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Effectiveness in the Creative Process Results More from Consistent Work Than From “Inspiration” February 28, 2007

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in The Creative Process.
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The ability to generate creative ideas and solutions depends more on consistent application to a field of activity than it does on isolated flashes of intuitive insight.

In the personal development journey, creativity can play a strong component in a variety of areas: achieving goals, implementing the Law of Attraction, forming intentions, manifesting, using visual, spoken, or written affirmations, getting organized, improving our work and our relationships, and much more.

The key to creativity, however, and this is a personal view, does not rest on an innate talent of “being creative.” Resourcefulness, which is a form of creativity, might seem to be inborn in certain individuals, and perhaps it sometimes is.

But the rest of us can become more resourceful, by using tools such as utilizing the thought process in new ways, as explained, for example, by Edward de Bono, who has written excellent books on thinking more creatively through the lateral thinking process.

Creativity can be learned. It might help to have a gigantic IQ, and be a literal storehouse of information, but as Einstein has pointed out, imagination is more important than knowledge. Also, it is a mistake to think of creativity as being dependent upon “inspiration” which, loosely defined, is some kind of wave of emotional intensity coupled with thought, that pushes us into a creative ‘mode’ in whatever sphere we are trying innovate within.

Creativity rather, comes more often from continuously working on something, or as Edison has said, in words to the effect, that most of his inventions came from perspiration rather than inspiration. An artist, such as a painter, for example, cannot be truly creative unless they have paid their dues in learning and applying the various techniques that have arisen through the ages in painting. Nor are they likely to create a new movement or force in painting unless they are thoroughly familiar with all that has gone before.

Most important, however, is that a painter will find that creativity comes mainly from doing a lot of painting. The same applies to writing. If you love poetry and want to write it, you’ll find that the more you write, the more creative ideas, or new ways of expressing yourself,  you will come up with.

Again however, it is important for the aspiring poet to understand the underlying forms of poetry and what has preceded them in the writing of poetry. In other words, those who want to be poets need to have read a lot of poetry and to have written a lot of it before they are likely to have truly innovative or creative concepts in their work.

This makes creativity sound a lot like work. And I think that’s true. The best way to create, such as in the area of personal development, is to work at it. The current fascination with the Law of Attraction for example, is with some people, leading to a misconception that it is as simple as making declarations to the universe and then waiting for virtual miracles to unfold. This expectation shows a lack of understanding of the Law of Attraction and the creative possibilities available by working at it.

Creativity comes to the surface in any endeavor when we put in the work. Waiting for “inspiration” in order to create can be an enjoyable state of mind, but it is not a substitute for work in the creative process. The more we do of anything, the more we are likely to come up with novel or innovative ways of accomplishing things, including our personal development goals.

The Personal Development Journey: Focusing Our Unique Talents and Purpose February 10, 2007

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Growth Books.
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By consistently  concentrating our focus and sticking rigidly to our purpose, is it possible to elevate our performance to the level of historical geniuses?

The topic of personal development, or self-improvement, and a WordPress blog on the subject, can cover a myriad of categories. In fact, just about any method by which we can improve ourselves can come under the topic of personal development. Among the many categories it can include are: relationships; setting and achieving goals, The Law of Attraction, intentions and manifesting or manifestations; emotional contentment; spiritual growth; finding our life purpose; the concept of gratitude; and more.

Discovering our own particular talents is part of the process of self-development, and of developing self-esteem. Some experts believe that every one of us is endowed with some form of positive uniqueness that we can develop through working on it. An individual can develop an innate talent or learn a new skill to a degree that it is a formidable personal attribute. Just as one person can make a difference in the world, so the nurturing of a personal talent or interest can make a big difference or change for the better in an individual, and accordingly, in an indidual’s self-esteem.

With all the categories that personal development involves, it should not be surprising that many books and other media can be used by us in the process of adding value to our lives.

Although I should probably not “review” a book before I get beyond page two, nevertheless, I just got a book out of the library that promises to be interesting. I’m just starting to delve into this book, titled Discover Your Genius, by Michael J. Gelb (HarperCollins Publishers). At the beginning, I was struck by a comment by Martin Kemp, Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford, in the foreword to Gelb’s book.

Kemp says, “Is it daft to attempt to model our selves on the transcendent genius of a Copernicus, Brunelleschi, or Einstein? No, not if we consider that all these great minds applied essential principles of focus and purposefulness to the clarification of their core insights.”
Kemp goes on to say that while we might not agree with the choices of the persons Gelb makes in these profiles of genius, we can agree that the people chosen are “exemplary of what humans can potentially achieve, if only we believe in what we can do.” Michael J. Gelb has written quite a few other books, including, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci.

Here are some of the chapter titles in Discover Your Genius:
Plato: Deepening Your Love of Wisdom
Copernicus: Revolutionizing Your Worldview
Shakespeare: Cultivating Your Emotional Intelligence
Jefferson: Celebrating Your Freedom in the Pursuit of Happiness
Einstein: Unleashing Your Imagination and Combinatory Play

Discover your Genius is a 350+ page book and it’s not printed in particularly large type, so it may be a while before I finish it. I also usually have a number of books on the go at once. When I do complete reading it, I hope to review it here. The subtitle of the book is “How to Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds.” We’ll see if I turn into a thinker of that caliber and raise my own self-esteem in the process of reading it.