Exerps From The Fix Yourself Handbook; PAGE 3
Carved It Out Of The Wilderness "None of us are mundane or ordinary. There is a creative fire inside all of us. We only need to connect to it. Then, we can unharness the power of our imagination." - Faust Ruggiero Creativity is often defined as the use of the imagination or of original ideas, especially in the production of artistic work. There are actually two levels of creativity as we are discussing it. We see the more rudimentary level of creativity as the mind works through situations which require problem-solving ability especially when a situation has never previously been experienced. Call this level primary creativity. This causes the mind to create new navigation paths with the hope of exposing a potential solution to our problem. The second view of creativity calls for an enhanced understanding of abstract thinking processes, and the ability to organize abstract information and transition that information into a concrete cognitive presentation. From there, it may be developed into a wide variety of presentation formats. This is something we call secondary abstract creativity. We use the term abstract because it does not possess a concrete way to understand it. Most of us have used out creativity on the primary level. It's on the abstract level that we stumble. In our present discussion, were going to take a look at the human capacity to be creative. The nucleus of our discussion is the assertion that when we understand the constructs of both primary and secondary abstract creativity, we can learn the process associated with harnessing our own creative abilities. This will assist as we attempt to push past our perceived limits and onward to achievements we never thought we could understand, let alone reach. Moreover, it will connect us to more of our internal resources that will increase our confidence, our self-esteem, and enhance our relationships, both intra-personal, and interpersonal. We discussed being perfect to ourselves previously. Grasping the magnitude our own personal creativity further helps us to understand that we are special and extraordinary in our own unique way. We all absolutely must come to appreciate just how important this concept is. Let's take a look at primary creativity first. We'll set up an example to illustrate what happens when we have to call upon our primary creative abilities to bring a solution to a new situation. Kenny is visiting a friend in a large city for the first time. He is driving into the city, and this will be a new experience for him. As he enters the city, he quickly becomes overwhelmed, and attempts to program his new destination into his car's navigation system. The system however, fails to recognize the destination. Kenny makes a cognitive attempt, using his more routine methods, to solve the situation. They all fail. Now, Kenny he has to invent a new process to solve his dilemma. The failure of his previously successful methods calls for Kenny to create a new approach in which he must use his creative problem-solving abilities, that is, his primary creative abilities. Kenny stops the car, and knowing that his friend lives a block from St. Michael's Hospital, he programs the hospital into the car's navigation system. This will take Kenny close to his destination, and put him into a position to find his friends apartment. So, Kenny had to do something that required novel thinking. He had to create. Kenny had to challenge himself, digging deep into resources which he typically doesn't use, and fashion an approach that would solve his dilemma. This is primary creativity, and we routinely use this problem-solving ability, to address typical living situations. Here is where things start to get interesting. First it's important to note that we typically do not think of routine daily problem-solving tasks as an expression of our creativity. That's because they are, in fact, routine. We typically think of creativity as anything but routine. That however does not rule out creative intellect in those processes. Second, even if we do accept the primary form as creative, we tend to assume that secondary abstract creativity is reserved for people like artists, and those who do and perform extraordinary feats. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all human beings, and as such, are capable of complex abstract thought. This being the case, we are all capable of secondary abstract creativity. We all have the capability of being creators in our own right. We simply need to define the manner in which we will express that creativity. That's what those who we define as extraordinary did. For many of us, it's difficult to define our own personal creativity. There are two very important reasons why this occurs. First, is our own self-doubt. We tend not to believe we are creative unless something that we do seems to be extraordinary. When we do not excel, or do not receive feedback that tells us that there is something special about our abilities, we tend to categorize ourselves as routine, not special, and as a result, not creative. Second, we tend to compare ourselves to others who have been designated as creative. As a result, we find viable, concrete substantiation to support the notion that we are routine. When this happens, we consciously make a decision to be mundane and routine. We have accepted our self- designated fate. We categorize ourselves there, and we conduct our lives in fulfillment of the self-assigned prophecy which says that we will never be special; never stand out, and never be seen as creative. This is such a defeatist way to perceive ourselves. This manner of thinking does not apply itself to our potential. Rather, it defines us as limited people who, in a manner of speaking, have given up on this part of ourselves. This can never happen. In order to begin to embrace our own secondary abstract creativity, let's redefine our view of what abstract actually means. The more traditional view of abstract is something that exists in thought or as an idea, but has no physical or concrete existence. Now, maybe you're beginning to understand why so many people have a difficult time connecting with this part of their intellect. Remember, we like to think in concrete terms. Abstract, as it is usually referenced, has little if anything to do with solid physical form. So, let's look at abstract, for our purposes, as something other than that concrete form we are use to incorporating in our lives. Specifically then, our refined definition of secondary abstract creativity is the ability to supersede our perception of our own creative limitations for the purpose of defining a personal storehouse of applicable imagination. All of us have in us our own personal and hidden repository of creative energy that has remained untapped. That creative energy is open and available to us whenever we choose to call on it. We simply have to learn how to make that happen. So, let's turn our attention to the process of convoking our abstract creative energies. This is a twofold process, one that we will need to adapt to, and one that takes time to learn how to use. The first part of the process includes the need to reduce, and eventually, permanently exorcise all counterproductive creative antagonists. By this, we are talking about those thoughts that tell us that either we are not creative, or that any attempt we make will probably fall short of our goal. Creative energy is always positive energy. As such, all negative thinking serves to alienate us from the connectivity to our own creativity. Specifically, if we choose to think about ourselves as people who are not creative, or even who may never be creative, we will not be creative. Our fate has already been realized. The second part of our process concerns connectivity to creativity. Removing negativity opens the pathway so that creativity becomes internally visible to us. Negativity is no longer acting as a mask which camouflages our creative mind. This does not mean that we will quickly identify some future achievement that we will be creative about. Remember, all of life is a process, and that formula holds as true here as it has for every other topic we have discussed. Our goal is to define and understand our pathway to creativity. This is why so many people have difficulty with the concept of creativity. So many of us are trying to define what we are good at, without first defining the pathway, that process that will take us there. So, let's define that pathway to creativity. To get started, let's employ a little cognitive reversal energy. Let's begin to tell ourselves that we are creative, and that we possess the ability to do creative things. Remember, positive thinking yields positive results. Next, were going to go back to those baby steps. Instead of defining a goal and then trying to induce creativity where we have never applied it before, we're going to apply as much creativity as we can to every little thing we do in our lives. Our process here is to practice becoming creative people, and to do that we have to be consistently creative in small maters. These have the greatest potential to yield success. That means in all that we do, every day of our lives, we are defining ourselves as creative, and applying our creativity to every little thing that we do, no matter how mundane it may appear. Creative thinkers are creative almost all of the time. Creativity isn't just applied to magnificence. Creativity is magnificent, always! The process and then, should be obvious. In order to realize that we are creative, that is to connect to our own abstract creative potential, we need to change our thought processes and a think of ourselves as creative. Then, we need to apply creativity throughout our lives, whenever possible. Look at it this way, if we think of ourselves as intelligent, and attempt to apply intelligent thought to everything we do, we would expect better results, and feel more intelligent about what were doing. The same applies to creativity. If we think about ourselves as being creative, and we apply creative thought in all that we do, our results should be more creative, and we should be reinforcing our feeling that we are creative individuals. That's the process. Understanding limitlessness, that feeling that boundaries don't have to exist, is a priceless feeling. Redefining ourselves as creative, stokes the fires of imagination, fires that we all have inside us, and transforms us into people who routinely challenge our limits, and now create visions that propel us beyond the ceilings that defined who we were. We are all creative. Unfortunately most of us are also destination people. Creativity, like everything else we discussed thus far, is not a destination. It's a process that becomes the defining mark of our human journey. Rethink yourself into creativity. Be creative in all that you do. Your new life process will not only redefine how you live, it will create the pathway for extraordinary events and achievements, whose potential lied dormant inside you, and now lives. So, carve your new life out of your old wilderness. Use your creative juices to fuel your fires to new heights and a new way to live. You are creative. Live that life!


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