Creative Thinking Techniques

Hot creative thinking skills, dynamic creative thinking techniques, and explosive creative thinking exercises and games to stimulate your creative and critical thinking for genius creativity and outstanding innovation!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Creative Intelligences - 7 Ways to come up with Great Ideas

Creative Intelligences - 7 Ways to come up with Great Ideas

  1. Creative Intelligences
  2. 7 Intelligences & Creativity
  3. Not just for children

There are many models and techniques that aim to help people come up with creative ideas. In this article I describe an original way of using Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences as a helpful pattern for generating a wide range of ideas in any subject.

I must first review the basics of Gardner's theory, so that you may later understand how I use it as a creative tool. Howard Gardner is a well known researcher and author on the subject of thinking and intelligence. His theory of Multiple Intelligences challenged the limited concept of intelligence as measured by logical and mathematical tests (e.g. IQ or SAT exams). Instead, he claimed that there is more than one kind of intelligence, and that each kind is valuable for human activity. It is beyond the scope of this article to fully describe this theory. For the purpose of using this model as a creative tool, I will only list the seven different types of intelligence along with a basic explanation of each:

Linguistic: the ability to use language to excite, please, convince, stimulate or convey information.

Logical-Mathematical: the ability to explore patterns, categories and relationships by manipulating objects or symbols.

Intrapersonal: the ability to understand, express and control one's inner feelings, dreams and ideas.

Interpersonal: the ability to understand other people, their goals, motivations, intentions, and to communicate with them.

Spatial: the ability to navigate and to perceive objects and directions.

Musical: the ability to perform, compose or enjoy a musical piece.

Bodily-Kinesthetic: the ability to use the body in sports, performance arts, and other motorical tasks.

Seven Intelligence Types and Creativity
Now how may this be used for creating new ideas? The way I use it is to examine how the subject I am thinking of may be expressed or enhanced through each of these intelligence types. To make this clearer, let me provide a detailed example.

Say your 10 years old child's birthday was coming up, and you wanted to prepare some special activities for his birthday party. Following is a list of nice ideas you could use, each emphasizing and activating one of the above intelligence types.

Your kid's guests would enjoy a diverse range of games and tasks, through which each could express their best abilities and skills:

Linguistic: let the children write a short poem of 2-4 lines, on the theme of birthdays and parties.

Logical-Mathematical: let them solve simple mathematical riddles in which the letters of their names have been encrypted into numbers according to some logical rule.

Intrapersonal: ask the children to close their eyes, and think of one good experience they had in their own birthday, and another which was less pleasant.

Interpersonal: The children may share their experiences from the previous idea in couples, and practice listening to the other person without commenting or questioning.

Spatial: any game with their eyes closed, in which they have to go around the room, or alternatively feel an object and guess what it is.

Musical: one child makes a rhythmic sound, and all the others must repeat that sound exactly.
The child than adds another sound to form a combination of two sounds, and kids repeat, etc.

Bodily-Kinesthetic: well - obviously the game of Charades is a great way to move and demonstrate bodily control.

Creative Intelligences - not just for children
As I mentioned earlier, you may use the seven intelligences for almost any subject that is related to people. I am sure you can come up with very interesting ideas for arranging your office if you focus on each of these seven intelligences, or of some original ways to spend a romantic evening with your sweetheart (I'd love to hear about that...) I hope you found this article interesting.

If you want to receive updates on the ebooks I am working on - including ones with ideas for kid's birthdays and for rearranging your home or office - sign up for my FREE Creative Ideas email newsletter on and receive updates and many more things - a new set of creatvie ideas each month; easy-to-learn creative tools; updates on new ideas and tools available on this website; and other crazy things I will come up with in time...

Amir Elion is a management and innovation consultant and facilitator. He was a part of a group that developed a unique method for training diverse skills through the use of board games. He has a degree in Philosophy and General studies and an MA in organizational behavior. His website is a source of creative ideas for business, workplace and personal uses.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Creative Thinking with Image Streaming

Image Streaming, invented by Win Wenger, is one of the great modern techniques for accessing your highest powers of creative thinking... here's why:

Creativity The Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Creativity

1. Be curious and follow your curiosity.
Ask until you understand why your corporation takes certain actions. Discover why something is a particular shape. Find out why a process is designed as it is. Explore a natural phenomenon until you fully understand it.

2. Familiarize yourself with the lateral thinking techniques of Edward De Bono and practice them.
Edward De Bono developed many techniques to stimulate creative thought. A random selection is The Six Thinking Hats, Provocation and The Random Input and many more. This is an unsolicited endorsement and the author of this list has no connection with Edward De Bono.

3. Spend 20 minutes a day in a comfortable spot where you will be undisturbed and let your mind wander wherever it will.
Using lateral thinking techniques we can generate creative ideas on demand. There are other creative ideas which bubble to the surface given time and quietness of the mind; they are the ones which this point addresses.

4. Try a small measure of something which doesn't harm you in any way which your preconditioning suggests you won't like.
Our innate responses are sometimes adversely conditioned by the prejudices of others. Stretch yourself and discover whether your creativity has been constrained by some of these.

5. Work to music that inspires you.
Classical music is usually recommended as the most effective. If this goes against your grain, stretch yourself and see if it works (see point 4!). If not, experiment to determine what type of music is most effective for you.

6. Take a break during a high intensity task when you find yourself stuck.
Do something completely different, even monotonous, for 10 minutes, or if necessary commit it to your subconscious and sleep on it.

7. Actively seek different stimuli:
At least once per month buy and read a magazine completely unrelated to your career or business or usual interests.You will find parallels to problems in the most unexpected places, the areas of interest may be completely different but the challenge is nevertheless the same and guess what - it's already been solved.

8. Go somewhere you have never been before.
It does not have to be exotic, just different. It does not have to be a million miles away, it may be a facility in your city you've never previously visited. If you are a city girl, it may be a spot in the country and yes, for a country boy it may be the city heat and the asphalt. Don't let these ideas limit you, take the cruise anyway!

9. Do what your intuition suggests.
For many of us today our intuition represents a muscle which is rarely tested. Just like any other muscle, if you don't use it you'll lose it!

10. Carry a book or a mini tape recorder everywhere and capture ALL the ideas your subconscious feeds you.
Reinforce for your subconscious its own importance and it will work even harder for you.

Copyright CoachVille ABOUT THE AUTHOR Martin Sawdon of Coaching-Works! has a passion for the creation of super-successful organizations - Sustainable Workplaces™. As a coach he has been described as a velvet-gloved bulldozer and as a speaker, powerful, engaging, outstanding. To learn more about Martin and Sustainable Workplaces™, Sustainable Relationships, and the Sustainable You, visit his website ==>
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A simple creative thinking exercise for kids to play at

Here's a simple creative thinking game you can play with your kids that will encourage them to become brilliant lateral thinkers. The idea is to show your kid a simple household object, such as a saucepan or a sieve, and simply ask them: WHAT ELSE COULD THIS BE?

This magic question is enough to launch their creative thinking on lateral pathways that will have them gushing out with new ideas in no time at all. Great for car, train or plane journeys. Your kids will love this little game and soon come to initiate it themselves, with the obvious benefit that they grow up to be great at lateral thinking, with swift, fluid, creative minds. Wahoo!

Creative Thinking with Fake I.D.

How wearing a "mask" and adopting a fake I.D. can unleash a torrent of creative brilliance!

Creativity eluding you? To trigger a torrent of creative brilliance you might need to get away from YOU and try adopting a fake ID! Do as writers do and adopt a nom de plume, a pen name, and you'll give yourself a whole different personality to think with! Hollywood is full of... read more here:

Creative Thinking with Buckminster Fuller

The primary creative strategy of Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller that can turn your life around and unleash your power for astonishing creative breakthroughs, innovations and world-changing ideas!

Read here:

Tapping the Genius Within

By Dr. Phil Winkelmans

Many years ago at a Monastery at Pecos New Mexico I had a dream. I was descending down a damp dungeon like stairway that emptied out into a huge cavern. At the far end of the cavern were three cells with barred doors that appeared like they had been locked and shut for many years. I approached them with a fair amount of apprehension wondering what I would find inside these cells.

What do you think I found? Well much to my surprise what I saw in each of the cells were mounds of riches, diamonds, gold, silver and all manner of valuable jewels. The question is; where did this dream information come from -- my ego or my soul?
I feel the dream was my soul's way of telling me that I had been secretly hiding from myself and others, vast amounts of riches in the form of wisdom, knowledge, gifts and abilities that I hadn't allowed myself to become conscious of.

Today other levels of consciousness are referred to as 'bilateral thinking' and are being explored by scientists, psychologists and academics. Studies now show that geniuses are not usually born that way. In fact many like Albert Einstein had trouble at school. What they did have in common was their ability to develop bilateral thinking processes that allowed them to go beyond rational thought to other internal sources of information.

For example, Einstein was said to shut down his ego brain and do a process he called 'word image streaming', which brought forth the unique information that made him famous. Thomas Edison usually took a nap in the afternoon and then programmed his dreams in such a way as to provide answers for the inventions he was working on.

Spiritual teachers, mystics and gurus have referred to this other information source as the 'soul'. "The soul is the spiritual and immortal part in man...the animating or essential part." - Webster's Dictionary. The word 'psyche' in Greek means 'soul'. Therefore, psychology originally meant the study of the 'soul'. However, today much of psychology's focus is more on the ego than in the area of the soul.

The two alternative centers of information I focus on are...

The mind involving the ego

The heart involving the soul

Have you ever wondered where you go when someone tells you to "Get out of your head"? The truth is we do have other places to go, such as our heart. Who of us has not experienced the pangs of the heart, or been misled by its fickleness? Much of the information it holds can be related to some of our deeper emotions and feelings.

The intelligence of the heart now has scientific support. Heart Math Inc. has reported studies showing 65% of the heart's cells are actually neurological cells similar to those found in the brain. Also, the brain gives out messages that the heart turns off, as if to say the heart at some levels is wiser than the brain.

Many heart recipients report altered ways of thinking. One of the most amazing examples was reported by Doctor Paul Pearsall, in his book 'The Heart's Code.' A young eight year old girl who received her heart from a young lady who was murdered. Once she recovered from her operation she became so agitated and convinced of who the murderer was that her mother and doctor called the police. The eight year old girl was then able to lead the police to the murderer of her young heart donor.

Notice in the following quote how two thousand years ago the Bible indicates that they already knew about these alternative sources of information. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind." (Mat: 22-37) Heart - Soul - Mind. We could also say the Heart, Soul and Ego.

By now you may be wondering how to get in touch with the deeper and often more intelligent sources of information that comes through the soul. There are many ways to approach this, dreams and meditation being just a couple. Recently there has been an increased focus in the area of bilateral thinking in connection with the soul. Many scientist and psychologists are forging ahead in this area. Examples are; Dr. Scott Peck's book 'Denial of the Soul,' Thomas Moore's 'Care of the Soul' and Gary Zukov's 'Heart of the Soul,' just to mention a few.

In my experience, the benefits of accessing the soul are unlimited. Going to your soul allows you to access your deepest wisdom, intelligence, intuition, creativity, inspiration, happiness and joy that is without limits and is available to everyone.

Dr. Phil Winkelmans has for the past several years been working with psycho-spiritual bilateral thinking technologies. He has written the internationally acclaimed book 'The Art of Purposeful Being: Your Destiny Project,' and has recently developed a Tools For The Soul™ Kit. His 'Unlocking Your Soul's Secrets' Seminar is a self-solution process bridging the gap between the ego and soul. It accesses intuitive information centers to get unparalleled results from beyond the intellect and offers a fascinating mix of psycho-spiritual and scientific counseling self-healing techniques. For more information please visit The Self Directional Institute.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Creative Thinking with Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a term coined by Tony Buzan to describe a creative thinking process that he has made world-famous. Tony Buzan is a brilliant teacher and author of many books on creativity, learning and memory, and mind mapping is his finest contribution to the world. It is a brilliant method of putting your thoughts into a visual format that encourages and fosters the process of thinking creatively -- and it is a great study aid too. Mind mapping has it's origins in history. Leonardo da Vinci used visual mapping thinking techniques and the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson invented a creative thinking process called...

Read on at:

Creative Thinking with Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison's contribution to creative thinking is immense and YOU can immediately benefit from the techniques that he used to become the most famous inventor of all time. To unleash your own creative genius and inventive power, start to apply the following Thomas Edison ideas and attitudes in your own creative thinking sessions:

Creative Thinking with Leonardo da Vinci

To unleash your creative intelligence and start thinking like Leonardo da Vinci, you can emulate some of the things he did to be more creative:
Read article here:

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Lazy Way To Creative Thinking

Be a bit Taoist when you are presented with a creative challenge. Pause, wait and allow the message of the challenge to be fully absorbed. You need to listen fully and with attention, allowing the challenge to take shape before you. You need to yield to it. Don't be in a rush to get your thinking cap on, to shout out your great answers so that you can impress others and show off that you are the creative "ideas person" in the group.

Creative thinking occurs on many levels and while your instant impressions are often extremely valuable and may hold the thread of an answer, most of us miss them. Those fleeting insights are just that... fleeting, gone within a moment, and then what follows immediately afterwards is... the obvious, the trite, the unimaginative.

No, you want to be a bit lazy. Relax into your ideas. Let your deeper mental processes go to work on the challenge while you go quiet and restful. Ruminate like a big rusty colored cat sitting on the fence in the sunshine, paws tucked under.

Be the sounding board for other members of your brainstorming group. Listen. Let them express their ideas fully. Be wary of "pretending to listen" while actually going over your own ideas in your head.

Be infinite -- absorbant -- quiet -- still -- reflective.

You can do something completely unrelated -- or even take a nap -- and then when you've given it some time, some lazy spacey time in which the creative challenge just gets to exist and "float" in your awareness, then you can get focussed and allow your ideas to formulate and be harvested into your idea journal.

This is the lazy way to creative thinking.


Creative Thinking Techniques: What's Funny About This?

Jokes, humor, wisecracks, gags -- these are all expressions of the creative mind because inevitably they leap from one pattern of thought to another through an unexpected creative leap.

You can use humor and BEING FUNNY as a crowbar to your genius vault. Having a laugh will prise open the big old door that traps your creative spark and you can then freely apply your creative thinking to more "serious" tasks.

Here's your primary 'mindset' for finding humor in all situations:


This question can help set up your mind's search and find capability so that it can see the funny side in any situation. Somehow focussing on laughter and having fun, spotting what is funny, bypasses the serious requirements and demands of being creative.

Creative thinking should be fun. Have fun with your creative thinking. Be playful -- playfulness is a state of being open and flexible -- it let's a lot more new ideas in.

Hang out with funny people. Brainstorm with others who have a good sense of humor and encourgae them to express that humor and use it freely in the brainstorm session. If you are rolling with laughter in your chair, you are going to come up with some great ideas -- as well as the ones that make you giggle to your bones.

Many of the best ideas are born with tears of mirth streaming down the faces of the those doing the brainstorming.

See also: Chicken-in-the-traffic techniques to unleash wit and humor! Wisecrack your way to enhanced intelligence and happiness!

Brains Accelerate Into Creativity As We Sleep

The Best Reason Ever to Sleep In

Need an idea? Go to sleep. Our brains go into creative overdrive as we snooze.

The most creative people in the world may be those lazy folks who sleep late and frequently indulge in mid-afternoon naps. Bed--not the office or school--is the most fertile breeding ground for new ideas, reports the BBC News Online of new research from East of England Development Agency.

The researchers found that fully 33 percent of the people they polled said they get their best ideas in bed, while only 11 percent have their top ideas at work. The trick to generating the flow of creativity is to relax and get a break from everyday pressures.

Psychology professor Richard Wiseman told the BBC News Online, "In our dreams we produce unusual combinations of ideas that can seem surreal, but every once in a while result in an amazingly creative solution to an important problem."

The most exciting news from this research is how easy it is for us to think up great ideas, but if bosses want that creative energy directed at work, they need to change how we work.

"Ideas can come to people at any time and in any place, but to fully reap the rewards of a creative mind, people's brains need to be primed for a new way of thinking," Wiseman advised the BBC.

Short of installing beds in the office, what can be done to boost creativity during the workday?

Decorate the office with flowers and plants.

Designate a room on the west side of the building as a "creativity" room. Using the principles of feng shui, the west symbolizes creativity and new ideas.

Stock the "creativity" room with food and drinks, which offer a great way to get people to relax and stimulate ideas.

Paint the office walls white, cream, or silvery gray.

So for the good of your company or your school work, sleep in. And take a nap in the afternoon!

See also: Sleep to Succeed! Sleep and dream your way to brilliant ideas!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Creative Thinking Mastery - 5 Steps To Fearless Creative Thinking

If you want to practice dynamic, fearless, brazen creative thinking, follow these 5 easy steps:

1. Prepare to STINK when you start to think!
Perfection is for saints and I've never met one. Your creative thinking is going to stink at times. You are going to come up with some truly hideous ideas. Probably a big steaming pile of them. And that's great! You should be mentally willing to be a human craptivator -- churning out bad ideas. Go for quantity before you look for quality. In amongst those stinkers you will find some gems. Diamonds are found in the dirt, remember. And those 'crappy' ideas? Well, they will fertilise your mind and combine to make new ideas and innovations. And some may not be that 'crappy' after all -- just weird and different. Many fortunes have been made with what seem like really awful ideas.

2. Inflate your EGO!
You've got to think with confidence. Get off the self-pity train. Stop saying that you aren't creative, that you wouldn't know a good idea if it slapped you in the face and screamed, "HEY, I'M A GOOD IDEA!" You were born a genius. You've got the same tool set as the greatest minds that ever lived. When you dream at night, your brain creates WORLDS for pete's sake! So tell that inner wallflower to, "Shut the %*$! up!" and start telling yourself the truth: You are a genius, you CAN do creative thinking, and you sure as hell can come up with brilliant creative ideas. Big up yourself!

3. Make it a competition!
You can take a juicy pleasure in coming up with more and better ideas than anyone else. 'Genius' has a nice ring about it, don't you think? Wouldn't you prefer to be known as the go-to guy (or gal) when innovation is on the agenda? So, become 'the ideas person', 'the brainiac' for your company, family or school. Get yourself a bunch of notebooks and journals and never be without one -- and make it your daily challenge to write down the ideas that come to you. Once you start capturing these ideas -- yes, even the stinkers -- you create a creative thinking feedback loop with your brain that tells it: I want these ideas. Gimme more! And you'll get more.

4. That blinking creative thinking!
Malcolm Gladwell's book, 'Blink', talks about rapid cognition and the snap judgements and impressions that occur within two seconds of being presented with a new situation, person, problem or challenge. These fleeting impressions can often give us a more complete understanding of an experience before we get bogged down in too much detail. Psychologists refer to this as the 'power of thin slicing', the capability of human to make sense of situations based upon the thinnest slice of experience. You can use this rapid-fire thinking ability as a creative thinking technique. First, make sure you always have a notebook or audio recording device available to make note of your immediate impressions and thoughts. These could be bolts from the blue -- seriously important creative ideas. Secondly, challenge yourself to generate ideas at speed. Get someone to fire a description of a creative challenge to you and immediately start scribbling down every thought and impression that comes to you. Or ask yourself a series of questions designed to generate as many varies ideas as possible -- at speed. This is turbo-charged creative thinking!

5. Be the Creator!
When you create something -- anything, a child, a book, a building, a picture, a pie -- and then you look at it, you realise something wonderful. "That would have never existed if it weren't for me!" The beauty of creative thinking is in the realisation that it doesn't matter if something's been done before because it's never been done by YOU. We all bring something unique and different to what we do and create. Right now, there are all kinds of energetic vacuums in the Universe and these are the things that you haven't created YET. They are out there in potentiality. And there's a kind of expectation and demand upon you to create them. If you don't get off your butt and start doing it, those things will never exist. And you just don't know how that will affect the Universe and the lives of those in it. So get busy... please!

Fearless creative thinking comes naturally from the decision to be creative. Pratice these 5 easy steps to help release and focus your creative thinking ability, adjust your attitudes and generate the brilliant ideas that you are capable of.

Wily Walnut invites you to unleash your inner genius for creative thinking at, your first stop for FREE articles on creative thinking, accessing your genius, boosting IQ, brainpower and intelligence, and brainstorming for innovative ideas. To grab a copy of Wily's THE BRAIN SQUEEZER ezine, email:

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The French Riots Creative Thinking Technique

The French Riots Creative Thinking Technique

By Wily Walnut

Can anything be used as a creative thinking technique? Let's take the current story of the French Riots sweeping through France and see if we can squeeze a creative thinking technique out of that...

First you need a problem, a source of dissatisfaction, something that drives you buggy and makes you seethe with a sense of injustice.

Got it?

Okay, now you need to get off your butt and go and DESTROY something!

...In France, they burn cars.

Hmm, YOU don't need to go that far. But, hey, you do need to get your energy up and on fire. Destroying something seems to call up your primal energy - that violence of the caveman. You'll use that to create change.

In France, they are calling attention to their grievances by rioting and burning stuff. Whether they achieve any long term improvements as a result is yet to be seen. But sometimes releasing all that pent-up frustration can unleash your creativity and make you feel better anyway. Certainly it's a way of focussing more awareness on a problem - and that too is more likely to result in more solutions being generated.

Your task is to destroy your complacency, the old vehicles of thought that have got you to where you are, but aren't gonna take you where you need to go for fresh ideas, innovation and inspiration. So burn those old bangers!

In breaking something up, you often spot new ways to put them back together again.

The sustained night-after-night rioting is forcing France to pay attention to the grievances of it's poorer ethnic communities. Creative thinking also requires a sustained energy, a defiant attitude that will not let the brain go back to sleep. You need to keep fanning the fires - keep asking questions, keep looking for solutions. In this you will be battling the status quo and it WILL resist you.

France is currently being polarised between those who see a need for compassionate solutions and those who want to use massive force to quash the rioters and 'restore balance'. Sometimes the term 'restore balance' is a euphemism for keeping things exactly the same. The Status Quo prefers the safe and familliar - with all its difficulties - because it is the known. The unknown is frightening -- after all, it COULD be anything!

The status quo will rear up in you as well. It's far easier to give up and go back to sleep than sustain your creative thinking and come up with real solutions. As humans we are biologically programmed to seek the safe and secure. That instinct can thwart our powers to create and innovate. Being a creative thinker takes guts. You need to start a riot in your thinking - even when you are comfortable and living in the nicer suburbs of thought - so that you can discover the new, the improved, the better.

We have the power to think creatively. We need to riot against the unfair, the problematic, the difficulties. Creative thinking begins with destruction.

In France, they may stamp out the rioters, but they will still need to start a national creative thinking process to solve the problems being revealed on out TVs.

And you, you need to look at your problems and start rioting against your old ways of thinking. Start burning those old habits of thought. Adopt a defiant attitude to the things that try to hold you down, and hold you back. Focus all your attention on the problems and let the creative thinking begin.

About the Author:

Discover how to Unleash Your Genius For Creative Thinking with Wily Walnut at

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Creative Thinking Through Notebooking

Here's a really simple way to unleash your genius for creative thinking.

Let's call it notebooking because it involves getting a notebook and jotting down the thoughts and observations that meander through your mind during the day.

Go to your local supermarket or corner store and grab yourself a handy little notebook. It should be small enough to easily slip into your coat pocket or handbag. I've got one that has a little elastic band attached to it that slips over the front cover and keeps it secure when I am carrying it around.

You'll also need a pen or pencil that you can carry easily, like a Bic.

Okay. So your task is to start jotting down your observations... and your goal to get you in the habit of doing this, is to write 50 things down a day. You can do more, but don't do any less - at least to begin with. Now don't worry, although this may sound like a lot, you are really just making fleeting notes.

The fact is that great ideas pass throug your head all the time, and you entertain them without really being fully conscious of them... you just don't recognise the value of them and it is so easy to forget them and lose them forever.

With your notebook you will capture these ideas. But your focus is also upon observation.

So, you might be walking along the sidewalk and suddenly notice a dandelion that has pushed up between the cracks of the paving slabs - and you are hit by that "bright defiant splash of yellow" that contrasts so vividly against the dirty grey paving ... so you whip out your notebook, and write down something like:

Dandelion, bursting through the prison walls, bright defiant splash of yellow

... or whatever your particular observation about it is.

What you are doing is:

1. Training your mind to be more observant

2. Telling your mind that these observations and thoughts are important to you (important enough for you to note them down)

3. Providing a sense of inner space for ideas to flow and an inner security that you will recognise them and acknowledge them by writing them down.

The results this practice will have on you:

  • You will become more observant
  • Your intelligence will increase because you are capturing more information, becoming sharper and making more neural connections
  • Ideas will stream into your mind on a regular basis
  • Your creativity with words and images will definitely increase

The best times to practice notebooking:

  • All the time!
  • When going for a walk (or run, but its harder to notebook running!)
  • When deliberately focussing on a particular creative challenge - your observations may seem completely unrelated to your challenge at first but press on... the brain has its own mystery and you'll never fully understand the way it makes creative associations.

For more creative thinking techniques and ideas on unleashing your creative genius, visit me at

Smart Regards,


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Using Hypnosis to Increase Your Creativity

What is Hypnosis
Hypnosis suffers from many myths and misconceptions. For instance, who hasn’t heard the stories of people under hypnosis being “forced” to act like a chicken? However, hypnosis is actually a natural state that we move in and out of many times a day.

Have you ever driven somewhere only to arrive with no memory of parts of the trip? Or how about sitting in a lecture and realizing that you stopped paying attention to the speaker because you were daydreaming. At times like these, your conscious mind becomes engrossed in other things but your unconscious mind still keeps active.

This is known as natural trance and happens to all of us. Research shows that the left side of our brain, the rational, analytical side, tends to operate in 90-120 minute blocks. After this length of time we find ourselves daydreaming or lacking concentration. This is simply our brain taking a short break, refreshing itself. When this happens, the creative, less analytical, side of the brain takes over. Hypnosis mirrors this process by tapping into the creative part of the brain to make lasting changes.

Rather than losing control during hypnosis, most people simply end up feeling very comfortable and relaxed. During this relaxed state, a person suspends critical judgment but the subconscious mind remains alert. This allows access to the subconscious mind which is receptive to suggestion. However, you can’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do. Rather, hypnosis can be used to allow a person’s conscious and subconscious minds to believe in the same positive message.

It is important to note that the root cause of most physical and emotional problems is in the subconscious mind. These negative beliefs are formed from past experiences, often ones that are outside conscious memory or awareness. Hypnosis is a way of accessing and releasing that information and the accompanying emotional distress. Because hypnosis accesses the subconscious mind, it can also be used to enhance personal capabilities and performance. Hypnosis has been used successfully for a wide range of applications including improved memory and creativity, stopping unwanted habits, and controlling stress and anxiety.

Hypnosis and Creativity
True creativity seems to happen by itself because it is a product of the unconscious mind. In fact, the harder you consciously try to be creative, the poorer your creative problem solving skills become. The problem is made worse by self-limiting beliefs (“I’ll never come up with a good idea”) and the tendency to analyse and reject any ideas too quickly.

Hypnosis can help bypass these barriers that exist at the conscious level and let your unconscious mind come up with the sorts of ideas, solutions and innovations that it is so good at.

It is also important that you are relaxed to be creative. In fact, you are most creative when you are asleep – when you dream. Hypnosis allows you to enter this relaxed dream-like state on demand.

It used to be that the only way to experience hypnosis was to be hypnotized in a clinical setting. Now, a number of good hypnosis CDs exist that allow you to get the benefits of hypnosis in the comfort of your home. Using a combination of relaxation techniques, visualisation exercises and positive affirmations, these CDs can boost your creative problem solving abilities in many aspects of your life.

David Allen is an award-winning inventor with a strong interest in simple and practical methods to enhance creative thinking. Visit for more easy tools and techniques to increase your creativity.

How to Mix Creativity and Negativity

Do you know any people who are always negative whenever new creative ideas are proposed? These are the people who are always saying, "That will never work," or "That's a bad idea". You may even be such a person yourself, always looking for and finding the flaws in any plan.
Is being negative about new creative ideas always bad?

It depends.

An ability to be critical of new ideas can be a force for evil, but it can also be a force for good. People who like to pick apart and criticize new ideas can actually be very helpful in some stages of the creative process.

People who are constantly negative and critical are often able to easily spot what is wrong with a new idea. Because people who are negative can easily see problems in a new proposal, these people can actually make very important contributions to a project.

They can help their team mates find ways to correct potential problems in a new project before these problems happen.

The big danger when people are always negative about new creative ideas is that very often, their automatic negative comments can stop a good proposal before it gets started.

If these people make their negative evaluations at the early stages when others are trying to come up with solutions, they can stifle all the creativity in the room. The other people involved may get discouraged, embarrassed, or angry, and not bother coming up with any more ideas.
People who are consistently negative often have a hard time being creative themselves. This is because their own creative self may be too scared to come out anymore, afraid of inner criticism or ridicule.

In many cases, people who are always negative and who are critical of new ideas are actually jealous of the creativity of others. Many of the people who like to analyze and criticize new creative ideas are not really trying to make the new ideas work better. They may actually be trying to hurt and insult the person who came up with a good creative idea.

You can often tell when a person is negative just to be destructive. They make their attacks in a hurtful way, with sarcastic comments designed to personally attack and hurt the person who proposed them. This kind of negativity has no place in the judgment and evaluation of new creative ideas.

When a person automatically has negative judgements about each new idea they encounter, they are no longer evaluating each idea on its own merits. They are not being objective. They just feel compelled to look for all the reasons why something won’t work.

When negative evaluation of new creative ideas becomes consistent and automatic, it is no longer a realistic assessment. The danger is that negative thinking will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you focus only on why something won't work, you won't be focussed on why it can work. You won’t be trying to create the circumstances to make it work.

Here is an exercise to help you become better at finding the positive aspects of new and creative ideas.

Whenever you encounter a new idea, instead of thinking and saying, "This will never work," think of ways to make the idea work. Don't just try to think of one way, but think of several ways to make it work. Improve the new idea. Explore new mental pathways. Come up with even more new ideas.

Practice assuming that the idea can work, and tell yourself that you will find ways to make it work. Think to yourself, "What would have to happen for this idea to be successful?"

You do not actually have to believe in the new idea. You are doing this new type of thinking as a mental exercise so that you can improve a mental muscle that is underdeveloped in you. It may not feel right for you to do this, and it may not be easy.

But remember, you are already very good at finding out what’s wrong with an idea.

You need practice finding what's right with an idea. You need practice learning to find ways to make ideas work.

If you consistently look for ways to make new ideas work, you will find that your own creative abilities will also improve.

This article is taken from the new book by self help author Royane Real titled "How You Can Be Smarter – Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better and Be More Creative" If you want to learn ways to boost your creativity and your brain power, download it today at

Acting on Your Creativity

"When you begin to act on your creativity, what you find inside may be more valuable than what you produce for the external world."

That quote from the book "Claiming Your Creative Self: True Stories from the Everyday Lives of Women" by Eileen M. Clegg is a reminder that creativity is an exploration of our psyche, our inner selves - that it isn't just about being identified as an "artist" producing a "work of art."

In "The Woman's Book of Creativity" author C Diane Ealy, Ph.D. [pictured] notes she's been listening to women talk about their creative process for years. "I am always amazed by how many of them describe wonderfully rich experiences with their creativity and then tell me they don't see themselves as being creative!," she writes.

"These women dismiss, discount, and rob themselves of their most powerful aspect, the characteristic which defines who they uniquely are as individuals - their creativity. So if it does nothing else I want this book to help you validate your creative process."

Creativity can show up in many of the ways we live life. Riane Eisler noted in "Sacred Pleasure" that while this capacity for creativity varies from person to person, "it can be developed - or hindered... The creativity we invest in our day-to-day lives is often the most extraordinary since... it can give far more meaning, and even sanctity, to our lives."

One of the keys to more fully accessing and using creativity is attitude. "We lock ourselves into paradigms and box ourselves in," notes Roko Sherry Chayat, abbot of the Syracuse Zen Center in New York. "Creativity comes when we view our situations in a fresh way."

Jodie Foster (in an interview we did about her film "Contact") said she appreciated the story's interest in scientific creativity: "The greatest scientific discoveries were all made by young people, who were able to say 'Well you know, damn it, two plus two equals five because why not?' They are at that time in their lives where they want to risk."

According to a number of researchers and writers, girls often have had their creativity dismissed and those "free impulses" discouraged.

Dr. Ealy notes in her book that repressing creativity can lead a girl to "become very conforming, to lack confidence in her thinking, and to be overly dependent on others for decision-making... The adult who isn't expressing her creativity is falling short of her potential. Inwardly she feels this, experiencing a vague sense of dissatisfaction intruding into everything she does."

Creativity can flourish more when it is part of your whole being as a person, in the flow of life, and not just a "segment" you do when you "get the time."

A list by Moondance magazine ("The Ten Commandments of Creative Women") includes some advice to help encourage creativity: "You will honor your creativity by nurturing it... You will allow yourself to take creative risks... You will allow yourself and your art to be a work in progress."

Douglas Eby writes about psychological and social aspects of creative expression and achievement. His site has a wide range of articles, interviews, quotes and other material to inform and inspire: Talent Development Resources

The First 3 Secrets to Boosting Your Creativity

I have professed to be the ultimate left-brained nerd. For years I saw myself as the analytical automaton, sorely lacking in creativity. And creativity is something that I really valued. Think about it - being creative is defined as “having or showing imagination and artistic or intellectual inventiveness.” Who wouldn’t want that quality?

As I am also a professed personal growth addict, I have worked hard on boosting my own creativity. And I am happy to report that I do consider myself much improved in that area. If you can identify with me, don’t despair. It really was not as hard as I thought. How did I do it? Here are some of my secrets to help you get started.

1. Exercise your creative muscle regularly
There have been lots of studies on the human brain and evidence shows that our brains works very much like a muscle, which means that the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. In order to boost your creative muscle, start using it every opportunity you get, especially when it is just for fun.

Here are some things you can do:
• Pick up some brain teaser puzzles and work on those
• Instead of reading from a book, choose a toy from your children’s collection and make up a story about it at bedtime
• Play games that engage the mind such as mah jong or chess
• Approach things differently – instead of writing down a list of words, try using pictures or symbols

2. Identify your Creative Environments and Schedule Time There
Do you know where you do your best thinking? For most of us, it is not sitting at our desks. My best ideas come to me in three places: the shower, on my long walks, and in the car. There is something about the isolation and the relaxed state I’m in while engaging in these activities that allow my mind to come up with solutions to problems. So your assignment is to figure out where your best creative environments are and schedule yourself to spend time there.

A word of caution though – once you have identified what these environments are, don’t spoil it for yourself by expecting that you will be doing creative thinking every time you are there. Look for it as a special bonus, like a prize you get when you open up the right bottle of Coke. If I went for a walk specifically because I need some creativity, it doesn’t come as easily. But if I just let my mind wander to whatever it wants to think about, the ideas start to come. Learn to relax into your creativity.

3. Adopt a “the more the merrier” attitude
One of the books that has helped me develop my creative muscle is “A Whack on the Side of the Head” by Roger von Oech. It is a fun little book and I highly recommend it. In it, he talks about the “right answer” and the “second right answer”, and the next right answer. His point is that while we are in school, we are trained that there is only ONE right answer to test questions. And we adopt that same approach to everything else in life.

In order to boost our creativity, we have to remember that there is often more than ONE right answer. So, don’t just stop after you have one answer, keep going and see how many other ones you can come up with. Make it a challenge. It doesn’t matter how outrageous it is. The most significant inventions seemed completely preposterous at the time they were first considered. Don’t start judging when you are in the brainstorming phase. That can come later.

When you start using these suggestions, I think you will notice an improvement in your creative ability, as I have. I must admit that now I really enjoy my creative activities, like writing these articles, brainstorming with clients, and just letting my imagination run wild. And if you stay tuned, I will have a follow up article on this subject as there is much more great information I want to share with you.

Copyright 2005 Inez Ng
Are your business results suffering due to an ineffective leadership team ? Find out what coaching with Inez Ng can do for your leadership team at You can receive helpful articles like this each month by joining her list. Want to know about saving time handling emails? Check out her ebook at

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Using Your Brain Waves to Enhance Your Creativity

The brain normally operates at different frequencies, depending on the type of mental activity involved. These frequencies are divided into four main types of brainwave patterns:

· Beta waves (between 13-40 HZ) are associated with peak concentration, heightened alertness and visual acuity.

· Alpha waves (between 7-12 HZ) are associated with deep relaxation and are considered the gateway to our creativity

· Theta waves (between 4-7 HZ) are associated with the twilight state that we experience fleetingly as we drift off to sleep and are strongly linked with creativity and intuition.

· Delta waves (between 0-4 HZ.) are associated with deep sleep.

As we slow the brainwave patterns from beta to alpha to theta to delta, there is a corresponding increase in balance or synchronization between the two hemispheres of the brain. Scientists have noted that these slower brainwave patterns are accompanied by deep tranquillity, flashes of creative insight, euphoria, intensely focused attention, and enhanced learning abilities.
Several audio programs are available that make it easy to control brainwave activity. The programs work by using a series of tones at precise frequencies to induce the desired brainwave activity. The tones are masked by soothing classical music or natural rainfall sounds. Many of these programs use a “binaural beat” where different frequencies are delivered to each ear.

When listened to using headphones, the two hemispheres of the brain work together to integrate the two sounds & guide the brain into specific frequency patterns.

These synchronized brainwaves have long been associated with meditative states. The reason that binaural beats work to induce these states of consciousness has to do with the physiology of the brain. Each hemisphere of the brain has its own sound-processing center that receives signals from each ear. When a binaural beat is presented to both ears, it causes an increase in the communication between the two hemispheres until the brain synchronizes the different frequencies into one.

Binaural beats that are embedded in music or background sounds can be used to enhance creativity and intuition as well as for related applications such as promoting relaxation, meditation, stress reduction, super learning, telepathy, out-of-body experience and lucid dreaming. The binaural beats can also be used with positive affirmations and visualization techniques to increase their effect.

The response to binaural beat stimulation may differ between people. For instance, its effectiveness can depend on the person’s ability to relax and focus their attention. However, this resistance can often be overcome by practices such as humming, breathing exercises, and biofeedback techniques.

A highly regarded binaural beat program is the Insight CD which provides great value at approximately $35 for the basic program (compared to hundreds of dollars for some other programs). An even better value is the combined Insight CD and Focus 2-CD set for about $48.

The additional Focus CDs promote different brainwave activity levels for different applications such as brainstorming, working on the computer or exercising in order to enhance concentration, clarity and problem-solving skills.

David Allen is an award-winning inventor with a strong interest in simple and practical methods to enhance creative thinking. Visit for more easy ways to increase your creativity.

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Creative Thinking versus Critical Thinking

The process of creative thinking is often, mistakenly, intertwined with critical thinking. There is a tendency to write and edit simultaneously, couple hypothesis generation and evaluation, combine problem identification with solution.

To increase effectiveness, one should first apply creative thought, which is meant to be daring, uninhibited, free-spirited, imaginative, unpredictable, and revolutionary. The trick is to ignore content and maximise the size and richness of the idea pool.

Second, critical thinking is exercised to achieve applied creativity. This is reductive, logical, focused, conservative, practical and feasible. During this stage, the idea pool is reduced to achievable, appropriate ideas.

Now onto the Idea Pool itself:

Maximising the size and richness of the idea pool is a conscious process that has a lot in common with a) lateral thinking and b) the elicitation of tacit knowledge. It is the pre-critical thinking phase and some elements include:

a) Coming up with ideas for the sake of generating ideas.
b) Using a variety of stimuli and frameworks to open up as many pathways as possible.
c) Not having a conscious direction.
d) Not stopping when a goal seems fulfilled.
e) Consciously stimulating change in direction.

In short, the key principle is to produce first and scrutinize second – writing and rewriting are two separate processes. This applies across the board, from business problem solving to arts such as screenwriting. The more people try to understand meaning, the less they produce.

Kal Bishop, MBA,

Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK and founder of He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led improv workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. Kal regularly conducts workshops and presentations in London and can be reached via

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Top Ten Brainjuicers For Creative Thinking

By: Linda Naiman

In order to enhance your creativity, your body and mind should be operating at peak efficiency. Try these brainjuicers to boost your brain power.

1. Make sure you exercise.
Exercise juices up the brain with nutrients in the form of glucose. The more glucose it uses, the more active the brain. It increases oxygen in the bloodstream that is delivered to the brain, releases endorphins into the bloodstream (the runner's high) and increases nerve connections to the brain.

2. Use rhythmic activities to give your brain a chance to incubate.
Any rhythmic activity such as running, walking, swimming, scrubbing, chopping quiets mindful chatter, allowing your imagination to flow. Einstein got so many ideas while showering he installed waterproof material to record his ideas.

3. Listen to music, especially music from Mozart's era.
Music forges new neural pathways that stimulate your creativity. Research shows that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. In a study at U.C. Irvine, researchers studied two groups of three year olds. One group studied piano and sang daily in chorus. The other group did not. In eight months the musical three year olds were adept puzzle masters. They scored 80% higher in spatial intelligence than the non musical group. (Newsweek Feb.19, 1996)

4. Try Aroma Therapy to activate your brain.
One day, as I was falling asleep, while listening to endless speeches at a conference, my brain suddenly perked up when I caught a whiff of lemon from someone's cologne. I immediately felt alert and found it much easier to pay attention to the presenter. I discovered aroma therapy really is useful and I have used it ever since revitalize or to relax.

Energizers include peppermint, cypress and lemon. Relaxants: ylang ylang, geranium and rose. A few drops of essential oils in your bath or in a diffuser will do the trick. You can also put a drop or two in a cotton ball or hanky and inhale. One caveat for the workplace; make sure no-one is allergic to the oils before you use them.

5. Eat foods high in Vitamin B.
Vitamin B is essential for brain power. Sources include peas, beans, liver, kidney, chicken and eggs.

6. Get your minerals.
Boron is essential for memory and attention. Sources include apples, pears and green leafy vegetables.

7. Instead of coffee breaks try gingko biloba and gotu kola herbal teas.
Gingko biloba and gotu kola increase blood flow to the brain. (Check with your doctor first before taking these herbs.)

8. Capture your daydreams.
Daydreaming is a way to incubate the components of a problem and uncover solutions. How can you apply the images and thoughts of your daydream to the project you are working on? How could the image be a metaphor? Can your daydream show you a new perspective?

9. Play with passion!
You can't do great work without personal fulfillment. When people are growing through learning and creativity, they are much more fulfilled and give 127% more to their work. Delight yourself and you delight the world. Remember what you loved to do as a child and bring the essence of that activity into your work. This is a clue to your genius; to your natural gifts and talents. da Vinci, Edison, Einstein and Picasso all loved to play and they loved to explore.

10. Build a brain trust.
Surround yourself with inspiring people from a wide variety of fields who encourage you and stimulate your creativity. Read magazines from a wide variety of fields. Make connections between people, places and things, to discover new business opportunities, and to find solutions to your problems.

There is a famous story about the inventor of Velcro, who happened to have an interest in botany. One day he was walking through a field, when he noticed burrs sticking to his socks. He wondered what made them stick and picked one up to examine its structure. Well you know what happened...

About the Author:
Linda Naiman is a Corporate Alchemist who uses the arts as a strategic tool to help organizations turn leaden thinking into gold. She provides training consulting and coaching focused on creativity leadership and innovation. She is co-author with Arthur VanGundy of "Orchestrating Collaboration at Work" (Wiley 2003) and publishes a popular newsletter on her website at Linda can be contacted at 604-327-1565.
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