Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles

 Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles
The world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, refers to imagination as a “discovering faculty,” one that “penetrates into the unseen worlds around us.” That power to see beyond what is immediately available is echoed by Dave Evans, Stanford professor. “There are lots of you,” he reminds us. “There are lots of right answers.” Things are so much more than they seem, especially for those with a fertile imagination. If your interested in keeping your brain sharp, we recommend exploring ways to enhance your creative powers.  Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles  Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles
Seeing multiple possibilities, believe it or not, was what led Italian artist Alessandro Sanna to create the beloved Pinocchio character. Idly staring out the window during a train ride, he imagined that the tree branches he saw resembled a child he knew in a pediatric hospital, a fragile, delicate human being, whose body—in his imagination—was being cradled by an older person who loved him. He began sketching and soon, the wooden puppet with the growing nose was born.  Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles


The inspiration “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
If we take Einstein at his words, we can multiply the importance of imagination. Here are five ways for doing that. We cam examine the behaviors commonly associated with imaginative people, those who optimize their creative talents. As you read them, consider your own behaviors in light of them.

1. Is not thrown by chaos

If you really want to test your ability to tolerate confusion, try this. Find three other people: one person is the listener. The second person whispers non-stop in the listener’s ear, while the third person delivers a “speech” (e.g., views on a controversial topic, such as a Presidential election). The fourth person takes notes on the speech. Then ask the listener what he or she remembered. Compare what the speaker said and what the observer noted.

2. Likes to explore, to experiment

List a number of What If questions. Start with whimsical questions, such as this: what if women ruled the world? (One answer might be that toilet seats would always be down.) These “iffy” questions will help you keep an open mind and will help you remain receptive to the possibilities that abound in the world around you.

3. Welcomes new thoughts

There are places that do their hiring via a group project. To illustrate, they might gather a group of candidates, have them form teams, and then issue a challenge like this: “You have exactly five minutes to complete this task. List 25 ways to improve a stove.” To develop your own imaginative powers and even those of a group of friends, contemplate a challenge that requires speculation. Get those cerebral juices pumping with a question that demands new thoughts.

4. Can see what isn’t visible

An excellent way to “see the invisible” is to find new uses for old things. Example: What can be done with leftover flowers from a bouquet you’ve received, other than making potpourri? List 15 ways to use the flowers. Or, take another object and come up with 15 new ways to use it.

5. Sees value in problems

List the most serious problems you’ve had in the last ten years. What benefits or opportunities resulted from those difficulties? Ask your friends to share their insights as well.   Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles


This scientist is best known for his many uses of peanuts. Carver went from being a slave to being an internationally respected botanist in one lifetime. He observed that “when you can do a common thing in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” You may not be interested in commanding the world’s attention, but you probably are interested in commanding your thoughts and keeping your mental powers sharp.  Work on the five recommendations listed here and keep notes on your progress. After all, you are an uncommon senior citizen!
By Marlene Caroselli
This article is excerpted from Applying Mr. Einstein: 365+ Einstein-Inspired Brain Boosts. Her 62ndbook, Applying Mr. Einsteinwill be released by HRD Press later this year. You can reach the author at
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 Five Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

As Director of Sales and Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and she was a primary caregiver.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.

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