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Unlocking Your Creativity

Book Description

Creativity is the engine that drives business innovation, and it's also the path to personal self-fulfillment. Unfortunately, the busier and more complicated life gets, the more difficult it is to relax and let creative ideas flow. Idiot's Guide: Unlocking Your Creativity helps readers get past the barriers that keep them from being creative at work and in their daily lives.

In this book readers get:

-- A tangible overview of creative thinking and the creative process, and how getting better at it will improve work performance as well as personal happiness.

-- Advice for leading or being part of a creative team, and how best to work together to come up with solutions and innovations.

-- Dozens of engaging exercises to help jump-start creativity.

-- Tips for creative problem solving as an individual or team.

-- Stories of how people have faced and overcome creative challenges in a variety of situations.

-- Help with finding a creative outlet that matches ones interests and talents and makes them feel excited.

-- A systematic process for learning to bring creativity to every aspect of one's life.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Introduction
  6. Part 1: Craving Creativity
    1. 1 Everyone Is Creative
      1. Defining Creativity
      2. How You Encounter Creativity Every Day
        1. Creative Play: Seeking Another Purpose
      3. The “Affiliations” of Creativity
      4. Creativity as an Expression of Your Desires
        1. Creative Play: What Creativity Means to You
      5. Is Creativity Learnable?
        1. Remembering What You’ve Forgotten
        2. Deciding to Be Creative
        3. Creative Play: Creativity Commitment
    2. 2 The Benefits of Creativity
      1. The Value of Creativity in Business and Beyond
        1. Gaining Satisfaction and Recognition
        2. Feeling Motivated and Productive
        3. Having a Greater Appreciation for the Process
      2. How Creativity Benefits Your Relationships
        1. Creative Play: Valuing Your Creative Gifts
      3. What’s in It for You?
        1. Feeling More Energetic
        2. Embracing Your Freedom and Independence
        3. Lowering Your Stress Levels
        4. Making Your Life More Meaningful
        5. Creative Play: Exploring Your Personal Benefits
  7. Part 2: What It Takes to Create
    1. 3 Motivation and Creativity
      1. The Urge to Create
        1. Creative Play: Understanding Your Urges
      2. How Are You Motivated?
        1. Intrinsic Motivation
        2. Extrinsic Motivation
      3. Understanding Your Own Motivations
        1. Creative Play: Becoming Motivated to Create
    2. 4 The Process of Creativity
      1. From Idea to Execution
        1. Clarify Your Intention
        2. Round Up Ideas
        3. Explore and Experiment
        4. Analyze and Act
        5. Take a Breather
        6. Execute, Evaluate, Evolve, and Enjoy!
        7. Creative Play: Tapping Into the Process
      2. Embracing Your Roles in the Creative Process
      3. Engaging in Whole-Brain Thinking
        1. Convergent Thinking
        2. Divergent Thinking
      4. Creating by Accident
    3. 5 Characteristics of Creatives
      1. Common Stereotypes About Creatives
      2. Common Traits of Creatives
        1. Curious
        2. Risk-Taking
        3. Adventurous
        4. Resourceful
        5. Spontaneous
        6. Energetic
        7. Ambitious
        8. Rebellious
        9. Independent
        10. Sensitive
        11. Passionate
        12. Playful
        13. Creative Play: Realizing Your Own Attributes
      3. A Look into the Lives of Famous Creatives
        1. Oprah Winfrey
        2. Leonardo da Vinci
        3. J. K. Rowling
        4. Albert Einstein
    4. 6 Locked in the “Creativity Closet”
      1. What’s Keeping You Stuck?
      2. When What You Have Is Not Enough
        1. The Time Trap
        2. Fighting with Finances
        3. Perfectionism = Procrastination
        4. Colliding with Confidence
        5. “I’m Too (Fill in the Blank)”
      3. Facing Your Fears
        1. Fear of Failure
        2. Fear of Success
        3. Risk or Routine?
        4. Rejection … Again
        5. All About Anxiety
        6. The Comparison Game
        7. The Past Hasn’t Passed
        8. Critic’s Corner
        9. Creative Play: Breathing into Your Awareness
      4. Getting Beyond the Negative Voices in Your Head
        1. Deep Rooted or Temporary?
        2. I Admit It When I’m Right!
        3. Creative Play: Breaking Through Your Barriers
  8. Part 3: Finding Your Keys to Creativity
    1. 7 Reframing Your Viewpoint
      1. Overcoming Your Obstacles
        1. Setting Your Priorities
        2. Creative Play: Examining Your Priorities
        3. Being Willing to Be a Beginner
        4. Dealing with Mistakes
        5. Allowing Yourself to Be Vulnerable
        6. Reclaiming Your Power
        7. Creative Play: What Color’s Your Traffic Signal?
        8. Setting Reasonable Expectations
        9. Not Being Afraid of Risks
        10. Being Open to Getting Help
      2. Ways to Foster Creative Freedom
        1. There’s No Such Thing as Trying
        2. Giving Yourself Permission to Create
        3. It Begins with a Belief
        4. Creative Play: Examining Your Beliefs
        5. Changing Your Attitude with Gratitude
      3. Affirming Your Creativity
        1. Creative Play: I Am Creative!
      4. Redefining Your Life
    2. 8 Laying the Groundwork for Creativity
      1. Opening Your Mind
      2. Clutter, Comfort, and Creativity
        1. Clearing the Clutter—or Not!
        2. Creating Your Ideal Space
      3. Sensing Your Creativity
        1. Sight
        2. Sound
        3. Smell
        4. Touch
        5. Taste
        6. The Sixth Sense
        7. Creative Play: Uncommon Sense
    3. 9 Jump-Starting Your Creativity
      1. Channeling Your Creative Side
        1. The Power of Play
        2. Creative Play: Being Childlike, Not Childish
        3. Lightening Up with Laughter
        4. Dating Yourself
        5. Getting Loose and Dancing
        6. Becoming a Conscious Observer
        7. Seeing What’s Not There
      2. Making Creativity a Habit
        1. Tabling Your Technology
        2. Giving Yourself an A
        3. The Time Is “Write” to Capture Your Ideas
        4. Creating One Simile a Day
        5. Making Creativity a Game
        6. Letting Gratitude Fuel Your Inspiration
    4. 10 Priming Your Mind
      1. Confronting Your Assumptions Head On
      2. Creative Thinking Practices
        1. Combine Unlike Ideas
        2. Think in Metaphors
        3. Look to Others
        4. SCAMPER Away!
        5. Use Free Word Associations
        6. Start with the End in Mind
        7. Good Ol’ Brainstorming
        8. Create a Mind Map
      3. How Daydreaming Can Be Fruitful
      4. Why Doodling Isn’t Dawdling
        1. Creative Play: Doodle Instead of Dawdle
    5. 11 Pursuing Your Passions
      1. What It Means to Be Passionate
        1. Passions vs. Goals
        2. Overcoming Common Blocks to Passion
        3. Creative Play: Seeing Your Passions Through Patterns
      2. Getting Lost in Time
        1. Creative Play: Identifying Your Passions
      3. Connecting Creativity with Collections
      4. Committing to Personal Pleasure
        1. Benefits of Having a Hobby
        2. How to Get Started
        3. Creative Play: Rewarding Yourself with a Hobby
      5. Enhancing Your Creativity Through Bliss and Balance
    6. 12 Enhancing Your Creativity with Partnerships
      1. Making Connections
      2. Engaging a Partner
        1. Learning and Mentoring in a Partnership
        2. When Problems Arise
      3. Forming Support and Interest Groups
      4. Reaching Out to Your Community
        1. Creative Play: The Gift of Giving
      5. Is Creativity Coaching for You?
        1. Reasons to Work with a Coach
        2. How Do Sessions Work?
        3. Where You Can Find a Creativity Coach
  9. Part 4: Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace
    1. 13 Developing a Creative Culture in Your Organization
      1. Creativity and the Bottom Line
      2. Creativity That Involves Everyone
      3. Building a Creative Environment
        1. Rewarding Employees
        2. Being Tolerant of Mistakes
        3. Promoting a Fun, Casual Environment
        4. Balancing Deadlines with Flexibility
      4. Designing an Office Space That Speaks Creativity
        1. Allowing Play in Your Office
        2. Behind Closed Doors or Open Spaces?
        3. Hot Desking
        4. Creative Play: My Space Is My Kingdom
      5. How You Can Be More Creative at Work
        1. Being Proactive
        2. Keeping an Open Mind
        3. Taking Risks Even When You’re Uncertain
    2. 14 Solving Problems and Finding Solutions
      1. Innovative Thinking Techniques
        1. Looking Beyond Logic
        2. Creative Play: What If?
        3. Putting Yourself in Their Shoes
        4. Brainwriting Your Way to an Answer
        5. Changing Your Wording
        6. Maximizing or Miniaturizing
        7. Looking for More Than One Answer
      2. Consciously Changing Your Routine
      3. If It’s Not Broken, Break It
      4. Getting in the Habit of Asking Questions
      5. Accepting Failure as Part of the Process
    3. 15 Creative Teamwork
      1. Leading the Team
        1. Setting the Example
        2. Creating Bonding Opportunities
        3. Encouraging Creativity Outside of the Workplace
        4. Leading Meaningful Discussions
      2. Becoming a Team Player
        1. Tuning Into Resistance
        2. Finding and Being a Mentor
        3. Creative Play: The Magic of Mentoring
      3. Creatively Collaborating with Co-Workers
        1. Creative Play: Now Hear This!
    4. 16 Developing a Creative Mind-Set at Work
      1. It’s a Matter of Perspective
      2. Viewing Creativity as Essential
      3. Creating Something Out of Nothing
      4. Getting Inspired Through Observation
      5. Causes of Creative Burnout
      6. Helpful Remedies for Burnout
        1. Refocusing Your Attention
        2. Involving Other People
        3. Getting Physical
        4. Centering Yourself Inwardly and with Love
        5. Creative Play: Interview Insights
  10. Part 5: Living Creatively Every Day
    1. 17 The Ageless Art of Creativity
      1. Supporting Creativity in Your Kids
        1. How Encouragement Goes a Long Way
        2. Making Art Convenient
        3. Putting a Creative Spin on Everyday Things
        4. Finding Creativity Outdoors
        5. Creative Discipline
        6. Some Final Dos and Don’ts
        7. Creative Play: Don’t Lose Your Marbles
      2. Reconnecting Teens with Their Creative Nature
      3. Encouraging Creativity in Students
        1. The Decline of Creativity in Education
        2. Creative Teaching Methods
      4. Creativity Knows No Age Limits
    2. 18 To Share or Not to Share
      1. Being at Peace with Sharing
      2. “I’m Ready to Share—I Think”
        1. Assessing Your Work
        2. Deciding Whether It’s Truly “Share-Worthy”
        3. Creative Play: It Starts with You
      3. Handling Feedback Once You’ve Shared
        1. Creative Play: Feeling Your Feedback
      4. How Sharing Your Creativity Touches Others
    3. 19 Applying Creativity in Everyday Life
      1. Keeping Creativity Alive and Well
      2. Fun with Synchronicity
      3. Boosting Your Creativity with Handwriting
        1. Creative Play: The Lost Art of Handwriting
      4. Creating a Balance
        1. Times When You Have to Force Creativity
        2. Fighting Burnout
        3. Creative Play: Achieving Alignment
      5. Developing a Daily Creative Practice
    4. 20 Reviewing and Re-Energizing Your Creative Practices
      1. Reviewing Your Creative Progress
      2. Closing the Creativity Gap
        1. Creative Play: Reconnecting with Your Creative Spirit
      3. More Resources to Re-Energize Your Creativity
        1. Eyeing Your Creativity
        2. Zentangle—An Artsy Meditation
        3. Upcycling
        4. Watching Your Language
        5. Creative Play: Fun with Poetry
      4. Meditating to Connect with Your Creativity
    5. 21 Creativity Is Not a Destination
      1. The Journey of Creating
        1. Maintaining Creative Awareness
        2. Realizing the Ebb and Flow of Creativity
        3. Creative Play: Celebrating Your Mileposts
      2. Being True to Who You Are
      3. You Now Own the Keys!
        1. Creative Play: Creativity Proclamation
  11. Appendixes
    1. A Glossary
    2. B Resources
    3. C More Creative Play
  12. About the Author