Randy, I make a point of writing all my suggestions/ideas on G+, not that I'm hoping for reward but the reward will come if my posts saves even just one life. I think it is important to share ideas nobody else has thought of, they may in themselves be the betterment of mankind in the future.
Unleashing Your Creative Genius
by Randy Gage
As most of you know, I’m currently on a sabbatical, wandering the world, working on me, and writing the sequel to Risky Is the New Safe. It’s been a remarkable journey thus far, and an extraordinary stimulus for my creative energy. So I thought the theme of creativity and how you cultivate it would be a good topic to send you a postcard about.
Here are my best tips for nurturing and releasing your creative genius. (And yes, you do possess creative genius. Everyone does.) Please share any additional insights or tips you have on to nurture creativity in the comments section.
To really unleash your creative genius, you have to be drawing upon it for a worthy effort. Nothing dumbs down and dampens creativity like wasting it in the pursuit of mediocrity. Attempt epic things that are so intoxicating they pull you toward them.
Keep a Journal
Journaling can really stoke your creative muse. It does so because it keeps you alone with your thoughts. This type of mental seclusion and introspection is always good for creation.
Expose Yourself to Genius
Read a Harry Potter book, study the way Aaron Sorkin crafts dialogue, or Bill Simmons writes about sports. One of the reasons I conduct so many Mastermind sessions and leadership retreats in Las Vegas is so I can take the participants to see a performance from Cirque du Soleil. The lighting, costumes, music, staging and performances are such artistic genius – no one can be exposed to them without having their own genius inspired.
Change Your Thought Patterns
The average person repeats thousands of the same thoughts, day after day. Research has shown that these actually follow the same pattern in your brain. Switch the hand you wear your watch on, text with your non-dominant hand, or drive a different way home from work. You’ll create new neural patterns in your brain.
Get Out of Bed Earlier
On this sabbatical I can wake up anytime I want. Yet most days I’m up at 5 am. There is something inherently spiritual about the early morning hours. Most of the world is asleep and it’s a great time for reading, writing, meditating, and other activities that nourish your creative genius.
Fail a Lot More Often
The reason more people don’t have greater success is because they live in fear of failure. But successful people fail all the time. We fail our way to success.
Most people think the opposite of success is failure, but that’s simply not the case. The opposite of success is mediocrity. (And mediocrity is a sin.) Failure is simply part of the success process. It teaches you lessons, develops your character, and allows you to modify your approach to find the right way to reach greatness.
Read the Fearsome Foursome of Creative Brilliance Books
There are four books that are breathtaking in the creative energy they offer you. Three by Steven Pressfield, and another from Seth Godin. Every musician, writer, dancer, sculptor and especially entrepreneur should read them. They are, The War of Art, Turning Pro, and Do the Work, by Pressfield, and The Icarus Deception by Seth. Hopefully you’ve already read all of these great works. Read them again. In order. In one weekend. It will create an orgy of creative stimulation that will leave you fired up and breathless to get back to your own artistic endeavors.
There may be no better way to innovate, think creatively or brainstorm exciting new possibilities than spending time in quiet reflection. And in today’s hectic world, you probably need to schedule that time. Every week make it a point to block off some time just for thinking. Really.
Play the “What If” Game
Bend reality and create new rules to think by. Frame the discussion with premises such as, “Okay we know that’s impossible, but if it was possible – how could it be done? How would we do it if we built it from scratch? How would it work if there was no gravity, or it was underwater, or in outer space?”
Go Back to School
Figuratively or literally. The sabbatical has been a wonderful opportunity for me to work on me. Some days I read three books, others I watch 15 TED videos. But even without going on a sabbatical, you can always schedule time for self-development. My practice is to always schedule at least two events a year where I am not a presenter, but attend only as a student. Find some seminars, workshops, or conventions that will challenge your thinking and help you develop new skills.
Hang Out with Hobos, Misfits and Wandering Minstrels
Okay I’m being poetic here, but the point is to don’t just hang out with people like you who do the same thing you do. Mix it up with others who think and act differently than you do. It will make you think in new and different ways.
Have at Least One Person Who Will Call You on Your Stuff
Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse were creative geniuses. Charlie Sheen is too. But even geniuses need someone who can tell them when they are off the rails. You need a couple people in your life who love you, tell you the truth, and call you on your stuff. Make sure these are people who really want the best for you, and aren’t damping you down out of jealousy or limiting beliefs.
Sometimes your work is ahead of its time. Sometimes it’s so brilliant others will have difficulty getting it. And sometimes it’s just shit. Have people in your life who are qualified to know the difference and love you enough to tell you the truth.
I hope you find these postcards valuable. They require a lot of thought and effort and are meant to show you the passion I have for your prosperity. So if you find them helpful, all I ask is that you share them. And of course join the discussion and share your own thoughts on the subject.
I’m looking forward to seeing you – somewhere along the journey!
God is good! he created you to be one of His mouth pieces to inspire, encourage, strengthen, motivate people from all walks of life. Life is complicated. Some people, no, not some but most, if not all people go through life's turbulence. Some figure things out and ends up like you, You went through the rough and tumble of life, realized and saw the gem underneath the rubbles, gathered them and learned to harness the beauty in them, saw the value and spread them so that they did not only enhance your life but other people's lives too. You turned your lemons into lemonades, you saw the diamonds in the rough in your life and turned them into sparkling gem that enhanced your life and others, and continues to do so. I am glad I ran into you in this big, wide world. Thank you, but most of all I thank God for you. Keep spreading your brightness in a world where the darkness keeps hovering around, trying to take away its brilliance and beauty, but I know with absolute certainty it will not prevail because God will not let it. how can it, God is creating people. Ike you all the time, who, in their lifetime, will dispel the darkness that invades other people and dissolve it, much like a certain cleaner I use at home, you spray it on those dark dirt and grime that has accumulated over time and then you see that slowly the darkness and dirt go away, and the beauty it hides begins to shine again. Forgive me for using that as an example, but somehow, it came to mind when i think about how Randy Gage magic work on people. Thank you for all you do and God bless you with all good things, most especially your health. Charito
Thanks for the inspiration. It is good to know that one can change his/her thought to change his/her life. In the journey of life, everybody need somebody, but somebody does not need everybody. You are your friend, and your friend is you. Change your friends and change your life. Change your thoughts and change your status.
Thank you, awesome post,
As I have been learning those things that you have mentioned, sometimes it takes other people close to us who see our magnificence when we don't see it. Just recently I am coming to realize such things. Before 2 years ago I would have never saw such things. It was only after shifting my focus and won a contest that I began to understand that there was many a hidden talents that I had that were not being used (perhaps timing had been off) and now more than ever this path is leading to know that we all have a spark of brilliance inside and in the words of Les Brown, "needs a little fire or some coaching."
Whatever that spark is and however it moves you to move people is the thing that we all posses. Discover yours and be reborn from the inside out
Randy, there is a new lego set out, that I think might interest you. It is.......The Sydney Opera House! Maybe that would be something fun for you to do on your sabbatical. Then you could use it as a decoration. ;)
Pretty much everything you have discussed may appear odd to people who
are set in their ways and refuse to smell the roses.... but to me this article
makes perfect sense. I have always believed in the premises "Perfect practice
makes perfect" and "Dare to be different". When all is said , I look to nature
for answers and I am rarely disappointed as nature or life finds a way ... so why
can't I......:-) James.
Wonderful article. I am a great believer in scheduling nothingness. When you do and let silence into your life also sorts of creative ideas emerge.
Hey Randy, really great hearing from you again. I know I find your postcards valuable.
That idea about wearing your watch on the other wrist... I did that for a year. You mentioned it in a post a while back, I guess 2011, and I decided to do it the whole 2012. I'd change it from one to the other each month in 2012.
I learn something new all the time. I don't stick to one subject. It also helps I'm eclectic to begin with.
I don't mind connecting with almost anyone, as long as they are respectful.
I'm not overly fond of the artificial barriers which gatekeepers put up. Oh well. Not like you can't connect with people easily these days. I'm nothing special, but I've talked with CEOs, a Broadway producer, electronic musicians, beer nuts. All sorts.
I just enjoy doing it. At least, one I got over the "I'm not worthy because I wasn't Harvard material" crap I was brainwashed into believing. So, some Fortune 500 company won't recruit me as an employee. People like me create books, music, and Fortune 500 companies. We're goofy and nuts enough at least.
I used to feel shame for not fitting in. I used to feel shame for not getting a college degree. But I realize that both have helped me to cultivate myself- I knew I would never be able to coast through life relying on a line on my resume. I knew I would have to think. I knew I would have to communicate with people differently. Crush barriers since what was the other choice I had?
Work at McDonald's? Go into massive debt like so many of my generation just to work in a cubicle while paying off debt?
Now, I think I understand what Steve Jobs meant about only being able to connect the dots looking back.
I guess being a weird eclectic artistic guy with a penchant for geeky tinkering and not fitting in would help give me a chance to have a better life than most of my college educated peers.
Someone like me is who people work for/follow.
I do not say this out of arrogance, but being able to look at the world as a whole entity compromising multiple parts, and not just one person's compartmentalized knowledge/experience is not something that a lot of people can do.
I can't think and focus on one thing to save my life. It made me a horrible student in school, but it's made me a great learner.
Goodie! Another Postcard!
I love that you mention this one: "don’t just hang out with people like you who do the same thing you do. Mix it up with others who think and act differently than you do. It will make you think in new and different ways."
I had not done that much. Also because I'm kinda introvert, but I'm doing it for a while now and it's quite interesting and challenging.
I'd add to the list: Have fun, have some "kid" time. Doing stuffs 'only' kids would do, be fun, don't take everything always so seriously (especially not yourself)
Looking forward to the upcoming book!
Good to hear from ya! Always love your postcards and your creative genius :) ... especially now that you are on this sabbatical. Cannot wait for the sequel to Risky... can you give us some preview of what to expect in it? Enjoy your sabbatical !
PS: I LOOOOVED Risky! Definitely your Magnum Opus :)
Great stuff to share. I love that you're on this Sabbatical. Getting lots more great things from you. Can't wait for your return! Thanks for taking the time to share with us. This list helps me.
Thanks Randy, for the impressively filled postcard!!
I think "The War of Art" grabbed my attention this time, I finished reading some books lately. Oh, and I added seeing you on my plan for 2014 - guess the early bird gets the worm - thanks for placing that offer at the end -
ENJOY your trip & studies - I wish you success -
Another Post filled with awesomness and inspiration.... Wayne Dyer mentions that each of us wakes between 3:30 - 4 am every morning... And this is the time to really tap into your creativity and brilliance, so instead of rolling over and saying to yourself if I don't get my sleep I will be useless get up... I will admit haven't really wrapped my head around this yet.
I would love to read this posts thru my kindle when I press the button nothing happens, or am I misunderstanding something here.
So glad to hear from you and feel your progress and heart :D
Lots of LOVE to you and God bless you!
Now, how do I get over my terror of playing BIG!? and doing what I really want,,, It has gotten me to flat broke. Happy, usually, but broke..
Thanks Randy. You are always inspirational. For me, taking an overnight trip ALWAYS cleanses the pallet. Waking up in a different place somehow breaks the pattern and leaves me free to create a new way of thinking or doing. It is so freeing and allows me to think far out of the box - the further away the farther out of the box..
This is such a motivational and inspiring post. Thank you! It is such a treat to find a postcard from you mixed in with all the boring advertising e-mails and work e-mails. I have been running myself ragged shooting shows and late night parties for Fashion Week, but today I am going to schedule some total head time before I leave for the next show and after party, all without any guilt! Maybe watch a mindless dvd. :)
I think it is important to clear your head and be still. It is one of the best ways to regroup and rejuvenate. Thanks for a great post!
Good to hear from you!
RE: Playing the "what-if?" game? A great book for that is "How To Think like Einstein". Comes in handy every day.
"Sometimes your work is ahead of its time. Sometimes it’s so brilliant others will have difficulty getting it. And sometimes it’s just shit. Have people in your life who are qualified to know the difference and love you enough to tell you the truth." Randy, I'm LMFAO. I have shared your message on Facebook. I appreciate every one of your messages. I'm thrilled every time I hear from you on sabbatical. I seriously intend to bump into you somewhere and having a loooong conversation together. I'm having a blast expanding my new business by expanding my thinking. You helped chip away at the old me to help shape the new me. I love you! xox
Thanks Randy, Im just "reinventing" myself online as a current project with a blog and all the social bells and whistles... this is really an inspiration to shoot for the stars and not to aim too low... "mediocrity is a sin" ....how true!Keep sending those postcards Randy... you and Seth Godin are my personal long distance mentors! thank you!
Nice to hear from you, Randy;)
One more of the things, that helps me in creativity is travelling. When I'm travelling I always get new ideas!
Just an extension to the "Play the “What If” Game" - I quieten the mind by meditating and from this I find the mind brings forward ideas or almost extreme ideas that do become reality for me. It was only from quietening my mind that I realized as a child I had a gift called "Clear Audio" which simply described is "virtually skinning the surface of walls and/or your surroundings for old sounds or noise that make sense when pieced together". It's like listening to old conversations without an actual recording!
Always a pleasure to hear from you RG. I'm all about Creativity and completely agree that it is within us all. I'm loving all the points you shared, and must read the books you recommend that I have not yet read.
I also believe the most critical component to tapping in to creative thinking includes being still. This may be in alignment with your point to "Schedule Nothingness". I've found that investing time each and every day to be silent allows us to remove the white noise and connect with the wisdom of the Divine. In doing so, we are opened up to new thought and are empowered to see the world independently of the status quo. This one practice has opened me up to a new world of thinking, living, and being.
You are missed! However, I know that you are following your bliss. Thanks for being such a great source of inspiration.
I just reread Andy Shaw's Bug Free Mind and he says take 15 minutes first thing and think nothing but great thoughts about yourself, nothing but positive, happy thoughts about stuff you've done and look forward to.. he says it creates an unbreakable neg shield...I'm a writer.. got a tip. if you've got writer's block, just start writing.. could be anything, what you had for breakfast.. describe it.. it will get the juices flowing.. and another tip from Bug Free.. you got any neg stuff you feel bad about.. just change how you feel about it.. change it to nothing and it hurts a lot less...
Thanks for sharing these lessons and the library of youtube videos you've created. You've got a lot of value out there to keep us learning!
Great post, Randy, and great suggestions! I would consider adding "Play" to your creativity tips. Play a game that doesn't involve winning, losing, or even keeping score. Play a game where there are no time limits and the rules, whatever they are, keep changing. Play at something where you don't have a particular goal in mind... other than having fun. Play at something where it's impossible to do it "wrong". (Or "right".) For a few precious moments, do not follow the motto of"just do it". Instead, "just play!"
Great post Randy! Love all your ideas, and getting us to try new things outside of what we're doing. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
You forgot "ask and it is given!!!!" The fearsome one. :) great post, what will you come up with next? ;) this was your post too! Hit 3 homeruns for me!! Im dying I only have a 120 years to live.
Great post Randy. I believe we all have the creative genius and going inside, listening to our inner being and trusting what we feel, a spiritual experience and I feel it's so important for each of us to create because creativity repressed turned inward can cause depression something that affects 1 in 8 women in USA (clinical). As parents it's important that we also nurture creativity in our children well beyond high school. We love your creative genius!