Creativity

Want to be more creative? Take a lesson from Mark Twain

Posted On June 5, 2015 at 4:33 pm by / Comments Off on Want to be more creative? Take a lesson from Mark Twain

Want to be more creative? Take a lesson from Mark Twain

Summer is here. Time to enjoy the sun and travel to unknown lands.

Last summer, I had the joy to tour the Mark Twain house in Hartford, Conn. Built at the end of the 19th century, it is a majestic Craftsman house, glorious for any generation. Once you enter the house, you see all the unique pieces of furniture and artwork acquired on Twain’s worldwide travels.

What captured my interest the most was the after dinner parlor. Here, the docent pointed to a variety of interesting objects on the mantel above the fireplace and then he explained a Twain family ritual. As his young daughters sat by his side, Mark Twain would create a new story every night using the same objects. Some nights the story dealt with dragons and princesses while other times the story focused on the mighty Mississippi. Every night had a new adventure with the same characters.

Yes, Mark Twain was a creative genius, producing some of our greatest literary works. But this experience showed me that Mark Twain was practicing his creativity, every night.

Creativity can propel your career to a new level. Developing new techniques to acquire clients or writing that killer proposal for the boss can skyrocket your success. Unfortunately, thinking originally was never taught or encouraged in school. Now when we want to be creative and develop new ideas, it is very difficult. Here are a few suggestions to help you “Do the Twain”:

1. Believe you are creative. Everyone is creative. Some are better at developing original ideas than others, but you, too, have this talent. It takes practice and using the right strategies to think outside the box.

2.Have a creative routine. Set a time every day to practice your creativity for at least 10 minutes. You may want to start the routine by pulling out your creativity journal or some other jump-starting behavior. This behavior will tell your mind to begin the creativity process.

3.Exercise your creativity. Next time you’re on the treadmill at the gym, you can practice your creativity. Usually, there are three or four televisions going without any sound. Pick a show you have never seen and begin to make up some dialogue for the characters. Just go with it and have some fun. Perhaps you will get so good at this exercise that you may want to write a sitcom.

Dr. Win Wenger, author of “The Einstein Factor,” has written that creative genius comes from developing techniques that promote a different perception of our world. Step outside the box with the right strategies and you will unleash your creative genius within.

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at APSU. He is the author of the Washington Post bestselling business book, “Full Throttle” Dr. Gregg speaks about mental and emotional toughness to Fortune 500 companies such as Pacific Life, Merrill Lynch, and T Rowe Price. Also, Dr. Gregg coaches business executives to develop greater confidence and creativity. Please email mentalrules24@msn.com with any questions and visit www.drgreggsteinberg.com

Source: Want to be more creative? Take a lesson from Mark Twain