Idea Champions corporate cretivity
Free Your Inner Genie!
by Mitchell Ditkoff
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The creative process has been studied for decades by truckloads of psychologists, social scientists, and business leaders looking to cut through the Gordian knot of human behavior and understand the origins of brilliance. The research has resulted in the formulation of more models than any sane person would ever hope to read - all in a noble attempt to demystify creativity for "the rest of us." Well then, is there room for yet another model? Yes there is, especially the following one - which is not only simple, clear, and elegant - but also mine. (Hey, you've read this far already. Another three minutes isn't gonna kill you.)

The map, of course is never the territory, so don't expect the five-step model below to transport you nano-secondly to the holy land of creativity. Still, it will help you get your creative juices flowing. Or, if not that, provide you with some simple instructions on how to order the world's greatest deck of innovation-sparking cards.

Creativity is free. It doesn't cost a thing. You were born with it. Still, there is one thing you will have to pay for it - and that is your attention. If you want to create something new, you will need to attend to two things: 1) The subtle indicators of what's going on inside you - dreams, intuitions, feelings and ideas and; 2) The not-so-subtle indicators of what's going on outside you - trends, market shifts, feedback, and the needs of others. What do you need to pay more attention to in order to manifest your most inspired idea or project?

While necessity may be the mother of invention, it is intention that's the father. If you truly want to go beyond the status quo and create something extraordinary, you will need to be deeply connected to your intention - the primal purpose and commitment that moves you. It is this intention - genuinely felt - that will sustain you through the doubts, fears, and unexpected obstacles along the way to manifesting the product of your imagination. In what ways can you strengthen your intention on a daily basis?

People who want to create something new are typically of two minds. One is practical, logical, and analytical. The other is playful, associative, and intuitive. Just like day and night, both are needed. In the formative first stages of the creative process, however, it's essential that you suspend that evaluative (and often) nay saying part of yourself - the "inner critic." That is, if you want to access the realm of true originality within you. In what ways can you suspend your need for logic, data, and practicality this month?

Usually, when a person has a creative breakthrough, there is an element of stretching involved - the effort to go beyond existing boundaries and extend into an unknown future. Surfers "hang ten." Astronauts "push the envelope." Ski jumpers lean far out over their skis. If you want to break new ground, you too will need to stretch. You, too, will need to take some risks and extend yourself beyond your normal ways of thinking and doing. What boundaries, limits, or old paradigms are you willing to challenge this week?

True creativity rarely happens in a vacuum. On the contrary, it is the product of two or more variables connecting in a new way. Water, for example, is the connection between hydrogen and oxygen. The Sony Walkman is the connection between walking and stereo. The Beatles were the connection between John, Paul, George and Ringo. If you want a breakthrough, it's time to start looking for new connections - uncommon linkages between this, that, and the other thing. Who (or what) do you need to connect with in a new way in order to manifest your hottest, new idea?

This article is excerpted from
Free the Genie, 55 Ways to Get Out of the Lamp and Create The Results You Want.

Want to dive deeper into your creative process? Play four online, creative thinking games with Idea Champions' provocative genie. Or purchase Free the Genie, the WORLD'S GREATEST DECK OF INNOVATION-SPARKING cards, humbly referred to in the slightly overwritten introduction above…

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