How to Get Original Ideas

mindset

Consider what happens when you read these words:

  • Thief…………careless……….prison

Just three words activate a thinking pattern in your brain that relates a story about a thief who is careless, gets caught and ends up in prison. There is no story. There are only three unrelated words. Your brain simply recognized a certain pre-existing cognitive pattern, made the connections and assumed a story.

The brain processes new information by immediately imposing meaning based on the dominant, associated, assumed context rather than objective inspection. Secondly, our judgments and decisions are often based on automatic, rule of thumb responses to this information rather than on thorough, logical analysis. It is this habitual use of pattern recognition that provides us with an instant interpretation of the problem. It also limits our view of the world, our access to new ideas, and our access to unique solutions. If you always think the way you’ve always thought, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Learn how to change your thinking patterns and get original ideas. Read “How to Get Original Ideas” by Michael Michalko at: http://creativethinking.net/?p=884

 

If You Do Nothing, You Are Nothing

i am what i do

All art is a reaction to the first line drawn. Unless the artist sits in front of the canvas and paints, there can be no art. Unless the writer sits down and starts to type, there can be no book. Unless the musician plays their instrument, there can be no music. Unless the sculptor begins to chip away at the marble, there can be no sculpture. Unless the explorer begins the journey, there can be no discovery. It is the same with everything in life, even civilizations; unless one acts, nothing is created or discovered.

What you think or believe is of no consequence. The only thing of consequence is what you do. Read Michael Michalko’s article about taking action at:   http://creativethinking.net/?p=882

 

Where Have Our Heroes Gone?

medal of honor

Remember the guy who wouldn’t take

the flag pole down on his Virginia

property a while back?

You might remember the news story several

months ago about a crotchety old man in

Virginia who defied his local Homeowners

Association, and refused to take down the

flag pole on his property along with the large

American flag he flew on it.

Now we learn who that old man was.

On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in

Edinburg , Texas . That probably didn’t make

news back then. But twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944,

near Carano , Italy , that same Van T. Barfoot,

who had in 1940 enlisted in the U.S. Army, set

out alone to flank German machine gun

positions from which gunfire was raining

down on his fellow soldiers.

His advance took him through a minefield but

having done so, he proceeded to single-handedly

take out three enemy machine gun positions,

returning with 17 prisoners of war.

And if that weren’t enough for a day’s work, he later

took on and destroyed three German tanks

sent to retake the machine gun positions.

That probably didn’t make much news either,

given the scope of the war, but it did earn

Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a Colonel after

also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a well

deserved Congressional Medal of Honor.

What did make news…Was his Neighborhood

Association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old

veteran chose to fly the American flag outside

his suburban Virginia home. Seems the HOA rules

said it was OK to fly a flag on a house-mounted

bracket, but, for decorum, items such as

Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole were “unsuitable”.

Van Barfoot had been denied a permit for

the pole, but erected it anyway and was facing

court action unless he agreed to take it down.

Then the HOA story made national TV,

and the Neighborhood Association rethought

its position and agreed to indulge this

aging hero who dwelt among them.

“In the time I have left”, he said to the

Associated Press, “I plan to continue

to fly the American flag without interference.”

As well he should. And if any of his neighbors had taken a notion to

contest him further, they might have done well to

read his Medal of Honor citation first. Seems it

indicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn’t particularly

good at backing down.

The difference between the way creative thinkers think and the way you were educated to think

INCLUSION.22EDITEDRead:     http://creativethinking.net/articlesandtechniques/#sthash.xia9b5Bt.dpbs

REARRANGE WHAT YOU KNOW IN ORDER TO DISCOVER WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW

REARRANGE IT INTO SOMETHING ELSE? Creativity, it could be said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Rearrangement usually offers countless alternatives for ideas, goods, and services. A baseball manager, for example, can shuffle his lineup 362,880 times.

 Ask:

What other arrangement might be better?

Interchange components?

Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Change the order?

Transpose cause and effect?

Change pace? Change schedule?

.

Rearrange the letters in simple words and see what surprises you can create. Following are some examples.

PRESBYTERIAN:

When you rearrange the letters:

BEST IN PRAYER 

.

ASTRONOMER:

When you rearrange the letters:

MOON STARER 

.

DESPERATION:

When you rearrange the letters:

A ROPE ENDS IT 

.

THE EYES: 

When you rearrange the letters:

THEY SEE

.

THE MORSE CODE:

When you rearrange the letters:

HERE COME DOTS

.

DORMITORY:

When you rearrange the letters:

DIRTY ROOM

.  

SLOT MACHINES:

When you rearrange the letters:

CASH LOST IN ME

.

ANIMOSITY:

When you rearrange the letters:

IS NO AMITY

.

ELECTION RESULTS:

When you rearrange the letters: 

LIES – LET’S RECOUNT 

.

SNOOZE ALARMS:

When you rearrange the letters: 

ALAS! NO MORE Z ‘S

.

A DECIMAL POINT:

When you rearrange the letters:

I’M A DOT IN PLACE

.

THE EARTHQUAKES:

When you rearrange the letters:

THAT QUEER SHAKE

.

ELEVEN PLUS TWO:

When you rearrange the letters:

TWELVE PLUS ONE

 santa

(Michael Michalko is the author of Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques; Cracking Creativity: The Thinking Strategies of Creative Geniuses; Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck, and Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work. http://www.creativethinking.net)

SANTA = SATAN

TURN YOUR PROBLEM UPSIDE DOWN

beer lady

This is a drawing of an old lady. To see something different change your perspective by turning the picture upside down.  Reversing the way you look at it changes the drawing into something different.

It’s the same with ideas. Change your psychology by reversing the way you look at the problem. Early nomadic societies were all based on the principle of “getting to the water.” Only when they reversed this perspective to “how can we get the water to come to us” did civilization begin to flourish.

Think of Michelangelo when he sculpted what may be the world’s most famous sculpture, David. He did not think of “building” something; he thought of “taking away” something from what was there. A quotation often attributed to him has it that “the more the marble wastes away, the more the sculpture grows.” Michelangelo would gaze at a block of marble and visualize what was within it. Then he would chip away at the block to free his vision.

Why does a mirror seem to invert left and right but not top and bottom? That is, when you hold an open book up to a mirror, why are the letters of the text backward but not upside down, and why is your left hand the double’s right and your right the double’s left? When we look into a mirror we imagine ourselves reversed left to right, as if we had walked around behind a pane of glass to look through it. This conventional perspective is why we cannot explain what is happening with a mirror.

To understand a mirror’s image, you have to psychologically reverse the way you perceive your image. Imagine your nose and the back of your head reversed, through the mirror. You have to imagine yourself reversed, “squashed” back to front. Stand in front of the mirror with one hand pointing east and the other west. Wave the east hand. The mirror image waves its east hand. Its west hand lies to the west. Its head is up and the feet are down. Once you look at a mirror with this perspective, you gain an understanding, about the axis of the mirror, which is the imaginary line on a mirror about which a body rotates. We have difficulty understanding the mirror until we change our perspective.

An easy way to change your thinking patterns when faced with a problem is to first list all your assumptions about the problem. Then reverse your assumptions and try to make the reversals work. Following is a thought experiment about reversing a store policy. After you read the problem, try to come up with ideas before you read further.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT

A clothing retailer is concerned about the rate of garment returns. According to the store policy, a customer who returns a garment must receive a cash refund. Reverse this policy so that it says: if a customer returns a garment, the store does give a cash refund. Can you come up with ideas to make this reversal into a practical solution?

………………..SOLUTION………………..

What can the store give the customer instead of a refund? One idea is to offer the customer a gift certificate worth more than the original purchase price. In effect this gives the customer a 10 percent reward for returning the unwanted garment. The policy would allow the store to keep most of the cash, and the customers would likely be happy with the reward. The real payback would occur when the customer returned with the gift certificate. A customer who returned a $100 garment would receive a gift certificate for $110. Psychology predicts that, when the customer returns to the store, he will go to the higher priced garments. For example, instead of shopping for an $l00 garment, he will be attracted to the $200 garments because, in his mind, it would “cost” him only $90. What a deal!

Change the way you look at things by reversing them and looking at the other side.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more creative thinking techniques read Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko. http://www.amazon.com/Thinkertoys-Handbook-Creative-Thinking-Techniques-Edition/dp/1580087736/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0T6TTX3RDA7VQ9NEJR5C

What the emperor moth teaches us about life.

 emperormoth.2

Click the link.   http://creativethinking.net/what-the-emperor-moth-teaches-us/#sthash.XvIuX4gY.dpbs

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