Creative Thinking A How To Guide
Creative thinking is a potential we are all born with. If you don't use that potential, it is probably because you don't know and apply the simple principles for developing it. We can remedy that right now.
The two basic principles of creative thinking are:
1. There are methods and techniques of creative thinking.
2. Making these methods and techniques a part of your mental habits will make creative thinking easy and automatic.
An entrepreneur sees the potential profit in a situation, because his mind is trained for that. A lawyer sees the potential problems, because that is how his mind is trained. How we repeatedly think becomes a habit, and that is how you train a mind. Learn the techniques of creative thinking, use them until they are a habit, and creative thinking will be as natural for you as lying is for a politician.
The Techniques Of Creative Thinking
There are dozens of creative problem solving techniques you can learn to use. "Concept-combination," for example, will have you mixing roses and clocks to create the first alarm clock that wakes you up with a gentle release of fragrance. Use the technique of "random-presentation" and a cell phone can give the idea to do your dictation with a pocket tape recorder while you walk, so you'll have time for exercise and still get your work done.
Creative thinking goes beyond just solving specific problems or inventing new things. A truly creative mind is always coming up with the questions too, not just the solutions. To be more creative all the time, focus on three things:
1. Challenge your assumptions. What if a restaurant didn't have employees? Customers could pay a machine as they enter, and feed themselves at a buffet. If everything was as automated as possible, maybe one owner-operator could run a large restaurant alone. Challenge everything. Do you have to go to work? Do pools need water? Is education always a good thing?
2. Change your perspective. Imagining a dog's thoughts about your busyness could clue you in to the unecessary things you do. Thinking dollars-per-day instead of per-hour could give you a plan to let employees go home when they finish a certain quota. Greater efficiency would be almost certain, and you could adjust daily pay and quotas so both you and employees made more money. Look at everything from several perspectives.
3. Let your ideas run wild. Flying furniture seems silly, but it may lead to the idea of a hover-lifter. Slide the device under furniture and it lifts it with a cushion of air, making for easy moving. Don't stifle your creativity. Relax, let ideas come, and know that you can always discard them later.
Creating Creative Thinking Habits
To make the above techniques into an automatic part of your thinking, just use them enough. Usually it takes several weeks to develop a habit, so you need a way to remind yourself each day during that time. Try writing a few of your favorite techniques on a card and carrying it with you. Pull it out throughout the day and apply the techniques to anything. Soon, more creative thinking will be a normal part of your life.
Positive Thinking And Your Creative Mind 7 Steps To Success
You have a bright idea hidden somewhere in the back of your mind that you just can't wait to test out. The question is, do you really want to bring it out into the light? What could motivate you to churn your creative, inspiring juices to their utmost flavor?
Did you know that it always helps to set a time limit to your personal goals? Set yourself up so you can accomplish the most tasks in record time. For example, mowing the lawn in an hour before the big game on TV. A correct and positive attitude in whatever you do will make things easier, and even enjoyable.
It's simple. If you begin to allow yourself a bit of positive thinking then you will begin to realize things that you never thought possible. Thinking big is indeed the American Way and that what made our country prosperous. You can follow other great Americans who tapped into their creative mind and began to thing big..
Discover some tips to make it through your first week of possibility thinking even if you're just sitting in your favorite couch. Your mind is constantly at work for you. Tap into it's great resource while doing everyday activities.
1. Act. You must take passionate action towards living your life by design. Talk is cheap. Action = deposits in the bank of a passionately authentic future. My mother (probably quoting someone else) always said, "Action speaks louder than words". Without action, passion is void.
Dreams become reality when you simply start by tinkering with your mind, then with your hands. And if the idea weakens or falters you can always go back to it later until you finish it. Thomas Edison and his Dream Team had to go back to the idea of a light bulb and recalculate it over 1,000 times before the first working light bulb begin to light the world.
2. Love. Commit to yourself. Then commit to those you love to powerfully create a life you can love. Instead of reacting, commit to creating from your heart and soul, out of love rather than fear. The American Dream will always be there, but a dream will still be a dream without motion. Be amazed as the transformation begins.
3. Live. Embrace moments and opportunities. Recognize and embrace the thought that each moment is perfect regardless of its outcome. Every time you hit on something that may appear too extreme why not give it a shot anyway. See if it will work. You may be surprised with the results. If you are not then decide to use that moment to learn from it and make the appropriate shift. Learning and growing from mistakes and failures is a part of living.
4. Be grateful. Dwell completely in a place of gratitude. Learn to utilize what you have in your hands and make use of it in the most constructive way. Necessity is the mother of invention. Have you ever been stuck without something you needed and had to make do with something else? (MacGyver,from the famous tv show, was famous for that!) How grateful were you that you had the means to solve your situation? Slipping into neediness will become less of a habit when you repeatedly shift towards gratitude and away from poverty consciousness.
5. Be Passionate. Use a Passion Formula of Recognize/Reevaluate/Restore in place of the Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda whirlwind. The former is based on increased knowledge and abundance while the latter focuses on scarcity and lack. As you face people or tasks that may seem harder than scaling the summit of the Himalayas, allow yourself to realize that the task is just as important as giving out orders to your subordinates. You would rather be richly passionate!
6. Laugh. Keep humor at the forefront of thought, laughing at and with yourself whenever possible. You may find yourself quite entertaining when you loosen up! I have yet to see a comedian ever go hungry even though his jokes are as 'old as great-grandma'. Life has too much to offer to allow yourself to mope around in self pity. Humor is very attractive, very passionate: life-giving.
7. Discover Your Purpose. Believe that you are the architect of your destiny. Realizing how you wish to be remembered when you pass from this life is a truly driving force. Your purpose for being can be a seemingly simple as being a great parent to as elaborate as discovering miraculous cures.
When you have a strong purpose no one can take your passionate future from you except for you! Truly, as long as there's still breath in your body, there is no end to how much you can accomplish in a lifetime. Discovering and following your purpose will enable you to enjoy your work. Celebrate in the discovery that acting on your creative mind's thoughts is fulfilling your purpose. Watch everything flow into place with perfect, passionate precision.
Activate your positive thinking. Stretch your imagination. Think bigger than you feel comfortable. Act on your thoughts. The number one tip here is action. You want to start practicing these steps.
Think about this: It is unfortunate that so many people still do not use a computer because it appears too complicated to begin using. Or maybe they just keep putting it off till a more convenient time. These are just a couple of limitations one can set up for themselves. Limitations and failure to act on ideas and opportunities leave many as a dim bulb in a dark corner.
Alert! You are not doomed to darkness. You are interested in living a life of purpose and love. The wonderful, creative idea in you is about to be released. You are interested in doing this because you are reading this article. Fortunately if you truly desire something, the will to attain it will open your creative mind to find a way.
Now you need only to begin to act on your desire to create. Act now! Make your path to creativity and follow your purpose. Take your first step today with a positive attitude.
Creating Possibility For Transformation
Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to transform his life. Transforming ones life is not about changing it. While life is much about doing differently, the genesis of the transformation is about a person altering or transforming his belief or thought of who he thinks he is. We tend to believe that our life is determined or influenced by people, places, things, situations and circumstance and that who we are is the mere accumulation of our past experiences but this is not so. Rather, it is our thoughts and beliefs that determine our experiences and life and also that we are completely and solely responsible for their creation. What we think and believe, especially about ourselves, determines our emotions and behavior in the world and it is our behavior that merely validates what we think and believe about ourselves. Furthermore, we believe or think that we know who we are in life but the reality is that we truly do not. Much of who we are really being we are simply not present to. Much of our life is spent in pretense and who we are really being is hidden from us.
Given that much of our life is lived in pretense, from the construct of ego, becoming present to that which is hidden, to who we are being in life, is absolutely necessary for transformation. It is in that which is primarily hidden from us that one will discover what is determining ones life, referred to here as ones self-limiting belief. The first component of the transformational process is for one to become present to the hidden thoughts and beliefs that have been limiting him in life and in particular to his self-limiting belief. It is in the being of the self-limiting belief that one will discover the primary constraint or barrier to his life, to him living a life that he loves and living it powerfully. We live life from who we think we are. Who we think we are forms the context for our life. Having the awareness or distinction of the self-limiting belief allows one the ability to not be it, to not have his life be merely the probable almost certain future from the past. Without the distinction of the self-limiting belief one will continue to create his life from the backdrop of this ideational barrier and as a result life will appear much as it did in the past.
Becoming present to that which has been hidden, to that which has been truly determining his being in life, allows one the opportunity to transform his life. Once one gets who he has been being in life, the second component of transformative process is for the individual to begin to create his life as a possibility. Once the distinction of the self-limiting belief is gotten, the individual is now able to truly create a new possibility for himself and his life. Getting the self-limiting belief creates the space or an opening for a possibility or possibilities to be invented not as a result or product of the barrier or constraint but from or out of nothing. It is only from nothing that possibility can truly be created. As with the self-limiting belief, possibility exists in language. Once one gets the language that he has been being, that has defined and limited him through being his self-limiting belief, it is at this point that he can begin to recreate himself through the power of his word. Who we are is our word. In is in ones language or word created out of nothing that one has access to possibility and transformation.
The technique described below is designed to assist an individual in becoming present to his self-limiting belief and in the process to create the space or opening for him to invent a possibility or possibilities for recreating his life.
1. Find a relaxing and comfortable space to sit in for approximately one hour. Arrange for this space to be free of any distractions. Just allow yourself to begin to relax. Become present to where and who you are. The use of therapeutic relaxation music can promote the development of a very profound sense of relaxation to enhance this experience.
2. Take a notebook and begin to write down everything that you believe describes or defines who you are. Let your mind wander and do not try to filter or block out anything. Just let whatever comes up about yourself, how you feel and what you think about yourself, to be written down. Who you think you are or that which bests describes you may appear in single words or short phrases. If in a group, share your description of yourself with others. Furthermore, make two lists as there will appear to be both positives and negatives aspects about who you think you are.
3. Sit your notebook down, close your eyes and begin to relax deeply again. Again, the use of therapeutic relaxation music will assist you in the process of creating a very deep state of relaxation. As you begin to move into a deep state of relaxation allow yourself to begin to drift back through time, back through your life, back through your adulthood, adolescence and into your childhood. Allow yourself to become present to how you were being, experiences, thoughts and feelings, through the various phases or stages of your life. Just become present to or notice what appears for you.
4. Open your eyes and return to work on your notebook. Take a look at what you have written and add anything that you became present to about yourself during the above mentioned relaxation exercise. Again, do not filter out anything but merely allow whatever there is to come to the surface, both the positive and negative words that best describes who you think and feel you are or were.
5. Once you have come to a completion of creating the lists, both positive and negative, consider that the positives of who you think yourself to be form the pretense of your life and that their design or function is to fix the negatives of who you think you are.
6. Allow yourself to become present to the negatives you have written down. Notice which one of the negatives best describes who you are, what you commonly believe and feel about yourself, what you have experienced in your mind in the past and even now. Declare the negative aspect that is familiar to you to be your self-limiting belief.
7. Place your notebook in your lap. Allow yourself to become fully present to the fact that what you have written is you, is who you believe yourself to be. Become present to an inauthentic way of being, the positive as pretense and the negatives as that which we hide from ourselves and the world.
8. Place the notebook into your past. If you are right handed place your notebook to your left. If you are left handed place your notebook to your right. Place the notebook approximately three feet from you.
9. Once you place your notebook into your past allow yourself to become present to where your notebook is in relation to your body, to your right or left. Allow yourself to again become present to that which you have written in your notebook is who you believe you are and that it exists to either your right or left.
10. Once you become present to who you believe yourself to be, to the description of yourself as you have written, allow yourself to become present to what now lies in front of you. Given that who you think you are is either to your left or right, become present to what exists in front of you is nothing, an opening from which everything and anything is possible and can be created.
11. Inside the nothing that appears in front of you, invent a possibility or possibilities for yourself and your life. Declare your possibility in language or word, of who you will take on being in life, for yourself. Furthermore, this declaration becomes your personal affirmation of who you will be in and for the world.
12. Repeat this exercise everyday. Repeating this exercise daily will allow one to continue to stay present to his self limiting belief so as to not be it and also to the possibility or possibilities that he has created and invented for himself and his life. Continuing this exercise will also allow the further possible unveiling of the self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief that one initially becomes present to may reveal even deeper meaning for who one is or has been being.
The exercise outlined above is about the work of the first two components of Transformational Counseling and one beginning the process of transformation. Once one gets the distinction of his self-limiting belief and creates a possibility or possibilities for himself and his life, the third component of transformation involves learning the process of enrollment. Enrollment is a powerful technique for allowing one to stay living into his possibility and out of his self-limiting belief. The fourth component of transformation is about creating a daily plan. The daily plan allows one the opportunity to continue to live into or generate his possibility in his life on a daily basis. The fifth component of transformation involves a commitment to stay in the conversation of transformation. It is in staying in the conversation that one experiences the nonlinear nature of transformation thereby keeping the process alive in his life.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHChttp://www.enhancedhealing.com
7 Tips To Make You More Creative
Many great things have started as an simple, creative idea. Consider donating some of your best ideas to help others. The more creative you are, the more ideas you will be able to create. You can be creative even if you don't think you are.
I have known many people that were scared to use a computer for the first few times. However, after diving into it they became more comfortable. They were willing to take a risk and make some mistakes. The result was an ability to learn and do things they would never be able to do without the use of a computer.
Being creative and thinking up world-changing ideas occurs in the same way. Everyone can be creative but they have to be willing to start. The creative process will then become more natural over time.
Try the following tips to help you on your journey to be more creative:
1. Record your ideas on whatever is comfortable and convenient at the moment. What is important is that you record your ideas. In the past, I have forgotten ideas that I thought of when I was on a walk. Now I carry a digital recorder with me on those walks. At other times I use my computer, notepad or journal. Choose what will work best for you and make sure you have a way to record your ideas at all times. You never know when an important idea will surface.
2. Don't limit yourself to ideas that seem possible. Capture all of your ideas. Even those that seem impossible to implement are important for a couple of reasons. First, what seems impossible to you may not be impossible sometime in the future or for someone else. Second, impossible ideas encourage further creative ideas that might be more likely to be implemented.
3. Change your scenery or location. A change in scenery can stimulate the creativity inside you. A change might be as simple as looking out a window. You can also visit someplace new like a park, beach, or mall. The new environment can foster new ideas.
4. Read on many topics. It is amazing how many things in a totally unrelated subject can prompt new ideas. By broadening your knowledge into more areas, you make your creativity potential grows.
5. Go for a walk. Some of my best ideas have happened when I was on a walk. This applies to any form of moderate exercise. I have heard of others that have written articles and speeches while waalking or jogging.
6. Focus in 10-15 minute increments. It does not take a significant amount of time to brainstorm some potential ideas. In fact, brainstorming works best when done for short periods of time. Concentrate for a few minutes on generate as many ideas to address a specific area or problem. Then capture anything that comes to mind throughout the rest of the day (see tip #1). You will have several ideas for consideration for little investment of time. One of those could become something tremendous for helping others.
7. Think big. What question are you asking to prompt your ideas? The larger the question, the larger the impact those ideas may have on the world. You can start by addressing smaller problems but don't limit yourself to those. You have unique experiences, knowledge and talents that should be applied to helping others on a grand scale as well.
Follow these tips and you will be on your way to generating ideas that have the potential to change the world. Don't let your previous lack of creativity keep you from developing and donating your ideas. Get started today.
The Power Of Storytelling
Each and every day as we are building our businesses, we all know the key to a successful presentation is a product being sold to the end-line consumer and/or sponsoring a new person. In an upcoming issue, I am going to write about the difference between making a sale and having customer loyalty in the sales process. In the sales process, you are fighting many different types of animals. For most of us who are in direct sales, you have 45 minutes to present a product/business concept and make a person believe in you, your product, and more importantly have them make a decision that they want what you are offering.
When you are presenting the business, it is very easy for you to get very factual and completely lose the interest of your prospect. When you tell a story about the success of someone who is using the product or have a person give a live testimonial about how much they love being a distributor, you will keep the interest of new people who are listening for the first time.
For most of us, the first time in our lives that we were ever presented with the concept of a live audience was back in kindergarten when we played "show and tell". Everyone was always interested in what you were saying because you were simply telling a story. We have all heard of the famous K.I.S.S. rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. When presenting your business or product, the key play is to tell a story and keep it simple. Everyone can relate to the grandmother, who can talk about their grandchild as the most beautiful, precious child in the world. She will make you feel as if her grandchild would be such a gift to own as your own. You need to take that same simplicity and utilize it during your presentation and create the same result - ownership of your product.
As you tell stories, people will remember those stories versus all the facts in the world. "FACTS TELL, BUT STORIES SELL." They should want to get involved in your business or purchase your product because all of the success stories that you told. People love to be part of a winning team. Storytelling keeps people tied into you and your presentation. I always say when in doubt during a presentation, tell a story in order to bring people's attention back to you. When I present, I ALWAYS tell many stories because when I was first introduced to direct sales, what perked my ears was a story of a young lady who had a lifestyle I wanted. The personal story of her lifestyle is what made me decide to get involved in the business. In that business, I went on to build an enormous organization and all I did was tell my story and tell the company's story over and over!
Combining the key strategy of storytelling along with the correct mindset, you can achieve your wildest dreams!
Find your WHY and Fly!
Effective Problem Solving Leads To Solutions
Problems are a part of life. They have accompanied us since birth, and will continue to do so until the twilight of our lives. But this is no reason to get upset. In fact, the thought that problems happen to absolutely everyone should come as a welcome relief.
Problems are not the result of being a bad or good person. They happen to good and bad people alike. Sometimes, even despite of our best judgments and careful planning, problems still meet us in the most unexpected circumstances.
Here are some tips to conquer your problems:
Trace the root of the problem.
The best way to start finding a solution to a problem is to try to figure out how the problem started in the first place. If you find yourself lost in the middle of the road, the chances are that you took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. This is why you need to go back, retrace your steps, and discover where you have gone wrong. This way you would be able to figure out which way you should go, which roads to avoid, and how to get there.
Don't sweat the little things.
Little problems are best dealt with by giving them a shrug of the shoulder. Having a bad hair day or breaking a nail is not reason enough to break into fits of hysteria. Sure, it is annoying; but get over it! People will be surprised how a little change in their attitude can go a long way in solving their problems.
In fact, a lot of problems people are facing will dissolve if they only change their attitude. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of their lives, and being so cynical, they should instead try to make the best out of every situation. If you are not satisfied with the situation you are in, you should strive to make some positive changes in your life.
Confront your problems.
Not confronting problems can lead to bigger issues. Before problems can be solved, they must first be dealt with. For example, a person pretending not to be sick when he very well knows that he is suffering from an illness will not help him solve this problem. In fact, this will only make the situation much worse, if he refuses to seek out the medical attention that he needs.
The problem with choosing to ignore problems is that they can lead to bigger problems. Some who choose to escape their problems may turn to alcohol, drugs, or other self-destructive behaviors simply because they want to avoid the problems they are encountering. This, in turn, becomes a part of the problem. Instead of finding a solution, they find bigger problems.
Ask for help.
Strength comes in numbers. One of the best ways to quickly solve a problem is to ask for help. This is where friends and family come in. Not only will they be physically able to help you, they can also be a source of emotional help as well. Not only that, they would be able to throw in some ideas that just might be the key to finding the solution to your problem!
Having some problems does not mean that it is the end of the world. It just means that you are going to have to work hard at finding the solutions to your problems. By going through this process, not only will you solve your problems, but you can gain a lot of knowledge and wisdom along the way!
Boost Your Iq Techniques To Increase Your Intelligence Quotient Today
It is possible to enhance your intelligence quotient in a matter of 10 minutes. Some techniques to do so are discussed below.
Don't you want to enhance your IQ? Of course, you can use the brain power exercises and techniques. But these are long term and you would need to regularly practice them. What if you want to boost your IQ now, when you don't have more than 10 minutes. You would need all your IQ for any important meeting, or a test or any other major event in your life. If you really need some concrete results and not argue about intelligence, try the following techniques.
Breath To Increase Intelligence Quotient
Breath deeply through your nose. This will relax you immensely and help you remain calm and composed. Deep breathing infuses oxygen into your blood and therefore into your brain and enhances its functioning. A relaxed brain will be far more efficient. Also nose breathing uses the diaphragm more, so lungs draw more air. This is the simplest and shortest way to enhance your intelligence quotient immediately.
Another level of relaxation through breathing is meditation. Sit in whatever posture you are comfortable and concentrate on your breathing. With eyes closed, breath through your nose initially and this will truly calm and relax you. you will have thoughts interfering but just ignore them and keep your focus on your breathing. Do this for a few minutes.
Posture and exercise can improve your IQ
The posture you take while at any problem will surely affect the intelligence at your disposal. Just observe the difference when you solve a math problem slouching and sleeping while you do the same sitting upright. The latter posture will definitely be better since you can think a lot better like that.
You need to exercise, but not a very hectic regime as such. Exercise just enough to pump blood into your brain. Walking works for many but a better alternative to boost your IQ is aerobics.
Sleep also is very crucial for proper brain functioning. But the quality of sleep is also important apart from the duration of sleep.
Diet to Boost IQ
One tree whose leaves do certainly increase blood flow into brain is ginkgo biloba tree. You can use its leaves either in tea or in form of capsules. It also helps improve your memory power and concentration. The effect is immediate and it lasts long if regularly used.
Caffeine is certainly a IQ booster. It has been proved that any test taken after consuming caffeine in some form or the other does increase your scores. But do remember, that the effect is only temporary and caffeine if used longer can have adverse side effects too.
Give up sugar. Any carbohydrate if taken beyond a limit, can blur your thinking. Insulin gets injected into your blood stream after you have sugar and thus diminishes your ability to think. Avoid all carbohydrates like white flour, sugar, potatoes if you want to think clearly.
Results matter in the end
Experts will endlessly debate if the above techniques can really boost one's IQ. But there are times when it is very crucial for you to score high in a test. The above techniques if are found to be IQ booster, why not use them rather than wasting time in thinking if IQ really gets boosted or not. What matters is the score you get in the IQ test. So if you sleep well, have coffee and think sitting straight and if all this boosts IQ, there is no harm in doing the above techniques. These will prepare you better to face any task. Hence, be wise and don't debate any more on IQ and its definitions.
I am sure you all know Henry Ford. What was his IQ, any idea? Why bother? He was the most creative thinker of the last century and he was so because he was always in the company of intelligent people. That alone is a direct 20 point in IQ. I hope you get the point I state here.
You are concerned about results. Hence if you want to be creative resort to such techniques of finding a solution. There are techniques available to try out anything. Try your hands at speed reading and you will have double the grasp on the subject you read. What the world will see are the results or achievements you garner in your lifetime. The Monalisa, the Empire State building, etc, are what the world will remember and not your score in IQ tests.
Creativity How To Have More
To have more creativity, follow this two-step plan:
1. Encourage creativity.
2. Train your brain to be more creative.
Start on both of these right now, and you can experience greater creativity today.
Encourage your creativity and you'll increase your creativity. Of course, this is true of most things you want to see more of in your life. Encouragement can work wonders, but how do you encourage creativity?
Start by paying attention to it. Our subconscious minds tends to give us more of what we pay attention to. Ignore the creative aspects of your life, and you are telling your subconscious that they are unimportant. Consciously note when you're creative, and your subconscious mind will start feeding you more creative ideas. Just look for it and you'll find more of it.
You can encourage creativity by writing your ideas down. Start keeping an "idea journal." Do this regularly, and you'll notice that you often start having more ideas the moment you start to write. A so-so idea may normally be forgotten, but by writing it down, you may remember it. Then your subconscious can work on it, and may transform into something very creative.
For more creativity in your life, start putting creative ideas into practice. If you paint, paint something totally different from your usual subjects. If you sell houses, try a new approach. Even just driving a different route to work to see if it is quicker can encourage your creativity. Just get your mind working outside of its regular patterns.
Changing your surroundings can encourage creativity. For more creativity in your love life, go hike up a mountain with your partner. If you write, try sitting on a roof to write. For new ideas for your business, take a notebook to the park and sit by the duck pond. Any change of enviroment can get your brain out of it's ruts.
To dramatically increase your creativity, develop creative habits of mind. If you watch a good comedian, you'll see that she has trained her mind to look for the "different angle" on everyday things. Why not train your mind to do the same?
Start challenging assumptions, for example, until it becomes habit. If you're looking for ways to get more customers, stop and say, "Do I really need more customers?" It's a question that suggests other creative solutions, like finding ways to make more money off existing customers, or ways to cut expenses. It could lead to more profitable ideas. Challenge assumptions is a great way to have more creativity in your problem solving.
While driving to work, randomly choose anything you see and ask what it can teach you about whatever problem you are working on. A helicopter might make you think about a way to track where the car goes when you loan it to your kids. Palm trees may lead to a new design for patio umbrellas.
These two techniques are called "Assumption Challenging" and "Random Presentation," and are classic creative problem solving techniques. There are dozens more. If you train your brain to habitually use these or other techniques, and provide it with a little encouragement, you really can have more creativity.
How To Remember Things
What's the biggest problem with memory tricks? Remembering to use them, of course. There are many memory techniques that work well, but you'll forget them when you need them most - unless you make using them a habit. So when you take the time to learn a technique, use it until it becomes automatic. Here are some to try.
Using a Story-List
I went to a party as a child. There was a game that involved looking at a table covered in 15 various items. After a few minutes, we were taken to another room, and each child was given paper and a pencil. We had to write down as many items as we could remember. I recalled seven or eight, but one boy won the prize by remembering all 15 items.
Years later I learned why he won. His father taught him a simple trick that none of us other kids knew. The technique is to tie the items together in an imaginative story. For example, what if you want to remember a list of the following things: Soap, milk, honey, fork, and flowers.
Start a vivid story in your imagination, adding each item to it as you go: At the sink, you reach for the SOAP. The soap dish is full of MILK, so you wash your hands in that. Then you comb HONEY into your hair with a FORK, and finally pick up a bouquet of FLOWERS and smile at the mirror. Say each item while mentally reviewing your "movie," and you'll remember all five things, even the next day.
Some Other Memory Tricks
Tell yourself to remember. When you learn a person's name, for example, tell yourself, "remember that". This signals your unconscious mind to rank this input as more important.
Know WHY you want to remember something, and HOW you'll remember it. To remember a person, for example, ask why they'll be important to you in the future, imagine where you'll see them next, and connect that to anything you notice about them. Seeing the importance of remembering really helps, and additional associations (where you expect to see the person next) set the memory more firmly in your brain.
Do you ever forget where you put your car keys? You've probably tried retracing your steps, at least doing it in your imagination. This can work well, but even better is to prevent the forgetting beforehand. When you set the keys on the chair, see yourself walking in and setting the keys on the chair. You won't forget where they are.
There are many more of these memory tricks. If you want them to be useful, though, don't just read about them. Make a memory technique or two into a habit, starting today.
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