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May 8th, 2007 in Featured, Lifehack, Productivity

How to Become a Creative Genius

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When we measure the creativity of young children, virtually all of them will record as being ‘highly creative’. However, only a small percentage of adults register as being ‘highly creative’. What happened? Schools have crushed creativity. We were told to color within the lines. We were taught to follow instructions. The goal in school is to get the “right” answer. Unfortunately, if you’re afraid to be wrong, you’ll never be creative or original. The job of education is to produce employees who follow instructions. And to this endeavor, they are doing a very good job. However, in terms of creativity, they are falling terribly short. This is one of the most unfortunate realities in our current education system. To undo this, we must continuallyexercise our creative juices. That’s why I have put together 6 tips for expanding your creativity. 1. Keep a Notebook and Pencil on hand at all times. Ideas are like in-laws, you never know when they’re coming over to visit. By keeping a notebook around, you will always be able to capture your ideas at any time of the day. Leonardo da Vinci was well known for keeping a journal of his ideas. His notebooks are now prized possessions that hold the many creative and genius thoughts of this master thinker, painter, and inventor. His notebooks were filled with plans for flying machines, a parachute, a helicopter, the extendable ladder, the bicycle, folding furniture, and a number of automated tools for increasing productivity.

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Yes, I am happy to say that Leonardo da Vinci was a productivity junkie. A blank page is an open invitation for the creative and curious mind. The simple act of writing gets you into a creative flow that can last for hours. The free-flowing, exploratory practice of keeping a journal encourages freedom of thought and expanded perspectives. 2. The second key to creativity is to ask questions. Questions are the root of all knowledge and creativity. By continually asking questions about the world around us, we fuel our creative fire. Great minds are those that have asked the greatest questions. Leonardo da Vinci asked such questions as: “Why does the thunder last a longer time than that which causes it?” and “Why is the sky blue?” Socrates asked such questions as: “What is wisdom?” “What is piety?” “What is beauty?” As a young boy, Albert Einstein asked himself, “What would it be like to run beside a light beam at the speed of light?” A number of inventions have been created by asking one simple question… “What if…..?” By asking questions we increase our level of consciousness and our perspective of the world. 3. To become a creative genius, you must also be a voracious reader. Reading enhances your mental ability and lets you experience the world from a brand new perspective. When we read a book, we let go of our own perspectives and experience the world from the characters that have been crafted by the author. I have found in my own life that the more I read, the more I want to know. Reading becomes an insatiable desire and an unquenchable thirst. 4. Seek out new experiences. Our minds are much like a garden. Without proper care, the weeds will take over. Nothing sparks the mind like learning something new. If you want to expand your creativity, then learn a new skill. It can be anything you choose. Learn a new language. Learn to water ski. Learn to play an instrument. Pick up photography or even try a new sport.

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All of these activities get your mind working outside of its regular patterns. 5. Become a whole-brain thinker. There are generally two-types of people in this world: left-brained and right-brained. In most cases, people are either analytical thinkers who enjoy math, science, and logic or they are highly imaginative and creative individuals who focus on the big-picture. Unfortunately, our school systems generally cater to those who are left-brained analytical thinkers. This has created a world of employees who are very good at following directions but are not so good at developing new ideas. To break the mold, we must become whole-brain, holistic thinkers. You can do this by using a powerful method known as mind mapping. Mind mapping has been used by some of history’s greatest brains, including Michelangelo, Mark Twain, and Leonardo da Vinci. Mind mapping is a whole-brain activity that will awaken your creative side as well as your analytical side. Mind mapping will also help you to generate new ideas when needed. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using it for personal goal setting, problem solving, or simply to become a more creative, whole-brain thinker. Our mind works in pictures, associating one idea to the next. Mind mapping allows you to continue this natural thought process on paper. Mind mapping is one of the most powerful tools for awakening your creativity. For a detailed explanation of mind mapping, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map 6. The final tool for developing your creativity is imaginary dialogue. Yes, I know, it may sound silly at first, but this technique can be an extremely powerful tool for developing your creativity. This technique was first introduced in the best-selling book by Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”. Before achieving his success, Napoleon Hill was first meeting with an imaginary mastermind each night. He would close his eyes and visualize a table occupied by such great men as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Elbert Hubbard. Napoleon Hill would then speak to the members of his imaginary mastermind in the following manner: “Mr. Lincoln: I desire to build in my own character those qualities of patience and fairness toward all mankind and the keen sense of humor which were your outstanding characteristics.”

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“Mr. Washington: I desire to build in my own character those qualities of patriotism and self-sacrifice and leadership which were your outstanding characteristics.” “Mr. Hubbard: I desire to develop the ability to equal and even to excel the ability that you possessed with which to express yourself in clear, concise and forceful language.” After meeting with his mastermind group for several months, he found that he had developed each of their desired characteristics into his own personality. Napoleon also went to his imaginary mastermind to help solve any problem he was facing. The imaginary mastermind is a master tool for finding new perspectives and looking at your problem from a different angle. For example, let’s say that you own a business. Why not develop an imaginary mastermind of the greatest business minds in history? You can call to your table such names as Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Ray Kroc, and Sam Walton. Call on them daily for advice and you will begin to see your problems in a new light. As once said by Albert Einstein, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” You can have even more creative fun by imagining a discussion between two different well-known people. Some examples to get you started include: Bill Gates Vs. Steve Jobs Leonardo da Vinci vs. Albert Einstein William Shakespeare vs. Maya Angelou Let your mind wander and you will be surprised at all of the connections you begin to make. Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need a Braindump, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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Character Education » Character Education May 8, 2007 10:49 am Drainedge Link Tank · Today’s Links The Internet Journalist » How to Become a Creative Genius datazealot.com » Blog Archive » Raising a Creative Genius How to Become a Creative Genius MDG Blog » Archivo del weblog » 6 tips para ser más creativo Ink ‘n Doodles Creative Workshop » Blog Archive » Foster your Creativity 6 consejos para desarrollar la creatividad Never Tell… » Blog Archive » links for 2007-05-09 Como llegar a ser un Genio Creativo | Blog Vecindad Gráfica Diseño Gráfico Essere un genio creativo? « La Via SenzaNome Criterion » Archivo del weblog » Cómo llegar a ser un genio creativo Week 19 - Worth Viewing | Peety Passion Read and Be Creative | Upper Fort Stewart How To Become A Creative Genius : Weird Daily Bram Cool Blog » Blogarchief » How to Become a Creative Genius The Best of the Internet 5-13-07 | steve-olson.com Блогът на Publicis MARC Group » Blog Archive » Как MUCKING OUT THE BLOGPILE… Toma e Embrulha :: Leituras :: May :: 2007 - blogging about advertising and everything else Faux’s Blog | The Best of the Internet How to Become a Creative Genius « My Daily Zen Lifehack.org can save your life! — Our Latest Discovery Husband, Dad, Geek, and Web 3.0 Innovator Creative Genius - How to Become One « Husband, Dad, Geek, and Web 3.0 Innovator Recycled Space : Creativity Ressources 10 Steps To Boost Creativity - lifehack.org Compelled By Reality » Blog Archive » The Creativity Ceiling crawlspace|media » Blog Archive » My Daily Links 2007-08-15 Andy | A Design Community » Blog Archive » Tips to become a creative genius JeffGillispie.com » How to Become a Creative Genius Here to Create » Stuck in a Creative Rut? Read These Inspirational Articles and Break Free Finding Your Million Dollar Idea | Millionaire Money Habits Furniture Painting Techniques Averal L. » Blog Archive » Creative Mind Free apps to help you write « Later On The Ultimate Writing Productivity Resource - Lifehack.org Eftertanke och en knuff i rätt riktning at nanok.com Pay Attention to How Branding Fuels Social Media | Gino Cosme Abundance Blog at Marelisa-Online » Blog Archive » Creativity Extravaganza: 30 Tips, Tools, and Resources

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Comments

Data Zealot says on May 8th, 2007 at 12:42 pm
Excellent post! I’ve borrowed your idea and reworded it for homeschool application: http://datazealot.com /?p=33 Thanks!

John V. says on May 8th, 2007 at 2:00 pm
Great article! I really enjoyed reading the part about imaginary dialogue which is both psychologically deep and yet entertaining at the same time.

Kim Roach says on May 8th, 2007 at 2:13 pm
Hey John! I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. The imaginary dialogue can be quite entertaining. I was actually first introduced to this concept by my history teacher in high school and then later read even more about it in Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”.

Gary says on May 8th, 2007 at 2:16 pm
I certainly think this is good advice, but isn’t it painting education with some very broad, and possibly outdated, brushstrokes. Sure, rules are established in schools, as in workplaces, because it’s not just your

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show. No environment where two or more humands find themselves is ever just up to them. If you’re a consultant, it’s never just your show either. We have to collaborate. I had teachers who did a great deal to encourage creative thinking, but the responsibility to develop and sustain that mode of thinking is all mine and I appreciate the thoughts (all of which should be communicated as part of any decent liberal arts education). I guess I have grown weary of the “they never teach you in school stuff you need to know” blog postings and then cite examples like you were “told to color between the lines.” I don’t know if this is because folks who work with technology were ahead of the learning curve or didn’t find the curriculum compelling or just didn’t think they fit in. Most kids that I see (I volunteer in a kindergarten class) are concerned about coloring in the lines without any adult prompting in my experience. I don’t think it qualifies them for dullardom nor does it make teachers as a default cogs in the conformist wheel.

noisome says on May 8th, 2007 at 4:24 pm
@Gary: I think you were taking the “drawing inside the lines” comment a bit too literally. A quick perusal of the essays by Dewey (What a psychopath. You realize that Dewey was a student of experimental psychologist G. Stanley Hall?) and those that created the American Educational System would show you how corrupt the system is, even at it’s roots. They actually use the phrase “worker bees.” You mention this portrayal of the system turning children into sheeple is perhaps outmoded, and while I agree that in 2007 the educational system, like every other system in our country, has changed a great deal from how it began, if anything, it has become worse. At least when they were building the foundation of the educational system people were involved enough in the then-smaller society to know what was going on, and know of their intentions. Now all we have are people that have been squeezed through this system, and naturally, the public schools haven’t necessarily taught them about things like propaganda, mass hallucinations, or psychological warfare. Why would a farmer teach his cows about farming? Check out The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto. And then you could do yourself a favor and pick up some books on basic behavioral psychology, propaganda tactics, and psychological warfare. Wilhelm Reich’s Theory of the Emotional Plague is a good read too. After you’ve gotten this modest amount of reading under your belt, when shit happens like the VT Massacre, or Columbine, you’ll know why it happened. You’ll realize why the percentages of people with psychological problems is constantly rising. If the government was using biological warfare on its own people, would we get angry at those that it

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affected adversely? Would we condemn them for mutating? No, of course not, we’d be pissed at the government. So when the American psychosis, fueled by our government-controlled media and our flawed educational system, blows up in our faces; when people mutate mentally, and buckle under the pressure of this sick, national psychological experiment — WHY do we always fail to blame those responsible?

Tom says on May 9th, 2007 at 1:25 am
For more ideas on freeing your creative genius check out the work of Win Wenger. Get the instructions for his Image Streaming technique and try that. Find his Project Renaissance Website at winwenger.com

Helen says on May 9th, 2007 at 2:12 am
Those are useful tips, especially second one which is asking questions. Asking questions show that we are eager to broaden our view about the topic.

Kim Roach says on May 9th, 2007 at 5:00 am
Hey Tom, I agree. WinWenger.com is an excellent resource for building your creativity. For anyone looking for techniques that are a just a bit more advanced than these, that is an excellent resource.

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Genius says on May 9th, 2007 at 10:02 am
How to Become a Genvius - simple stop reading self help books

jimmieanna says on May 9th, 2007 at 11:47 am
This topic always interest me, for I believe capitalism has created a society of cattle. Propaganda is essential and it must have the majority of minds that are non-creative. One great book that has not been mentioned is called The Artist Way, by Julia Cameron, and since I believe that we all came here to create; it is an integral ingredient of what is missing [imho]in our journey here. Mankind continues as someone above stated, to sink deeper mental sickness, can we turn this around? http://www.theartistsway.com/ have a creative day. ps: i just googled this site and it’s down for maintainence, but the book it key anyway.

Michael Pohoreski says on May 9th, 2007 at 11:58 am
One of my favorite quotes: Teacher: “Question Authority!” Student: “Says who!?”

Zingus says on May 9th, 2007 at 1:06 pm
You do not BECOME a creative genius. If you’re a CREATIVE then you’re HAUNTED by it. If you’re a genius then you’re DOOMED to it. Then yes, your life can suck less if you end up achieving something other than wirling papers (or bits) around.

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Become a fullfilled individual.

YAMP says on May 9th, 2007 at 5:04 pm
I always find it amusing when Albert Einstein is linked as a “Creative Genius” in an article or post that suggests most people are either analytical/scientific or creative. Those that suggest serious scientific research doesn’t require creativity rarely understand either. It mat be “creativity in a straight-jacket” but then so is asking for a portrait to be painted.

Nancy says on May 9th, 2007 at 6:12 pm
Great list. I agree that preperation is important in creativity. We need to be prepared all the time to make sure that we fuel our creativity.

puttputt says on May 13th, 2007 at 10:22 am
I have many imaginary dialogues, they usually lead me to beat my monkey.

Paul says on May 14th, 2007 at 9:11 pm
I like to come up with a problem, sleep on it, and then brainstorm with a tape recorder. The tape recorder is absolutely essential. The next day, play it back and repeat if the problem still hasn’t been solved.

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Matthew Cornell says on May 15th, 2007 at 8:27 am
*Hell* of an article - thanks!

Gabriel says on May 30th, 2007 at 10:00 pm
Inspiring article! There’s one thing I personally didn’t like though. I seemed to have associated the term “left-brained” with left handed people. I believe this wasn’t your point, but the term sounds too strong. I wish there were alternative terms that would somehow not discriminate the left from the right. Left doesn’t always equal wrongness or negativity, does it?

jack says on August 27th, 2007 at 10:29 pm
well,it is great for me to know the mind mapping.i am trying to be creative as i am tired of the regular life without any new ideas

ScreemsOfInsanity says on September 30th, 2007 at 6:24 am
I loved the article it helped me alot , you see , all my life I never have done a single thing the way it was supoused to be done, I always alternate, and Change from the way I talk , to the way I write, dance draw,edit ,even my breathing pattern..:S..anyways I never go by the rules , But suddenly it came to my mind , Whats next? .. Im 15 and graduating from school in two years , I want ways to express my creativity as Im older , and still make money off it , I want to get rich for my thoughts , And I searched it on google , and got this site , amazing article , and I read all the comments too, Im going to read each and every book mentioned ^^ Thanks so much !.

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Peripheral Reader says on November 6th, 2007 at 9:59 am
Not sure if this will help anyone become more creative, but it’s amusing nonetheless… http://creativiciousness.blogspot.com/

vipindhanurdharan says on December 5th, 2007 at 8:30 am
hai frnd……..nice words…every one can understand…….me also working in a creative feild……this types of words very helpfull for ….our thinking style…very very nice……contniue u’r writing……and thanks…….

Angel De Fuego says on January 12th, 2008 at 11:37 pm
Creative genius is something you are either born with or not. For a true understanding of creative genius, read my weblog at: weblog-angel.blogspot.com I have made creative genius a life long study, ever since I had an IQ test of 187 at ten years old. I have artistic creative genius, but there are many kinds of creative genius. To understand them all, is to have them all. For now, just check out my kind of creative genius.

Art Giser says on February 26th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

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Thanks for the excellent article, and the reminder to do imaginary dialoge. Even though I have taught my students to do that, your article made me realize that I haven’t been doing it. Many Thanks!! Art Art Giser http://www.EnergeticNLP.com

mohammed abdulla says on March 16th, 2008 at 5:53 am
Really I have got from your innovative and sharp ideas regarding genius and it helped me alot in developing my IQ . Thank you very much.

Amir Shahzad says on March 20th, 2008 at 3:12 am
I want to say thanks alot because this artitcle help me in broaden my thinking power. its amazing article Thanks again sweet heart

ochuko says on July 6th, 2008 at 12:25 pm
WHAT CAN I DO TO THINK FAST

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