40 Questions You Can Use to Awaken Your Creativity

14 05 2009

Asking great questions can be another way to awaken creativity. Questions have the power to direct and expand our focus, and even change the way we think and act. Asking yourself great questions during the creative process can really open you up to new ways of approaching things. And on the contrary, asking yourself crappy questions can really get you stuck. (By the way, this is not just limited to questions about creativity. This can be applied to any area of your life.☺)

Let’s think about this for a minute. If you find that you are asking yourself questions like, “Why won’t this work,” then you will find answers to that question and most likely not move forward. But if you tend to ask better questions like, “What resources do I have that can make this possible?” then you will find more empowering answers and move to the next step.

So what’s the difference between a great question and a crappy question?

Great Questions Can Help You….

  1. Find Inspiration.
  2. Gain a new understanding/perspective.
  3. Make it happen/Move yourself or another person to action.
  4. Move Past Obstacles/Focus on solution rather than  problems.
  5. Provide a deeper sense of meaning for your life, mission, art…

Crappy Questions Can…

  1. Focus purely on the problem and not the solution—it makes the problem bigger than it really is.
  2. Make you feel limited or unresourceful—it puts you in a stuck state where you don’t feel like you accomplish anything, be creative, or make any progress.
  3. Create endless loops.  Like, “Why can’t I get this right?”  If you ask questions like these, you can come up with endless answers and never know for sure what things really do mean.
  4. Sabotage any future ideas, successes, or visions.

40 Questions to Awaken Creativity

Finding Inspiration
1.    What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
2.    What do I really, really want?
3.    What’s my heart telling me?
4.    What is one of my biggest, wildest dreams?
5.    What inspires me? Where can I go for inspiration?
6.    What do I love? What am I passionate about?
7.    Who can I talk to that can inspire me? Give me new ideas?
8.    What keeps me up at night? What excites me?

Gaining A New Perspective/Seeing the Possibility
9.    What is possible? Is it possible…?
10.   What is a completely different way of looking at this?
11.    What have I not tried yet?
12.    What other way can I use this?
13.    What if…?
14.    What other choices do I have?
15.    What would I do differently if I had no fear?
16.    What is the dream?
17.    What am I building towards?

Making It Happen
18.    What does the end-result look like?
19.    What’s one thing I can do right now?
20.    What resources do I have that can make this possible?
21.    What resources do I need to make this possible?
22.    What has to happen to create this?
23.    What is one thing I can do right now to create this?
24.    What do I have to do differently to make this happen?
25.    What do I need to put in place to make this happen?
26.    Who do I know that is already doing this well?
27.    Who else has the ability to help me accomplish this?

Moving Past Obstacles/What Can I Learn
28.    What can I learn from my mistakes? Failures?
29.    How can I use this?
30.    What is beyond this problem?
31.    What if there were no limits?
32.    What can motivate me right now?
33.    What’s the most resourceful state that would help me right now?
34.    How can I use this the next time I have a similar situation?
35.    What can I find that’s great about this?
36.    Who/What can help me the most right now?

Seeing the Greater Purpose
37.    What is my ultimate mission/purpose in doing this?
38.    What is my legacy? What do I want to be remembered for?
39.    Who do I want to become as a result of doing this?
40.    How can what I’m doing have a positive impact on others/the world?

So become aware of the questions that you are asking—whether consciously or unconsciously. When you catch yourself asking a crappy question, stop, and then force yourself to think of a better question.

If you have other great questions to awaken creativity or innovation, please submit them as a comment!!


What Beliefs Hold Back Your Creativity? And What Ones Move You Forward?

13 05 2009

To really embrace a new mindset about creativity, you need to look at the beliefs you have about it—both consciously and unconsciously. One of the best ways to awaken your creativity is to recognize and get rid some beliefs you may have that are limiting you and to open yourself up to new empowering beliefs.

One powerful way to get rid of these limiting beliefs and to embrace new ones is to 1) identify what those beliefs are, 2) understand their negative impact, 3) explore why these beliefs are not true, 4) identify areas you have been creative in the past, and 5) identify empowering beliefs about creativity. Below is a process that will help you eliminate your negative beliefs and identify new beliefs that can help expand your creativity.

As you go through this process, take the time to really ask yourself the below questions. Often times, it helps to ask and answers these questions out loud, and then write down your answers. It may sound strange, but you will be shocked at what comes out of your mouth when you say your answers out loud. Or if you want, find someone to ask you these questions, and as you answer back, they can write down your answers. Some of your beliefs may be unconscious, so you might have to dig a little to find out what they are.

Creative Beliefs Process—Out with the old, and in with the new

  1. Identify Your Beliefs. What beliefs do I have about creativity? What other beliefs do I have? What else do I believe? In the past, what have I believed about my ability to be creative?
  2. Understand the Consequences. Go through each of these beliefs and write how they have affected you and your creativity. How have these beliefs affected my ability to be creative? How have these beliefs had a negative impact in my life, career, family, etc? What has believing this cost me?
  3. Explore Why These Beliefs Are Not True. What is not true about these negative beliefs? Why have I chosen to believe them?
  4. Identify Areas Where You Have Been Creative in the Past. In the past, when  have I been creative? What did I do? What helped open up my creativity?
  5. Identify Empowering Beliefs About Creativity. What areas of my life can benefit from more creativity? What beliefs can awaken my creativity?  What do other creative people believe about creativity that I can model?

Once you identify your new beliefs, write them down and put them where you can regularly see them. Say them to yourself each day, or say them as you begin any area where you can benefit from some creativity.

Examples of Common Limiting Beliefs
1.    “I’m just not a creative person.”
2.    “I can’t write/I can’t draw/I can’t…”
3.    “I don’t have time to be creative.”
4.    “I don’t think that way…”
5.    “I’ve never been or done anything creative before.”

Examples of Empowering Creative Beliefs

  1. We are all creative beings.  Creativity is a choice—I have the ability to awaken it within me.
  2. The beauty of creativity is that it is an art—there is no right or wrong way to do it.
  3. My creativity can increase—the more I use it, the more I awaken it.
  4. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
  5. Creativity is a journey. I embrace the creative process.
  6. I need to just start somewhere. The most important thing is that I take the first steps toward doing it.
  7. Creativity exists in all areas of life. I can bring creativity to the table in any situation.
  8. Practice makes perfect. It’s ok if it’s not ‘right’ right now.
  9. God is the ultimate creative being. He loves seeing me explore my creativity.
  10. I am more creative than I even know.
  11. My creativeness can be a blessing to others.
  12. Creativity=Fun. I don’t know what or where this will lead to, but I will try it and have fun in the process. Trying is better than not doing anything at all.

Beliefs of Some Creative Geniuses

  1. “I dream for a living.” Steven Spielberg
  2. “Change only favors minds that are diligently looking and preparing for discovery.” Louis Pasteur
  3. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling
  4. “Life is not an exact science. It is an art.” Samuel Butler
  5. “I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.” Harry Emerson Fosdick
  6. “That which builds is better than that which is built.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

5 Ways to Awaken Your Creativity

2 05 2009

Anyone can create. Watch kids under 10 years old whose imaginations are running wild—imagination and creativity are natural parts of who we are. But often times as we get older, our creative imaginations are hindered.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

Creativity is the license to explore, to try things out, and to get things wrong. There is no “right” or “wrong” in creativity. There is as much, if not more, to be gained from the journey as there is from reaching the destination.

Creativity can add new opportunities, dimensions and excitement to life. So how do you awaken your creativity?

1. Embrace a Creative Mindset: Transform Your Way of Thinking.

  • Creativity is as much of an internal process as it is external. Take “writer’s block” for example. What do you think causes that? There are many internal drivers that have a positive or negative affect on our ability to be creative—what we believe, what we think, what we say, and how we identify and look at ourselves, are major contributors to our level of creativeness.
  • One way to transform your inner creativity is to look at the beliefs you have about creativity-both the negative and positive beliefs you have. We’ll talk more about how to identify negative creative beliefs and create more positive ones in an upcoming blog.

2. Expand Your Sense of Possibility: Embrace “What If”

  • Too often creativity is hindered by logical, in-the-box thinking, or our ‘internal critic.’
  • Instead we need to think big. Think out of the box. Believe that anything is possible. One way to begin to do this is to ask yourself “if I didn’t have to think about how to implement this idea, what would I do or what would I envision?” What is possible?
  • Another really great tool to use in brainstorming sessions or when talking through ideas is to begin sentences with “What If, or “Is it Possible…” For example, “what if…we began marketing our product to a completely new audience?” Or, “Is it possible that we could market our product to a different demographic and be incredibly successful?” When you change your language patterns and begin a sentence with “what if” or “is it possible,” it helps both yourself and others become more open to new possibilities.

3. Get Inspired: Tap into What’s Around You

  • Discover what gets your creativity flowing. Maybe it’s being out in nature, listening to a certain type of music, going to an artsy coffee shop, or sitting quietly at home….whatever it is, take the time to find your inspiration!
  • Be alert. Pay attention to life—you never know what or who might give you a good idea or inspire you.
  • Create rituals that get your creative juices flowing.

4. Create a Plan: Imagination at Play

  • Begin to play around with how to turn your ideas into reality and come up with an initial plan or design what your end-result might look like. In other words, come up with a basic target so you know where to aim.
  • Remember, your plan will evolve, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Play around with it—you don’t have to figure it all out right away. It will evolve as you embark in the creative process.

5. Just Do it: Take the First Steps

  • Every great journey begins with one step. Just get started and adjust and tweak it along the way. It’s art…there’s no right or wrong. It just is. The important part is to just do something—you have to start from somewhere.

Remember, creativity is a process. But the process starts with you-what you believe and then how you create a vision and turn it to reality. The next blog will help you learn to recognize any negative beliefs you have about creativity and how to get rid of them, plus learn how to embrace better beliefs that can awaken your creativity.

The secret of creativity is that those who have gone off in search of it have ended up discovering something bigger than they ever imagined.

This is part of a series about awakening and exploring your creativity.

Hidden Camera: My Dog Busted Eating & Hiding Pizza

1 05 2009

I love how the random, silly things in life can make me laugh! And dogs do some funny things to really make me laugh.

I set up two hidden video cameras in my house to see what my dog did when we left the house. I can’t believe what we caught her doing while we were gone!

As we were walking out of the house, I realized I had left a half pizza in a box in the middle of the kitchen table. I was getting ready to put it away because knowing my dog, chances were good it would be gone when I got home. She has done this three other times before. And it took me three times to finally learn my lesson to not leave it on the table unattended.

Anyway, I set up two video cameras and this is what we saw. We caught my dog, a 12lb Bichon, getting on the kitchen table (about 3 seconds after we were gone), opening the box of pizza, eating two slices of it, and then when she got full, she hid a slice of pizza and disguised it with a piece of paper in the corner of my couch. And all of this on camera!!

Here’s the Video I posted on You Tube:

Have you ever busted your pet on camera doing something while you were gone? Or caught them doing something while you were away, but don’t know how they did it? I’d love to hear about it!! Please share so we can all enjoy some laughs!!

Imagine It…

9 04 2009

Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!  ~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

Imagination points to all that we might yet discover and create. All human progress has been born out of imagination-without imagination, we would be completely limited.

So it’s time to imagine out loud….whether it’s big or small, short or tall, serious or silly…nothing can limit our imagination.