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A Simple Way to Improve Your Creative Thinking Skills

think through the eyes of a child for BIGG SuccessCreativity is a critical skill today. Both persistent problems and new problems require innovative solutions.

You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.” It’s not that hard to come up with a solution.

The second one is harder; the third even more difficult. In order to “try, try again”, you have to be able to think creatively.

Through the eyes of a child

Why is it that many people just don’t seem to be creative? Is it a natural ability or is it an acquired skill? Here’s one expert’s answer:

“When children are very young, they all express creativity, but by the end of the first grade, very few do so,” says Robert Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today and author of The Big Book of Creativity Games.

So how do you become more creative? Go back to kindergarten!

Improve your creative thinking skills by allowing yourself to daydream. Don’t force yourself to stay on task.

Ask questions, even if they seem silly. Have you ever grown tired of the incessant “Why” question by a toddler?

Drive people crazy! Act like a toddler again. Ask “Why.”

But don’t stop there. Take a note from Robert Kennedy and ask, “Why not?” Then let your imagination run wild!

Albert Einstein, the person most branded with intelligence, recognized that it was much less important than imagination.

So pour yourself a glass of milk. Pull out a few cookies. Then think like a kid!

Note: The quote above comes from a great article on creativity. It has to be purchased. It’s long. But it’s a great read so we highly recommend it to you.

A child learns a lesson in business

Bill Rosenberg was nine-years old. He often tagged along to work with his dad, who owned a grocery store in Boston.

One hot summer day, Bill’s dad made the boy responsible for selling watermelons. If the nine-year old didn’t sell them, they would go bad.

Bill set up a stand in front of the store. He stood there. And stood there. And stood there.

People weren’t buying! The young man realized he needed to get creative.

He positioned himself by the streetcar stop. He barked out, “Bring a watermelon home! Surprise your family!”

People were impressed with the boy’s enthusiasm. Before long, all the watermelons were gone. Bill was a BIGG success!

What happened to Bill Rosenberg? He went on to start Dunkin’ Donuts, a chain that sells over $5 billion of food and coffee through its nearly 9,000 stores. Source: Time to Make the Donuts, William Rosenberg

Image in this post from stock.xchng

The Art of Knowing Yourself

questions In the movie, Pretty Woman, Vivian Ward (played by Julia Roberts) and Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) go to an opera. Edward explains to Vivian that some people who go to an opera for the first time love it. He continues that others don’t love it; they may come to appreciate it, but they will never love it. At the end of the opera, Vivian is crying while Edward sits stoically watching her.

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There’s a great article, by Eriq Gardner over at Psychology Today, about what your choice in art says about you. He describes four 4 personality types:

#1 – Taste hunters
These people are always looking for new art and sharing their discoveries with others. If you visited their home, you’d find an eclectic mix of books, CDs, and DVDs. These people are more likely to become artists themselves.

#2 – Thrill seekers
These people are highly social, connecting with others at concerts, clubs & theaters. They crave sensory excitement, often consuming several media at once. They enjoy bold colors or themes of sex or violence.

#3 – Self-medicators

These people may be somewhat neurotic, evidenced by anxiety and sensitivity. They are highly creative and emotional. So they like art that depicts emotion – romantic movies and books, and music like rap and heavy metal. They use art to regulate their moods and validate their feelings.

#4 – Art as decoration
These conscientious people are dependable, focused, and task-oriented. They enjoy order and rules. So they like art about things they like in real life. They choose art for its aesthetics, often selecting it based on its market value. Conventional art is preferred over modern or abstract. Musicians who are technically accomplished are favored.

Which type are you?

Edward Lewis was definitely the “art as decoration” personality. He went to the opera to be seen by people who viewed as important. He chose the best seat because it made him look important. He consumed art in a very logical manner. He didn’t experience it fully, but he appreciated the craftsmanship that went into making it.

Vivian Ward was very extroverted, enjoying flashy clothes throughout the movie. She felt the opera deeply. This all steers us toward thinking she was a “thrill seeker”. But she was also very emotional, perhaps showing some tendencies of a “self-medicator”.

That’s the thing about these four personality types. Most of us probably fit into more than one. What type or types are you?

Consuming art can reduce your stress

The article also cites a study of office workers – one group looked at art, the other didn’t. It took five hours for the group that didn’t look at art to wind down after work. The group who looked at art achieved the same stress level in forty minutes!

It also helps you understand yourself better. By thinking about the type of art you like, you get to know yourself better.

It’s also a great way to get a conversation going. It helps you connect with others. By knowing what art a person consumes, you come to understand them better.
So take advantage of the upcoming weekend to take in some art!

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Next time, we’ll discuss smart investors in tough times. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are You a Survivor?

By Bigg Success Staff
04-07-08

Test Yourself

question_mark 

Our lives present a lot of stressful situations. Research shows that how we perceive the stress and respond to it are more important than the amount of stress we face.

How well do you handle tough times? Now you can find out!

The good people at Psychology Today have a great test to check on your coping skills
It should take you about 10 minutes to answer the 64 questions.

After you finish the test, you’ll be given a summary of your responses. You’ll also have the option of purchasing a full report.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

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Don’t Put Off Taking This Test

By Bigg Success Staff
02-22-08

Test Yourself

question_mark 

We all know the old saying, “Don’t do today what you can put off to tomorrow!”

Oops, wait a minute – we got that wrong. Of course, it’s actually, “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today.”

Ah, procrastination!
All of us do it occasionally. But when it becomes a habit, it is a problem. It often makes accomplishing your task even more difficult. It creates unneeded stress. And it’s one of the hardest habits to break.

The good people at Psychology Today have a test to see how much you procrastinate. It will take you less than 5 minutes to answer the ten questions.

You’ll instantly know if you put things off too much. So check it out now … or later! 

Source: Psychology Today Procrastination Test

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Finding The “Good” In Good-Bye

By Bigg Success Staff
December 06, 2007

Life Changes

sun_clouds_jpg Knowing when it’s time to move on is one of the toughest decisions we ever have to make. Carlin Flora writes about this in Adieu to All That in the current issue of Psychology Today. You should check it out, especially if you’re facing or are in the midst of, a life transition.

Some people leave too soon.
The grass isn’t always greener. These people (“quitters” in the article) may miss out on the opportunities that come to those people who dedicate themselves to an organization. Changing jobs and/or careers is not a sure-fire way to advance your career. Sticking with it may serve you better.

Some people stay too long.
These people (“lingerers” in the article) are at the other end of the spectrum. They may miss out on the alternatives being created in a dynamic marketplace. Staying put doesn’t mean moving up. Moving on may serve you better.

Understand your underlying fears.
Quitters may suffer from an abnormal fear of intimacy. Lingerers may have an inordinate fear of failure. Understand what’s driving your desire to consider leaving or staying. Face your fears so you make the best decision for your future.

Learn from your past experiences.
Analyzing past exits will help you avoid making the same mistakes again. Did you burn a bridge? Did you hurt others? What caused you pain as you recalled the event.

Think carefully about what you did right and what you would change, if given the chance. Then apply that to your current situation to guide you to make the right decision.

Cut yourself some slack.
Flora does a great job of describing closure in this article. It’s worth reading it just for that. Once you’ve made your decision, accept it. Or change it. Just don’t continue to fret about it on and on and on …

We live our lives in eras. We have many simultaneous eras running at all times. It’s only natural that one or more of these eras is coming to an end at any given point in our lives. Learning when it’s time to say when, and how to do it, will make your transitions smoother.

(Photo by: johnwilson1969)

Finding The "Good" In Good-Bye

By Bigg Success Staff
December 06, 2007

Life Changes

sun_clouds_jpg Knowing when it’s time to move on is one of the toughest decisions we ever have to make. Carlin Flora writes about this in Adieu to All That in the current issue of Psychology Today. You should check it out, especially if you’re facing or are in the midst of, a life transition.

Some people leave too soon.
The grass isn’t always greener. These people (“quitters” in the article) may miss out on the opportunities that come to those people who dedicate themselves to an organization. Changing jobs and/or careers is not a sure-fire way to advance your career. Sticking with it may serve you better.

Some people stay too long.
These people (“lingerers” in the article) are at the other end of the spectrum. They may miss out on the alternatives being created in a dynamic marketplace. Staying put doesn’t mean moving up. Moving on may serve you better.

Understand your underlying fears.
Quitters may suffer from an abnormal fear of intimacy. Lingerers may have an inordinate fear of failure. Understand what’s driving your desire to consider leaving or staying. Face your fears so you make the best decision for your future.

Learn from your past experiences.
Analyzing past exits will help you avoid making the same mistakes again. Did you burn a bridge? Did you hurt others? What caused you pain as you recalled the event.

Think carefully about what you did right and what you would change, if given the chance. Then apply that to your current situation to guide you to make the right decision.

Cut yourself some slack.
Flora does a great job of describing closure in this article. It’s worth reading it just for that. Once you’ve made your decision, accept it. Or change it. Just don’t continue to fret about it on and on and on …

We live our lives in eras. We have many simultaneous eras running at all times. It’s only natural that one or more of these eras is coming to an end at any given point in our lives. Learning when it’s time to say when, and how to do it, will make your transitions smoother.

(Photo by: johnwilson1969)