Monday, March 26, 2018

Creativity vs Intelligence

If you believe only smart people can be creative - you need to kick that myth right out of your head immediately. Trust me, smart people can and do come up with some really dumb ideas. On the other hand, innovation comes from breaking the boundaries. In other words try not to limit yourself to what you already know. There are times to escape and be fully aware that creativity is actually intelligence having fun, so says Albert Einstein. 

Einstein's level of intelligence is far greater than most all of us. It is used synonymously with the word genius. Because I know that I am not anywhere close to a genius, I adore the quote from Einstein that is at the top of this blog. 

I don't feel as if I am bragging, however, I do feel as if I am a creative person. I do know that creative people believe it to be rare and that most creative people actually do not feel inspired all of the time. It is not something that I can clap on/clap off like the "clapper" that is advertised on TV. My creativity does not work like that. Most people's creative side does not work this way either.

Whether you feel that you are or that you are not creative, you should feel happy that it is a learned skill/art. For real! It takes training to think creatively. You need to get on board so that you can begin the journey of thinking more creatively and not become a part of the humdrum beat going on around you.

Creativity is not just for artists  -  it is critical to everyone. It will measure how large your world can grow. Look at it this you want to be like the hamster in the wheel spinning around and around and always going the same way, looping the same loop over and over?

If you can be inspired by your own creativity and follow up with actions, you can make your world grow and gain new experiences. This was my very own, "A-ha moment!" All ideas happen to be the product of processes. What I am exposing myself to will then influence a thought, and this random thought turns into an idea and WALLA...creativity explodes.

Good ideas are truly random. When writing my novel, I must say it is a product of years of hard work, endless rewrites. When it gets published (and it will) people will assume it was great from the start. Maybe one random idea; the rest of it had to be followed up with actions, lots of them.

Some examples:

  • watching and observing everywhere I go
  • reading time every day (other novels and materials both in my genre and outside my genre)
  • listening to others, especially those who have accomplished what I desire to do
  • outline and storyboard to help clear the clutter of all the random ideas and thoughts that I want to go into my novel
  • continually looking at editors and publishers who are interested in my kind of genre and how they want it submitted
  • research - yes even fiction needs research depending on what you are writing about
Out of all of these examples, none of them, can be forced. It is a full time job if you let it be. For me, my creativity sparks when my mind, body and soul are all in harmony.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Hard Day's Night

Just the other day, we lost our power. There was no storm, wind or other acts of Mother Nature going on to explain it. The fact that it went off for 3  - 4 seconds and then returned to stay on about 3 - 4 seconds...doing this to tease us for about four to six times before going out for good. Hmmmm

My first thoughts was that it was good that we are now on Day Light Savings Time, as it would remain a bit lighter longer. (Especially since it was a rather overcast kind of day.) The time was around 4:15 P.M. Both of us thought about our dinner plans. If we can't cook or heat things up then it will be making a sandwich, which we could or ordering out. 

We thought that we might order out if nothing came back on. Meanwhile, as the clock was ticking, I noticed that it was getting a bit chilly, so I reached down to turn the little heater on by my feet. HA!
That was not thought out very well at all. Electric heater. Steve had a better idea, which was to turn the fire on, gas, of course! It would take some of the dampness out for a while. Thank goodness, it was not super cold; just that damp chill in the house. 

At this point, I decided to read some. It was a little gloomy in the room so I reached up to flip on the floor lamp. Just as I touched the knob, it dawned on me...electricity! Let's go to a much better idea. Candles and a flashlight, handy for when we needed them. I lit the candles right away. This gave off a wonderful fragrance and a touch of extra lighting.

After a bit of reading, I stood up and thought that it might be a great time to go back and touch up my hair. Oh wait! Electric curling iron, blow dryer or curlers...hummm!  As you must be getting the picture now, it had become a hard day's night! It is simply amazing how we get accustomed to what we have and when we lose it, the whole universe changes. (Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, you get it though, I know that you do.)

There are times like these that hit us all. Let me mention a few, some of which have actually happened to me and some just have not happened yet; therefore let me say, I am not making fun of anyone. We need to all be able to laugh at ourselves, as we really do live  A Hard Day's Night.

One friend filled her car up with gas, but then drove off with the gas hose in her car. Bless her, twice even, because she did it again just a few months later. The attendant inside actually told her not to worry, another woman did it a few months ago. Then there was a friend who in the dark searched her car with the flashlight app on her phone. What was she searching for? Her phone! She thought that she had dropped it. 

Have you ever been talking on your cell telling someone either with you in person or on the phone with you that you have lost your phone and are trying to find it? What about having glasses on the top of your head searching the house for them? Let me add that none of these people have the onset of dementia. It is just A Hard Day's Night.

We are living in 2018 and most of us are working like a dog and to top it off SHOULD be sleeping like a log, except all a bit sleep deprived. What we need to realize is that we need to support one another and know that when we find that special someone and arrive home; they will make us feel alright!

Monday, March 12, 2018


We are in control of the changes we make in our lives. No one can do it for us, as Carol Burnett so wisely states. Before I hear a lot of moaning and groaning and but what abouts...let me add this. Yes, we are constricted to a degree about how we go about some of the changes that we may want. This is where creativity and thinking outside the box comes in to play.

Why is it easier for some people to make changes and so difficult for others? If you can answer this million dollar question then you have the power to change what you desire. None of us can force change; what we can do is take control of it. The best way that I have discovered is to go at it in baby steps.

Example:  1. Think about what it is you want to change. Keeping in mind that change is hard, let's face it. Usually, if it is a personal change, it is a habit such as smoking, or overeating, or trash talking to a loved one. Perhaps this 'habit' has been going on for over 10 years or so. 
               2.  Once determined change is in our minds, it is up to us to get it set in stone as a mindset. This could mean writing about it, drawing it, dreaming it, saying it, and practicing it. Baby steps really. One day you may not make it. That is not an excuse to give in. This is where I have made my very own mistakes on changes. Just go ahead, live and learn. 
                3.  Stay positive. Sometimes you may need help with a support system to stay on our toes, we need to practice and give supportive feedback. Have confidence within yourself and try new ideas that others may give you or ones that we may come up on our own.
                4.  To maintain this change requires constant supervision. Who is the supervisor? We are our own supervisors. As Les Brown said, "You've got to fight for your dreams like your life depends on it. Why? Because it does!"

When I saw that I had to get out of my comfort zone to accomplish what I wanted to change, this is when the journey with change stopped being an uphill battle in all parts of my life. One of my favorite actors is Morgan Freeman. He was in a movie titled, "Bruce Almighty." A line that he used that stuck with me was "If you want to see a miracle BE the miracle." We all have the power to make it happen.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Happy Place

There is a fine line between stress and relaxing. How each one of us handle it is up to us. What works for me, may not work for you and vice versa. For me, I start my day with a positive mantra that fits what I may be facing in my day to day life. It could be something specific such as getting a new car or going in for a check up with the doctor or dentist. Maybe it is giving a workshop to a room full of people who really resent just having to be there. 

The list of what can make me feel stressed out can go on and on. I can imagine that your list does the same for you. My way of dealing with it works great for me. Finding my 'Happy Place,' which is always the beach, is easy to do when I remain calm and focus on the positive. Using positive quotes and mantras and posting them works. Also, meditation with a focus on breathing is a technique that helps me.

Then it dawned on me that this is not a cure-all for everything and everyone. I stumbled on an article by Laura Schocker titled "Balance." The British saying of "Keep Calm and Carry On," does not work for everyone. In fact, for some people it can make it more stressful. People telling you to take a chill pill, or to just breathe in and out can make you tense up even more. There is a reason for this which is based on the theory that you can't force relaxation. 

It is a technique that can be learned with practice. It won't be learned overnight, so meanwhile, everyone has to decide how they will work on it for now. Which trick works for your emotional intelligence?  If having others tell you to just relax makes you want to throw them out the window, then you may want to try relabeling your stress and state it out loud. 

Example: If you were going to a big job interview, instead of saying how nervous and anxious you were feeling and then hearing others tell you to just relax; tell yourself that you are feeling this way because you are so eager to ace this job interview. This puts other words in your mind such as how excited you are to do well. This immediately gives you the control. The worse-case scenario is played out in your mind and you probably will discover that it was not as bad as you had imagined. 

Once you have found your own personal Happy Place, make it a habit to visit often. This way, it is much less stressful to pull out of the hat to use when needed. It becomes second nature.

After all the goal is to get out of the stress mode and in to the relaxation mode. How you do it is up to you.