Where success is concerned, it has been said that people are not measured in inches, or pounds, or college degrees, or background. They are measured by the size of their thinking. How BIG we think determines the size of our achievements. And to think BIG you need to think creatively.
Not sure you are any good at creative thinking? Apparently, according to this article, you are. We all are! So then the question is really, “How do you exercise that creative thinking?”
Here are a few tips and pointers that answer that very question.
Yes, You Can!
First, let’s clear up a common fallacy about the meaning of creative thinking. Most people associate creative thinking with things like the discovery of electricity or polio vaccine, or the writing of a novel or the development of color television.
Certainly, accomplishments like these are evidence of creative thinking. But creative thinking is not reserved for certain occupations, nor is it restricted to super-intelligent people.
Creative thinking is simply finding new, improved ways to do anything. The rewards of all types of success—success in the home, at work, in the community—hinge on finding ways to do things better.
Here is a basic truth: To do anything, we must first believe it can be done.
Believe it can be done. That’s basic to creative thinking.
For thousands of years philosophers have issued this good advice: Know thyself. But most people, it seems, interpret this suggestion to mean: Know only thy negative self. Most people’s self-evaluation consists of making long mental lists of one’s faults, shortcomings, inadequacies. It’s fine to know our inabilities, as this shows us areas in which we can improve. But if we only know our negative characteristics, we’re in a mess and we won’t succeed.
Probably the greatest human weakness is self-depreciation—that is, selling oneself short. Don’t do it!
Peter: Let’s focus on our strengths—both our own and those of others. Let’s take time to outline and enumerate them, praise the Lord for them, see how we can use them, and give time and thought to how to enhance and capitalize on them! Let’s not be afraid of allowing the Lord to make us more valuable in the natural and practical. It makes sense that He would.
Here are three suggestions to help you develop creative power through belief:
Eliminate the word impossible from your thinking and speaking vocabularies. Impossible is a failure word. The thought, “It’s impossible,” sets off a chain reaction of other negative thoughts in an attempt to prove to yourself that you’re right in thinking that you can’t.
Jesus: Impossible is more than a word; it’s a state of mind, an attitude. If you don’t nip it in the bud, it will become an integral part of you, until there is no remedy. This attitude leads to defeat. Impossible breaks down noble aspirations, shoots down high goals, and shatters dreams. Impossible is an insult to your intelligence. Impossible is for quitters. End
Think of how “you can.” Think of something important that you’ve been wanting to do but felt you couldn’t. Now, make a list of reasons why and ways how you can do it. Many of us whip and defeat our aspirations simply because we concentrate on why we can’t when the only thing worthy of our mental concentration is why we can.
Peter: With all the change that is before us, it’s important that we shed any negative mindsets that will hold us back, and instead that we embrace new mindsets, positive mindsets, which will change our behavior because we are looking at things from a positive perspective. We will be focusing on the power and seeing the potential instead of the problems. This is especially needed right now, because we are going to be faced with doing things differently than we’ve done them before. End
Don’t be a “traditional thinker.”The traditional thinker’s mind is paralyzed. He reasons, “It’s been this way for years. Therefore, it must be good and must stay this way. Why risk a change?” Nothing grows in ice. If we let tradition freeze our minds, new ideas can’t sprout.
Jesus: I’m not against what works well, but I am against a total lack of change in any area, and I am against putting “what works” on too high a pedestal, and living your life too much by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” credo.
I am for you looking to see what can be improved, what can be made more godly, what can be a better service and bear more fruit, what can get out more of the message, what can save more souls, more time, and more money, what can win more disciples, what can keep you a new bottle, what can help the children more, and what can be done away with that isn’t necessary.
Traditional thinking is personal enemy Number One for the person who is interested in a creative personal success campaign. Traditional thinking freezes your mind, blocks your progress, and prevents you from developing creative power.
Ponder: Are there ways in which you might be in a rut or exercising “traditional thinking”? Take some time to think about this.
Here are three ways to fight “traditional thinking”:
1. Welcome new ideas. Destroy those thought repellents: “Won’t work,” “Can’t be done,” “It’s useless,” and “It’s stupid.” A very successful friend of mine once said to me, “I don’t pretend to be the smartest guy in the business. But I think I am the best sponge in [my particular] industry. I make it a point to soak up all the good ideas I can.”
2. Be an experimental person. Break up fixed routines. Expose yourself to new places, new books, new theaters [or other activities], new friends; take a different route to work some day [or to a regular witnessing spot], take a different vacation this year, do something new and different this weekend.
3. Be progressive. Don’t think, “That’s the way we did it where I used to work so we ought to do it that way here” but rather, “How can we do it better than we did it where I used to work?”
Successful people, like successful businesses, live with this question, “How can I improve the quality of my performance? How can I do better?” Absolute perfection in all human undertakings from building missiles to rearing children is unattainable. This means there is endless room for improvement. Successful people know this and they are always searching for a better way. (Note: The successful person doesn’t ask, “Can I do it better?” He knows he can. So he phrases the question: “How can I do it better?”)
Here is an exercise that will help you discover and develop the power of the I-can-do-better attitude: Each day before you begin work, devote 10 minutes to think “How can I do a better job today?” Ask, “What can I do today to encourage those I talk with?” “What special favor can I do for my customers [or those I meet out today]?” “How can I increase my personal efficiency?”
This exercise is simple. But it works. Try it and you’ll find unlimited creative ways to win greater success.
Jesus: I like the idea of you looking at all areas of your life periodically and asking what things I think you could stand to do differently and better. Evaluate your life and ask Me, “What is one thing I could do differently in my work life…?” Then pray the same about your spiritual life, your personal life, your interaction with others, your marriage, your parenting, etc. Don’t make the scope of your question too broad, but narrow it down to one thing I’d like to revolute in your life in one area, to keep you changing and hopping, just as I am.
Try not to consider anything so good or set that you figure you don’t have to worry about it anymore and you just settle down into a comfortable routine of doing it. Don’t consider anything beyond improvement or beyond My ability to show you a way to make it better. Don’t consider any plan or action so “quality” that it doesn’t need prayer when doing it, or My occasional input of how it can be improved.
I’m in the business of making your good better and your better best.
You have so much to give, you are a quality person created by an amazing God who loves you, and you have Jesus, the Word, and all of Heaven to back you up. So think BIG and find the success you want and deserve!
Three ways to harness and develop your ideas:
1. Don’t let ideas escape. Write them down. Every day lots of good ideas are born only to die quickly because they aren’t nailed to paper. Memory is a weak slave when it comes to preserving and nurturing brand new ideas. Carry a notebook with you. When you get an idea, write it down.
2. Review your ideas. Keep a file and then examine your storehouse of ideas regularly. As you go over your ideas, some may, for very good reasons, have no value at all. Get rid of them. But so long as the idea has any merit, keep it on the list.
3. Cultivate and fertilize your idea. Now make your ideas grow. Think about it. Tie the idea to related ideas. Read anything you can find which is in any way akin to your idea. Investigate all angles. Then, when the time is ripe, put it to work for yourself, your job, your future.