TEDx talks. I immediately took action. I looked it up on google. I opened the application and called to ask about a deadline. They said just apply it may be for next year and they still have one or two spots open now.

Then it hit me, are you crazy. It is the wrong time, The Creative Activist isn’t’ done….the fear took over and old coping patterns returned with a vengeance. There is not enough food in my house to numb the feelings of terror and overwhelm. Shopping on HSN and QVC did not alleviate the “not good enough” messages that were looping in my head.

I talked with my coach and she that is good your recognizing your patterns. So I began to write and write and write. I have 39 pages scribbled in in my journal. I keep waking up at three AM with another download. My friend Sarah came over and she did some energy work on me. The lump in my throat, the hairball from hell, needed to move or there was no way I was going to be able to do this three minute video application. The burning in my throat and chest eased but it was still tight so she suggested start talking and I did. I felt better.  Expressing my truth, sharing it with another person is healing. Creative expression in whatever form is powerful medicine.

Then I asked, Kathy Eldon, of Creative Visions http://www.creativevisions.org/ who has given two TED talks what she thought. She said tell your story….they are looking for a heroes’ journey. So more panic, more food, numb myself with television.  I have shared my story of healing from childhood sexual abuse in numerous places but not on a big stage. I worry about how much I divulge. There seem to be two philosophies among speakers; just mention you were abused or paint a picture and experience.  Will my art work distract people or help them understand? It is so much easier to talk about the people I interviewed then myself.002

So I went back to my three year mission and vision statement that I wrote a few months ago.” Last month Hillary Clinton introduced me at the Clinton Foundation and I shared the “best creative expression practices “including Bajalia jewelry http://bajalia.com which employs women in India and Pakistan only if they agree to educate their daughters. One man came up to me afterwards and said I am going to change my business model. I can see the changes that are happening in churches and synagogues. They are creating safe spaces for people to share their stories of abuse or being an abuser. It is a community concern now not just a family problem. I have to tell you I had the biggest grin on my face last October when I saw football players’ wearing purple for domestic violence awareness. We are blessed to be living in a time where it is freely talked about and so many are committed to making a loving, peaceful, respectful and safe world for women and children. This or something better.”

Child abuse and domestic violence are all over the news recently. In a speech yesterday, the president announced “It’s on Us,” a nationwide public service campaign aimed at urging young people to do more to prevent campus sexual assaults. Mr. Obama called for a “fundamental shift in our culture” in the way women are treated and in the response to victims of sexual assault.

Commissioner Goodell said that effective immediately any N.F.L. employee or player who is found to have engaged in assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault will be suspended without pay for six games for a first offense. Second-time offenders will be banished from the league for at least one year.

It is time for me to step forward on whatever stage I command (hopefully TEDx: It’s On Us) and talk about the things that matter to me; creative expression and service which nurture self-esteem, resilience and healing.  We need to create more engaging education and awareness campaigns. We need to bring together community leaders, service providers, creatives and business people to create new initiatives that spark conversation.  Develop best practices that encourage safe, loving supporting communities where it is OUR collective problem. It is time for football players to wear blue (child abuse awareness) and purple (domestic violence awareness) and when someone asks what does this mean. What does this have to do with me?  We will have the answers. IT’S ON US.

Here is my first take for the application I would really like your feedback and create a talk that speaks to you where I can really be of service. Thanks so much