Creativity Articles

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive Change

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive ChangeGood questions can be powerful in life-changing ways. They can spark exciting ideas and inventions. They can spark personal discoveries, which lead to fulfilling, meaningful lives.

According to historian David Hackett Fischer, questions “are the engines of intellect — cerebral machines that convert curiosity into controlled inquiry.”

Author and journalist Warren Berger includes Fischer’s quote in his fascinating book A More Beautiful Question. In it, he shares inspiring, interesting stories of people who’ve asked powerful questions and created innovative businesses and changed their and others’ lives for the better.

Movie Music and Theory of Mind

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / anyjazz65Movie music can have a huge impact on our perception of a film. Ever since the days of “silent” movies, filmmakers have recognized that music enhances the movie-going experience.

The earliest movies were shown in halls with live accompanists playing pianos and organs. Some films were even accompanied with full live orchestras. Why would movie companies go to such expense, if not to make viewers enjoy the film more?

How Music Heightens Our Experiences

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

How Music Heightens Our ExperiencesThere’s a whimsical, charming scene in Begin Again, starring Keira Knightly, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine, that showcases two of the characters strolling through the streets of New York City, bonding through music. The gold and silver lights of Times Square shimmer in the dark, and earbuds are plugged in as they absorb favorite songs and guilty pleasures off their playlists.

These snapshots were not only a beautiful love letter and ode to the city, but they paid homage to the power of music as well. Music was a vibrant color to a blank canvas; music lit up the night and made it sparkle; music smacked them awake.

Music has the capacity to heighten our daily experiences — to alter our emotional states, to enhance, transcend and inspire the present moment.

3 Tips for Sparking Your Kids’ Creativity

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

3 Tips for Sparking Your Kids’ Creativity“Creativity is a gift, given in some measure to all of us,” said Tom Sturges, an accomplished music executive, author, teacher and speaker. For over 15 years, Sturges has mentored and taught thousands of students to explore their creativity, “to let their creative instinct ‘emerge’ rather than to force it out into the open.”

(There’s even a documentary, “Witness to a Dream,” about his work with inner-city kids in Los Angeles.)

Creativity, he noted, isn’t drawing, painting or writing a song. “These are just some uses of the creative instinct. But there are so many ways that children can be creative.”

Creativity Can Be a Fearful Flyer’s Best Friend

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Creativity Can Be a Fearful Flyer's Best FriendI’m a recovered fearful flyer who experienced a setback this year, and I have to brush up on my anxiety prevention skills. Of course I knew this could happen. Apparently membership in the Fearful Flyers Club is for life.

I try not to despair. But when it comes down to it I wonder: how much work do I have to do to make something expensive and relatively uncomfortable into something that doesn’t turn my body into a dumping ground of stress hormones?

The Power of Curiosity: 3 Strategies for Staying Curious

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / James JordanAs kids we’re insatiably inquisitive. Everything — from cups to cupboards to dirt to our own hands — fascinates us. But for many of us, as we start getting older, we lose our appetite for curiosity.

And yet curiosity is powerful. It adds color, vibrancy, passion and pleasure to our lives. It helps us solve stubborn problems. It helps us do better in school and work. And even more so, it is our birthright, as Ian Leslie writes in his book Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It.

Secret of Adulthood: Someplace, Keep an Empty Shelf

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

SomeplaceKeepAnEmptyShelf_1248581-235x300Now, what’s so great about an empty shelf? An empty shelf shows that I have room to expand …

Robin Williams, Creativity & Mental Illness

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Robin Williams, Creativity & Mental Illness

Robin Williams’ suicide this past week has brought forward some commentators who are linking his creative genius to his mental illness. While we can’t say for certain whether his creativity was due, at least in part, to his mental illness, we can say this — there is a lot less of a link between these two things than most people think.

We should remember Robin Williams and attribute his creativity to where it probably best belongs — to a personality, intelligence and insight into the human condition that few people have.

And we should put to rest the myth that in order to be a creative genius, one must also be mentally ill.

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues Often, stress, disappointments, and mundane realities of everyday life plague our inner worlds so much that it’s difficult to experience positive emotions such as joy, peace, and spontaneity. Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle.

The negative emotions build up even more, sapping our mental and physical energies to the point where it’s a challenge just to get through our daily routines. Our bodies become just as blunted as our spirits. Happily, though, there are three easy and inspiring activities that can help us beat the blues and increase our general well-being.

4 Steps to a Deeper Gratitude

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

relationship-happiness-gratitudeWe know that feeling and expressing gratitude is a good thing. But what needs to happen inside us so that we’re more mindful and present for the experience of gratitude? How can the experience of gratitude open us to life more deeply and connect us more intimately with each other?

Need to Boost Creative Thinking? Try Taking a Walk

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Mysterious path

A new study shows that walking — as opposed to sitting — significantly improves creative thinking. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why yet (more research is coming), but they hypothesize that the act of walking most likely triggers certain physiological changes that activate the part of the brain that fuels imagination.

The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, involved 176 participants, mostly college students. Researchers conducted several experiments to investigate whether a simple walk could temporarily improve certain types of thinking, including free-flowing thought.

Self-Affirmation: A Simple Exercise that Actually Helps

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Self-Affirmation: A Simple Exercise that Actually HelpsWhat is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you know that you are a storyteller?

We all have stories of ourselves formed by life experiences and relationships. We tell ourselves these stories, and we reveal the details of these stories to others through our words and actions. Our stories reflect our values and strengths.

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