Essential Skills

Great movie. Creativity abounds...







A creative genius sets clear goals and objectives that naturally enhance their focus and awareness as they progress along their journey toward manifesting a brilliant idea.




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Creativity: Mr. Y's Creativity Workshop

Here's a chance to make our study of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences work for us.

Your creative capacity effectively determines your academic success, ability, effectiveness, efficiency and your flexibility of thought. There is no doubt that at school our Logical Intelligence is looked upon with high regard. The better capacity you have to remember key concepts, ideas and make sense of the information you are learning, the better marks you will achieve. However, in the classroom, creativity is in fact as important if not more important than your intellectual capacity. Your intellect might help you to understand key concepts and ideas, however it is your creative capacity that will help you to think in unorthodox ways, – somewhat outside the box – helping you to learn more efficiently, effectively and flexibly at the same time. Intellectuals are somewhat like computer programs that are fed information and data. On the other hand, creative individuals shift, change, expand, and alter this data in ways that will help them to improve their effectiveness and efficiency of learning. To put it another way, an intellectual will follow the instructions of the book to the letter without wavering or making a mistake. However, a creative individual will come up with brilliant ideas and methods that will help them to improve their speed of learning, reading, comprehension and proficiency.

A creative genius thinks that everything and anything is possible given enough time, thought, and reflection.

In the job world, your creative capacity effectively determines how quickly you will advance your way up the career ladder. Almost anyone with a passion for a specific niche area, can learn and develop the skills to become proficient and reliable. Companies like to hire these types of people because they have a good sound knowledge base and understanding of their work responsibilities. However, in order to advance up the career ladder it takes a little more than a solid base of knowledge and experience. It actually requires the creative capacity to think outside the box about methods, tactics and strategies that will improve efficiency, effectiveness, grow profits, and enhance customer loyalty. It essentially doesn’t matter where you are currently positioned within your company. If you develop enough creative momentum you can climb up the corporate ladder in very quick succession with only a few groundbreaking creative ideas.


Breaking Paradigms

A creative genius is courageous in thought and action. Being courageous usually requires breaking the rules while going against orthodox methods of thinking and acting. They understand that the fastest way to a brilliant and unique idea is through the process of going against the grain. This is the philosophy they live by each and every day of their lives.

























"Make your own kind of music. Sing your own special song, even if nobody else sings along."
-Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil














Does High School destroy creativity?

As we grow older and more mature we progress through to high school where suddenly we find our creative capacity squashed against a wall of criticism, judgment and punishment. One of the biggest drawbacks of our current high school system is in its inability to help students develop and expand on their creative capacity and intellect.

A creative genius wholeheartedly believes that
there is NO Failure, ONLY Feedback.

Within the "classic" high school system students are punished for their mistakes, they are judged for their thinking and processing of information, and they are criticized for their weaknesses. All of this leads to a stressful learning environment that predominantly provides group attention and limits learning to only the visual and auditory sensory organs. Psychological studies have revealed that during pre-school 9 out of every 10 kids show a capacity for creative thought. However, as they progress through to high school, that number drops to 3 out of 10. What in the world is happening to our creative capacity? What are we doing wrong? How are we hurting our kids with our teaching methods? This is a long, deep and thought provoking topic that we may discuss in further detail another time.

Now...time for a random quote:

“All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. “

---Arthur Schopenhauer

Hitting the Creativity Wall...

The late, great, Steve Jobs. Creativity and design and inspiration and...Creativity Into Innovation

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." - Carl Jung

Steve Jobs is someone we reference a lot in the Essential Skills class here at Oxbridge. Steve Jobs didn't invent the personal computer, he made it better by introducing the mouse and the graphic user interface. He didn't invent tablet computing--he made it better with the iPad. He didn't invent mp3s or mp3 players--he made the iPod. You get the idea... When creativity meets a need there exists the potential for innovation.

Innovation is applied creativity. The term is often used to refer to the entire process by which an individual or organization generates creative new ideas and converts them into novel, useful, and viable creations!

Essential Skills used on a regular basis become almost automatic and can be accessed whenever needed. The key: learn in a way that builds on prior knowledge and directly confronts deeply held misconceptions.

The more knowledgeable and skilled we become the higher our expectations become. So it is vital that we continue to grow in our field of creativity in order to thrive in it. The key: learn and understand how integrated knowledge, which shows how each concept is connected to other concepts, can apply to what you want to create.

Memory function also brings forth creative spark! The key: understand your creative subject on a much deeper concept, not memorization of superficial facts. Take time to understand some of the minutia that has meaning to you. You will be suprised how you recall it when the time is appropriate. The other procedure that helps us bring information back from our long term memory is by association.

Innovation today is a continuous process of small and constant change, and it is built into the culture of successful realizations from paper to fruition. Willingness to take risks with ideas can result in an innovation. Ideas are useless unless used. The proof of their value is only in their implementation.

Using tools such as memory recall, deep rooted knowledge, unfocused time, focused effort, and the synthesis of knowledge and skills (the key ingredients) anyone is able to grow an idea into an innovative solution to any problem.

Steve Jobs said:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Your Creative Journal
Many creative ideas are lost before they even have an opportunity to harvest within our minds, because we simply fail to recognize the obscure patterns of their subtle messages. A creative genius cultivates, grows and expands their imaginative methods of thinking each and every day.

A creative genius enjoys journaling or mind mapping their thoughts, ideas, learnings and experiences as it effectively helps them to trigger new insights and concepts that may not have been evident to them before. They understand that only through the process of turning a thought into a written word or diagram can they effectively take control of the vast amount of ideas that are continuously flowing in and out of their mind. One of the greatest inventors of all time, Leonardo da Vinci was an avid note taker. He understood that it was very difficult to make sense of his ideas if they weren’t concretely presented on paper and laid out in front of him in a logical manner. It is through this diligent and dedicated process that he brought to life some of his most famous and well known inventions.

A Creative Journal is a book created to chart progress, make steps to follow, and create a journey to building self-confidence. It can be used for writing down experiences you have, words that give you power and help you to work toward your success! This journal ia a good place to record your information so that you can go back and look at later.

Tips for Creative Journaling Hopefully your journal will at least APPEAR to be more creative...

1. Inspiring creativity to come is about finding balance. Upon waking, pick up your journal and write down a goal for the day. Commit yourself to doing one thing that will take you out of your comfort zone today.

2. It is a good idea to focus on one specific thing that will bring about change today, no matter how awkward it may feel. Be focused.

3. Determination is the key element you must apply to see your goal through today. Be determined.

4. Jot down an affirmation that you will repeat throughout the day "I am willing to take the risk", "I am proud of myself and will extend my pride even further today", "I will achieve my new goal today". Yeah, it sounds too "New Agey," but what you're doing is programming your brain.

5. Allowing the creative process to unfold is the sign of a confident person. You can achieve this by having faith in what you choose to set as your goal.

6. Having faith in your abilities is trusting your heart's desire. And no one can deny your heart's desire.

7. Take a look at your creative process. Are you pro-active? Write down each idea. Now, one by one, as you go on your journey, use these as a check list you will think about.

8. Take a look at your positive attributes. These are your strengths you will use as tools to take you further and create your new idea.

9. Reflect on your past successes. Use these as stepping stones in order to reach your goal. You have done it before and you will do it again. This is bringing creativity to innovation.

10. As you inspire yourself and become innovative, you inspire innovation in others. This natural progression is one of the most rewarding gifts you can receive.

Improve Creativity with Music?

Music stimulates the forebrain to potentially open up the creative portion of the mind. The interaction may take the form of talking about thoughts and feelings, contributing to group experiences, cooperating with others or responding to others' needs. Interpersonal interaction can take place through music listening.

1. Choose types of music which inspire you.

2. Music can help you reflect, influence and alter your emotional response and therefore is a valuable therapeutic tool.

3. Music for creativity helps with identification, awareness, reflection or expression of feelings and can help with related issues.

4. Music can act as a psychotherapeutic tool to improve mental clarity. Mental clarity can be boosted through improvisation, singing, movement and dancing.

5. The right music (music you love) can provide you with sensory feedback, will promote self-knowledge and promote awareness and identity.

6. Music taps into memories and emotions. Work with music that brings forth memories and emotions that are positive, uplifting and motivating.

7. Music is success oriented. People of all ability levels can participate and reach their goal.

8. Studies have shown that it is not one type of music that inspires us or builds creativity, but any type of music that works to encourage your progress.

9. Learn more about our connections to music and the entrainment process.

10. Now choose the music that will help you to get motivated, inspire your actions and take you to the next step. Make a CD or MP3 of your favorites and utilize this valuable tool often!

A couple more quotes from Steve Jobs:

“I want to put a ding in the universe.”

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

Tools For Cultivating Creativity

Creativity is accessed through a stimulus. It is important to embrace the transition! Learn to recognize strengths you may have overlooked and use them in the creative process. Embrace optimism and compel yourself forward. Honor the creative endeavor, which you are transforming into. Here are some tools for stimulating creativity:

1.Visualization and Guided Imagery: Picturing yourself as the person who is creative, successful and a fountain full of ideas, is the key to revealing your own mastery. It is a fact that creative people see themselves as creative giving themselves creative freedom. Those who feel they are not creative people, do not allow themselves to be creative and do not give themselves the opportunity to create anything new. Energy follows thought. When you program your thoughts to reflect your wishes, you tend to put your energy into making it so. The mind can be the most helpful tool in the way we desire to live our lives and create what we want to create. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.

Tip: Go to a bookstore. Just walk around. While you're walking, pick stuff up. Look at the stuff.2. Music is the great motivator. Music empowers our spirit and can give us the create spark to grow, realize who we are and even give our ideas wings. Music as a creative building block is as individual as we are. Find the music that gives you passion. The passion to grow. Let music inspire you, lift you up and find your voice. Music works on the Entrainment Theory. The beat of the music aligns with our heart and body rhythm. Slower music gives us time for reflection, inspiration and introspection. Faster music moves us, motivates us and pushes us forward. Use music to create more creativity in your life.

The Creativity Cycle

The following is a quick summary of a recommended process of creativity that will help you unlock a deep reservoir of creative ideas:

Settlement Phase

In order to bring forth creative inspiration, your first objective is to settle yourself within a motivational and relaxing environment that naturally stimulates the creative thought process. For further insights and ideas on how to create this environment, have a read of Developing Smart Study Habits.

Rejuvenation Phase

Once you are settled and relaxed within your creative environment, you must now close your eyes and bring forth into your mind past creative successes and achievements that will help inspire and put you into a state of “creation”. The greater the emotional intensity you bring forth here, the more inspiring the surge of creative energy you will feel expanding outwards from your body.

Creation Phase

At this point you are now ready to apply some of the creative strategies we will discuss below in order to bring forth unique, ingenious and brilliant ideas that will spark instant creativity. It is important here not to judge the concepts that you bring forth into your mind. Instead become a possibility thinker who persistently expands upon their ideas in many surprising and unexpected ways. Take out a piece of paper and mind map the creative visions that are forming within the recesses of your mind.

Synchronization Phase

Having already conceptualized some brilliant ideas, you are now ready to draw out a plan of how you will bring these ideas into the physical world. Begin now by thinking logically about your thoughts and ideas in ways that will help you to make sense of them in the real world. This stage essentially involves drawing up a plan of action that will help you to implement your ideas with great proficiency within the final stage of the Creativity Cycle.

Implementation Phase

Having conceptualized an idea and drawn up a plan of action, you are now ready to take the necessary steps that will help you to bring your ideas into the physical world. In order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your plan, it is important that you stick to a flexible approach and constantly expands your thinking and awareness about the possibilities and opportunities that you could take advantage of at any moment in time.