Fun and smart ways to feel creative at no cost

The Candle Problem tests creative problem solving. How would you affix the lit candle to the wall so that it will not drip wax onto the table below. All you have is a candle, a box of thumbtacks and a book of matches? Check here for the solution.
The Candle Problem tests creative problem solving. How would you affix the lit candle to the wall so that it will not drip wax onto the table below. All you have is a candle, a box of thumbtacks and a book of matches? Check here for the solution.

An investment banker, 47, was so upset about an ongoing battle with the board of his luxury Manhattan apartment that he jumped out of the window of the seventh floor. His problems relate to his job and he and his wife’s three French poodles. Neighbours had complained about the dogs’ barking and “rambunctious, ” play in the lobby, the New York Post reported.

The jumper survived the fall when he hit a second-floor awning which broke his fall. Paramedics rushed him to the local hospital.

I bring the sleeping banker incident up as it reminds me of how often many of us end up in what we perceive as a cul de sac. In the tunnel of our own personal darkness and despair it seems that there is no end in sight.

One often thinks about why couldn’t someone like this talk to somebody, even a professional, who could help him see a way out of his perceived desperate situation.

Such serious fixation leads to tunnel vision and possible life-threatening consequences or even death. Under extreme stress some people’s faculty to think, to seek alternatives, seems to collapse.

Instead of thinking that leads to a downward spiral, we can cultivate different thought processes that open new possibilities. Alternatives, options, different approaches are needed in many facets of our lives: living, working and playing. Creative living involves seeing opportunities in whatever we do – selling, negotiation, advertising, management, banking, small business and artistic performance.

“If you act like an idea person, you will become one,” says creativity expert Michael Michalko. What he’s saying is that if you do things differently, then you will begin to feel more creative and ideas will flow.

One of the many activities you can do to introduce more creativity in your life is to change your routine and habits. This method for generating new ideas, new concepts, new neural pathways is so simple but how many of us try it? We get caught up in a rut and do the same old thing day in and day out.

Why not consider changing your little habits and routines:

  • Drink a cup of tea or chocolate if you always drink coffee
  • Take a different route to work or use different transport, if that’s possible
  • Read a different newspaper or magazine
  • Eat something you’ve never eaten before at a restaurant
  • Make friends with someone outside your peer or age group, younger or older
  • Talk to a new supplier
  • Write someone letter instead of an email

Small changes not only get you out of a rut in your thinking, they start to build self-confidence and an increased self image and give back power to your life in little but important ways.

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