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Get Out of the Rut!

Posted By: Randy GageDecember 22, 2011

Hope you're having as much fun with this  creativity series as I am writing it.  And thanks so much for playing all out.  It’s been great to see so many fascinating and interesting comments each day.

We talked about  the neural pathways in your brain.  Here’s the fascinating thing about that:  You have tens of thousands of thoughts a day.  Unfortunately if you’re like most people, it is the same thoughts, day after day.  Scientists have discovered that many of these frequent thoughts you have over and over actually create ruts in the neural pathways of your brain.

The more creative you are, and the more diverse the stimuli you expose yourself to, the less ruts you will have.  And when you do specific things to foster the communication between the two hemispheres of your brain, this cultivates whole brain synchronicity that geniuses like Mozart, Edison and Einstein demonstrated so well.

Here’s a list of some fun, fascinating, and interesting ways to develop your creativity.  There is no particular order here, but a plethora of great ideas that help promote whole brain functioning and stimulate your creative powers.

  • Start wearing your watch on the other wrist.
  • Move your ring, keys, wallet, pager, and pen to a new place every day for a week.
  • Brainstorm 25 alternate uses for a toothpick.
  • Take a different route home every day for a week.
  • Count to 100 by 2s and 3s at the same time: 2/3, 4/6, 6/9, etc.
  • Count backward from 100 by 4’s.
  • Check the dictionary and learn five new words every day for a week.  (Or a lifetime.)
  • Do all the scrabble, jumble, Sudoku and puzzlers in the day’s paper.
  • Take a common object like a pencil, watch, or spoon and examine it in detail using all your senses.   Think how a five year old would view it.  And remember, there is no spoon.
  • Identify all the geometric shapes that you can see from where you are right now.
  • Sit in a new place for meals, meetings, church, or temple.
  • Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know or would normally avoid.
  • Sleep on the other side of the bed.  Note what happens when you wake up.
  • Use your non-dominant hand to eat, brush your teeth, dial phone calls, etc.
  • Listen to and try to appreciate a different style of music then you normally do.  If you like country, try opera.  If you love classical, try hip hop.
  • Take regular “disengagement breaks” when you’re working on a project.
  • Journal and mind map using colored pen or pencils.
  • Buy a tie or scarf in a color you would never normally wear.
  • Decide what your drag name or porno name would be.  (No, I won’t be telling you mine.)
  • Write a limerick.
  • Go out to a restaurant and order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a chocolate milk.
  • Invent some unimaginable or impossible thing today!

Do these things and you’ll be creating many new neural pathways in your brain and spark up your creative juices.  Which is just in time for my annual “Night Before Christmas” poetry competition, which comes up on next post!  Watch this space…

Please share how doing any of these made you feel, and any other ideas that work for you.

P.S. to my Jewish readers, hope you are enjoying a joyous and wonderful Chanukah!

- RG

38 comments on “Get Out of the Rut!”

  1. Play is another way to change the neuro pathways. It is important for adults to use their creativity as they did on the playgrounds of their youth.
    Explore
    Climb High or Get Low to change your perspective
    Start a new sport that you might not have participated in.
    Be curious to see something you might have missed.
    Skip instead of walk.
    Criss Cross down the path instead of walking in a straight line.

  2. Randy,
    Love the post. I talk about the idea of muscle memory in my book. It really isn't muscle memory, rather neuron memory. Practicing over and over again so that the neurons fire and do something before even thinking about it. The idea of doing new things for creativity is sort of like working out our muscles, this time we are working out our neurons, expanding them. Getting them ready to handle more work.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Really cool post and some great ideas..

    One of my favorite 'play' things to do is to develop a Silly Walk, ala Monty Python. It's especially effective when doing it in a public place where everyone is subdued or least expects it!

    All good stuff of which many I must dig into!

    Thanks for all the great creativity stimulants.. I think everyone here will agree that we ALL need to practice everything you've offered up here regularly!

  4. I took a train ride today instead of the car. It was interesting to see the percentage of people who looked happy (they told their faces about it), to those who didn't.

    Made me conscious of what I display myself, so I played the game of face changing, to see the reaction on people. When I smiled at people, they smiled back. Changed the whole ride. Was a fun exercise.

  5. Hi Randy,
    Plenty of work here. I do a lot of this all the time. It just hurts a little when I can't stay with a girl friend for a long time.
    I will try the extravagant ones as soon as my comment is posted.

    Merry Christmas!

    Richard Bony

  6. It's really funny when you do things the opposite way too! Something I learned in my years of yoga practice. It of course is all about balance but also gets your energy channels open because those too can get in ruts like your neural pathways. Try sitting cross legged with the opposite leg on top and folding your hands the other way. It's amazing the simple ruts we can get in...love these ideas and can't wait to try some new ones. I can say that switching sides of the bed will be incredibly interesting!

  7. Love these ideas!
    Thank you for these juicy creativity posts!

    I enjoy so many types of music but I have a slight distaste for country (with the exception of Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline). I'll try some country tonight with my watch on my right wrist!
    Livin' deep(er) & bold (er)! 😀
    Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

  8. Randy -

    What was most interesting to me as I read this post is my personal reaction to some of your suggestions. For some things I literally was like, "no"! My ruts were making me want to rebel!

    Now I do some of what you say to keep my mind sharp (my husband has had Parkinson's since he was 34 and I've seen first hand what cognitive decline can do) but I'm realizing I need to step it up!

    Great post!

  9. Thanks for the timely reminder Randy. No matter how hard working we are it is always easy to turn your work into routine or a rut. I like to think of a rut as:
    R Routine
    U Uncreative
    T Tedious

    When you can see that your life or work has those three components you know it's time for a change, like Randy recommends.

  10. I like to take different routes home and always find something interesting.

    Something about having my hair cut always sparks my creativity. Maybe sitting in the chair relaxes me. Even better if massage my head!

    Love talking to different people and striking up a conversation with someone unsuspecting. I recently did that with someone I was waiting in a long line with and it was amazing how they warmed up!

    I will eat a salad with chopsticks.

    I like to work in different coffee shops or libraries for a change of scenery.

    Frequently take breaks from work if I'm feeling stuck, usually for a walk or yoga or simply step outside and breathe...when it's warm, walk barefoot in the grass.

    I enjoy watching the sunrise and will journal while doing that.

    I switch sides of the room in yoga class - can get in a rut there.

    I'll try a new restaurant and order something I wouldn't normally eat - I'd save the peanut butter and jelly for home, though ; )

  11. Very interesting exercises. The simple act of the watch or ring on a different hand really messes with our habitual nature. The physical act of walking down a different street so you don't emotionally keep falling in the same hole really works. We have to keep changing it up, but I never really attributed that to a creative side of nature. It was merely an analogy, but I love the action bit. Action will create change every time.

  12. Randy, am too conservative , and believe me I totally prefer opposite way, Ok , will try to change it.
    Thanks lot for your help , must say the life with your Help is more better and easer..

    Vaclav

  13. Yes Randy,
    I am going out of the Rut...
    Is crazy... Christmas I will celebrate with family, but after I will flight to visit my new hometown :o) Everybody will celebrate New year and I will visit place where I will move in very short time... This idea come today.... I look forward this journey...
    Now I am going to book airticket :o)

    Take care,
    Marketa

  14. It´s really funny I had a perfect creative day today... In the morning I had a job interview that went perfect^^ Drove some new roads and went shopping in some different shops and markets... The rest of the day I tinkered some last minute christmas presents and listened to some albums I once bought for my girlfreind. Although I only heared about two or three of the songs I can sing along with each and every track on those CDs even those I never heared before...
    Now it´s time for Parkour training and the weather outside is bad so it´s time to be creative again to find some new opporunities on old training spots...

  15. Love this series, Randy! Started using video messages instead of texting recently as a way to "let out" some if the creative juices and commnunicate more intimately. And for Christmas, flew out and am driving back after the holiday. Totally rearranged some neural " furniture" with that ... And may save some cash while using more time for the adventure.

    By the way, that massage therapist I recommended to you after your post on "massage helping your prosperity" was listed in the December issue of Ocean Drive : Top
    therapists who work on
    Miami's VIPs ! Great seeing you the other day! You rock! David P.

  16. I agree completely,I think we all need to do different creative things to get us out of a rut.Thank You Randy!You are A Great Inspireation To Me!I am very interested in the information and Prosperity field!Thanks,J.B.

  17. The past few days, I greeted Merry Christmas (since that's what people are mostly celebrating here) to sales clerks, waiters, the like. It honestly feels good seeing them smile, and it infects you.

    Makes me want to say more than that after the holidays. I'll give that a shot. 🙂

    Speaking of which, happy holidays everyone!

  18. DEAR randy,i need your advice.i have Been to a big test this last week and i failed.so many things i should not have done which i Did and the outcome was the opposite of what had Been best and this kill me now.i have done forgiveness in both People involved but i cannot let it go .what does that mean;turn universe test into à testimonial?i Did not Do that!i am afraid this Will kill My forces if i Do not find the good solution.unfortunately i Did things and wrote things and Said things i should not have done and i feel terrible.your experiences about not acting

  19. Randy I don't suppose that the thinking in that way make me soo happy :)) Right now I put my watch in left hand and It was amazing feeling!
    I bless you mate! and I start thinking in the creativity way! :))
    Regards from Poland!

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  • 38 comments on “Get Out of the Rut!”

    1. Play is another way to change the neuro pathways. It is important for adults to use their creativity as they did on the playgrounds of their youth.
      Explore
      Climb High or Get Low to change your perspective
      Start a new sport that you might not have participated in.
      Be curious to see something you might have missed.
      Skip instead of walk.
      Criss Cross down the path instead of walking in a straight line.

    2. Randy,
      Love the post. I talk about the idea of muscle memory in my book. It really isn't muscle memory, rather neuron memory. Practicing over and over again so that the neurons fire and do something before even thinking about it. The idea of doing new things for creativity is sort of like working out our muscles, this time we are working out our neurons, expanding them. Getting them ready to handle more work.

      Merry Christmas!

    3. Really cool post and some great ideas..

      One of my favorite 'play' things to do is to develop a Silly Walk, ala Monty Python. It's especially effective when doing it in a public place where everyone is subdued or least expects it!

      All good stuff of which many I must dig into!

      Thanks for all the great creativity stimulants.. I think everyone here will agree that we ALL need to practice everything you've offered up here regularly!

    4. I took a train ride today instead of the car. It was interesting to see the percentage of people who looked happy (they told their faces about it), to those who didn't.

      Made me conscious of what I display myself, so I played the game of face changing, to see the reaction on people. When I smiled at people, they smiled back. Changed the whole ride. Was a fun exercise.

    5. Hi Randy,
      Plenty of work here. I do a lot of this all the time. It just hurts a little when I can't stay with a girl friend for a long time.
      I will try the extravagant ones as soon as my comment is posted.

      Merry Christmas!

      Richard Bony

    6. It's really funny when you do things the opposite way too! Something I learned in my years of yoga practice. It of course is all about balance but also gets your energy channels open because those too can get in ruts like your neural pathways. Try sitting cross legged with the opposite leg on top and folding your hands the other way. It's amazing the simple ruts we can get in...love these ideas and can't wait to try some new ones. I can say that switching sides of the bed will be incredibly interesting!

    7. Love these ideas!
      Thank you for these juicy creativity posts!

      I enjoy so many types of music but I have a slight distaste for country (with the exception of Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline). I'll try some country tonight with my watch on my right wrist!
      Livin' deep(er) & bold (er)! 😀
      Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

    8. Randy -

      What was most interesting to me as I read this post is my personal reaction to some of your suggestions. For some things I literally was like, "no"! My ruts were making me want to rebel!

      Now I do some of what you say to keep my mind sharp (my husband has had Parkinson's since he was 34 and I've seen first hand what cognitive decline can do) but I'm realizing I need to step it up!

      Great post!

    9. Thanks for the timely reminder Randy. No matter how hard working we are it is always easy to turn your work into routine or a rut. I like to think of a rut as:
      R Routine
      U Uncreative
      T Tedious

      When you can see that your life or work has those three components you know it's time for a change, like Randy recommends.

    10. I like to take different routes home and always find something interesting.

      Something about having my hair cut always sparks my creativity. Maybe sitting in the chair relaxes me. Even better if massage my head!

      Love talking to different people and striking up a conversation with someone unsuspecting. I recently did that with someone I was waiting in a long line with and it was amazing how they warmed up!

      I will eat a salad with chopsticks.

      I like to work in different coffee shops or libraries for a change of scenery.

      Frequently take breaks from work if I'm feeling stuck, usually for a walk or yoga or simply step outside and breathe...when it's warm, walk barefoot in the grass.

      I enjoy watching the sunrise and will journal while doing that.

      I switch sides of the room in yoga class - can get in a rut there.

      I'll try a new restaurant and order something I wouldn't normally eat - I'd save the peanut butter and jelly for home, though ; )

    11. Very interesting exercises. The simple act of the watch or ring on a different hand really messes with our habitual nature. The physical act of walking down a different street so you don't emotionally keep falling in the same hole really works. We have to keep changing it up, but I never really attributed that to a creative side of nature. It was merely an analogy, but I love the action bit. Action will create change every time.

    12. Randy, am too conservative , and believe me I totally prefer opposite way, Ok , will try to change it.
      Thanks lot for your help , must say the life with your Help is more better and easer..

      Vaclav

    13. Yes Randy,
      I am going out of the Rut...
      Is crazy... Christmas I will celebrate with family, but after I will flight to visit my new hometown :o) Everybody will celebrate New year and I will visit place where I will move in very short time... This idea come today.... I look forward this journey...
      Now I am going to book airticket :o)

      Take care,
      Marketa

    14. It´s really funny I had a perfect creative day today... In the morning I had a job interview that went perfect^^ Drove some new roads and went shopping in some different shops and markets... The rest of the day I tinkered some last minute christmas presents and listened to some albums I once bought for my girlfreind. Although I only heared about two or three of the songs I can sing along with each and every track on those CDs even those I never heared before...
      Now it´s time for Parkour training and the weather outside is bad so it´s time to be creative again to find some new opporunities on old training spots...

    15. Love this series, Randy! Started using video messages instead of texting recently as a way to "let out" some if the creative juices and commnunicate more intimately. And for Christmas, flew out and am driving back after the holiday. Totally rearranged some neural " furniture" with that ... And may save some cash while using more time for the adventure.

      By the way, that massage therapist I recommended to you after your post on "massage helping your prosperity" was listed in the December issue of Ocean Drive : Top
      therapists who work on
      Miami's VIPs ! Great seeing you the other day! You rock! David P.

    16. I agree completely,I think we all need to do different creative things to get us out of a rut.Thank You Randy!You are A Great Inspireation To Me!I am very interested in the information and Prosperity field!Thanks,J.B.

    17. The past few days, I greeted Merry Christmas (since that's what people are mostly celebrating here) to sales clerks, waiters, the like. It honestly feels good seeing them smile, and it infects you.

      Makes me want to say more than that after the holidays. I'll give that a shot. 🙂

      Speaking of which, happy holidays everyone!

    18. DEAR randy,i need your advice.i have Been to a big test this last week and i failed.so many things i should not have done which i Did and the outcome was the opposite of what had Been best and this kill me now.i have done forgiveness in both People involved but i cannot let it go .what does that mean;turn universe test into à testimonial?i Did not Do that!i am afraid this Will kill My forces if i Do not find the good solution.unfortunately i Did things and wrote things and Said things i should not have done and i feel terrible.your experiences about not acting

    19. Randy I don't suppose that the thinking in that way make me soo happy :)) Right now I put my watch in left hand and It was amazing feeling!
      I bless you mate! and I start thinking in the creativity way! :))
      Regards from Poland!

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