Posted by: brandextenders | March 10, 2012

Think You’re Creative as a Rock? Think Again

It was pitch black as I used my cane and an outstretched arm to figure out where I was. Other people around me were doing the same thing in a true case of the blind leading the blind while cars honked and zoomed by. We heard our guide calling us towards him and we groped our way towards his voice, canes tapping the pavement and arms scanning back and forth for obstacles.

No, this wasn’t a nightmare, but a theatrical experience called “Dialogue in the Dark” where you spend some 45 minutes virtually blind and learn what it’s like to live in a world where light is a precious commodity we mostly take for granted.

Creativity, like sight, is something we are all born with in varying degrees. It’s the ability to see connections and possibilities where others do not and to develop those ideas into something viable. While we may not be wired like Michelangelo or JK Rowling (Harry Potter books) or Taylor Swift, we can all do things that will help us tap into that creative streak within. Here are just a few to get you started:

  1. Attend Creative Events: “Dialogue in the Dark” forced my brain to think differently about how to get around. Plays, museums, concerts, movies, art galleries or any other venue where creativity is a key component will open up pathways in your brain that can lead to creative breakthroughs
  2. Exercise: Working out be it at the gym, jogging, walking or yoga has been proven to boost creativity. Studies have shown that almost every area of the brain is enhanced by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and the effect can last for up to two hours. I find some of my most creative ideas during and after I workout at the gym.
  3. Take a break: Some people meditate, some take naps or read or just sit quietly taking in their environment. Resting your mind with inactivity may not instantly generate creative ideas, but this quiet time changes the dynamics of our brains. The noise, noise, noise in our world shuts out creativity for most of us while quiet helps the brain recharge and focus on creative tasks.
  4.  Work on a passion: Hobbies are a great way to get the creative juices flowing be it quilting, model building, jigsaw puzzles, writing, woodworking or whatever. These activities force your brain to make connections in different ways and open new pathways that can make the creative juices flow.
  5. Always be curious: Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in humans it can be a powerful way to generate creative thoughts and ideas. Always be willing to discover new things, ask questions, travel, explore and be enthusiastic about life. Take classes and be willing to learn because you just never know when new information will bring about the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.

Charles H. Duell, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office famously said in 1899 , Everything that can be invented has been invented.” I would hazard to say more ideas and things have been created, patented and trademarked in the past 100 years than at any time in history and his comment shows just how limiting our thoughts can be.

Creativity isn’t always pretty, but it can be funny as Sacha Baron Cohen so aptly portrayed recently at last month’s Oscar awards when he arrived in the costume from his newest movie and was interviewed by Ryan Seacrest:

Rude, crude and obnoxious it may be, but you have to admit it was pretty darn creative.

Ayn Rand, who wrote “Atlas Shrugged” said,A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” You may think you’re creative as a rock, but just remember the guy who took a rock and made millions with his invention of Pet Rocks. Really?

I work with my customers to evaluate their promotional marketing needs and develop creative and measurable solutions based on those needs. I build long-term relationships to become a trusted advisor my clients turn to for their brand extension, promotional product, incentive and other branding needs. Contact me at


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    • There are a couple of great cvtaeire thinking tools. Many organizations use brainstorming games to promote cvtaeire thinking. These include Crawford Slip Method, Whose line is it anyway?, Mind Maps, Night and Day, Scamper System, Carousel Brainstorming. Also SWOT anaylsis is another great tool.Great ideas come from everyone in the organization. Its up to management and company leaders to promote and gather these ideas.

    • Some companies use raibnstorming sessions. People sit at a round table and throw out ideas while 1 person writes them down. They do not criticize or comment on the ideas during the session, just keep them coming and sort it out later.

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