Archive for category creativity
Yesterday, we talked about innovative people, and I mentioned that there are a whole lot more innovative people around than any of us can imagine. Could you be one of them?
Let’s take a little test and see. I have Earl Nightingale to thank for this list of twenty-five traits generally found in creative, innovative people. No, relax. You don’t need all twenty-five but if you have most of them, you may be closer than you think.
Drive—a high degree of motivation
Courage—tenacity and persistence
Goals—a sense of direction
Knowledge—and a thirst for it
Chance taking—willingness to risk failure
Enterprise—willing to tackle tough jobs
Persuasion—ability to sell
Patient yet impatient—patient with others, yet impatient with the status quo
Adaptability—capable of change
Perfectionism—seek to achieve excellence
Humor—ability to laugh at self and others
Versatility—broad interests and skills
Curiosity—interested in people and things
Individualism—self-esteem and self-sufficiency
Realism/idealism—occupied by reality but guided by ideals
Imagination—seeking new ideas, combinations, and relationships
Okay, that’s enough. I told you creative thinking was hard work! But there is something even harder . . . and that’s change. It’s admitting the need, being honest and humble enough to face the facts, then secure enough to consider new ideas, methods, or devices, to pull it off. Swallowing our pride shouldn’t be that difficult, since that’s what we eat all day.
Go ahead and give it a whirl. Take one of those many things that keeps dragging you under and search for a creative way to solve the problem. And don’t quit until it’s done . . . and that smile of relief returns to your face.
I know you can do it! You did it before and it worked. And that problem was so huge you could hardly continue. Then came the change . . . the most important decision you ever made based on the most innovative combination ever devised. A man. A cross. Blood. And belief.
God defines it: “The introduction of something new . . . a new birth.”
Webster defines it: “The introduction of something new . . . a new idea, method, or device.” When we innovate, we change, we flex. It takes guts to innovate, because it requires creative thinking. Thinking is hard enough, but creative thinking—ah, that’s work! To get the juices squirting, you have to be dissatisfied with the status quo.
Sometimes innovation is forced on us.
For example in December 7, 1941 America got caught with her military pants down. Before American planes could get airborne, or even out of the hangar, most of them were destroyed. The ARMY were forced to ask the obvious: “How can we get the planes out of the hangars fast?”
A fellow by the name of Mitchell solved the problem in a most innovative way. He simply turned the question upside down and asked the unobvious: “How can we get the hangar away from the planes—fast?” The result (after the inevitable laughter and rejection) was a two-piece hangar. Each section was mounted on wheels with sufficient power to separate the two at thirty-five miles an hour . . . which enabled the fighter planes to take off in several different directions. Fast.
Now, you’re thinking Mitchell is genius. And you are ready to toss in Newton and Bell and Edison and Ford and the Wright brothers. And you’re also telling yourself that there aren’t many of those gifted people spread around. Granted, those men might very well qualify as geniuses . . . but if you ask them, they’ll tell you another story. J. C. Penney once observed, “Geniuses themselves don’t talk about the gift of genius; they just talk about hard work and long hours.” It’s the old one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration answer.
Let’s have four “greats” take the stand and testify. These are their actual words:
Michelangelo: “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery; it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.”
Thomas Carlyle: “Genius is the capacity for taking infinite pains.”
Ignancy Jan Paderewski: “A genius? Perhaps, but before I was a genius I was a drudge.”
Alexander Hamilton: “All the genius I may have is merely the fruit of labor and thought.”
Are innovative people really that rare? Not if you listen to Sheldon David, TRW’s former vice president:
“The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.”
You know what that says to me? It says there are a whole lot more innovative people (who currently see themselves only as “drudges”) than any of us can imagine. In fact, you may very well be one of them!
…We’ll look into that tomorrow. You might be surprised at what you’ll discover.
There are certain things in a person’s life that really make worth living. Your faith, your family, your career, and the positive effect you have on others, just to name a few. These are you priorities. With each priority there are certain tasks that you do that attribute to each priority. In the same sense, there are certain things in a job that make the biggest difference. There are hundreds upon millions of certain task to choose from. Imagine like a wall full of levers and you have to discern which ones to pull down to make your life work. The problem with life is most people are overwhelmed with which lever to pull to make life worthwhile.
We want to make the biggest difference so we start pulling as many levers as possible. And we get bogged down. Imagine your life like a computer. You have so many things you want to accomplish so you start opening a lot of programs. You open up a browser and start looking at websites. In fact you may open multiple tabs on that same browser. You then open up a word processer, then excel, then a media player, then a picture viewer and before you know it your computer is running slower than you expect it to. This is the way life works. If you get bogged down doing too many things you become less and less effective at what is really important.
Here are three ways to STREAMLINE YOUR LIFE.
Sometimes it more important to say no than it is to say yes. Say no to the things that don’t directly contribute to the priorities you find most important. There are only a handful of things that you do that actually make a difference. If you find yourself crunching numbers that have no ROI, delete it. Your time is too valuable. I personally find myself double recording some things that have a easier method of tracking.
What makes you valuable may not be balancing the books. What may make you valuable is your ability to communicate with a large number of people at a time or play a musical instrument, or your skillset of selling. If balancing the books is taking too much of your productive time, delegate it. Give it to someone who is just as capable at doing an adequate job and give them the opportunity to take on the responsibility. If your time is worth $100 an hour, you don’t have the time to perform a task that is worth $10 an hour.
Sometimes you can’t avoid all nonproductive things. Some people you still have to deal with even if you would rather not. There may be a person you work with that has a negative attitude but his contribution is vital. You may not be able to avoid him all together but you can diminish the time you spend with him so his negatively doesn’t rub off on you.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
– Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, is my best poet of all times, this poem was recommended by Jesse Jackson in one of his speech (speech’s transcripts) to black American youth forum, Maya was born April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, was raised in segregated rural Arkansas. Maya Angelou is an American author and poet. She has published seven autobiographies, five books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.
“It not about what you drive it is about what drives you…”
“Excellence” is a drive from inside, not
outside. Excellence is not for someone else
to notice but for your own satisfaction and
A German once visited a temple under
construction where he saw a sculptor making
an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar
idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the
sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the
same idol?” “No,” said the sculptor without
looking up, “We need only one, but the first
one got damaged at the last stage.” The
gentleman examined the idol and found no
apparent damage. “Where is the damage?”
he asked. “There is a scratch on the nose of
the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his
work. “Where are you going to install the
The sculptor replied that it would be
installed on a pillar twenty feet high. “If the
idol is that far, who is going to know that
there is a scratch on the nose?” the
gentleman asked. The sculptor stopped work,
looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said,
“I will know it.”
The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact
whether someone else appreciates it or not.
“Excellence” is a drive from inside, not
outside. Excellence is not for someone else
to notice but for your own satisfaction and
…this is the conclusive part of 30ty vALuable LeSSOns I wisH i LearNT in sCHOol…the 3rd of the 3ree series expository…someone called it the deficiency of our regular educational system… find below LESSON 21-130…
21) How to deal with a CRISIS? You never know when a crisis hits you – can be personal or professional. And crisis could mean anything related to your own health or the health of a loved one or a financial crisis or a loss of employment or …. And when a crisis hits you, your life turns upside down – Your mind and emotions probably spiral in dimensions which completely catches you off-guard! And the thing about dealing with a crisis is that the more you delay any positive and constructive action, the LARGER the CRISIS gets! And does any school teach you how to deal with a crisis? Probably NOT Would it have helped if someone did? Absolutely YES! 22) How to show that we CARE? Many of us care deeply about a long of things. But find it extremely hard to express this.. And the beauty about CARING is that it is personal, emotional, very specific to a cause and subjective to an individual. And while there are many ways to show that you care.. What is most important is that you demonstrate how you really feel in front of those who matter, and in a way that they understand! And does any school teach you how to care and show that you care? Probably NOT Would it have helped if someone did? Absolutely YES! 23) The REAL meaning of RESPECT Many of us don’t really undertand what respect truly is. Both Self-Respect and Respect for others. And those who understand find it hard to translate this to action. And the thing about respect is that it has to come from within (So you can’t force yourself to respect someone), You’ve got to earn it and You’ve got to give respect to get it back! And the best explanation I’ve come across on RESPECT is No blame, No judgment, No criticism and No control – Very short but immensely profound! And does any school teach you the TRUE meaning of respect and how to demonstrate the same? Probably NOT Would it have helped if they did? Absolutely YES! 24) What and How to SHARE? Sharing is a basic human need. On a daily basis, we all share several things with others – From smiles, to words, to deeds, to gestures, to moments, to experiences, to finances, to knowledge, to wisdom, to a laugh or a meal……. But as we grow, we forget what to share with others and how to share… And many times end up paying a price for this… And does any school teach you what you should share and how to share? Probably NOT Would it have helped if they did? Absolutely YES! 25) How to set and manage expectations? From all my life experiences I can say that the primary cause for most problems in life is due to expectations – Rather our inability to set / re-set expectations of us and others; and then our inability to manage changes to these expectations over a period of time You expect someone to SAY something; they don’t – You are UPSET and that triggers a chain of negative thoughts and actions from your end You expect someone to DO something; they don’t – You are UPSET and that triggers a chain of negative thoughts and actions from your end And the thing about negativity is that Negativity breeds Negativity – certainly, rapidly and quickly! And before you realize, negativity has engulfed your life.. Not a pleasant situation to be in! And if you can figure out a way to set realistic expectations for yourself and others; and a way to effectively communicate these expectations, your life will be a lot simple, stress-free and positive! Does any school really teach you to set and manage expectations? Probably NOT Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES! 26) How to apologize? A lot of problems in life can be solved if you learn to apologize – At the right time and to the right people (people who matter). All this requires is for you to say SORRY – Sometimes you don’t feel like saying it and sometimes you need not say it.. And no matter how you say it – Most times it’s probably worth it! And the thing about apologizing is that there is a time value to it –And so if you don’t apologize within a specific time, then chances are that the apology does not matter anymore – So people have moved on (or appear to have moved on) – and they either become indifferent to you or there’s too much emotional baggage they are holding on within which is not healthy for any individual or any relationship! The other thing about apologizing is that if you do too much of it – Again it loses its value both for yourself and those around you! Does any school really teach you when, how and to whom you should apologize? Probably NOT! Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES! 26) How to ask from Help? If you think deeply about life, you will realize that it is probably way too complex, that there several things which are beyond your comprehension and it is mind-boggling in more ways than one. And yet whether you think or not, you will find a way to live … And as you live and sail through life, you begin to realize that while being independent is great, there are times in life when things are beyond your control because of the inherent interdependency or dependency on others. Hence, there are times when it is imperative to ask others to help you in more than one way and for more than one thing! And the reality is that for many of us, it is very difficult to ask others for help. We just can’t get ourselves to say “Please can you do this for me?”. And for many of us, asking for help is our first nature– without even trying or thinking. Both these extremes are not really beneficial for personal growth! And so knowing when to ask for help and to whom you should ask for help is both a skill and an art! Does any school really teach you when, how and to whom you can ask for HELP? Probably NOT! Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES! 28) How to find your TRUE CALLING in LIFE? Many of us sail through life without really finding our TRUE CALLING! And when you do, it’s sometimes just a little TOO LATE! Wouldn’t it be great if you figured this early in your life? Absolutely! Does any school help you figure this out? Probably NO! Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES! [Though of late, I’ve heard of several institutes across the globe enabling and facilitating this process of self-discovery! ] 29) How to live the PRESENT MOMENT to the FULLEST? The reality is that the PRESENT MOMENT is all that you’ve got.. And yet many of us spend too much time holding on to the past, or looking into the future! The best lesson of life is to Seize the MOMENT and Live life NOW! Again, does any school really teach you this? Probably NOT! Would it help if they did… Of course.. YES!!! 30) How to BREATHE? The most important requirements of every cell in the human body are Oxygen, Food, Water and how to excrete waste. Along the journey of life, we’re taught what and how to eat right, the importance of replenishing yourself with water and fluids and of course, we naturally eliminate waste from the body in one of many ways! But what provides your OXYGEN? Evidently, it is your BREATH. And whether or not you realize this – The reality is that if you figure out how to breathe RIGHT – You’re life will be transformed. Simply because, breathing RIGHT ensure that there is optimal flow of “Prana” / Life energy within your body and that leaves you feeling more energized, active and of course, in control of your thoughts and emotions! Does any school really teach you how to BREATHE RIGHT? Probably NOT! Would it help if they did… Absolutely YES!!! What about you?
What are the Lessons of Life NO SCHOOL really TAUGHT YOU? Leave a comment to let me know
I have always been an ACADEMIC STAR – Right from Nursery School way up until my on-going Management Degree. Over the years, I gained knowledge on a wide range of subjects, upgraded myself on a great number of skills, accomplished several things, and achieved successes in different dimensions of life…
Today, as I look back and ask myself if I learnt the Most Important Lessons of LIFE from the educational institutes I went to answer Honestly, the answer is NO..
So, what are those Lessons of Life that NO SCHOOL really TAUGHT ME?
1) How to be a LIFELONG LEARNER?
We all learn a lot from the schools we study in.. But do they teach us how to be a LIFELONG LEARNER? Probably NOT! I figured this on my own and I guess it’s the same for many of you. Continuous focus on learning is absolutely VITAL in the journey of life – You have to make it a personal PRIORITY and focus on LEARNING all along the way. Only then is life exciting, enriching and evolving…
2) How to COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY?
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”By Tony Robbins
Effective Communication can sometimes be the ONE and ONLY thing that can help you in your transition from Good and Great in anything in life! And while there is no mantra for you to be the PERFECT COMMUNICATOR, the following definitely help:
i) Be clear on what you want to convey – Most times, the problem stems from here!
ii) Try and gauge you’re audience profile and moderate your communication message and style accordingly
iii) Aim for short and simple messages – They ALWAYS work!
Does any school really teach you this? Probably NOT!
Would it help if they did? Absolutely YES
3) How to deal with CHANGE?
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” – François de la Rochefoucauld..
The reality is that life teaches you how to deal with change – usually based on experience (Many times the hard way, And sometimes we may NEVER accept the change!).
And do we learn how to deal with CHANGE at school? Probably NOT!
But had someone taught you ways to identify potential changes and deal with them, would it have made life a lot easier? A re-sounding YES!
4) How to build and nurture RELATIONSHIPS?
In the journey of life, if there’s one thing which will help you sail through the trying and difficult times; it is the quantity and quality of your relationships – both personal and professional. The BEST part is that it’s never too late to start – So you can build new relationships or revive old one’s today. And then of course, you’ve to nurture them along the way so that they grow with you!
And did any school teach me this? Probably NOT! I figured this out on my own.
Would it help if someone taught us this? Definitely YES!
5) How to manage my PERSONAL FINANCES?
Personal Financial Management is the most important dimension which will determine the quality of your life today and into the future.. And formal education definitely enables you to earn.. So who taught you how to manage your money better? Who taught you how to invest and re-invest? Who taught you when to exit from an investment?
Did your schools teach you this? Probably NOT! And the wealthiest people I know figured this out on their own.
Would it have been a boon and blessing if some school had taught this to me? Definitely YES!
6) How to handle FAILURE?
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” By Winston Churchill
Over the years, I’ve realized the following about failure –
Failures are vital for life,
Failures are definite in life,
Failures are definitely stepping stones….to your chosen destination
And the reality is that no school really teaches us how to accept, deal with failures and learn from them!
Would it have been easier to deal with failures if some school had taught this to me? Definitely YES!
7) How to deal with LOSS?
In the journey of life, we all deal with many kinds of losses – Loss of people (temporary and permanent), Financial loss, Loss of jobs, Loss of friends, Loss of peace of mind, loss of health, loss of … And we all find many different ways to deal with these losses.. Some losses we may NEVER be able to come to terms with.. And some we find our own ways to deal with…
But did any school teach me how to handle LOSS? – Probably NOT!
Would it have been useful if some school had taught this to me? Definitely YES!
8) How to THINK?
How you think about yourself, people and the world is eventually reflected in how your life eventually turns out. And hence, it important to create and fuel positive, powerful and purposeful thoughts!
Again, did any school teach me how to think? Probably NOT!
We all come across specific teachers, mentors and guides in our life who make us realize the importance of the RIGHT and POSITIVE THINKING! So, would it have helped if someone taught me how to think? Definitely YES! And the earlier, the BETTER!
9) When and How to say NO?
If there’s ONE thing which many of us find hard to say, it’s these 2 simple letters – NO. And try as much as we want, we simply can’t get ourselves to say NO! [Wonder why? – May be we exhausted our quotas of listening and saying NO during childhood ].. And when you say YES to everything, life is steered through a course which you don’t necessarily like. Personally, I really felt truly LIBERATED when I started saying NO!
Did any school teach me this? NO!
Would it have helped if they did? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
10) How to cultivate and enhance SELF-DISCIPLINE?
Anyone I know who achieved anything worthwhile in life will vouch that one of the key reasons was due to Self Discipline. And yet! Everywhere I look around, I see that Self-discipline is a dying virtue today.. Sad but true! Along the way, I figured out a way to be self-disciplined about the things that were important to ME!
Did any school teach me this? NO!
Would it have helped if they did? Of course YES!
…lesson 11-20 to be continued
…what lessons have you learnt possible IN A HARD WAY that you wish you were taught in school