Changes are happening in all areas of our lives due to continual covid lockdowns. Work, home, business, education, socialising, family, entertainment, health, economy, finance, travel, community – many things are crumbling before our eyes. This leaves us with both a challenge e.g. how to deal with financial collapse and, an opportunity e.g. the potential benefits of long-term flexible working.
To get through all this we need new ideas, new solutions to new problems, new ways of doing things and a new design for the future. I don’t mean ‘new-ish’ ideas that are born out of a mish-mash of old ideas and old ways of doing things. We need to get radical. We need to not only get out of the box, we need to get rid of the box. We need to get free and imagine new possibilities. We need to engage our creative genius.
Creativity – what is it?
Quite simply: “the ability to produce original and unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative” (Cambridge Dictionary). It’s important we grasp this clearly as often, people associate creativity with art, painting, music and the like. But to me, technology, science, maths, business – these are equally creative endeavours. Creativity is simply the act of creation.
Genius – what is it?
Cambridge dictionary offers this: “very great and rare natural ability or skill, especially in a particular area such as science or art”. I’d like to remove one word from this: rare. I think the fact that we believe genius is rare and associate it only with people like Einstein, Nikola Tesla or Leonardo Da Vinci is why many of us are geniuses in hiding. I’d rather focus in on the words ‘natural ability’ which are same words reflected in the historic origins of the word ‘genius’. This really resonates with me because I do believe that within all of us is a natural genius. We’ve just been taught otherwise (time to unlearn that one).
So, how do we tap into our creative genius?
How do we produce original and unusual ideas using our natural ability, to help us move through the current and future changes we are facing? Here’s some tips from my own experience and observation.
1. Get in flow
Flow: “to move in one direction, especially continuously and easily”. The words that pop for me here are continuously and easily. Looking at the positive psychology principle of flow, it talks of being completely absorbed in a task, ignoring things such as hunger, thirst, or sleep. Time also becomes irrelevant and seems to fly by and, the activity itself is pleasurable and satisfying.
When I am in this state, I get my best ideas, my best creativity, my sparks of genius. The key to knowing your flow is to follow what inspires you. You won’t catch me flowing through a computer programming training session or playing football because these are not ‘my things’. But I flow a lot when I’m learning about personal development, creating my own content and teaching.
So, what gets you into flow? What are your natural abilities that you love to immerse yourself in? It needn’t be related just to work – the challenges we face in this covid lockdown are far-reaching. We need to get creative about physical health, communication, relationships, business, skills, shopping, entertainment, community, supporting the vulnerable, charity, finance, leadership, learning, mental health, family, home-schooling; you name it, it’s shifting. You likely have gifts in at least one of these areas. Whatever it is, immerse yourself in it, get into flow and see what comes up. New ideas? New inspirations? New perspectives? New possibilities? All of the above?
2. Use your imagination
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Albert Einstein
For some reason, we tend to think of imagination as child’s play. Make believe. Unimportant. Even a distraction perhaps. I feel it’s the opposite. Imagination is a core source of creation. If we can’t imagine what is possible, how will we ever create it? Surely every man-made thing that ever manifested started in someone’s imagination? The genius contributions of Einstein and Tesla came from their vivid imaginations and ‘thought experiments’. I’m not saying we all need to figure out how to be the next Einstein but, I think we can use our imaginations to tap into our creative genius and find ways to move through lockdown and beyond.
The problem is we don’t often use our imagination in a controlled way. We let it run wild and usually what it does is imagine all the bad things that could happen! Focussed, controlled imagination with a certain ‘topic’ or ‘end result’ in mind is incredibly powerful. During my own visualisation and imagination exercises, I have had some amazing ideas and insights that I then take action to create. It’s a very intuitive experience, not something I do with my ‘logical’ mind. If you can let your mind flow into a purposeful imagination in the area of your interests, strengths and gifts, you never know what can arise. New ideas? New inspirations? New perspectives? New possibilities? All of the above?
3. Stop judging
“Well, it can’t possibly work like that.”
“It never happened like that before so it won’t happen like that now.”
All these judgements, limitations and walls that we put up stop us from accessing our creative genius. How can we come up with something original, unusual or new if we’ve already decided what can and can’t happen? To tap into our creative genius we have to let go of our preconceived notions of what’s possible. If you can do that, what could now arise from this open and unbound space of consciousness? New ideas? New inspirations? New perspectives? New possibilities? All of the above?
4. Be vulnerable
Creative genius requires vulnerability. It’s vulnerable to take a risk on something that others might think is silly or unrealistic. It’s vulnerable to let go of the judgements that your mind dearly clings to. It’s vulnerable to birth something new into the world. But if you can’t be vulnerable, you can’t create. It’s that simple.
There is no creation without destruction
Seeing how we used to live fade away may be painful but, it’s also an unavoidable part of life. Creation always follows destruction. The current destruction is leaving behind a fertile soil ready for new seeds to be planted. It’s up to us to plant those seeds through our creative genius. What will you plant? I look forward to seeing it bloom.
Read more about Pinky Jangra and her other articles HERE
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