5 Stages of Creative Thinking to Enhance Your Life

Very few people are innately gifted with innovative thinking. But we can use techniques and approaches to promote creative thinking, and mind mapping is a very effective tool to that end.

Mind mapping can aid in completing the thinking process. With some practice of techniques, we all can create lots of innovative ideas – perhaps even more than a group brainstorming session can generate.

USING THE 5 STAGES OF CREATIVE THINKING WITH MIND MAPPING:

Mind mapping burst (Quick-Fire) – choose an interesting topic and draw a central image to represent it. You can use a blank paper or any other material that you can write on. The ideas that radiate from your mind should be indicated on the page. Try to generate ideas for twenty minutes. Even if some ideas seem absurd, jot them down because sometimes these ideas can be the key to breaking bad habits and coming up with new perspectives.

• 1st Reconstruction and Revision – don’t over exercise your brain. You can take a break and then try to integrate the ideas you’ve generated. Create another mind map – but this time, try to categorize the preliminary ideas. You can build hierarchies – add more subtopics to the branches – and note but don’t remove identical ideas in different branches.

• Incubation – when you’re at rest, running, or sleeping, there are times when you experience sudden realizations. In this stage, the thinking process can create probable breakthroughs.

• 2nd Reconstruction and Revision – do another mind map burst because at this stage, you have a fresher perception. Integrate all the ideas and information found in the initial mind maps and try to create a comprehensive mind map.

Final – after you’ve created a comprehensive map, you can now look for the realizations, decisions, and solutions for the topic or issue you chose.

These are the five stages in the creative thinking. Hopefully, you have seen how mind mapping can be an extremely helpful tool in creative thinking. Give these steps a try on other areas of life, issues, etc. You will surely be surprised with the explosion of innovative and creative ideas. Let mind mapping help you in uncovering your creative thinking so that you can use it often.

Abundance or Scarcity Mindset?

I recently read an article by John C. Maxwell  titled, “Escape from Scarcity.”* It was a reminder of how easily so many of us can be sucked into a mindset of scarcity.  Indeed so much of our language and cultural norms are built on the idea of winners and losers, abundance or scarcity.  We are encouraged to pace ourselves, conserve our energy, and take care of ourselves and our family above all.

We often hoard not only our financial assets but our assistance and support, our ideas, our praise for others, and our encouragement.  As people looking to retire or retired, what are our mindsets and attitudes? Are we looking forward to sharing more, expanding in our retirement years – or have we been infected with the affliction of “take-care-of- myself-first-itis”? Are we looking to have the freedom to give in new and different ways until our last breath?  Our mindset regarding abundance or scarcity will impact how we experience our retirement years more than we can imagine.

Giving, contributing, and expanding opens the channels of giving AND of receiving in profound ways.  In recent months, I experienced the impact of these choices.  I had been in the midst of developing my online business and doing defined volunteer work at my church.  Then duel crises/opportunities confronted the congregation and staff.  The long-needed sale of our property happened quickly and we had to move out in a month. AND two of the four staff members quit their jobs abruptly.

I decided to set aside my focus on business building and spend virtually full time volunteering to do what needed to be done at the church.  For nearly three months, I poured out my love and energy out of my passion for the mission of this unique congregation. Two things came out of that giving. I was told repeatedly that I saved the sanity of the two remaining staff members, that they couldn’t have made the move successfully without me, etc. – high psychic payoff!  And after the immediate crisis was over, I was offered a stipend to continue working in some specific areas as we are building what is, in practical terms, a new church.  Being part of the staff during this exciting and critical time is a validation of my contributions and skills – more psychic payoff!

I have learned again through this experience that by giving what I have, the abundance of the universe fills me up again in various ways.  And I would have missed all that if I had held back and said that I was too busy, I needed to focus on my own work, the younger people should do it, etc.

John Maxwell ends his article this way, “You would never deny a bucketful to a child building a sand castle because you can refill that bucket again and again. That’s how the abundance mindset works. You give away praise, recognition, ideas, knowledge and money because you know there’s plenty to go around. What you give away will come back to you a thousand times over. I guarantee it.”

*Success Magazine, May 2017

Transforming Your Retirement: The Cost of Inertia

Perhaps the idea of “transforming your retirement” sounds like a lot of work. Perhaps it will cost money you are trying to conserve.  Perhaps you are thinking, I can look at this closely later; reading it is interesting but doing the exercises and thinking deeply about this can wait.

My advice, my plea, is that you reconsider those thoughts.  Beware of inertia setting in.  Be alert to the tendency to slip into and stay in comfort zones which easily become ruts. Balance your desires to relax and enjoy retirement with your desire to make this stage of your life joyful and fulfilling in new ways. They are not incompatible impulses.

Mirriam Webster Dictionary defines inertia as:

+ lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed;

+ a feeling of not having the energy or desire that is needed to move, change, etc.

Yes, relax. Yes, enjoy. YES, look at what you really want for your 3rd act of life.  You can do it all.  Start a step at a time. Do the exercises in the previous blog posts under the “What You Bring With You to Retirement” and “10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Open Possibilities” categories.

You can also consider the “Unlocking Your Ideal Self” program. Learn more about it here:

http://nanacast.com/vp/120224/466697

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What’s the biggest expense we should expect with transforming your retirement?”

Transforming Your Retirement: Welcome!

“Transforming Your Retirement” is a process to which I am personally committed. My purpose here is to provide ideas, inspiration and tools so others can also engage in a life-affirming process that enriches and energizes their lives in retirement years.                                                           

“Transform” is to change in form, appearance or structure, or change in condition, nature or character; to turn around.
“Retire” is to leave one’s job and cease to work, or to withdraw to or from a particular place. (Wikipedia).

People considered Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are now in their mid-fifties to about seventy years old. Retirement is different in many ways from our parents’ and grandparents’ experiences: life expectancy, health, resources, technology, and the wide array of options have changed. With the pace of our lives leading into retirement, many of us do not take the time or energy to take responsibility for making these the years the best they can be – except perhaps in terms of finances.

We may just slide into retirement with one or more of these attitudes, or others:
a) go with the flow/no more of this super-structured rat race;   b) apprehension about how you will spend your time;  c) overwhelm over the mental or physical list of tasks and projects you never got done;  d) apprehension about being with your spouse/partner all day every day;  e) general excitement over the world of possibilities now available, etc.

I invite you into an exploration of what you bring into retirement, tools that help you anticipate and design a “third act” that is satisfying, joyful and contributes to the well-being of others. There will be ways to connect with others who are approaching, beginning or in the midst of their retirement years. I look forward to sharing and to communicating with you as we travel this path of exploration and discovery.

PLEASE NOTE: Click on one of the categories in the list in the right sidebar to view posts related to that topic.