Does Study Affect Your Creativity?

Success favors the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur

Classroom with multicolor chairs

Where does creativity come from?  Some think it appears out of no where and some believe you are born creative.

Studies of highly creative people reveal that they nurture their creativity through a continuous quest for knowledge. Tony Buzan, one of the foremost creativity consultants in the world, defines creativity as ‘the degree of removal from the norm.’  Michael Gelb writes in Thinking for a Change that creativity is the result of a new combination of existing elements.  Combining these two ideas: to think outside the norm we must know more, coalesce the ideas, and produce new outcomes.

In conclusion, the more you know the more your capacity for creativity expands.




Wise Wednesday Brain Byte: Fear Affects Learning

Lessons Juggling CroppedWithin our Learning Workshops we teach participants to juggle as a way of applying a new Learning Model (Tony Buzan).  Most people think that they cannot juggle, so we use juggling as a way to show them they can do a thing they formerly thought impossible!  Sneaky, huh?  Somehow when picking up three balls to get started that subliminal message rises to the top of their thinking, so that instead of saying, “I think I can, I think I can” like the infamous little ‘choo choo train that could’; we say automatically, “I can’t!”

“If you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t; you are right.” – Henry Ford

I remember vividly that day in August 1994 when I first had an opportunity to learn to juggle. I was excited and discouraged at the same time, because I had bought into that subliminal self-programming, “You can’t juggle”.  And therefore, I could not.  I was so tense that I was cramping up in my neck and back.  I really wanted to be able to have the ability, but the results were slow coming.  It wasn’t until I decided to STOP; take a deep breath; determine that the world would not come to an end if I could not juggle-therefore why was I so tense?!  So I picked up the 3 balls again and began to toss them one at a time creating the toss pattern and rhythm just as I was instructed.  Aha, I began to get a “feel’ for the rhythm.  I did not complete a full cycle yet, but I gained confidence in this new relaxed state and began to have optimism and even more fun.

I continued to practice my toss and make adjustments: focusing on the process of juggling rather than the results (catching).  Eventually, I broke through and was able to complete one cycle plus one toss and catch…..and the process continued until eventually I would be up to 34 tosses and successful catches, and so on.

Michael Gelb, fellow Buzan Instructor and Master Juggler dedicates a full chapter in his book, Lessons from the Art of Juggling, to the Art of Relaxed Concentration.  In it he outlines the process of students tensing up when they first begin juggling three balls.  He asks the class “to bring their awareness to their breathing and body/mind state.  They are often amazed to discover how much a simple thought has caused them to contract.  We point out that their fear-based “psychophysical preconception” has become a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.”

What new thing would you like to learn today or have given up on learning because of this  fear-based thinking?  Whatever the skill or goal may be, please do yourself a favor and begin with a good model (Michael Gelb is a great resource for juggling).  Your model will be based on your learning style (audio/visual/kinesthetic); be mindful of your stress factor; take a deep breath; RELAX, and give it a go!

List your experience in the comments section.

Brain Byte: You Have Unlimited Brain Potential. How Much Do You Use?


Pyotr Anokhin of Moscow University published research in 1968 which demonstrated that the minimum number of potential thought patterns the average brain can make is the number 1 followed by 10.5 million kilometers of type written zeros.

That is virtually an infinite amount of thought capacity!  Our brain is incredibly synergistic.  Each brain cell can connect with up to ten thousand other brain cells in a single instant.

The Greatest brains use measurably more of their brains than the average.  According to Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene (world chess champion) in The Book of Genius, the top ten greatest brains of all time are:

10.  Albert Einstein

9.  Phidias (architect of Athens)

8.  Alexander the Great

7.  Thomas Jefferson

6.  Sir Isaac Newton

5.  Michelangelo

4.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

3.  The Great Pyramid Builders

2. William Shakespeare

1. Leonardo da Vinci

Buzan and Keene rated their subjects in categories including Originality, Versatility, Dominance-in-Field, Universality-of-Vision, and Strength and Energy.

Dream Squashers

Remember the days when dreaming was easy? You could sit down and drift off into another place and time, conjuring up all sorts of possibilities for your future? You were going to make something of yourself and change the world!

As a young woman dreamed of being a teacher. I guess it is because I enjoy helping people. Plus the thought of summers off with my future children, seemed ideal. Instead: I went into marketing and landed a job in corporate America in the automotive and technology industries.

Why? Why did I so quickly let go of my dreams and compromise? Practicality: The market was over saturated with public school educators the year I was selecting universities. In addition this little voice kept coming to me, ‘you aren’t a very good teacher. You don’t explain things well.’ Well, many years later I recognize the purpose of higher education is to gain new skills! I figured I needed to stick with what I knew. My parents had been business owners for many years, so it seemed a logical choice to study business.

About four years into my budding career the longing in my heart to teach came back to me. I couldn’t shake it. I purposed to set a vision and make it happen. Shortly thereafter many opportunities presented themselves. I began slowly, while keeping my full-time position in business planning, I became certified as a Seven Habits of Highly effective People Facilitator. During my training week with the Covey Leadership Center, I Mind Mapped my notes. One of the other trainees happened to be a Mind Map Instructor for our corporation. One thing lead to another and within the next year I became a Buzan Licensed Instructor to officially teach the skill of Mind Mapping (a whole-brain writing tool), Speed Reading, and creativity.

The ironic thing about this is that prior to teaching these disciplines, I had believed all of my life that I was not a strong communicator, I wasn’t creative, and I was a super slow reader!! Now I LOVE reading; have a passion to kindle others’ creativity; and to help individuals find their hidden genius by using their whole brain.

My career transitioned from the business field to Leadership and Professional Development. I was a teacher! Ultimately it lead me to launching the business that is beyond my wildest dreams. I have a passion for what I do and have dubbed myself a Learning Facilitator since 1997.

I share this story with high school students in mind. For those of you who are in a position to be influencing, mentoring and shaping young men and women: be Dream Chargers not Dream Squashers!!! Look for hidden talents and possibilities in those you influence. Pour life and light and wisdom into the next generation. Help them discover who they are AND encourage dreaming along the way.

A charge to those of you who buried your dreams: What is holding you back from resurrecting them?

Dreams do come true.

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