Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Imaginative Mind

An imaginative mind is one that can visualize beyond direct input and one that can explore things outside of the immediate reality and vicinity.

Initializing Thoughts
Our thoughts are nearly continuous and tuning in to them can be done specifically for creative juices. Often we suppress our own ideas or thoughts in a split second without ever letting it surface to a voice or considered item. We often put a validation screen on our thoughts and bias everything we let surface by the judgments we assign or expect others to assign to that thought.

This limits our mental creativity and kills a thought that would otherwise become the start of a great associative linking of thoughts and advanced creativity. We need to let any thought be developed and explored as our mind makes the neural connections and associations with more and more thoughts. This can happen in moments or it may take hours but it most imaginative if you let a thought continue to build and linger, don’t dismiss it or kill it on purpose. Ever.

Brainstorming at its best means that anything thought of on a given topic is valid. Anything goes. Any idea is considered no matter how obscure or off-base it may first seem to the logical mind. Logic is often the nemesis of creativity as we tend to judge our ideas and thoughts the moment they begin and we simply don’t give our imaginative mind a chance to develop them.

# Explore as many possibilities as you can

# Any idea is worth exploring at least for a short time
# Sometimes you need to give ideas time and let the subconscious work away

Outside the Box
The other effect our logical mind has is to keep us bounded into what seems reasonable. This unfortunately has a very negative consequence on our imagination as its very difficult to explore outside this box of reason or box of logic. The logical mind is bounded by what we know as well so anything outside this box is suppressed by any logic at first consideration. It’s important to get by this and let the creativity and idea be unbounded and originated from well outside the box.

The imagination is an amazing thing and you can certainly allow it to take hold of you in
visualizing, day dreaming or full on dreaming. We’ve all experienced the power of the mind’s creativity in dreams and its possible to enable that same creativity in waking life if it’s practiced and repeated instead of suppressed. Let your mind wander, have fun with it, just imagine what that seemingly crazy idea might actually be like if you explore it further in your mind.

Contributing to Creativity
There are a number of ways to contribute to social creativity. The ones I think have the biggest impact are the following:

# Eliminate Criticism and Complaining
Criticism and complaining are really the quickest things that kill creativity. Criticism can emotionally shut down a person so quickly that the only creative thoughts they will have is of escape or revenge. It is something that naturally transforms our minds into a completely new state unless we learn to handle criticism and control our response and state of mind consciously.

The best thing you can do with these items to contribute more to social creativity is to eliminate criticism of others, of ideas and of actions. The same goes for complaining since it encourages a very negative thought process not helpful in activating the imagination in any way. Obviously eliminating these is not easy, but they can certainly be reduced and they can definitely be done in private at least in order to minimize the influence to any audience available.

# Brainstorming
Brainstorming in a group activates the imagination of the whole group and quickly allows ideas to germinate with each other and spread between everyone’s minds. It can be done as a group on purpose with a specific topic or goal in mind or it can happen through other media with no initial intention of doing it!

# Asking Questions – Question everything
Questions come about from curiosity and of course curiosity broods creativity. Therefore, questions are a powerful action to contribute more to creativity as well. Everything a person questions, they can learn from and gain some kind of insight from. Questions about how and why something is how it is, leads to seeing more pieces of any puzzle and that puts the mind into a state where it has to think beyond the logic to imagine the solution before all the pieces are understood.

Questions are a huge part of a healthy learning process and they will trigger the mind to explore and wonder with curiosity at things. Questioning the things around you has other benefits as well, it is a useful tool to expand your relationships as well. This is because it shows curiosity to another person.

# Avoid Perfectionism
Perfectionism slows down any creative process and it quickly strangles any new ideas from emerging as it keeps the attention on an original subject or topic while it is closely scrutinized and perfected. There is some room to explore perfecting something with a creative look, but it is usually too focused on one thing where new ideas have no place to be explored until the first topic or item is first perfected.

The Perato principle is useful with social creativity as well and that is where you apply the 80/20 rule. Perfectionist try to get things to that 100% level and they spend most of their time and effort making very little progress once past that 80% point.

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