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home : opinion : opinion August 14, 2020

6/26/2020 4:19:00 PM
Guest Column
Unlocking Creativity

Marty Reep, Author
Speaker, Forward-Thinker

In his book, Imagine, author Jonah Lehrer describes a number of stories and situations where people unlocked their creativity, in order to get back on track. Some methods were planned, while others were discovered by accident. Either way they happened, they worked!

If you are looking for ways to unlock your own creativity for something, then read on!

1) Get away and let your mind unwind.
Legendary musician Bob Dylan was burned out with the travel, touring, concerts, groupies, and drugs, back in 1965. When he finished his tour that year and fulfilled his obligations to his record label, he packed a bag and notified his agent that he was leaving the music business forever.

He could sense that his creativity was slipping away and getting burned up in the fires of busyness, deadlines, and commitments. He was truly afraid that any creativity he had left in him would soon be erased beyond hope.

Shocked at Dylan’s announcement, his agent tried to talk him out of walking away. When Dylan persisted, his agent told him to take all the time he needed to rest and recover.

Alone in a cabin in the woods in upstate New York, Dylan’s mind could finally unwind for the first time in years. After a few days of silence and solitude, creative thoughts began trickling through his mind. They soon grew to a stream. Eventually, they turned into a river gushing up from places unknown.

Overwhelmed in a good way, he began writing everything that came to him. In the moment, some of the words, phrases, and lines made little sense. But, over time, they started connecting with other fragments of thoughts that were piling out of his mind and into his notebook. When he finally stopped scribbling that week, he had the makings of new songs that would later become hits.

He had been stuck. He was stumped. So, in desperation, he paused and unplugged himself from the rest of the world. Alone and quiet, he was able to see the creative insights in his mind come back to life and shine their way out of the darkness.

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2) Block everything else out and let your mind go blank.
If you have the unique ability to completely block out everything around you, then use that to allow your mind to become a blank canvas. In the empty space of the void, ideas will start to appear and fill your mind.

3) Focus solely on one idea for a set time, then do something else for a bit.
While you’re working on something else or thinking about something else, your mind has time to connect the dots of the all the things you looked at before. Ideas need time to setup or congeal in order for them to take form and make sense. If you demand your brain to come up with an answer immediately, it might, or it might not. And if it does, it will probably be a lot flimsier than you were wanting. But, if you give your mind a chance to do something fun or distracting for a while, the solution you were after will appear. Just like rabbits in the woods…when it gets quiet, they come out of the shadows, again. 

I hope these ideas and stories help you unlock your own creativity, if it needs reopening!

Have a great week.

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