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Creativity makes the Personality



Often the only difference between creative and uncreative people is self-perception. Creative people see themselves as creative and give themselves the freedom to create. Uncreative people do not think about creativity and do not give themselves the opportunity to create anything new.

 It is often in response to spiritual turmoil and spiritual awakening that we begin meaningful journeys as creators.

Can we teach children to be creative? Or, are they born creative? Does creativity occur only in special individuals like Edison, Einstein, Mozart, Picasso or is it a normative process and available to every human being?" These are some of the questions asked most frequently by teachers.
In the past, the general belief was that the creativity could not be taught. This raised a great deal of controversy. The current view, however, holds that potentials can be fulfilled and maximized.


There is hardly any disagreement on the point that creativity—which is the outcome of abilities, habits, motivation, personality qualities—is the product of both genetics and environment. If creativity were determined by heredity alone, there would be little that teachers could do to nurture it. As in case of other mental and physical characteristics, limits of the creative potential are set by genetics, and the environmental factors stimulate the development of creativity. Realistically, it is therefore true that no amount of creativity training can transform an average person into Leonardo da Vinci, Edison, Marie Curie, Shakespeare or Tagore. Highly creative and gifted individuals are probably born with a special combination of creative potential— extraordinary drive that leads them to creative performance. At the same time, it is true that every individual can raise his or her level of creative potential beyond its present level. Efforts to enhance creativity thus will not expand one's inborn potentials but can ensure that these potentials are maximized. School is the place where organized efforts can be made by the teachers to develop in students the basic foundations, abilities, skills and attitudes necessary for creative achievement in life. In order to achieve this, there is a need to provide proper environment for creative expression and training for its development in school right from the early stages. This is possible and has been indicated by research evidence.

What Creativity Involves and How it Works

Attempts have been made to understand creativity from different perspectives: Volumes have been written to define what creativity is. There are arguments for and against different approaches. Views and findings on the subject continue to be debatable not only due to the multiplicity of angles from which creativity is viewed but also due to the type and level of creativity in question. Indeed, any of the positions or viewpoints can be defended or disputed depending upon what one chooses to prove or disprove. Researches, in fact, in each of the approaches have taught us a great deal. Irrespective of the controversies and the unresolved issues, however, there is a considerable body of literature which provides insight into the nature and nurture of creativity and the positive effects of fostering creativity in classroom situations.

 Creativity, as the term is being used in the present context, involves thinking of ideas in novel ways, branching out from the conventional, adopting alternative ways of thinking, seeing unusual implications and finding new relationships between apparently unrelated things to arrive at original ideas.

In creative thinking, a person recognizes the real problem, focuses on different aspects of the problem, is able to become aware of the hidden aspects, open it up or redefine it, identifies sub-problems that are more manageable or can be solved, comes out with alternative solutions and alternative explanations. Researches have shown that the more alternatives a person or group produces, there is greater likelihood of success in solving problems creatively. Thus flexibility in thinking of alternative ideas is important for creative production. Looking for alternatives, however, requires some effort. As soon as a person recognizes a problem, he/ she may find immediately that he/she knows what to do. If the person is unable to recall any solution or cannot recall any satisfactory solution, he/she will still be motivated to obtain more information and make some guesses concerning suitable alternatives. It requires deliberate effort to look for additional alternatives when the person is not satisfied with one or more of the alternatives. A quantity of ideas are generated that would otherwise not be produced/considered. At this stage it is important to avoid the temptation of accepting too easily the alternatives that occur immediately or to avoid premature solutions to the problem and keep one’s mind open for creative ideas.

Although production of a large number of ideas increases the chances of original ideas being produced, there is no guarantee that this will occur. Creative thinking and problem solving require a mental leeway from the obvious and habitual way of thinking. Here the motivational factors are especially important in the production of original ideas. The person must be motivated and comfortable with being different to produce original ideas. In order to facilitate originality of ideas, there has to be some 'playing with' the ambiguities, and imaginatively experimenting with various ideas or combination of idea. At this stage, if adults find something genuine to praise concerning the problem-solving or thinking efforts of students under their direction, this helps in sustaining their efforts. Following this, the problem- solver is led to recognize the weaknesses and deficiencies of his /her solutions or ideas.

Finally, on the basis of these experiences, the problem- solver is encouraged to fill in gaps, redefine the problem, and press his /her thinking further or whatever is needed to obtain a creative solution. As children are used to thinking of one correct or best answer only they are reluctant to think of other possibilities or even" build a pool of ideas for later evaluation. Where this situation exists, it is important to make it clear that it is all .right to produce such ideas, Combining and synthesizing ideas results in new connection of elements. This is done by combining something familiar in order to get a new viewpoint on it. This ability or skill is required for production of original ideas.

The ability to visualize objects and concepts also facilitates the process of creative thinking and plays an important role for successful creative work in art, writing, musical composition, creative dance and many other areas of creative achievement. Images which are vivid, away from the obvious, indicate richness of imagery. Fantasy plays an important role in thinking about future possibilities, looking at situations from different points of view and feeling comfortable with the unknown. It allows one to play with possibilities that may one day become realities. Fantasy helps in thinking about the future in a meaningful way and in thinking creatively.

Successful creative problem-solving also requires that alternatives so produced and chosen be taken up for implementation. There are many accounts of people who invented something or thought of a great idea but did not work out the details of that creative idea. It is not enough to create or invent something, a story, a scientific discovery; it must be elaborated to become of value. A story or an idea can be created in flashes of insight but it takes many hours of writing, rewriting, changing words and sentences here and there to make it communicate 'just right'. It thus further calls for perseverance, commitment and motivation.

From the foregoing, it is clear that expression of creativity depends on the complex interplay of many factors like personal qualities, skills, attitudes and motivations, which are key to the realization of potentialities within everyone. These are essentially related to creativity and are necessary for creative achievement and creative performance in any area of human endeavor. Considering these in a larger perspective, studies of creative behavior among scientists and writers have shown that these qualities are the characteristics of highly creative people. All of these may not be required in equal measure for creative achievement in all, but the presence of these abilities, skills and attitudes facilitates creation, and their interaction contributes to the emergence of creative thinking and behaviour.

Researches also suggest that it is possible to nurture and enhance these qualities through continued practice and exercise, the same way we strengthen other skills and abilities. For the teacher who is concerned about promoting creativity in the students, an understanding of the various abilities and qualities contributing to creativity should be very helpful. Unless they know what these are, they would not have a very clear goal at which to aim.

Describing Creativity

Creative thinking in essence is a way of problem-solving and where there is no problem -solving involved, it is a way of using one's ideas for productive purposes. Every child can be grained to use his mind creatively. It is another thing that one will become an Einstein, a Shakespeare or a Beethoven; another a creative carpenter, a creative salesman, or a creative writer of a good repute. Creativity, as any other ability, functions at different levels. At least five levels of creative thinking have been identified. They are

• expressive level,

• productive level,

• inventive level,

• innovative level, and

• Emergent level.

With most children we can work up to the second level at least, and it is worth doing. Quite a number of them could also work at the third level. There is ample research evidence to show that men fundamentally prefer to learn in creative ways, through creative problem -solving activities.

Rogers has enumerated certain conditions which foster constructive creativity. The basic psychological ingredients of these conditions he calls psychological safety and freedom. Psychological safety according to him may be established by three associative processes. These he describes as:

(I) Accepting the individual as of unconditional worth

The effect of this attitude on the part of the teacher, parent, or therapist is that the individual in question senses a climate of safety and gradually learns that he can be what he is, since he seems to be regarded as of worth no matter what he does. "Hence he has less need of rigidity, can discover what it means to be himself, can try to actualise himself in new and spontaneous ways. He is, in other words, moving toward creativity".

(II) Providing a climate in which external evaluation is absent

Rogers explains this by saying that "when we cease to form judgements of the other individual from our own locus of evaluation, we are fostering creativity. For the individual to find himself in an atmosphere where he is not being evaluated, not being measured by some external standard, is enormously freeing. Evaluation is always a threat, always creates a need for defensiveness, always means that some portion of experience must be denied to awareness".

(III) Understanding empathetically_

Rogers says that it is this "which provides the ultimate in psychological safety". He explains : "If I say that I 'accept' you, but know nothing of you, that is a shallow acceptance indeed, and you realise that it may change if I actually come to know you. But if I understand you empathetically, see you and what you are feeling and doing from your point of view, enter your private world and see it as it appears to you—and still accept you—then this is safety indeed. In this climate you can permit your real self to emerge, and to express itself in varied and novel formings as it relates itself to the world. This is a basic fostering of Creativity”.

Regarding psychological freedom, Rogers points out that when a teacher, parent, therapist or any other facilitating person permits the individual a complete freedom of symbolic expression, creativity is fostered. "This permissiveness gives the individual Complete freedom to think, to feel, to be, whatever is most' inward within himself.”It fosters the openness and the playful and spontaneous juggling of percepts, concepts and meanings which is a part of creativity”.

Everyday Creativity

Everyone is creative on a daily basis, coming up with many small solutions to the problems that arise on any given day. For example, when you didn't have any flour tortillas to make hand-rolled enchiladas, you layered corn tortillas, beef, cheese, and enchilada sauce to create a layered enchilada casserole that your family inhaled. Or, when you and your husband didn't have enough money to go out for a night of dinner and dancing, you had a candlelight pizza dinner and rented your favorite video. At work, when headquarters cancelled the annual bonus, creative thinking helped you come up with a new way to keep your employees motivated by offering them flextime schedules and a group discount at a health club. Thus, creativity allows us to learn what we are capable of. It allows us to realize that our limits are expandable and that it is up to us to stretch these limits of what is possible for our happiness.

Abilities, Skills, Processes and Qualities Associated with Creativity
• Fluency
Generation of many ideas, responses, solutions, questions or suggestions (verbal or non-verbal)
 Flow of ideas or thoughts Number or quantity of relevant responses/ideas.
• Flexibility
Generation of a variety of ideas, questions, causes and solutions, as indicated by shifts in approaches or changes in direction of thinking like giving different uses of objects, different interpretations of a picture, story or different possibilities for solving a problem.
• Originality
Thinking of unusual, uncommon, novel and off-the-beaten-track ideas, questions, suggestions, solutions, or ways of doing things as a result of seeing new relationships among ideas, combining remote ideas, stretching beyond the obvious and commonplace, improving things on new lines and looking at the same thing from a new angle.
• Elaboration
Adding details to the basic idea, a figure or an object and making it fanciful.
 Looking into the implications of ideas.
• Sensitivity
Ability to notice, sense problems, detect missing information and anomalies to spot the uncommon. Sensitivity to feelings, textures, sight, smell and sound.
• Curiosity
Inquiring, observing, wondering, exploring, asking questions, toying with ideas, pondering over the mystery of things ajid objects around, following a particular hunch and then seeing what will happen.
• Visualization and Imagination
Visualizing and building lively, vivid, rich and appealing images, wondering about and predicting things that have never happened. Guessing and hypothesizing.
• Independence
Thinking or doing things on one's own, independent in making judgments, planning, decision making, figuring out things without any help.
• Tolerance of Ambiguity
Tolerating ambiguous, open-ended and messy situations, which puzzle or challenge thinking.
• Complexity
Appreciating and tackling different problems and ideas, bringing order out of chaos, enjoying something harder.
• Risk-taking
Having the courage to make guesses, not afraid of failures or of trying new and difficult tasks, preferring to take a chance, defending one's own ideas.
• Improvisation
Creating resources without much resources or facilities.
• Openness
Receptivity to new ideas, resistance to premature conclusions, deferring judgement.

In the light of the term 'creativity', being used in the present context, it is thus more appropriate to ask questions like : Can we teach students to be more original and come up with new ways of looking at things ? Can we teach them to be more sensitive to problems? Can we teach them to see that a problem may have several different interpretations? Even if there is only one right solution as in Mathematics, can students solve the problems in a number of different ways? Can we teach them to be their own best critic so that they can depend on their own judgment ?" The answer to all of these questions is "Yes".

 However, it may be kept in mind that individual differences are there in the abilities and dispositions towards creativity. The extent to which one benefits from or responds to creativity training would differ from individual to individual.


In certain cultures creativity flourishes whereas in other cultures it is stifled. The nature of creative talent which would be developed is also determined very often by cultural factors. Coming to personality factors we find that for every type of talent there are certain personality characteristics which go with it. The qualities of a creative engineer differ from those of a creative scientist. The qualities of a creative musician differ from those of a creative poet, and so on. An important point to remember here is that they can be studied at different levels. Let us study here the personality qualities of the highly creative student. Only general characteristics will be mentioned.

The first quality which we have been able to arrive at through research is that a creative person is self-sufficient. He is self-sufficient in the sense that his style of thinking or what we technically call the cognitive style is such that he will not depend on others for support. He knows what he has to do, what he has to think. He can do things for himself. He does not depend upon ethers. He can take decisions for himself.

The second quality which characterizes the creative person is that he can plan his own things without guidance from others.

Another quality which you always find in creative persons, irrespective of the field to which they belong, is that they are independent in making judgments. They do not go by the judgments of others. Their cognitive style is to feel independent; the style of thinking is one which is independent. In their thinking, they are not partisan. They are also not dogmatic. They are independent in thinking and at the same time they are independent in their judgment. They can have their own thinking irrespective of what is generally thought. They are non-conformists.

Yet another quality which we always find particularly among1 "}creative scientists at all levels is that they are self-accepting. They know their own impulses and work on them. That is why sometimes they are self-asserting and dominant. This is true of poets, novelists and also others who have been creative in one Id or another. Because a creative person knows his impulses can express his creativity under all circumstances. In fact verse circumstances serve as a kind of spur for his creative expression.

Another quality that we notice in a creative person is that he is open-minded. Being independent in judgment and thought, he is ready to take risks. He is not at all worried about opposition and criticism, even persecution. What happened to Secretes and Copernicus? You can find many such examples as you read the history of human thoughts. Yet another quality which characterizes creative persons is the complexity of their thought processes. Their ideas are sometimes very abstract but they can express them in a very lucid and convincing manner. Another quality which I find in literature on personality is that creative people are persistent. In case you read Ravishankar’s book 'My life/ My Music’, you will notice that since early childhood he had that quality of persistence in him. Even. After achieving the status of Guru he used to get up early in the morning at 4 O’ clock to start his practice (Riaz). The same quality you will find in Nobel Prize winners. If you read their biographies you will definitely find that they are highly persistent. If you see some of these people at work you will find them immersed in their activities.") They love their work; they have a passion for it.


From the process perspective, teachers are given the responsibility for developing creative skills and attitudes in students and fostering creative problem-solving as part of instruction. Here is a set procedure that can be used to promote creativity in the classroom.

1. Using a cooperative goal structure, give students problems to be solved through the use of inquiry procedures.

2. Structure the cooperative groups as heterogeneously as possible.

3. Promote controversy among ideas, opinions, information, theories, and perspectives.

4. Model curiosity and inquiry, the ability to shift perspectives, the recombining of already known facts into new combinations and relationship and general open-mindedness.

5. Allow students time to reflect on their ideas after periods of intense work.

6. Encourage persistence in the face of failure to solve problems: do not take students off the hook by giving them answers. Let them struggle, and be supportive of such struggling. Communicate that famous creative people such as Einstein and Picasso experienced great difficulties before achieving insight.

7. Be enthusiastic about originality in thinking and problem-solving. Reinforce it whenever you see it.

8. Introduce students to provocative ideas, books, people, things, and procedures.

9. Encourage manipulation of objects and ideas.

10. Encourage students to immerse themselves in a specific area of interest if they become excited about it.

11. Communicate that creative insights are valued by such procedures as having students keep a personal notebook of their new and important ideas.

Some authors intended to teach creativity to junior high school students. They have four methods of generating novel ideas that can be taught to students: part-changing, checkerboard, checklist, and finding something similar. The part-changing method involves group members in identifying the parts or attributes of something that might be changed. The-following is an example:

Four qualities of a chair are color, shape, size, and hardness. Invent a new kind of chair by listing fifteen different colors, ten different shapes, five sizes, and five grades of hardness. Try to think of different ideas, and do not worry about whether or not they are any good. Think of different ways to change each part of the chair. Use your imagination.

The checkerboard method involves making a checkerboard figure with spaces for entering words or phrases on the vertical and horizontal axes. Different sets of properties or attributes are listed on the axes. Then group members examine the interaction or combination of each set of two things or attributes. For example

Your group is to invent a new sport. Place materials and equipment along the top, horizontal axis and place the things the players do (such as running, batting, kicking, hanging from their knees) down the side or vertical axis. Then examine the combination of each item on each axis with all the other items on the other axis.

The checklist method involves developing and using checklists to make sure that something is not left out or forgotten. David and Houtman suggest a checklist that includes

 i. change colour,

 ii. change size,

 iii. change shape,

 iv. use new or different material

 v. add or subtract something

 vi. rearrange things,

 vii. Identify a new design.

A group can apply this checklist to any object or problem.

To Find-Something-Similar Method

This method involves encouraging group members to come up with new ideas by thinking of other people or animals or social units in the world that perform the same acts the group wants to perform. Here is an example:-

Imagine your city has a parking problem. Find ideas for solving the problem by thinking of how bees, squirrels, ants, shoe stores, clothing stores, and so on store things.
Another technique designed to enhance the creativity of students is synectics, developed by William J. Gordon (1963). Gordon stresses the importance of psychological states in achieving creativity the use of metaphor to achieve the proper psychological state. H suggests using three interrelated techniques for making the strange appear familiar and the familiar strange:

1. Personal analogy in which students imagine how it feels to be part of the phenomena they are studying. Asking students how they would feel if they were an incomplete sentence or if they were Paul Revere’s horse are examples.

2. Direct analogy., in which students are asked to think about a parallel situation in order to gain insight into what they are studying. Asking students to describe how a book is like a light bulb or how a beavet chewing on a log resembles a typewriter are examples.

3. Compressed conflict, in which students are forced to perceive an object or concept from two frames of reference. Asking students to give examples of "repulsive attraction" or "cooperative competition" are illustrations.

Creativity is Good for Your Soul

 In the same vein, creativity provides us with a way to lift ourselves above the daily grind of our habitual lives. Every once in a while we need a new way of looking at the world and at ourselves. Allowing ourselves to be creative renews this connection to ourselves.

Moreover, creativity frees your spirit to be true to itself. It frees you to exist in the moment because when you are totally absorbed in the process, you are living in the moment. You are released from the confines of your everyday thinking and feeling. You are released from the constraints of your everyday self. In these (sometimes too brief) moments of creativity you are also free of judgments. You are not judging yourself, but trusting the process. It is as if you have turned on the light in the playroom of your mind, heart, and soul and you feel utterly free to play with ideas and objects in an entirely new way. It is as if you sense that this is what it means to be fully alive.

Creativity is a gift. Like the gift of laughter, for example, it is one of pleasure. It is the ability to experience pleasure on an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level. Whether you craft beauty, open minds, touch hearts, or solve complex problems the point is that you allow yourself the freedom to let your instincts and intellect guide you.

Treat Yourself to a Dose of Creativity By Flexing Your Creative Muscles

Since creativity is good for the soul, what can you do to add more creativity to your life? What skills or hobbies do you enjoy that allow you to be creative? Is it cooking, designing furniture, or some other craft? Is it writing poetry or short stories? Is it designing computer programs? Whatever it is that allows you to get lost in the process and frees you to be more of who you are, embrace it and make it a part of your life.

How can you put creative thinking into practice in your career or business? Do you have a lot of great ideas for your department or company that would increase productivity or profits? Don't be shy. Write down these ideas and present them to the person who has the power to make them a reality. And, if this person is you, then by all means go for it.

Our ability to come up with creative solutions to life's problems is a survival skill. It is an extension of mankind's ability to adapt to our environment. And, once we get in the habit of using this skill, we begin to see problems as a fun challenge to our inherent creativity. So, go ahead and flex your creative muscle. Feel yourself getting stronger mentally and spiritually. Build confidence in your ability to cope with anything that comes your way. With creative thinking, anything and everything is possible.

10 Simple Ways to Honor Your Uniqueness

One message we hear from the time we are children is that it is better to give than receive. It is best to be humble. It is best to not shine a light on ourselves.

True, and not so true. We also need to recognize that until we honor ourselves with love and compassion that we will not be able to give fully to another, or shine the light on another nor will we truly understand humility.

These simply steps will take you on a path to honoring your uniqueness every day. Use them as a way to see how you are doing. Celebrate what is working, and choose to make adjustments where there is adjustment necessary.

1. Take time for quiet daily. Yes, there is much that needs to get done. Once you maintain a habit of being quiet either to contemplate, pray, meditate you will be amazed how much more efficiently you will perform your tasks, duties and projects.

2. Treat yourself with as much care, if not more, than you treat others. Love and nurture yourself as you love and nurture those around you OR as you would LIKE to nurture those around you. Once you master caring for yourself, caring for others will become effortless and spring from the heart instead of from duty.

3. Accept compliments from others with grace. Never, ever disrespect the person you are complimenting by disregarding or negating their compliment. Instead, accept it as you would a treasure box or a long awaited gift. Be grateful they can see something extra special about you!

4. Spend time investing in and cultivating close friendships. Incorporate friend building activities into your daily routine. Exercise with a friend, share meals together, keep in touch with a brief email or 10 minute daily phone call (and time the call and KEEP the appointment.)

5. Surround yourself with beauty. Honor your home by decorating as a way to express who you are at your core. If you are bold, use bold colors and accessories. Light scented candles, listen to music you love, use soaps that are lathery and smell great. Go for the multi sensory approach.

6. Give joyfully and receive with open arms. Recognize that giving and receiving are on the same continuum and not separate at all! Learning to give completely translates into receiving more than you could ever plan or expect to receive. The results take care of themselves.

7. Become a part of a larger community. This may mean a mastermind group or it may be a circle of friends or a book discussion group. Connect yourself with people who share your interests, goals and vision for the world. Synergy will empower you incredibly when you join in a community where you can equally give and receive on a very regular basis.

8. Mentor someone simply for the pleasure of observing and becoming involved in their growth. Invite someone who does not have the same level as skills as you do along for the ride with you. Listen to their input and see what you can create together. Chances are you will learn a lot from them (and vice versa!) creating both a Win/Win situation as well as learning about your own strengths and weaknesses in the process.

9. Live a purposeful, vision, values, cause oriented life. Recognize and embrace that you are creating your life as a masterful artist each and every day. You can choose each day whether you want to simply let life happen each day or if you want to create it fully. Choose the latter.

10. Love yourself with all your heart, soul, and strength without attachment to what you are achieving in your life today. Be compassionate and understanding while also standing firm in the knowledge that you are both incredibly unique and incredibly capable. When you can master this balance, being attached to your outcomes is not an issue because you will be achieving outcomes beyond your own imagination. You will be so magnetic you will wonder where YOU have been all this time! The answer? You are RIGHT there, ready and waiting to follow these simple principles. Live with Passion. Today.

How to Keep Going Even When the Going Gets Tough

Every now and then we may find ourselves faced with a challenge - finishing a creative project, growing a business, moving through a job or life transition, evolving to the next level in a career. Each of us, at some point find can ourselves stuck and wondering when we will get through to the other side of a challenge. Here are a few ways for you to keep going even when the going gets tough!

Have fun. Yes, this is a simple, yet powerful, suggestion. When was the last time you had fun? When was the last time you had a good solid laugh? Oftentimes, when we are working on a project that is really important to us and that has a deadline, we somehow misplace our sense of humor. Things take on a serious tone because we are so focused on moving forward. Take a moment to have fun and to laugh. You may find that keeping things light will help you reconnect to the big picture and you'll find yourself moving forward on your journey.

Connect with your community. Tap into other like-minded and positive people and be ready for a shift in perspective. Make calls, write to an old friend, create an advisory board or an R&D team for yourself and project. There is no reason to do everything alone all the time. If you are feeling drained, now might be a good time to connect with your community and people that care about you.

Indulge yourself. Try being extra kind to yourself those times you are stuck. Try giving yourself a reward or bribe! Take yourself to a movie in the middle of the day. Call in sick to work for the day so you can pamper yourself and recharge your batteries. Schedule a massage. Sometimes a change in environment or a different activity is just the thing you need to jumpstart yourself.

Start a victory log. Anytime you receive praise, put it somewhere or in a book you create specifically for this purpose. Everyone needs a little "pick me up" every now and then and reading about your accomplishments and how people have praised you and your work is guaranteed to make you feel better.

Make an accomplishment list for yourself. You have accomplished lots in your life and work. When was the last time you took the time to acknowledge yourself? Take a moment to make a list of the things you are most proud of accomplishing in your life. This simple gesture and reflection may give you that extra boost of energy you need to move through your current challenge.

Try an attitude of gratitude. Take a moment to see what is going well about the project you are working on. See what is in your life, rather than focusing on what is missing or lacking. This can be like a breath of fresh air when we are concentrated on getting a task completed.

 Break down an overwhelming project into bite-sized pieces. Select one action on a daily basis that moves you forward. The Great American Novel gets written, one page at a time. Pick something that you can do in a specific time frame that has a definitive beginning, middle and end. There is immense satisfaction in taking action that creates a direct result. And when we are working on a long-term project, simple linear actions can give us the sense of forward momentum we may need.

Do something for someone else. Random acts of kindness can not only help others, but can help you too. The key here is to give with an open hand and heart and not out of a sense of duty or "should". In being of service to others, we gain perspective on the difficulties we may currently be experiencing.

Focus on the process, not the end result. You'll have a marvelous future if you live well in today. What would like to create in YOUR today?

And one of my favorite ways of getting unstuck comes from the comedian Milton Berle: If opportunity doesn't knock build a door.

Because everyone can use a little inspiration now and then, here are some examples of people who kept on going, even when the going was tough. And many of us have benefited from what they created with their gifts and talents:

Tips for Personal Brainstorming

Everyone has problems and challenges that need solving; they're an inevitable part of living. What many people don't realize, however, is that most of them can be overcome using a simple, focused program of personal brainstorming. Here are some practical tips to help you increase the effectiveness of your personal problem-solving skills:

Step 1: State your problem clearly

Before you start, firmly plant in your mind the idea that your problem can and will be solved. Your job is to find that solution, using personal brainstorming.

State your problem clearly and concisely in one sentence at the top of a blank sheet of paper. Then write down everything you know about your current problem or challenge. Try to isolate and write down specific factors or trends that have contributed to it. Keep in mind that a problem, clearly defined, is already half solved.

By gathering all of the information that you know about your challenge and laying it out in front of you in tangible form, you enable your most powerful problem-solving tool -- your brain -- to see connections, interrelationships and implications in the information you've collected, which would not be obvious if you just kept all of this information in your head.

Think about people who have faced problems or challenges similar to the one you are facing. What strategies or solutions did they use? Then determine if any elements of their solutions can be adapted to your current situation.

Step 2: Brainstorm solutions

As you review your problem statement and supporting information, write down any ideas that occur to you. Don't censor yourself at this point; there will be plenty of time to evaluate your ideas later. Write down every idea, no matter how far-fetched. Your goal at this stage of the personal ideation process is to generate a large quantity of ideas.

Ask yourself: How would a person who is an expert in this area solve this problem? You might want to try this exercise using famous people from history, creative thinkers such as Albert Einstein, or other leaders and innovators that you respect. Your goal for this exercise is to perform a bit of "slight of head" -- to whack your thinking into a different frame of reference to generate fresh ideas and insights.

Divide your problem into its component pieces and write each of them down -- perhaps in a mind map or outline that shows the relationships between each element. Then, try brainstorming ideas for each one. This "slice and dice" technique often works well when you're faced with complex or multi-dimensional challenges.

Envision an ideal future goal or outcome. Then work backwards to the present, writing down the steps you would need to take now to move toward that objective.

If you find yourself running out of ideas too quickly, don't give up. Keep working at it until you have written down at least 20 possible ideas or solutions. Many times, the first 5 to 10 ideas you write down are top-of-mind solutions; often the best ideas take more concentrated and prolonged brainstorming to emerge.


Your subconscious mind likes closure. When faced with an incomplete picture, it works to complete the mental image by inferring the missing information. Your mind works the same way on an unsolved problem or challenge; it loves to dive right in and get the job done.

In closing, remember that you can solve your problems and capitalize on new opportunities using personal ideation. All you need is a pencil, a pad of paper and a quiet "thinking spot" to tap into your creative muse.


This article tells about creativity as how it brings about the changes in a person. It dispels the common belief that the creativity is congenital and couldn’t be fostered later. This article articulates the new ways to induce “creativity” among the children.


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