Creativity,treasure,hunt,not,e DIY Creativity as a treasure hunt
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Its not enough to be creative, you have to be creative atsomething.Creativity is a doing, rather than a being. The doing comes fromdiscovering goals, and achieving them. I say discovering goals,rather than setting goals, because were good at setting goals---New Years resolutions spring to mind---but then forgetting allabout them.Usually we forget about the goals we set as New Year'sresolutions because the goals, although worthwhile in themselves,weren't "real" for us. We didn't explore the goals deeply, andtherefore didn't have any deep motivation to achieve those goals.Motivation is all-important for creativity. If you're highlymotivated to achieve a goal, you'll shock yourself with howcreatively you set about achieving the goal. For example, imagineyou're at the beach. You watch a friend swimming out beyond thesurf. Suddenly, you see a shadow on the water, and you realizeit's a shark. You're highly motivated to get your friend out ofthe water, and you'll be creative in your efforts to achieve thatgoal.This kind of deep motivation is important for any creative task.The successful achievement of the task has to matter to you.To discover what your goals are, you need to ask yourselfquestionsThe questions you ask arent important. However, it is importantthat they be open-ended questions. That is, that they have morethan one answer, and that they lead to other questions.Asking yourself questions opens you to possibilities. Chancesare, that unless you develop a program of systematically askingyourself questions, you will never discover all the possibilitiesyour life holds.Asking questions is a simple technique, yet its immenselypowerful. Its the heart of creativity. Up to the age of eight,all kids are creative. They ask all kinds of questions. Theyredetermined to find the answers, so they experiment in all kindsof creative ways to find them. To a kid, a question is a lot offun.To be creative, you need to constantly ask questions, andexperiment with the answers you come up with. If you do thisplayfully, not only will you have fun, but you'll improve yourlife in all kinds of ways.Your answers to your questions will surprise you. They may evenshock you. Great! If the answers shock you, it means that you'reaccessing your subconscious, and your creativity lurks in yoursubconscious mind.What questions (the treasure map) you want the answers (thetreasure) to?Initially, you'll find the question-asking process difficult. Asadults, we're not comfortable admitting that we don't knoweverything. It's important to get into the habit of askingquestions, so that you stop feeling threatened by questions, andso that not knowing the answers stops bothering you.What questions can you ask?That depends on what you want, or what you want to know. You canstart with the good old stand-bys: who, what, how, when, whereand why. When you ask yourself who, what, how, when, where andwhy questions, you need to build on your answers, so that you canget to the important questions, the ones which, when you answerthem, will make an immense difference in your life.For example, you might ask yourself: "How can I spend less timereading e-mail?"Before brainstorming ways in which you could spend less timereading e-mail, you explore this question further:Why do I want to spend less time reading e-mail?So that I can finish the important projects Im working on.Why do I want to finish the important projects Im working on?Because it increases my value to the company.Why do I want to increase my value to my company?So that I will get a pay rise this year, increase my jobsecurity, and build up my investments.Why do I want a secure job, and to build up my investments?So that I can retire to the country in five years.Why do I want to retire to the country?So that I can relax and enjoy my life.You can see that going through this question and answer processlets you ferret out your motivation. And having real motivationfor finding an answer to your e-mail question not only ensuresthat you'll be creative in your attempts to find solutions, butalso that you'll put those solutions into practice.Your questions will lead you to your goals, but dont set yourgoals yet! You don't know enough about yourself to set yourgoals... not yet. Youve probably set goals before. Some youachieved, and some you didnt.Just ask questions, rather than setting goals. You willeventually discover what your goals are. By the time you get tothat stage, "setting" your goals will be irrelevant. You willknow exactly what your goals are, because you've discovered them,and you'll have the motivation to move toward your goalscreatively.Your questions can be about whatever you like. The idea is to getback into the habit of asking questions, just as you did when youwere a kid. Dont be afraid of asking "stupid" questions. Yourquestions can be as simple, or as profound, as suits you. Yourquestions always lead to something: to a discovery aboutyourself. However, try to make your questions specific. Anexample: what could I do increase my sales by 10% this month?Ask yourself your questions in writing. Then remember to find theanswers to those questions that youve posed. Its important towrite your questions down, too.Once you get the hang of asking questions and finding answers,guess what?You've found the creative treasure.