Creative Imagination

Creative imagination is more than just active imagination. To be able to actively imagine things, to see and hear things in one’s mind, is an important ability. It doesn’t have to involve much creativity, though, does it? Daydreaming, for example, is a process of imagination. It can consist of an elaborate fantasy world, but one full of all the things that many people think about.

Creative imagination, then, has to include the ability not just to imagine things, but to imagine original things. It is seeing things that others don’t see, and coming up with new ideas. So how do you cultivate this?

<b>Creative Imagination 101</b>

First, exercise your basic imagination. It can be as simple as thinking in pictures more, or listening to music in your mind. Play little “movies” in your mind, until you can watch them on command. This is a simple process, but for those of us that can’t easily do it naturally, it can take a lot of practice. Fortunately, it is not an unpleasant activity.

The second part of developing your creative imagination is to get more creative in your thinking and imagining. Start by paying attention to your creativity. Our subconscious minds give us more of what we pay attention to. Ignore creative aspects of your life, and you’re telling your subconscious they are unimportant. On the other hand, if you note when you’re creative, your subconscious mind will start feeding you more creative ideas.

Different surroundings can also encourage your creativity. Want more creativity in your love life? Hike up a mountain with your partner. Do you write? Try sitting on a roof to write. Want new ideas for your business? Take a notebook to the park and sit by the duck pond. A change of environment can get your thinking out of it’s ruts.

You can play games that exercise your creative imagination. One such game uses a technique called “concept combination.” Alone or with other players, you combine random concepts or things in new ways, to see who has the best idea. A thermometer and a billboard, for example, could generate an idea for a sign that checks the weather and adjusts the message accordingly (“Come in out of the heat for a cold beverage,” or “Come in out of the rain and warm up with our gourmet coffee.”).

<b>Don’t Wait For Creative Imagination</b>

Creative inspiration certainly can strike at any time, but it strikes more often when there is work instead of waiting. So if you want to come up with creative inventions, start mentally redesigning everything you see. Imagine a better bicycle, a faster mail service, or a better chair. Continue this for three weeks, and it will become a habit.

Of course, creative imagination goes beyond solving specific problems or inventing things. Truly creative minds are always coming up with the questions too, not just the solutions. If you want to be more creative all the time, focus on three things:

1. Changing your perspective. A child might think that working just to not work (to retire) is silly. Thinking from that perspective might give you ideas for how to make money doing things you enjoy. Seeing the world as a bear sees it might give a painter imaginative new ideas. Looking at things from a customer’s perspective is a sure way to find creative improvements for a business. See everything from several perspectives.

2. Challenging your assumptions. What if restaurants didn’t have employees? Visitors pay a machine as they enter, feed themselves at a buffet, and everything is as automated as possible, so one owner-operator could run a large restaurant alone. Challenge all your assumptions for practice. Do you really have to pay rent? Do swimming pools need water? Can exercise be a bad thing?

3. Let your ideas run wild. Does a flying bed seem silly? It could lead to the concept of a helium mattress. When you get off it in the morning, it floats out of the way, up to the ceiling. Perfect for small apartments. Don’t stifle your creativity. Relax, and let ideas come. You can always discard them later.

For these techniques to be a habitual part of your thinking, use them regularly. Since it takes several weeks to develop a habit, remind yourself to use them each day. Jot a few of your favorite techniques on a card and carry it with you. Look it over throughout the day and apply the techniques to anything. Soon, you’ll have a more creative imagination.

Creative Ideas to Follow Up After a Presentation

In this day and age, it’s simply not enough to call on someone and make a presentation. If you don’t follow up at least 7 times, you are wasting your time, as well as theirs. The more time you put into getting to know your potential customers, the better your relationship will be.

Because of that, you need to follow up after a presentation, at least 7 times, and sometimes longer. Here you’ll find some creative ideas to follow up that will be sure to impress anyone.

1. Your first follow up should be a hand written note, thanking them for their time. Use a nice card, embossed with your logo, if you want, or just a simple “Thank You” card available anywhere.

2. Second, find some “Cheese Straws” at a specialty store, and send it with a note saying: “Grasping at straws to find the perfect solution to…(include a problem you can solve for them)? We can help! This is not only a cleverly worded reminder of your presentation, but something for them to taste and remember you by.

3. Rolodex cards are excellent reminders: include a note that says: “We are always at your fingertips when you need us!” Make sure your rolodex card has the little tab at the top with either your name, or the biggest benefit of using your services: this will make it stand out from the others cards in the file.

4. Next, send a bag of popcorn with a note saying: “Just popping in to remind you that we can…. ” (mention one of the benefits of using your services or products).

5. A coffee mug imprinted with your logo, and filled with some coffee packets and even a cookie could be next: this will remind them of your visit every time they enjoy their coffee.

6. A seed packet with this message: “We would love to help you grow your business” is another original idea that will leave a great impression.

7. Chocolate business cards will be a tasty reminder of your services. This one may be a little more expensive, but well worth the cost. You’ll need to pay for a plate with your logo, but it’s a one time cost that will pay you many times over. The chocolate business cards are a great conversation starter, and something that will separate you from your competition.

These are just a few ideas: there are many more ways to keep your name in front of your potential clientele.

And to keep track of what you did, create a folder for each presentation and set up your follow-ups before you even go to your presentation.

You are now on your way to success: good luck with your next presentation!

CREATING POSSIBILITY FOR TRANSFORMATION

Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to transform his life.  Transforming ones life is not about changing it.  While life is much about doing differently, the genesis of the transformation is about a person altering or transforming his belief or thought of who he thinks he is.  We tend to believe that our life is determined or influenced by people, places, things, situations and circumstance and that who we are is the mere accumulation of our past experiences but this is not so.  Rather, it is our thoughts and beliefs that determine our experiences and life and also that we are completely and solely responsible for their creation.  What we think and believe, especially about ourselves, determines our emotions and behavior in the world and it is our behavior that merely validates what we think and believe about ourselves.  Furthermore, we believe or think that we know who we are in life but the reality is that we truly do not.  Much of who we are really being we are simply not present to.  Much of our life is spent in pretense and who we are really being is hidden from us.

Given that much of our life is lived in pretense, from the construct of ego, becoming present to that which is hidden, to who we are being in life, is absolutely necessary for transformation.  It is in that which is primarily hidden from us that one will discover what is determining ones life, referred to here as ones self-limiting belief.  The first component of the transformational process is for one to become present to the hidden thoughts and beliefs that have been limiting him in life and in particular to his self-limiting belief.  It is in the being of the self-limiting belief that one will discover the primary constraint or barrier to his life, to him living a life that he loves and living it powerfully.  We live life from who we think we are.  Who we think we are forms the context for our life.  Having the awareness or distinction of the self-limiting belief allows one the ability to not be it, to not have his life be merely the probable almost certain future from the past.  Without the distinction of the self-limiting belief one will continue to create his life from the backdrop of this ideational barrier and as a result life will appear much as it did in the past.

Becoming present to that which has been hidden, to that which has been truly determining his being in life, allows one the opportunity to transform his life.  Once one gets who he has been being in life, the second component of transformative process is for the individual to begin to create his life as a possibility.  Once the distinction of the self-limiting belief is gotten, the individual is now able to truly create a new possibility for himself and his life.  Getting the self-limiting belief creates the space or an opening for a possibility or possibilities to be invented not as a result or product of the barrier or constraint but from or out of nothing.  It is only from nothing that possibility can truly be   created.  As with the self-limiting belief, possibility exists in language.  Once one gets the language that he has been being, that has defined and limited him through being his self-limiting belief, it is at this point that he can begin to recreate himself through the power of his word.  Who we are is our word.  In is in ones language or word created out of nothing that one has access to possibility and transformation.

The technique described below is designed to assist an individual in becoming present to his self-limiting belief and in the process to create the space or opening for him to invent a possibility or possibilities for recreating his life.

1.  Find a relaxing and comfortable space to sit in for approximately one hour.  Arrange for this space to be free of any distractions.  Just allow yourself to begin to relax.  Become present to where and who you are.  The use of therapeutic relaxation music can promote the development of a very profound sense of relaxation to enhance this experience.

2.  Take a notebook and begin to write down everything that you believe describes or defines who you are.  Let your mind wander and do not try to filter or block out anything.  Just let whatever comes up about yourself, how you feel and what you think about yourself, to be written down.  Who you think you are or that which bests describes you may appear in single words or short phrases.  If in a group, share your description of yourself with others.  Furthermore, make two lists as there will appear to be both positives and negatives aspects about who you think you are.

3.  Sit your notebook down, close your eyes and begin to relax deeply again.  Again, the use of therapeutic relaxation music will assist you in the process of creating a very deep state of relaxation.  As you begin to move into a deep state of relaxation allow yourself to begin to drift back through time, back through your life, back through your adulthood, adolescence and into your childhood.  Allow yourself to become present to how you were being, experiences, thoughts and feelings, through the various phases or stages of your life.  Just become present to or notice what appears for you.

4.  Open your eyes and return to work on your notebook.  Take a look at what you have written and add anything that you became present to about yourself during the above mentioned relaxation exercise.  Again, do not filter out anything but merely allow whatever there is to come to the surface, both the positive and negative words that best describes who you think and feel you are or were.

5.  Once you have come to a completion of creating the lists, both positive and negative, consider that the positives of who you think yourself to be form the pretense of your life and that their design or function is to fix the negatives of who you think you are.

6.  Allow yourself to become present to the negatives you have written down.  Notice which one of the negatives best describes who you are, what you commonly believe and feel about yourself, what you have experienced in your mind in the past and even now.  Declare the negative aspect that is familiar to you to be your self-limiting belief.

7.  Place your notebook in your lap.  Allow yourself to become fully present to the fact that what you have written is you, is who you believe yourself to be.  Become present to an inauthentic way of being, the positive as pretense and the negatives as that which we hide from ourselves and the world.

8.  Place the notebook into your past.  If you are right handed place your notebook to your left.  If you are left handed place your notebook to your right.  Place the notebook approximately three feet from you.

9.  Once you place your notebook into your past allow yourself to become present to where your notebook is in relation to your body, to your right or left.  Allow yourself to again become present to that which you have written in your notebook is who you believe you are and that it exists to either your right or left.

10.  Once you become present to who you believe yourself to be, to the description of yourself as you have written, allow yourself to become present to what now lies in front of you.  Given that who you think you are is either to your left or right, become present to what exists in front of you is nothing, an opening from which everything and anything is possible and can be created.

11.  Inside the nothing that appears in front of you, invent a possibility or possibilities for yourself and your life.  Declare your possibility in language or word, of who you will take on being in life, for yourself.  Furthermore, this declaration becomes your personal affirmation of who you will be in and for the world.

12.  Repeat this exercise everyday.  Repeating this exercise daily will allow one to continue to stay present to his self limiting belief so as to not be it and also to the possibility or possibilities that he has created and invented for himself and his life.  Continuing this exercise will also allow the further possible unveiling of the self-limiting belief.  The self-limiting belief that one initially becomes present to may reveal even deeper meaning for who one is or has been being.

The exercise outlined above is about the work of the first two components of Transformational Counseling and one beginning the process of transformation.  Once one gets the distinction of his self-limiting belief and creates a possibility or possibilities for himself and his life, the third component of transformation involves learning the process of enrollment.  Enrollment is a powerful technique for allowing one to stay living into his possibility and out of his self-limiting belief.  The fourth component of transformation is about creating a daily plan.  The daily plan allows one the opportunity to continue to live into or generate his possibility in his life on a daily basis.  The fifth component of transformation involves a commitment to stay in the conversation of transformation.  It is in staying in the conversation that one experiences the nonlinear nature of transformation thereby keeping the process alive in his life.

Create Your Own Destiny

We are constantly imitating others. When we copy other people, we can’t reproduce their charisma, talent or success. Externally, we can imitate their life, their way of dressing and drive the same kind of car, but this does not bring us fulfilment.

We can take another’s life as an example, but we must think hard before we follow them. Look at the virtues of others and ask yourself: “I have something valuable and worthwhile myself? How can I bring it out?” When you notice something bad in those around you, make a firm resolve: “Let me not nurture such vices”.

There is much hidden potential in each one of us. What should we do to make this blossom? When you activate yourself, you bring out all the strengths and talents that God has given you, all that is inherent in you, that is natural in you, something genuine and original.

Create your own identity. When you do this other people gravitate towards you. Activation leads to gravitation. Then you don’t imitate others. Instead others might want to be like you. We are used to paying more attention to the external world. We try to gain social approval by dressing ourselves in a certain manner.

We stand in front of the mirror and make sure that we are presentable before we leave the house. We trust the mirror implicitly. The mirror reflects our outward appearance, not our thoughts, feelings and relationships.

Does it reflect the love in your heart? You may go to your workplace dressed in your best clothes. When somebody provokes you there, you may retort in anger or sulk in silence. Either way your peace of mind is shattered. Now your beautiful dress does nothing to help you.

Only inner strength and equipoise can continue to keep you calm, cheerful and unruffled. For this you have to activate the divine core within, from which flows a perennial stream of peace and tranquillity.

Imitation cannot give you peace. So, watch your attitude, thoughts, words and desires. Be aware of the calmness in your inner core and try to retain it.

External beauty is temporary. Inner beauty is permanent and eternal. This is the beauty we need and this is what we gain when we activate ourselves. This is the beauty God recognises. So seek love, for you seek inner beauty. Direct your mind to a higher ideal.

When you see the divine beauty concealed in your own heart, you also see it in others. “Do not see, seek”. Don’t look merely at the external form, but also at the divinity within. Today when you see a beggar, you will give him alms.

You will not pat him on the back or shake his hand. If your child comes home, dirty from the playground and calls you “Mummy, Daddy …”, you hug him with love.

If a child in rags comes to you, you drive him away because you don’t love him. For the realised soul a beggar and a king are equally divine and beautiful because he has activated his inner core.

When you imitate you only see. When you activate you seek. The difference between “see” and “seek” is the “k”. That “k” is kindness or karuna.

When there is care, compassion and kindness, nothing else matters. So let us stop imitating. Let us evaluate ourselves and nurture the divine core within. Let us seek. Let us activate.