7 Deadly Sins of Creativity

The 7 Deadly Sins of Creativity

Creativity is not just for artists and poets.  Everybody has the potential to exercise their creative mind – to innovate new ways of accomplishing things that will ultimately make life easier and more gratifying.  Creativity magnifies the effectiveness of our natural talents, generating elevated levels of success and happiness by helping us discover more efficient ways to do what we love to do.

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Acts of creativity can be found in every facet of life.  We are surrounded by the byproducts of creative ideas both big and small.  And the small acts of creativity are no less important than the big ones.  In fact, the more creative you are with the small things in your life, the more creative you will likely be with the big things.

Now, it’s to be expected that there will be ups and downs in our levels of creativity.  Some days we’ll be full of new ideas, and other days our brains will feel a bit dull.  Although this phenomenon is natural, oftentimes our poor personal choices perpetuate our inability to think creatively, and we end up having more dull days than creative ones.  The vast majority of these poor choices fall into one of seven categories.  I call them the seven deadly sins of creativity.

1.  Lack of knowledge and attention.

Knowledge and attention are absolute necessities.  Creative thinking cannot be productively applied until a certain level of knowledge is gathered about the current situation or problem at hand.  Thus, creativity actually relies on both sides of the brain, the creative right side and the logical left side.

The first steps the brain takes when tackling a creative venture are actually governed by logic, not creativity.  This is because most creative breakthroughs rest on the shoulders of everything that came before it.  The logical left side of your brain analyzes the situation and all the known facts, defines the problem that must be solved and then hands the data over to the creative right side of your brain.  In other words, once a creative challenge has been realized, you must first rely on your logic and absorb yourself in what is already known.  Without this logical review process, creativity will drown in misdirection.

2.  Lack of passion and enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is the lifeblood of creativity.  Creativity blossoms when you are passionate and enthusiastic about what you are doing.  It’s extremely difficult to [Read more…]

60 Tiny Love Stories to Make You Smile

60 Tiny Love Stories to Make You Smile

Here’s a selection of 60 tiny love stories recently submitted to our sister site, Makes Me Think, that not only made us think, but warmed our hearts and made us smile too.  We hope they do the same for you.

  1. Today, my 75-year-old grandpa who has been blind from cataracts for almost 15 years said to me, “Your grandma is just the most beautiful thing, isn’t she?” I paused for a second and said, “Yes she is. I bet you miss seeing that beauty on a daily basis.” “Sweety,” my grandpa said, “I still see her beauty every day. In fact, I see it more now than I used to when we were young.” MMT
  2. Today, I walked my daughter down the aisle. Ten years ago I pulled a 14 year old boy out of his mom’s fire-engulfed SUV after a serious accident. Doctors initially said he would never walk again. My daughter came with me several times to visit him at the hospital. Then she started going on her own. Today, seeing him defy the odds and smile widely, standing on his own two feet at the altar as he placed a ring on my daughter’s finger MMT.
  3. Today, I walked up to the door of my office (I’m a florist) at 7AM to find a uniformed Army soldier standing out front waiting. He was on his way to the airport to go to Afghanistan for a year. He said, “I usually bring home a bouquet of flowers for my wife every Friday and I don’t want to let her down when I’m away.” He then placed an order for 52 Friday afternoon deliveries of flowers to his wife’s office and asked me to schedule one for each week until he returns. I gave him a 50% discount because it made my day to see something so sweet. MMT
  4. Today, I told my 18 year old grandson that nobody asked me to prom when I was in high school, so I didn’t attend. He showed up at my house this evening dressed in a tuxedo and took me as his date to his prom. MMT
  5. Today, when she woke up from an eleven month coma, she kissed me and [Read more…]

30 Books I’m Glad I Read Before 30

30 Books I Am Glad I Read Before 30

In various ways, these 30 books convey some of the philosophy of how Angel and I live our lives.  I honestly credit a fraction of who I am today to each title.  Thus, they have indirectly influenced much of what I write about on this site.  A medley of both fiction and nonfiction, these great reads challenged my internal status quo, opening my mind to new ideas and opportunities, and together they gave me a basic framework for living, loving, learning and working successfully.

If you haven’t read these books yet, I highly recommend doing so.  They will enrich your library and your life.

  1. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert – Gilbert, a Harvard professor of psychology has studied happiness for decades, and he shares scientific findings that just might change the way you look at the world.  His primary goal is to persuade you into accepting the fact that happiness is not really what or where you imagined it would be.  This is my favorite book on happiness by a long shot.
  2. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck – Pretty much the granddaddy of all self-improvement books, it’s easily one of the best nonfiction works I’ve ever read.  By melding love, science and spirituality into a primer for personal growth, Peck guides the reader through lessons on delaying gratification, accepting responsibility for decisions, dedicating oneself to truth and reality, and creating a balanced lifestyle.
  3. Getting Things Done by David Allen – The ultimate ‘organize your life’ book.  Allen’s ideas and processes are for all those people who are overwhelmed with too many things to do, too little time to do them, and a general sense of unease that something important is being missed.  The primary goal of this book is to teach you how to effectively get your ‘to-do inbox’ to empty.
  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Covey presents a principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems by delivering a step-by-step guide for living with integrity and honesty and adapting to the inevitable change life brings us everyday.  It’s a must-read.
  5. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – This novel is an explanation of what has [Read more…]

7 Ways to Change Your Life in 7 Days

7 Ways to Change Your Life in 7 Days

No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress,
you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.

If you start implementing these seven habits today, you will see a positive change in your life within a week’s time, guaranteed.

1.  Choose happiness with words.

Happiness is simply a state of mind.  No, I’m not implying that we can instantly heal the pain of a severe or unexpected personal tragedy just by thinking about being happy.  Rather, I am referring to our levels of happiness on routine days when things in our lives are close to normal.  In these neutral times, when we are neither ecstatic nor extremely sad, the slightest change in attitude can swing our happiness balance drastically in either a positive or negative direction. One of the primary factors that affect our attitude is our choice of words.

Words have a lot of power and influence on both the speaker and the listener.  When we speak we sometimes unintentionally choose words that have a negative undertone.  This can make us seem unhappy (and negative) in the eyes of others.  Even worse, after we have spoken these words our unconscious mind starts believing in them.  “If this is what came out of my mouth, it must be the way I truly feel.”

However, this is not always true.  The first fleeting words that come to mind are [Read more…]