May 13, 2013
Today’s Monday Morning Movie is actually an audio file…
In the October 2012 issue of SUCCESS Magazine, there was a four page article by yours truly. You’ve been able to read the article online since it was published. (It is the cover article; “Innovate of Die!”)
However, unless you subscribe to the magazine, you will not have heard my 22 minute interview with SUCCESS Magazine’s publisher, Darren Hardy. It was on the CD included with the magazine, but not available anywhere else.
Darren was kind enough to give me permission to post the audio file here.
You have two ways to enjoy this interview:
- Listen to the audio (streaming):
- Download the audio (mp3) (right click to save to your computer)
I will be posting the transcription of this interview sometime soon.
April 26, 2013
Today’s Friday Fun Fact…
In previous posts, I have shared a variety of activities that I engage in to still my mind and foster more creative thinking. These include activities like walking on the beach, meditating or sitting in the hot tub.
Andrew Jarosz for the University of Illinois shares another way… drinking alcohol.
In his recent study, Jarosz found that a moderate level of alcohol “loosens a person’s focus of attention, making it easier to find connections among remotely related ideas.”
The study included 40 men, all of whom were social drinkers. 20 of the participants consumed alcoholic beverages until they achieved “an average peak blood alcohol level of 0.075 percent, just below the current 0.08 percent cutoff for legal intoxication in the United States.” The remaining 20 participants abstained.
Men in both groups then completed a creative problem-solving task.
Compared to the sober group, the “tipsy” men solved their problems faster and were more likely to have sudden insights. Those that had been drinking solved about 9 problems correctly versus only 6 for the sober group.
Additionally, “it took an average of 11.5 seconds for the intoxicated men to generate a correct solution, compared with 15.2 seconds for sober men. The groups performed comparably on the test before the study began.”
Researchers say that it is likely the alcohol makes a person more relaxed and therefore, their brain is able to take in the bigger picture faster.
While I enjoy a glass of wine from time to time, I am neither condoning nor condemning the consumption of alcohol. However, this study provides one more data point confirming that a quiet mind is a creative mind. How to achieve that – is solely up to you.
April 17, 2013
Here’s the transcription of my Monday Morning Movie…
The other day I attended a small group session on creativity. Less than a dozen people were in the room, from all walks of life. Most of them weren’t from the world of business.
The facilitator asked the question, “What is creativity?” I decided to sit back and see what others would say.
I heard the types of responses that I would typically hear if I asked that question in a corporation. For example, it’s about new ideas. It’s about novelty. It’s about doing something different, doing something better, maybe problem solving.
I really took a hard look for myself. I decided that for me creativity, at its core, at the essence of what it is to be a creative human being, is about inspiration.
I purposely chose that word “inspiration” because it comes from the word “spirit,” and it technically means to breathe life into something. To me, that’s what creativity is about.
It’s not the same as innovation, which is a purposeful act of creating something that ultimately generates value.
Creativity is about tapping into our spirit. It’s about tapping into something deep inside of us. There are numerous studies that have looked at creativity levels as we get older.
For example, one claims that 98% of 5-year-old kids test as highly creative. 98%. Then, by the time they get to 10 years old, it’s down to 30%. When they’re 15, it’s down to 12%. The study showed that 200,000 adults over the age of 25, only 2% of them tested as highly creative. I’m convinced that it was the 2% that didn’t test as highly creative when they were 5-years-old and they went through some sort of metamorphosis through their life.
The point is, we are inherently as human beings, creative. We have it inside us. It’s how we are wired. But as time goes on, we learn a lot of things to fit in. We go to school at the age of five. We’re taught to regurgitate facts. We go to university. Instead of gathering and being inspired, we start to focus, narrow, and dig deep.
I think the opportunity for all human beings is to tap into that spirit, to tap into that creative part of us, that inspiration. It’s not so much necessarily, as an individual, about what it achieves, but maybe what it does for us as a human being. What does that creativity do for us?
So ask yourself, what are the things that you can do to tap into your creativity on a regular basis? For me, I love to go walk on the beach. That, for me, is my biggest source of great ideas/inspiration. Or I love to sit in a hot tub as often as I can, which isn’t very often. Maybe take a hot bath.
Sometimes it’s as simple as just quieting my mind or journaling. It is important, I think, for every individual, no matter who you are, to tap into that innate creative spirit that you have. This will be useful in so many different ways, not just in terms of achieving things in life, but generating passion and creating excitement. It is to me, the source of everything else that we do. It helps us be more alive when we’re doing our more left-brain/analytical work.
To me this is an important thing for everyone to do. I encourage you to find something that you can do every day, on a regular basis, that will help you tap into your creativity, tap into your inspiration, tap into what it is for you, as a human being, to be alive.
April 15, 2013
Today’s Monday Morning Movie…
After attending a session on creativity, I realized that the “old” definitions don’t work for me.
Creativity is something much more than “new ideas.” And it is not the same as innovation.
As you will see in this video, I believe it is about tapping into your inner wisdom.
Transcription coming soon…
April 10, 2013
Today’s Wednesday Work Wisdom…
Today I had the honor of seeing my good friend, Ed Gerety, speak to 200 junior high school students. He was amazing.
What I found most interesting was the response from the audience.
I am used to speaking to corporations where the average age is probably 40 – 50. Here the average age was 12 – 13. There is a marked difference between these groups!
When Ed asked the student to do something, 100% participated (well, several of the teachers sat and stared blankly). When he asked them to do something that an adult might think as “silly,” the audience went wild with laughter. When he told moving stories that might generate “crickets” from an adult audience, he received gasps, cheers, and awwwwws from the teenagers. There was an unbelievable energy in the room. Everyone was hungry for Ed’s message.
When did we, as adults, become so jaded? When did we forget how to participate and play in life? When did we decide that “looking good” in front of others was more important than full self-expression? When did we become so arrogant that we know more than everyone else? When did we stop truly learning and living?
I was inspired by these students. I was tempted to call them “kids.” But after spending an hour with them, I realized that they are more adult than many adults.
Today, I encourage you to look at the world through the eyes of a teenager. Play. Laugh. Participate. Clap. Gasp. Show your full range of emotions.
As Ed said during his presentation, tell people you love them. Be thankful, every day, for what you have. Help others. Stand up for yourself.
I’ve attended a lot of seminars and training over the years. But spending 60 minutes with Ed and a couple hundred students was the most valuable education I have received in years.
P.S. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago when working for a large organization. I presented to 400 executives in the morning followed by 200 high school students in the afternoon. The two audiences could not have been more different. I wrote about how to tap into your “inner innovation child” in an American Express OPEN Forum article. You can also read my article “Unleash Your Inner Innovator” (pdf). It appeared in a British Magazine 10 years ago.