Seven Habits Of Creative People, And How They Change The World

Marcel sits alone, at his workstation with his head in his hands. It is Monday morning and he cannot believe he is here, in this same situation yet another day, another month, another year. He had sworn to himself that this year would be different. But it wasn’t. It was the same. He is not sure which is more soul-destroying: the problem that causes his unhappiness, or his sense of powerlessness to change it. He knows that if he could just solve this one problem, everything else would fall into place. The trouble is, no matter what he tries nothing seems to work.

Marcel doesn’t need money to change his world. What Marcel really needs is a bit of creativity. One of the joys of adulthood is that as time passes we gain more and more experience from which we can draw upon to solve our problems. We learn through our experience for example, what is the best strategy for getting the kids to school on time (most days!), what is the best way to approach our partner on a sensitive issue, what is the best day of the week to fill up the car, and what is the best time of year to plant the petunias.

By contrast, in childhood we have relatively few experiences on which we can draw from. Creativity is the force that enables children to solve problems for which they have no experience. Children practice creativity daily because they depend on it to navigate through the multitude of novel situations that they experience in the world. However, as we grow older, we have less need to rely on our creativity as our primary problem solving method. Despite the popular notion that “everyone is creative”, unless it is practiced, developed, nurtured and cultivated, our creativity becomes latent.

The shift from creativity to experience is not a bad thing. It is arguably far more economical for us to be able to draw from our experience and get it “right” the first time by predicting the consequences of our actions, rather than relying on the trial and error approach required to turn a creative vision into reality. We learn that there are certain rules and laws, norms and expectations that will help us solve the given problem much more efficiently. Much of our problem-solving becomes automatic, highly efficient and relatively painless as a result.

Invariably however, we come across a problem-solving challenge that our experience has not prepared us for. When the answer cannot be found by searching back through the experiences we have had, or the lessons we have learned, there is a tendency to define the problem as “unsolvable”. War, global warming, increasing interest rates, price of fuel or changing market economies are all examples of problems that are “too hard” and have become unsolvable. For others the “unsolvable” problem is how to simply get through the day against the backdrop of internal turmoil, depression and sadness. For others, it is not single problem but the sheer number of them, and the seeming futility of one person’s action, that overwhelms us. It may not even be a “negative” problem, but a vision for which we simply have no familiarity with the ways that it might be translated into reality.

Interestingly, it is in the face of these types of challenges and problems that children – whose creativity has not yet been squandered or squashed – offer us the most promising solutions. By calling on children we can discover the possibilities for our so-called unsolvable problems:

“We don’t like it that our fathers must be soldiers and shoot other children’s fathers.” (Engbrottsskolan, Ctvidaberg, Sweden).

“There comes an army; here comes another. They meet in the middle and declare PEACE.” (Holy Cross Primary School, Western Cape, South Africa)

“The war is not around him but trapped inside his head. War is not battles; it is struggles without end.” (Friends School of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, US).

“The condition of the heart can alter the perspective of a person. The condition of the hearts of a nation can alter the state of mankind-PEACE.” (Walnut Ridge Middle School Library, Walnut Ridge, AR, US).

Creativity is therefore essential to all people. More than merely a good artistic ability or an active imagination, it is a combination of process, product, thought and action. It combines trial and error, imagination, and freedom that ultimately reconfigures what used to be, into something new. Creativity therefore matters not only to dancers and painters, but to any person who – like Marcel – longs to see something change, to experience the hope of new possibilities. Whether we want to make a difference in our world, in business or simply in our own lives, creativity is deeply needed in many homes, communities, hallways and offices today. To be asked to change the world and to confront the “unsolvable problems” is to be asked to cultivate the habits of creativity and foster them in ourselves and our children.

The good news is that even the most latent creativity can be reawakened. One of the pioneer researchers in creativity – E. P. Torrance – extensively studied creativity in both children and adults. He found that people with a highly creative approach tended to have particular styles in their approach to problems, situations and relationships – such as a certain type of flexibility and fluency. Many other researchers (particularly in early childhood education and in business) have also studied what it means to be creative, and there are some remarkably consistent themes. Here’s what the research says about habits that build creativity:

Habit #1: Take delight in deep thinking

Creativity requires us to not accept things at face value. Like the child who becomes engrossed in watching an ant struggle against a bread-crumb five times its size, deep thinking allows us to ponder and observe rather than judge. By suspending judgment and allowing ourselves to become completely absorbed in our curious, to contemplate “what is?”, “what else?”, “what if?”, “what about?”, and “why not?”, we begin to see beyond the standard answer and open ourselves up to new possibilities.

Habit #2: Demand imperfection

Creativity is not simply a thought, but requires an action. The most imaginative visions are not creative until they are translated into being. However, particularly in Western cultures, there is an increasing emphasis on achieving individual perfection with little tolerance for getting it wrong. To foster creativity, we have to be willing to place a higher importance on immersing ourselves in the world, than we do on being perfect. Whatever we define as “perfect” is highly specific to cultural and historical contexts. Because perfection depends on the achievement of these arbitrarily constructed rules, and creativity depends on something beyond the rules, we can never be truly creative whilst in pursuit of the perfect. We tend to tolerate imperfection in others more readily than in ourselves and our children. Therefore, freeing ourselves from the chains of perfectionism requires, above all else, the cultivation of self-compassion, laughter, and a bit of perspective.

Habit #3: Get to know yourself

Our world is filled with barriers that limit our opportunity to cultivate our creativity. Social judgments and expectations, dogmatic rules and bureaucracies, and simply the need to curb our passion so that we can earn a dollar and put food on the table are all common creativity inhibitors. By far the most significant personal cost of “being creative” is the risk of become alienated from the community to which you belong. History is filled with creative geniuses who are pathologised as “eccentric”, “mad” or – as increasingly the case of highly creative children in schools today – a nuisance, a problem, oppositionally defiant, or learning disabled.

Practicing creativity therefore requires that we also cultivate our acceptance that – in working toward something new – we are likely to challenge the comfort zones and expectations of those around us. For most people, the practice of creativity as an all-or-nothing endeavor is profoundly costly in personal terms. To practice every-day creativity requires that we learn to discern when to push and when to pull back. Every person has different thresholds for alienation, isolation and criticism. Knowing ourselves and our limits allows us to take risks, but always ones that we can live with. Make your creativity energizing, sustainable and for the “long-haul”, rather than isolating yourself and making your creativity a source of misery.

Habit #4: Use your strengths

Creative people are usually interested in everything with a particular focus in one area. Discover a strength you have and immerse yourself in it. Explore it from every angle. Pull it apart. Put it back together. Contemplate, play and challenge everything you can about it. Be curious about everything, and consider in what ways and contexts your strengths could be applied and connected to other areas. Give yourself permission to change your mind. Discover every possible use for what you’ve got. Use it. Reflect on it. Use it some more.

Habit #5: Find a Creative Role Model

Creativity is one of the key learning strategies we have to survive our early childhood. The difference between someone who is creative, and someone who is not, is simply whether creativity has been allowed to flourish or wither beyond the early years. Instead of sitting back in the hope that creativity will discover us, we need to actively seek out sources of inspiration for creativity. Surrounding ourselves with people who navigate through their own lives with creativity provides valuable insight into the genuine nature and nuance of creativity (rather than the sanitized and contrived Hollywood version). Observing, discussing, and sharing stories with (or about) the people who inspire our passions can help to identify the core values and strategies that might be useful in our own creative development. (It also helps to strengthen and buffer us against the criticism that can sometimes be directed toward creative action).

Habit #6: Challenge the myth of independence

In a culture obsessed with “making” children independent from birth we do great damage to our creativity. Creativity is a collaborative process and everything that is created is simply a new version of what was before. The creation of a new person, for example, comes from the splicing and reconfiguration of its parents’ DNA. Likewise, to approach any problem creatively, we have to be able to connect all parts, to be able to discover unexpected interactions and inter-relationships that we might not otherwise have seen. People who are creative tend to have a tendency to see most things (including themselves) as one part of a bigger whole, where they can actively influence and shape the world they live in. In order to be creative we need to challenge ourselves to see interdependcies, rather than seeking to be alone and isolated in the world.

Habit #7: Maintain a strong Play-Ethic

A strong work-ethic is a highly valued quality by many. However, it is in play that all the parts and pieces flow into the totality of creativity. Businesses whose bottom-line depends on high levels of creativity – such as soft-ware developers and advertising agencies – understand this principle extremely well. These workplaces more closely resemble a child’s playground of color and freedom – rather than an office – where a genuine Play-Ethic and culture is actively fostered and encouraged.

Play (which is distinct from competition and sports) enables us to let go of pre-imposed dogma. In play we are free to move in multidimensional and illogical ways (mentally and physically), to try out different combinations and roles, to laugh at ourselves, to act without fear of failure, shame or measurement, and to be wholly led by our curiosity and our sense of discovery. In play, we can truly connect to each other, to the problem at hand, and to our hearts. Far from being limited to games and children, introducing a sense of play into any context that we want to change is the most direct way to be creative.

With the possibility that as adults we may re-learn to play creatively we have the greatest hope of solving the unsolvable and changing the world in the process.

The World According to Garp Movie Review – Starring Robin Williams and Glenn Close

“The World According to Garp” is an unusual 1978 novel by John Irving which was made into a film, released in 1982. The movie stars Robin Williams, Glenn Close, Mary Beth Hurt, and John Lithgow. The acting is quite good and the story is very intriguing and thought-provoking, although somewhat bizarre.

Robin Williams plays the role of Garp, the illegitimate son of nurse Jenny Fields (Close), an avid feminist who refuses to get married but still wants a child, so she impregnates herself with the sperm of a dying soldier during World War II. Garp remains pleasantly curious about his father for his whole life, dreaming of being a pilot like him.

Garp grows up in a small town in New England. In high school, he falls for Helen Home, daughter of his wrestling coach, who tells him she wants to marry a writer, which inspires him to become one. After high school, he moves to New York City with his mother, where they both write. Garp writes a depressing short story called “Missing Gloves” and his mother writes a groundbreaking feminist book called “Sexual Suspect”, from which she becomes rich and famous. Garp, on the other hand, remains relatively unknown, although Helen agrees to marry him after reading “Missing Gloves”.

Garp and Helen buy a “pre-disastered” house after a small plane crashes into it. They have two sons, whom Garp grows very fond of. After several years of marriage, however, Helen becomes unhappy and ends up having an affair with one of her graduate students, whom she teaches. Once Garp learns of the affair, he threatens to leave her along with their sons. On the way back home, he has a terrible car accident which kills his youngest son.

Following some therapy at Garp’s mother’s nursing home, Garp and Helen become reunited. They decide to have another child.

Among Jenny’s many regular visitors is a group of women known as the Ellen James Society, formed in honor of Ellen James, a rape victim who’d had her tongue cut off. In protest of what happened, the Ellen Jamesians all cut off their tongues. Garp is sympathetic to Ellen but not at all to the society. He ends up writing a book called Ellen, explaining to the world Ellen’s predicament. Ellen James becomes grateful to him for writing the book, but he angers one Ellen Jamesian, who ends up killing him.

How To Change The World As An Entrepreneur

How Can Entrepreneurs Change the World?

To answer this question, I offer you two answers;

· Be different.
· Make a difference.

1) Be different.

To change the world, you must first be the change you seek to create in the world. The world is no respecter of persons who follow the crowd, who doesn’t have a mind of their own, who doesn’t challenge the status quo, who doesn’t dare the un-dared, who doesn’t attempt the un-attempted. The world makes room for the man who doesn’t conform. Steve Jobs was one of such people.

He was a nonconformist right from his college days at Reed College. He Dropped out of school at 17 after his first semester [6 months] and choosing instead to pursue his curiosity. Why did he drop out? According to him in his famous Stanford Speech, he didn’t see the value of being taught subjects that weren’t of interest to him. So, he stayed on campus as a freelance student sleeping on the floor of his friends’ dormitory for an additional 18 months dropping in on those classes that offered subjects that interested him.

Steve jobs dropped out of school to follow purpose. To him, life wasn’t about following the norm; it was about following your own path doing what you love even if that path seems to run contrary to the traditional path known to the world. Exactly 3 years after dropping out of college, in his parent’s garage, Steve Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak started the company; Apple and grew it into a 2 billion dollars company with over 4000 employees under a period of 10 years!

What does it take to be DIFFERENT as an entrepreneur?

Passion.

Purpose.

Persistence.

Passion:
You can never be different until you’ve found that which you truly love to do. You can never become an unusual entrepreneur until you’ve found that which you truly love to do. You can never change the world until you’ve found that which you truly love to do. Passion is the first prerequisite for being different. Without passion, you are just as good as the rest. Passion differentiates you from others. Passion is the fuel for taking on the world!

But passion is not enough; you need to discover what you want to do with your passion [purpose].

Purpose:
Passion is the source of your purpose, for your purpose is hidden in that which you love doing. As humans, our purpose on earth is to make an impact with our lives by following our passion. We exist to discover, pursue and be fruitful doing only what we love to do. Your purpose is the extent to which you want to make a contribution in the world doing what you love – how far do you want to express your passion?

Persistence:
Being different comes with a price.

Passion is where your journey to becoming different begins, so let’s call it your passport. Purpose is deciding the direction you want to follow or destination you want to go, so let’s call it your visa. Persistence is the price you pay for embarking on the journey, so let’s call it your ticket. Without persistence, passion and purpose are useless.

Being different takes courage, it is not easy going against the norm or challenging the status quo. Seriously, it’s you against the world, and we both know how unfair the world can be. So unless you are prepared to hang on till the very end [persistence], don’t dare to be different!

Steve Jobs had his own share of troubles when he chose to be different. What else can be worse than being fired from the very company you co-founded? But that didn’t stop him; this is what he had to say about that;

“I was rejected, but was still in love!”

Rather than give in to defeat, he persisted doing only what he loved to do [passion] and eventually ended up creating two new companies; NeXT and Pixar Animations. As fate would have it, the very company that fired him, Apple ended up buying him back since their future in business depended on integrating the very technology Steve Jobs’ new company NeXT had just invented!

2) Make a difference.

To be different is the starting point of your quest to change the world, to make a difference is what it means to actually change the world. There is a gap between your quest to change the world and actually changing the world. That gap is about doing something that makes a difference the world!

That Steve Jobs dropped out of college after only six months is no big deal. Yes it made him different, but was he the only student who dropped out of Reed College at that time? No! Neither was he the first student to drop out of college, there are hundreds of students who drop out of colleges worldwide. So what was so special about Steve Jobs’ case?

His dropping out of college made him different from all others because his dropping out of college made a difference in the world through his invention of computer typography. If he hadn’t dropped out of college to follow his heart rather than wasting his time attending classes he didn’t like, he wouldn’t have had the liberty to drop in on other classes that interested him.

As it turned out, one of those classes he dropped in on as a freelance student after dropping out was on calligraphy, where he learnt the skill of producing beautiful and artistic handwriting. This singular act was what made it possible for humans to be able to type in different fonts on computers today!

The Macintosh computer invented by Steve Jobs ten years after he dropped out was the first computer to offer users different typographies. Microsoft later copied this and integrated it into their Windows operating systems and today everyone can write on computers using various typographies.

The lesson here is very simple, that you are different does nobody any good unless you are making a difference with that thing which makes you different. In other words, let your personal uniqueness bring about some specific usefulness to others. This is what it means to be SIGNIFICANT!

The world doesn’t care about different people or unusual entrepreneurs who are just trying to be different for being different sake. The world beats a path to the door of those who are not only different [unique] but are also making a difference [useful].

What does it take to MAKE A DIFFERENCE as an entrepreneur?

Apparently, making a difference takes precisely the same thing you need to be different; passion, purpose and persistence but with a slight twist in application.

Here is what I mean.

Passion -whatever it is you love doing must be something that adds value to the lives of others. Meaning, your passion must be useful or your passion must make a contribution.

Steve Jobs’ passion was technology and his entire life was given to the pursuit of making a contribution in the world through the invention of technological products that made life easier for the human race!

Purpose -the extent to which you want to express your passion must be the driving force behind your business venture and not just profits. Meaning, you are in business because you want to express your passion through the creation of goods and services that will positively add value to the lives of people significantly. Why? Because great companies are not built on profits, but on purpose. Purpose is profitable -first add value and the profit follows almost automatically.

Steve Jobs’ purpose was to make a contribution in the world through technology. He was more concerned about how the products he invented would solve the problems plaguing humanity than how much money he would make. Do you know what his annual salary was? A mediocre sum of just $1 – one dollar!

Persistence -the price you pay for being different and choosing to make a difference must be sacrificial. Making a difference is not a thing you do at your own convenience, believe me, you will make more enemies than you ever bargained for. The man or woman who challenges the status quo is the chief enemy of tradition and the system will resist such a person vehemently.

Your persistence must be till death if you truly desire to make a difference!

Steve Jobs fought till death the good fight of bringing innovative products to life through technology. He lived every day of his life like it was his last. He believed that death is the single best invention of life. He saw death as an agent of change clearing out the old to make room for the new. From age seventeen [17] till his death, every morning he looks into the mirror and asks himself this simple question;

“If today were the last day of my life, will I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

Daily he reminded himself of the most important things in his life, his passion, purpose and family. To Steve Jobs, “remembering that you are going to die is the best way of avoiding the trap of thinking that you have something to lose because you are already naked so there’s no reason not to follow your heart”.

This was a man who worked despite his ailing health. He had pancreatic cancer, had undergone a major surgery and eventually died of cancer barely two months after he resigned from work.

Over to you

If you are reading this, chances are that you are the kind of person whom this site is created for – an unusual entrepreneur. I say this because it takes one to identify one. You can only be interested in reading about Steve Jobs because you were inspired by his life and accomplishments as an entrepreneur.

Well I have just two things to say to you;

1). It’s an honour to finally have you with us, we are a community of unusual entrepreneurs sharing unusual development tips that can empower ordinary people like you to build extraordinary companies like Apple. We have an unusual ebook written specially for someone like you; it is the ultimate guide for this unusual journey of your life -entrepreneurship!

2). Enter your full name and email address in the box below to grab your copy of this ebook and make sure you leave a comment behind in remembrance of one of us to whom we owe this post -Steve Jobs!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the result of other people’s thinking; don’t let the noise of other people’s opinion ground out your own inner voice and most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary!”

-Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011