A beautiful film that I felt compelled to share with you… Enjoy!
A beautiful film that I felt compelled to share with you… Enjoy!
I read this post on distractify.com and knew instantly I had to share these photos with you all…
At first, these look like beautiful, ultra-realistic paintings from a famous museum.
The modest garment and simple background suggests they’re were drawn hundreds of years ago.
But upon closer inspection, these are actually photographs. See more…
We’ve all heard that we need to tap into our creative right brains.
But how? Martha Beck offers a few fruitful ways to branch out.
by Martha Beck
This morning I sat down to write about how we can all learn to better use the right hemispheres of our brains. For 30 minutes, I tapped restlessly at a laptop. Nothing much happened, idea-wise. Flat beer.
Finally I resorted to a strategy I call the Kitchen Sink. I read bits of eight books: four accounts of brain research, one novel about India, one study of bat behavior, one biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and one memoir of motherhood. Next I drove to my favorite Rollerblading location, listening en route to a stand-up comic, a mystery novel, and an Eckhart Tolle lecture. I yanked on my Rollerblades and skated around, squinting slack-jawed into the middle distance. After a while, a tiny light bulb went on. “Well,” I thought, “I could write about this.”
The Kitchen Sink, you see, is one way to activate your brain’s creative right hemisphere. Every writer I’ve ever met uses some version of it, as do Web designers, cartoonists, TV producers—all “content creators” who regularly face the terrifying thought, “Well, I’ve gotta come up with something.”
If you’re not a content creator, wait a while. The 21st century is to content creators what the Industrial Revolution was to factory workers: In a world where information is superabundant, unique and creative ideas are hot-ticket advantages both personally and professionally. More and more people are finding more and more ways to parent, make money, find friends, and generally live well by relying on creativity. I’ve seen this shift among my life-coaching clients. For instance: Michaela develops financial-planning strategies for stay-at-home moms. Mary runs a long-distance mother’s support group via Skype. Alyssa’s innovative T-shirt designs keep selling, recession or no recession. The demand for creative thinking is both a challenge and an opportunity. It requires us to use more than the logical left-brain skills we learned in school. These days, we all need to get back into our right minds. Continue reading
Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco
For a creative professional, a creative block isn’t just frustrating — it’s potentially career-damaging. When you rely on your creativity to pay the bills and build your reputation, you can’t afford to be short of ideas or the energy to put them into action.
But all creative blocks are not created equal. Different types of block require different solutions — something that’s easily forgotten when you’re feeling stuck. Here are seven of the most common types, and how to unblock them. Continue reading
By Mark Matousek
You are a genius but probably don’t know it. Each of is born with a specific gift that exists nowhere else in all of creation. In ancient Rome, it was well understood that everyone had his or her own genius, a spirit whose sole purpose is to inspire our lives and guide us to our destiny. But we have forgotten this wisdom.
We’re told that genius is miraculously rare, instead — think Leonardo da Vinci or Stephen Hawking — and based on bizarrely high IQs. But genius, in truth, has more to do with desire, courage, passion and focus than it has with psychological testing. Genius informs the voice of your deepest self — the still small voice within — that guides you forward in mysterious ways having little to do with conscious will and much to do with learning to listen.
What gifts are you here to offer the world? No one else can do it for you. “There is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique,” as Martha Graham knew. “If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.” Continue reading
“Time is an equal opportunity employer.
has exactly the
same number of hours and minutes every day.
can’t invent new minutes.
And you can’t save time to spend it on another day.
Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have
― Denis Waitley
Not everyone is the creative type, right? Wrong. Peggy Orenstein uncovers the roots of imaginative thinking.
By Peggy Orenstein
My daughter, Daisy, was thrilled last fall when she was placed in a second-grade class with a special concentration on science and math. I pasted on my best Enthusiastic Mom smile as she chattered about baking-soda volcanoes and lemon-powered batteries, but inside I was roiling. Math? Science? What about her love of writing, drawing, composing music? That school was going to suck the creativity right out of her! They’d turn her into one of those people who talks in a monotone about things no one else can understand! Or worse: They’d somehow turn her into me.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been haunted by the conviction that I am not a creative person. True, I’m a writer, but not the kind who relies on her boundless imagination to make things up. I’m the knitter who’s lost without a pattern, the longtime piano student who was never able to improvise. I can’t even doodle without hyperventilating; I fear drawing the way other people fear heights. Creativity, like red hair, always seemed to be one of those things you either had or you didn’t. Clearly I didn’t.
Maybe you know what I mean. According to James C. Kaufman, an associate professor of psychology at California State University at San Bernardino and author of Creativity 101, a majority of Americans don’t consider themselves the creative “type.” This wouldn’t be a big deal if the self-assessment didn’t tend to become self-fulfilling, but it does: We think we’re not creative, so we don’t cultivate our creative potential and—voilà!—we’re not creative. In recent years, that cycle seems to have become a spiral: Americans’ scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, a 90-minute series of visual and verbal tasks administered by a psychologist, have plummeted since 1990.
No one can fully explain the decline; too much TV, texting, googling? Whatever the culprit, experts in the emerging field of creativity studies—a broad array of psychologists, educators, and neuroscientists—would like us to chuck the have-it-or-don’t mentality and start recognizing creativity as basic to human development, as elemental as reading or counting. Creativity can be squelched, these experts say, but if we take the time to better understand what it is and how it works, it can also be fostered and enhanced. Scholars define creativity as the production of something both novel and appropriate. (That latter condition is important from a research perspective: “If anything new qualifies as creative, then the term loses its meaning,” Kaufman says. “Suppose the person you hired to repave your driveway covered it with salami—that would be original, surely, but inappropriate.” Similarly, an innovative design for a bridge would not pass muster if, once constructed, it collapsed.)
By this definition, almost any human endeavor has the potential to be creative. Which brings us to step one in claiming our creativity: becoming more expansive in our own definition of the term.
So many people operate under the default assumption that creativity is the sole province of the arts. I, it appears, am one of those people. Intellectually, I know it’s wrong to think this way. I’m well aware of Einstein, Curie, Gates—not to mention Temple Grandin, James (Mr. vacuum cleaner) Dyson, and the creatively self-amputating guy James Franco played in 127 Hours. Heck, there’s even Daisy and her baking-soda volcanoes.
In my defense, it’s only recently—in the last century or so—that anyone acknowledged creativity extending beyond the arts. The Victorians applied the term primarily to painting; the ancient Greeks, to poetry. For all we know, future generations may consider our own parameters equally quaint. In the decade since advances in imaging technology have allowed researchers to precisely track the way our brains process creative tasks, it’s become clear, for example, that we were mistaken in thinking creativity resides in a single area of the brain. Brain scans of people engaged in different types of creative tasks—visual and verbal problem-solving, artistic performance involving music—reveal that many brain areas are involved. Moreover, domains such as the arts, science, and leadership appear to harness various types of creativity, each drawing on different sets of mental abilities. “It’s a very optimistic finding,” says Oshin Vartanian, PhD, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Toronto, “because we now see that creativity can be exhibited in many different ways.” Continue reading
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