May this be one of your best creative years ever. Viva!
Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another.Even if compassion is foreign to you, it’s imagining potential can make a difference in your thinking.
Graham Wallas wrote of a four-stage creative process in Art of Thought (1926).
- Preparation:get ready, collect your data, define the challenge, look for ideas;
- Incubation: let it rest, do something else, sleep on it, go for a walk, take a shower
- Illumination; the light-bulb goes off, breakthrough, eureka
- Verification: test the inspiration/illumination in the real world, see how it works, discover what needs improving
Among the many creative thinking strategies, you might not have yet had experience actualizing compassion as a strategy.
If you are stuck for new thinking, you can incubate by imagining what influences a good vs. a bad day for:
- a professional sheep shearer in Ireland
- a vineyard caretaker in Spain
- a fashion designer in Milan
- a seamstress in China
- a student in India
- a taxi driver in London
- a graphic designer in NY
- a monk in Greece
- a maid in a hotel in Dubai
- a woman about to give birth
- the middle child in a family of 12
- a person in the hospital
- a thief
- someone who got all their worldly possessions stolen
- someone’s first day on the job
- someone’s last day on the job who’s retiring
And then go back to work. You’ll be amazed at your new points of view. There’s a chance you might also experience a few heartfelt moments.
Compassion has many benefits. Thinking differently about your own situation is only one; being even momentarily connected to others is a second. Acting on your insights is a third.
We need to be in the right emotional state in order to be creative — brain functioning affects creativity and how we feel affects brain functioning. But unfortunately, that’s easier said than done in today’s workplace.
Here are pointers to stop the swirl of cynicism and negativity – ones that focus on you taking better care of yourself.
- Break your most destructive, focus-killing habits, like spending a large portion of your day (or weekend) on email or giving in to persistent distractions.
- Force yourself to take time to think and reflect. Mindfulness — reflective meditative practices — is extremely helpful when it comes to managing stress and cognitive functioning. As scholar Dan Goleman has told us for years, “Mindfulness…the ability to notice what is going on as it arises and to pause before we respond is a crucial emotional skill. Mindful meditation has been discovered to foster the ability to inhibit those very quick emotional impulses.” Take a mindfulness based stress reduction course or just read up and try some breathing exercises.
- Stop fretting about your deficiencies and failures. This may be most difficult for achievement oriented business people, but how can anyone possibly be creative without failing — a lot?
- Focus on what makes you happy at work. The positive emotions generated when you feel connected to your personal and organizational purpose — what really matters about what you do — will help you to stay grounded and creative, even when things are tough.
Read full, Genetic Literacy Project original post: ‘Mad genius’ no more: the genetic link between creativity and psychosis is pretty weak
On this first day of the creative year 2015, Earth Day April 22, may you have a good day.