The Creative Mind This blog by Dougles Eby explores the psychology of creative expression and personal growth. 2017-06-28T00:36:07Z Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Retiring The Creative Mind on Psych Central]]> 2017-06-28T00:36:07Z 2017-06-28T00:36:07Z The Creative Mind network

Thanks for reading my articles here on Psych Central. The Creative Mind blog started in 2012, and you can still read archives.

I have decided to concentrate on my own network of sites for exploring the inner life, personal growth and success of creative people.

This network includes High Ability; Highly Sensitive and Creative; The Creative Mind; Developing Multiple Talents (my main book); The Inner Actor; The Inner Entrepreneur; Talent Development Resources, and other websites plus related Facebook pages.

See this listing of the sites, or visit one of my main sites (which also have lists) such The Creative Mind.


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Kelly Brogan on Our Creative Force for Transformation]]> 2017-06-18T04:28:28Z 2017-06-18T04:28:28Z Meryl Streep

Art Can Transform, Heal and Nurture Self-discovery

Creative expression can transform our painful reactions to traumatic situations, providing renewed strength of our identity and a way to give voice to difficult feelings.

The photo is Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins” (2016), the movie based on the true story of a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite her “awful” singing voice.

Streep has said acting “has to do with working out private passions that are almost inscrutable to me.

“I just get to work out all my murderous thoughts and my weaknesses and my failures and things I don’t want to do as a parent or work out on the family.”

She adds, “I need [acting] as an outlet. I love it. It feeds my imagination. It connects me to understanding.”

Some think art needs to have that kind of impact to be worthwhile. Franz Kafka wrote, “I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.. that affect us like a disaster… A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”

Clinical and forensic psychologist Stephen Diamond says creativity “is one of humankind’s healthiest inclinations, one of our greatest attributes.”

He explains in his book, “Anger, Madness and the Daimonic: The Paradoxical Power of Rage in Violence, Evil and Creativity” that our impulse to be creative “can be understood to some degree as the subjective struggle to give form, structure and constructive expression to inner and outer chaos and conflict… for meeting and redeeming one’s devils and demons.”


Social attitudes about creative people can be dismissive

Kelly BroganPsychiatrist Kelly Brogan comments that art and creative people tend to be discounted as less important than “real” professionals.

She writes that we live in “A world for doctors and lawyers, not artists and poets.

“As a second generation child of parents who devoted their lives to my academic opportunities, I was taught a reflection of the modern story – that art is a hobby at best.

“Many of us more productivity-oriented families regard ‘the arts’ as a largely vestigial appendage on the more central body of real life with real jobs.”

Creative expression as a potent force for transformation

Brogan asks, “What if what we are calling art is just a whisper of the creative force that has been neatly contained by the fancy canvas and the ticketed rock concert.

“What if there is a force so powerful behind and beneath these conventionalized art forms that we can barely look at it out of the corner of our eyes.”

But, she adds, “Much like religion has become a dogmatic version of what it once was – a celebration of the experience of ecstatic merging, art has been neutered of its true power.

“It’s power lies in transformation and shedding of blinders, lies, tales, and false identities.”

She thinks an artist can “have direct experiences that shatter the frameworks that bind us into submission.

“They come back to tell us about them, and in the sharing, the possibility that we too might have these experiences, increases.”

Read much more in her wide-ranging article Find Your Art to Awaken Self Healing.

Kelly Brogan, MD is a “holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the NY Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression.

Get free first chapter of A Mind of Your Own.

Another free resource is her ebook “Change Your Food, Heal Your Mood” – “3 simple steps to a healthier body and a healthier brain — without psychiatric drugs.”


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Be More Playful To Be Creative]]> 2017-06-04T04:33:02Z 2017-06-04T04:33:02Z Scarlett Johansson by Andy Gotts

How can being more playful help us be more creative?

Actor John Cleese (who has made a career of being playful in the “Monty Python” series and a number of movies) has referred to research by the late UC Berkeley psychologist Donald MacKinnon, who studied creativity in different groups of people.

His research looked at differences between highly creative architects and those with less ability or achievement. Cleese summarized the difference between the two groups:

“The more creative ones had a facility for switching into a more playful mode.”

From my article The Creative Personality: Both Smart and Naive.

[Photo: Scarlett Johansson by photographer Andy Gotts, from article: “Playful Celebrity Portraits Show Off the Goofy Sides of A-List Stars”.]

Psychologist and creativity researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has noted “Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.”

From my article The Creative Personality: Playful and Disciplined.


In an article on this topic, KH Kim writes that “Young innovators’ interests in topics often start with a playful introduction to the topics in which they are instantly hooked.

Einstein on bike“For example, Albert’s father (Hermann Einstein) playfully introduced Albert Einstein to a compass at age five, and Steve’s neighbor (Larry Lang) playfully introduced Steve Jobs to a carbon microphone at age seven.”

She adds that “playfulness is one of the most critical attitudes” of innovators.

“Playfulness, approaching situations in an exploratory manner and seeing the lighter side of a challenge with a sense of humor, enables flexible thinking.”

She offers many suggestions to encourage this playful attitude, such as:

* Making it a daily ritual to relax and laugh by immersing yourself in fun activities.

* Identifying absurd or strange aspects in popular music, fashion, holidays, and current events.

* Decorate your work space with fun, lighthearted artifacts that make you smile or laugh.

* Incorporate playful elements in your presentations (e.g., adding humor to titles or descriptions, or using funny props, comic strips, or cartoons with funny caricatures and puns).

From her Creativity Post article Want To Innovate? Science Says, Be Playful!

Read more quotes of hers and see a video in my article Attitudes to be creative and more innovative.

KH Kim is Professor of Creativity & Innovation at the College of William & Mary, and author of The Creativity Challenge: How We Can Recapture American Innovation – in which she provides many more suggestions for enhancing creative thinking.


Writer Margarita Tartakovsky suggests playful ways to deal with our creativity-suppressing inner critic, such as:

“Make your inner critic into a silly-looking monster. Draw this monster.

“Any time your inner critic starts churning out critical comments, picture this silly monster, who’s filled with hot air, and really just afraid themselves.”

From Creative and Playful Ways to Cope with Your Inner Critic.

Diane Ackerman is a poet, essayist and naturalist who has taught at a number of universities, including Columbia and Cornell.

In her book Deep Play she talks about being able to “play anywhere that is set off from reality, whether it be a playground, a field, a church or a garage.

“Deep play doesn’t have to do with an activity, like shallow play. It has to do with attitude or an extraordinarily intense state…”

This is, she notes, a way to experience flow, which enhances creative expression.


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Kristen Stewart on Directing Her Movie About Emotional Pain, and Being Highly Sensitive]]> 2017-05-24T05:40:16Z 2017-05-24T05:40:16Z Kristen Stewart - Certain Women Sundance Portraits

How do you portray strong emotions in art such as movies?

Actor Kristen Stewart took on that challenge in her short film ‘Come Swim’ shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May, 2017 and talks about how it evolved:

“It all started with one image. I really was obsessed with the idea of just getting one man sleeping on the bottom of the ocean, and I painted it and I wrote a million poems about it.

“The ways in which you completely aggrandize your own pain is something that I was interested in because if you’re not inside of that, it’s seemingly normal and mundane, but when you’re inside of it, it’s like you’re in a graphic novel.”

Those comments come from this video interview on her YouTube channel:


Artificial intelligence to reconfigure images

An article on the production notes an interesting imaging technology:

“In an effort to sidestep CGI, she employed ‘neural style transfer’, a type of artificial intelligence which reconfigures images, to transfer her painting to the filmed images during the opening and closing sequences of the movie.

“Timed with Come Swim‘s premiere at Sundance, the research paper ‘Bringing Impressionism to Life with Neural Style Transfer in Come Swim’ that Stewart co-authored with the film’s producer David Shapiro and Adobe research engineer Bhautik J Joshi detailing the A.I.’s methodology” was posted on the Cornell University library website.”

From Kristen Stewart On Her “Masochistic” Directorial Debut ‘Come Swim’ by Anthony D’Alessandro, Deadline Hollywood January 21, 2017.


A metaphorical rendering of a feeling

Another article notes “Come Swim” is “a 17-minute metaphorical rendering of a feeling, of the overwhelming oppression of heartbreak and grief. A man is submerged, literally, by water everywhere.”

Stewart describes the film as about “aggrandized pain” and says its imagery has haunted her for four years.

“You don’t realize when you’re trudging through that water, you feel so alone. We’ve all been there. But when you’re in it, you feel like you can’t participate in life.”

Hyper alert to her surroundings and her emotions

The article continues, “In many ways, ‘Come Swim’ reflects something essential about Stewart: she is hyper alert to her surroundings and her emotions.

“It’s a quality that has probably helped make her, in the eyes of many (particularly the French, who made her the first American actress to win a Cesar award for the Cannes entry “The Clouds of Sils Maria”) a performer of twitchy, alive sensitivity.

“I am so sensitive it drives me crazy,” says Stewart.

“It’s funny (that) the first movie I wanted to make was basically just a movie about somebody who is like, ‘You don’t get it! It’s horrible!'”

From Kristen Stewart makes her directorial debut, dives into grief, By Jake Coyle, Associated Press, May 21 2017, via ABC News.


Kristen StewartMany interviewers and writers over the years have described actor Kristen Stewart as “cautious” and “shy.”

At least one news story referred to her as a “Self-proclaimed introvert.”

Introversion – or shyness-related actions like “holding back” in interviews and public appearances (and ordinary conversation, for those of us who aren’t celebrities) can often lead to negative judgments and reactions from others – such as fans writing that she is aloof, a snob, obnoxious or rude.

Writer Sophia Dembling comments in a post on her Psychology Today blog The Introvert’s Corner:

“Introverts  tend to be, by nature, fairly mild-mannered. But that doesn’t mean we don’t silently – and sometimes not-so-silently – seethe.

“Look at poor Kristen Stewart, an introvert in the limelight…”

Read more in my article Kristen Stewart and shyness and sensitivity.


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Mark Matousek on Personal Writing to Be Creative]]> 2017-05-16T00:54:36Z 2017-05-16T00:54:36Z How to Heal & Awaken Through Writing

Author and teacher Mark Matousek finds that personal writing such as journaling and memoir can reveal ourselves with more truth, and help release our creativity.

Our personal myths are not who we really are.

He notes we “construct our personal myth from the random facts that life presents us” and act as if these stories were true.

He adds, “Although we’d prefer to think of ourselves as having a consistent personality across time and space, this is simply not the case.

“No one’s the same at work as they are at home, in flagrante delicto or shopping at Macy’s, sitting in church or drinking on Bourbon Street covered with Mardi Gras doubloons.”

Using writing as an active practice of self-inquiry “unsticks the glue and frees us of the adhesive pronoun. This unsticking awakens us to the truth.

“When you tell the truth, your story changes. When your story changes, your life is transformed.”

Unkowing to release creative thinking

“Knowing how little we actually know, we suddenly become a lot more creative,” he writes.

“Buddhists call this ‘beginner’s mind.’ Meeting each moment with open awareness rather than through a narrative scrim, we find ourselves snapping to attention.”

From Discover Writing As a Spiritual Practice by Mark Matousek, on The Shift Network Blog.


Mark Matousek – Heal & Awaken Through Writing

Mark Matousek “is a bestselling author, teacher and speaker whose work focuses on personal awakening and creative excellence through self-inquiry and life writing.”

From profile by The Shift Network about his free webinar “How to Heal & Awaken Through Writing” Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Creativity Can Be Challenging]]> 2017-05-09T04:51:43Z 2017-05-09T04:49:08Z   Creative work can be deeply rewarding, but also physically and emotionally challenging. The photo is Juliette Binoche in her movie “Words and Pictures” (2013). An article noted that her […]]]>


Creative work can be deeply rewarding, but also physically and emotionally challenging.

The photo is Juliette Binoche in her movie “Words and Pictures” (2013). An article noted that her character “is an art instructor suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis, forcing her to adapt her artistic process to accommodate her deteriorating physical condition.”

There are, of course, a number of “real” people who face similar challenges, such as painters who must use their feet, or blind sculptors or photographers. Or being a deaf composer like Beethoven.

In addition to being an actor, Binoche is a dancer, poet and painter, and has commented about creative expression:

“I really don’t see art as being an expression of something outside of myself. Whether it’s writing, or painting, or dancing…the medium changes because of what it is you are trying to express.”

She also urges: “Wake up you creators, wake up. Do things, paint, express yourself and make life possible, whether it’s having children, whatever. Just wake up; it’s time for you to do things.”


Eric MaiselCreativity coach, author and psychologist Eric Maisel, PhD, notes:

“Some people become doctors, lawyers, accountants, or marketing executives. Some people stay at home and raise a family.

“But millions of people make another sort of choice…they become artists.”

And, he adds, “they struggle.”

In one of the chapters (“The Stress Key”) of his book “Making Your Creative Mark,” he writes about how the creative life can be an ongoing source of stress – if we interpret or frame it as such.

He explains, “A stressor is anything, positive or negative, that makes a demand on us. Stress is our body’s physical and psychological reaction to those demands — on the physical level, it is a buildup of chemicals that keeps increasing as the stress persists.

“The stress buildup is the reaction, and the demand (or stressor) is the cause.”

But, he continues, “The demand can actually be positive. Imagine your editor calling you up and telling you that she wants a new book from you.

“That’s lovely — unless you can’t see how on earth you can fit writing it into your schedule. It is lovely to be wanted, but her call still creates a demand — and stress.”

From my article Dealing With Stress To Be More Creative.

His book: Making Your Creative Mark: Nine Keys to Achieving Your Artistic Goals.

The photo shows the cover of another book of his: Why Smart People Hurt: A Guide for the Bright, the Sensitive, and the Creative.


Emotional health for creative, gifted, highly sensitive people

Therapist Sharon M. Barnes comments in an article of hers about some of the qualities and challenges she sees in her practice of many years:

“Creativity and creative expression can be fun but can also be a great burden. Creative ideas show up whether we have time to pay attention to them, or do anything with them or not.

“They also often arrive in tandem or multiples, and the creative person has to choose which idea gets to see the light of day.

“Being aware of things that most people are not may lead to exciting AHA! moments.

“At the same time it can create questions of what’s real and what’s not when no one else sees what you’re seeing.

“It may also carve a canyon of separation between the acutely aware person and others who are less aware.”

Being highly sensitive can bring emotional challenges

“Likewise, sensitivity is a double edged sword. High sensitivity…often brings a capacity for depth of feeling and thought along with a high level of conscientiousness, compassion and empathy.

Times Square“On the other hand, when seemingly simple things like sounds, light and textures create a high level of distress, dealing with them can consume great time and energy, leaving less energy and time available for the rest of daily life.

“When any of these are combined with high intelligence, each of these other traits are magnified and complicated.

“The more of these characteristics that a person carries, the more complex the interaction among these traits can become.”

Being exceptional can make people feel like misfits

Barnes notes some of the outcomes of living with these exceptional qualities:

“The cumulative effect is that many creative, sensitive, intelligent and/or gifted youth and adults feel like misfits, or as many have expressed, like aliens from a different planet.

“Although they may have learned to camouflage or try to hide it, they may carry within themselves a deep sense of inferiority and inadequacy, and may have concluded that they are defective in an irreparable way.

“For many, having an awareness of being profoundly different than others and then drawing a conclusion that ‘I’m defective‘ can come as young as ages 2-5 or even younger ─ at the very time that the foundations of the Self are being constructed.

“All too often this can evolve into a secret sense of alienation, and is often accompanied by anxiety, depression, anger, rage and a plethora of additional distressing emotional states. This eventually can lead to despair and deep discouragement.”

Here is a brief video about this:

“Emotional characteristics of creative people”

Barnes has created a home-study Social & Emotional Empowerment Program to help children, teens and adults who are “Creative, Acutely Aware, Super-Sensitive, Intense and/or Gifted develop high level social and emotional skills.”

Follow the link to her site to learn more about that program and other resources.


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Creativity for Negative Feelings]]> 2017-05-01T20:21:50Z 2017-05-01T20:21:50Z Sally Field in Hello, My Name is Doris

How can creative expression help us deal with difficult emotions?

The photo is Sally Field in the 2015 film “Hello, My Name is Doris.” She has talked about being a teenager and acting in her TV show “The Flying Nun” as being “a hugely important time in my life” but also said the work became very depressing.

“I hated it every day. I hated the garbage. I felt it was just trivia that I had to say.”

She recalls that “Madeleine Sherwood, who played Mother Superior, recognized my depression and how difficult this was for me and she recognized why, and she took me to The Actor’s Studio.

“I didn’t know that’s where I needed to be, and it came a huge turning point in my life.” (From her imdb profile.)

In an interview for Variety, she said training at the Studio “really began to form who I was not only as an actor, but helped me be who I became as a person.

“Because it gave me…acting tools, that I can go into myself and if I can call on those pieces of myself as an actor, then I can call on them as a human, and I couldn’t do that before.”

From article Sally Field Opens Up to Hailee Steinfeld About Fighting Depression as a Teen.


Channel negative feelings into creative work

Harvard professor and creativity author Shelley Carson writes about using creative activities to reduce anxiety and stress, and notes “they even have the power to aid in the healing process if you’ve experienced trauma or injury.

Shelley Carson“That’s why art therapy, music therapy, and even drama therapy are often added to standard forms of treatment for depression and anxiety.”

But she warns, “if negative moods persist for extremely long periods or are severe, you should seek the help of a healthcare professional rather than trying to ‘self-medicate’ with creative work.”

Carson continues,

“You don’t have to be a trained writer, musician, or artist to receive the benefits of creative activity.

“Personal expression of emotion is powerful, even from the untrained creator.

“There are a number of ways you can channel your negative feelings into creative work.

“Standard outlets include through music (singing/playing an instrument or composing a melody), writing (poetry, short stories, or journaling) art (drawing and sculpture), and drama.”

She points out other forms of creative expression:

“Florists can express moods through flower arrangements, and chefs use spices and herbs to suggest different moods; you can also creatively express yourself through photography, gardening, quilting, or woodworking.

“There are virtually endless ways you can creatively express anxiety, sadness, loneliness, or anger and transform that emotion into something original and useful.”

She notes, “You don’t have to be talented, and you don’t have to share what you produce with anyone else.

“Don’t judge your creative work – just get involved in it! The point is to turn a potentially destructive emotion into a constructive activity.”

From her article Use Creativity to Combat Negative Emotions.

Shelley Carson earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University, where she continues to teach and conduct research on creativity, psychopathology, and resilience.

She is author of the book Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life.

Dr. Carson gave a presentation on “Stress, Depression and the Creative Brain” at the Global Stress Summit.

Free replays are still available today, plus recording packages.


“Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing.”

Julia Cameron, from her book The Artist’s Way.


Over the years, I have written a number of articles on this topic – here are a few:

Healing and Creativity: SARK and Others.

Cultivating Creativity and Healing in Our Shadow.

Creative Expression and Healing.


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[The Monkey Mind Disruption – Part 2]]> 2017-04-23T04:35:39Z 2017-04-23T04:02:52Z Snow Monkey using iPhone

In Part 1 of this article, a number of authors, journalists and others describe how much our frenetic thinking can disrupt our lives and increase anxiety.

Part of the value of our teeming brains as creative people is the facility for generating so many associations and ideas.

But we can also generate anxious thoughts all too easily.

As a Buddhist idea, Monkey Mind means “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable.” [Wikipedia]

Our compulsive use of computers, smart phones and other digital devices, can help feed that monkey brain kind of thinking.

(The photo, by Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten, is from the post: Incredible photo of a Snow Monkey using an iPhone.)

What is our monkey brain?

Heidi Hanna, PhD explains in an article that our brain “can be separated into three sections – our lizard brain, our monkey brain, and our human brain.”

She notes the most advanced part of the brain is the “human brain”, which “consists of the outer layer, surrounding the ‘monkey brain.’

“This area allows for logical, emotionless thought, as well as delayed gratification.

“It is by using our ‘human brain’ that we are able to think through our responses, rather than just reacting.”

The “lizard brain” and “monkey brain” help dealing with threats

Dr. Hanna notes “when we are faced with threats to our system, we don’t have time to stop and analyze what’s going on.

“During these times we are glad to have our ‘lizard’ and ‘monkey’ brains to get us to safety, through our fight or flight response.”

She also points out, “Most mammals lead with their ‘monkey brain,’ which is fueled by our most basic responses to fear and desire.”

Multitasking and the monkey brain

She cautions that “when we multitask we can easily find ourselves using our ‘monkey brain,’ making mindless decisions that may end up causing serious problems with important tasks, or even worse, with important relationships.”

Quick tips to tame your monkey mind

She offers these suggestions:

1. “Eliminate the noise. Turn away from your computer, turn off your phone (airplane mode works on the ground), and create an environment that is calming.

2. “Breathe. Bring awareness to your breath often throughout the day, and make sure that you’re getting what you need.

“A short, shallow breath rate triggers the stress response which results in ‘amygdala hijack’ – monkey madness.

“Studies show a breathing pace of 6 breaths per minute (in to a count of 5, and out to a count of 5) is ideal for brainpower.

3. “Get out of the cage. Aim for physical activity at least every 90 minutes in order to keep circulation flowing and cortisol levels in balance.”

From her article  Please Meet Your Monkey Mind, March 22, 2016.


Heidi Hanna, PhD is CEO and founder of SYNERGY, an “integrative neuroscience partnership that provides brain-based training for individuals and organizations on how to release stress patterns from your brain and break free from your old money stories.”

She is the Executive Director of the American Institute of Stress, and “a frequent lecturer at Canyon Ranch Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona.”

One of her books: the NY Times bestseller The SHARP Solution: A Brain-Based Approach for Optimal Performance.

The Global Stress Summit

Heidi Hanna hosts an online FREE summit from April 24 – May 1, 2017, in which she interviews “the very pioneering researchers and thought leaders who helped her learn how to utilize stress as a stimulus for growth.”

Learn more and sign up:

The Global Stress Summit


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Do We Have to Know It All to Be Innovative?]]> 2017-04-16T00:48:52Z 2017-04-16T00:48:52Z cow and drone

Are strategies like brainstorming, extensive information gathering, and deep analysis of data the most productive ways to enhance innovative thinking?

In his post on the topic, Paul Earle comments about trying to know too much, too comprehensively:

“As professionals in the world of brands and innovation, we are trained to scour the category in which we operate for every last morsel of information and insight.

“You know the drill: gather all the data (hey, ‘big data’ even!), learn all the rules, hyper-analyze every competitor big and small, go deep on consumer research, understand everything about what has been done before and why.”

But, he adds, “When it comes to innovation, we should remember that ‘know-it-all’ is a pejorative term!”

Read more of his post (on the Innovation Excellence site): Origin Stories of Innovation™: The Power of Creative Naiveté.

One of the books from the organization: Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire: A Roadmap to a Sustainable Culture of Ingenuity and Purpose by Braden Kelley.


The image is one example of innovation: Drones are being used for mapping, agriculture, film, photography, advertising, police and military surveillance, monitoring inaccessible structures, even package delivery some day if Amazon’s plans work out.

(Image from The global race for drone regulation.)


Innovation is a journey

In a post on her site, Sharon Pearson, a coach, entrepreneur and author, responds to the question: “How Do You Become Innovative?” She writes:

“I get asked this question all the time. I don’t love the question, but I do love it when people love exploring the answer.

“The moment the question is asked, innovation is lost.

“The question itself is the problem. It implies that there is an answer to this question that will work.

“There is an answer. In this moment. And in this moment. And in this moment.

“Each moment has a new answer. Creativity and innovation is not a destination. It’s a journey. It’s an unfolding.”

She explains, “Innovative thinking is seeing what is and asking questions that are not about it.

“For example:

What is this not solving?
What is this causing that we don’t want?
If we didn’t have this, what would we have instead?
If this had never been considered, what would have happened, instead?

“These questions are starting to be innovative, but they’re not really getting us there.

“True innovative thinking is more like this:

“What if this reality didn’t exist?”

Read more in her post Meta Change.

Sharon Pearson is a presenter at the free Brain-A-Thon training webinar hosted by John Assaraf – Founder, Chairman and CEO, NeuroGym.

Other presenters include Srini Pillay, MD – Harvard Professor, Neuroscientist and Neuro Coach; Daniel Amen, MD – Founder, Amen Clinics, Bestselling Author of “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”; David Krueger, MD – Executive Mentor and Author, “The Secret Language of Money”; Heidi Hanna, PhD – Bestselling Author and Neuroscientist.


Emotion and innovation

The Creativity ChallengeKH Kim, a professor of Creativity and Innovation at the College of William & Mary, comments in her article “The Creativity Crisis In America!”:

“Innovators experience deep emotions, are sensitive to the environment, and are emotionally expressive.

“Emotions affect creativity often more than cognitive or other rational factors and are found in all creative endeavors including science and arts.”

From my article Emotional Intelligence for Innovation.

Her book is The Creativity Challenge: How We Can Recapture American Innovation.


Douglas Eby <![CDATA[Be Spontaneous to Be Creative]]> 2017-04-08T01:23:14Z 2017-04-07T04:05:44Z Marc Chagall quote

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” Marc Chagall

But creative expression involves using and balancing both our “heart” and “head.”

Creative inspiration can benefit from intuition, dreaming, being spontaneous, and playing – but our intellect is needed to select, refine, and make real those creative ideas.

A professor of Creativity and Innovation, creativity researcher and author, KH Kim writes in an article of hers about this balancing:

“Ideas that are unique but not useful are considered irrelevant or crazy, thus they require critical thinking that consists of analysis and evaluation.

“However, generating and evaluating ideas at the same time is like driving with one foot on the brake and the other on the accelerator.

“Innovators balance spontaneity with persistence to generate and evaluate ideas. After spontaneously generating many ideas, they work on other simple work; take a break; relax; or daydream, which often leads to unique ideas.”

She adds, “Later when they return to the ideas they generated, they critically and persistently analyze and evaluate them for usefulness.”

She makes a number of suggestions for discovering “what is keeping you from living spontaneously” – such as:

“Finding predictable behavior by making a list of your daily routines to determine whether you:

* Do things in the same order
* Take the same route to work every day
* Talk to the same people every day
* Order the same drink or meal at a restaurant.”

She suggests you can shake up your routine by:

* Not over-planning or over-scheduling your life

* Making an immediate plan and going through with it, instead of talking about it

* Experimenting with new ways of doing things…

Read more in her article Want To Innovate? Science Says, “Be Spontaneous”, The Creativity Post Feb 21, 2017.

Her book: The Creativity Challenge: How We Can Recapture American Innovation.

Also see more of her perspectives in article: Emotional Intelligence for Innovation.


Heart vs intellect

The image of the quote by artist Marc Chagall is from the page for The Spontaneous Way painting course by the Studio of Spontaneous Creativity.

Jodie FosterIt reminds me of comments by actor Jodie Foster:

“I can basically put my emotions aside and go headfirst, but it’s something I have to watch, because sometimes I don’t know how I feel about things… Until years later.

“I am someone who experiences the world through my head, so my psyche’s fight, my whole life, has been the head against the heart.

“That’s what all my movies are about, too.”

Read more in my article The INTJ Personality and Being Creative.

Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D. of Institute for the Study of Advanced Development notes one source of this conflict:

“Individuals with higher intelligence are likely to be well educated. Higher education indoctrinates students to think logically and skeptically and to dismiss intuitive information.”

From my article Wrestling with our intuition.


A final quote:

“Being spontaneous at times is a must. Being spontaneous all the time is a crazy person.” Actor Ryan Hansen.