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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My tip for Boosting Creativity or why the Nike slogan offers the biggest breakthrough!

CREATIVITY - The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. [Creativity week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

My number one tip for boosting creativity is Just Do It. Nike has been telling us this for years but when it comes to creativity it is the hardest thing for me to do. Last time I covered creativity I confessed that I had an affliction which caused me to consider any art that I personally can do to not be art at all. Somehow if I can do it then it is inferior and certainly not worthy of the lofty label ART. Well, I am here to confess that it is even worse then this. I am literally unable to begin creative projects.

When I was a child I would get boxes of crayons or colored pencils and I would try to keep them all perfect and unused. I told myself I was saving them for the perfect project but such a project rarely came. We had a box of used crayons my mom kept downstairs so if I was pressed to do something, make a thank you card or something like that, I would use those so my perfect set wouldn't need to be violated. School was a bit more liberating for me because there was tons of partially used stuff that wouldn't be ruined by my attempts. At home I wouldn't even color in a new coloring book  because I had a vision of doing it all perfectly and if I kept it blank that potential would remain.

I loved blank books for some of the same potentiality reasons. I would pour over them in book stores and ask for them as gifts but only one or two I owned were ever written in. One book I finally decided to use, chosen because I liked it the least and it wouldn't be a total loss if my efforts somehow marred it, I actually wrote only in pencil. My thought was that I could always erase it if a better, more perfect application might reveal itself. I confessed my affliction to one of my friends in high school and she helped me to write in one with permanent magic marker. I did it to liberate myself but honestly I always felt the book was sullied and I secretly wished I had never done it.

I was gifted a set of oil paints because I had enjoyed an oil painting session in my art class. (once again lots of partially used tubes of paint were available in class so my fear of ruining the valuable supply was lessened.) The paint came in one of those beautiful wooden boxes "real artists" use and I loved it! I also kept it under my bed unused for years. I just couldn't bring myself to squeeze one of those pristine tubes. My talented artist AFS exchange student, Romola was the one who actually used the first brush of paint from that set. I deemed her efforts worthy of cracking the seal on those lovely tubes and never actually used them myself.

Thank goodness I have a two year old who doesn't share my same phobias. Lately, boxes of crayons are immediately destroyed by breaking all of them in half or tubes of paint are used in one oozy application. Coloring books are scribbled in and pads of immaculate paper are used in one sitting. We haven't started on blank books yet but I definitely feel a breakthrough coming!

For you less phobic types I offer some other tidbits for boosting creativity if just doing it isn't enough!

From 20 tips for boosting creativity from Psychology  (click the link to view the entire list.)
  • Become an Expert
One of the best ways to develop creativity is to become an expert in that area. By having a rich understanding of the topic, you will be better able to think of novel or innovative solutions to problems.
  • Be Willing to Take Risks
When it comes to building your creative skills, you need to be willing to take risks in order to advance your abilities. While your efforts may not lead to success every time, you will still be boosting your creative talents and building skills that will serve you well in the future.

From 19 Online Destinations for Boosting Creativity  (click the link to view the entire list.)
  • MindMeister – Although I’m personally not a huge fan of online apps for creativity’s sake (other than GDocs), many people do like to use online mind-mapping tools for brainstorming. MindMeister is right up there with the best of the online mind-mapping tools because it’s quick and intuitive.
  • SpringWise – A database of great ideas that any entrepreneur can act on to help you start the “next big thing”. There are some great, fun ideas, plus they showcase the latest trends of entrepreneurship.
Next post: My creative muse

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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