Closing The Creativity Gap

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Closing The Creativity Gap

Are you  living up to your creative potential?

In 2012 Adobe released a report that said:

 

  • 8 in 10 feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth
  • Only 1 in 4 believe they are living up to their own creative potential
  • 75% said they are under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative at work
  • 70% of Americans feel creativity is being stifled by the education system
  • Only about half of Americans would describe themselves as creative while the global average is even lower at 39%.

So, what can we do to close the creativity gap?  First, our schools need to foster out of the box thinking as well as provide the necessary technology tools and training. We need to establish cultures that encourage play, day dreaming, exploration and experimentation.

Second,we need to expand our definition of creativity. Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.”Robert E. Franks.It is not the domain of artists and professional designers. It is a mindset and a skill  that can be developed.

Next, productivity and creativity should not be mutually exclusive – we all need to find ways to create at work.   It’s a critical capability in a successful society. To close the creativity gap you need to:

  1. Surround yourself with happy colors, images and things that inspire and stimulate you.                                                                                                               Jean MacDonald
  2. Put a” what if” white board in your common space.
  3. Have an idea challenge of the month that encourages everyone to contribute ideas ( no idea is stupid)
  4. Give employees time to work on their own pet projects and initiatives
  5. Meet in unusual places
  6. Create mastermind brainstorming teams that meet regularly to brainstorm key issues
  7. Keep a coloring book at your desk and challenge yourself to make each page different.
  8. Share your passion.
  9. Join Chocolate, Creativity and Connections.

Make time once a month to tap into your personal creativity.

What have you done to close the creativity gap in your life?

Creating Calm In The Middle Of Chaos

you can ride it

Don’t you hate it when you can’t turn off the  internal chatter in your head?

Yesterday was one of those days. From the moment I woke up I was muddled. My  mind was in chaos. I have been busy redoing my website and thinking “it is not quite right, I don’t know what to do.” This  chatter got so loud I was not able to really focus on the conversations I was having at a networking event.

It’s only natural that we worry about stuff, our kids, loved ones, careers, finances, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. However, when these chaotic voices, distracting thoughts, become too loud that we find it difficult to concentrate, we need to let them go. Obviously it would be best if we can sit down and deal with our concerns. Call the teacher, go the bank or talk to your boss about some time off. But if there is no apparent solution in the present moment, it is important you have coping strategies to get you through the day.

 

When it comes to creating calm in the middle of my chaotic mind loop  I use these  tools.

  1. Let go, let God letter. Just start writing, spilling out all the worries and concerns to God. Don’t edit or judge. Just write. Then ask Spirit for guidance. Please show me what it is I need to know about this situation. Then let it go.
  2. Scribble and doodle. Get a box of crayons. Pick out two colors that express what you are feeling. Put the first one in your non-dominate hand and scribble. Then pick up the second crayon and scribble again. Then color and doodle. When it feels complete, title and date it. Research has shown that 20 minutes involved in a creative activity  will lower your blood pressure and your body will release pleasure filled endorphins.
  3. Just Breathe. Sit quietly and focus on your breath.Imagine with each inhale you feel peace and calm. Every exhale you release stress and chaos. 

If I am dealing with a specific  problem I will:

  1. Draw a mandala  Mandala means sacred circle in Sanskrit. It is one small circle inside a larger one.  Define the problem in the center then  draw or  write  everything you know on the subject in the outside circle.
  2. Relax and take a break. Do something mindless such as taking a walk, doing the laundry, watch tv, or take a nap.
  3. Call other people. Sometimes sharing a” brain dump” breaks the endless chatter.

 

 let go

Do you use a specific technique to turn off the chaotic chatter running around in your head? Tell us about your favorite method and how effective it is at “letting thoughts go”.