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Creative Power

Athletes who express their creative power in sport and in life can be rewarded with improved performance.

Published February 28, 2012 08:51

Creative Power
Victoria Azarenka

Successful athletes experience passion, enjoyment and fascination in their sport, relaxation activities, friendships and lives. They are creative in their approach to sport and life. This means they:
• Look for alternative possibilities and generate new solutions to problems.
• Take risks and test their limits.
• Are flexible in their thinking, and are open to new ideas and methods.
• Are curious and find joy and wonder in the world.
• Aim to keep improving, to grow and to learn.
• Are internally motivated, driven by their own desires and goals and are not motivated by external factors, such as money, fame or the desires of others.
• Are open to criticism because it helps them to improve.
• Are flexible and open to alternative ideas and ways of doing things.
• Think 'outside the box' and are not limited by what others think, do or say.
• Take time to pause and allow their creative ideas to flow.

Express your creative power and reap the rewards:
↑ Performance
↑ Resilience - bounce back from tough challenges faster
↑ Joy, satisfaction and enthusiasm
↑ Ability to manage tough situations
↑ Ability to find good solutions to problems

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun." Mary L. Cook

THE ROLE OF INTUITION

Intuition is understanding or knowing something without conscious thought.
• Intuition is the "gut" reaction, the "sixth sense" that comes without rational thinking.
• It springs up randomly, like a light bulb turning on, it lights up dark situations.
• Intuition is that inner sense that something is right or not right for us.
• It works to help our health, happiness and survival.

Scientists consider that intuition is an important part of the process to make new discoveries, inventions and ideas. It brings answers and new solutions to problems. Albert Einstein called it a "leap of consciousness".

THE WISDOM OF CHILDREN...

Many adults have forgotten to trust their intuition, to use their imagination to think and solve problems in creative ways. Consider the creativity of children. In one of his books, Dr. Roger von Oech, creative thinking author, and inventor describes an experiment undertaken by a teacher.

The teacher drew a dot on the board and asked a graduating high school class to identify it. They gave the obvious response; it is a chalk dot. When the teacher asked a kindergarten class (4-5 years old), they described a variety of ideas as to what the dot might be, including: the eye of a bird, a squashed insect, an egg, a cigarette butt, a button, the top of a telephone pole and the cap of a bottle.

• The children could see many possibilities and many right answers.
• Children regularly use their imagination in their work and play; everything is possible!
• Sadly, many adults have lost this childhood 'gift' to be creative, open and spontaneous.
• The good news is that adults can regain and maintain their spirit of fun and creativity. When they do, they will enjoy many personal and professional benefits.

LET'S PLAY!
PUT YOUR CREATIVE HAT ON!

Unfortunately, we all get stuck in our patterns and stay with what is familiar. This makes it is hard to see new possibilities. It often results in using the same solutions, even when they are not helpful, as we do not consider solutions that 'belong' to other patterns or problems. Lateral, 'sideways' thinking helps break unhelpful thinking patterns and find better answers to the problem.

"Insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

CREATIVE SPACE

Take some time to ask if there is a better way to do things and to give space for ideas to come. This may be a short break (30 - 60 seconds) or a longer time to allow for 'daydreaming' when the mind can wander and allow new ideas to flow. It can be more structured, such as meditation, relaxation or mindfulness exercises. Successful people, including champion athletes, world leaders and company directors all include time in their busy schedules for these important 'creative pauses'.

BE CURIOUS

Approach the world and your problems with the mindset of an explorer or a detective. Get off the usual paths, look for the unknown, examine all sides of the situation, investigate the aspects you don't know and pay attention to unfamiliar patterns. Ask, 'what if?' and 'why not?'...

NURTURE YOUR INNER CHILD

Give yourself permission to play and see the lighter side of situations. Let your adult self have a vacation, so your inner child can express herself. Learn to laugh, to wonder at the world, to imagine and to just 'be'. Temporarily, forget the rules, and include fun and play time in each day, and express the wisdom and creativity of your inner child.

CELEBRATE YOUR 'FAILURES'

Learn from life's experiences. "'Failure" teaches us to grow, to take calculated risks, to adapt and be flexible, to reach for alternative solutions, to try new things and to tap inner strength and courage. "Failure" stimulates inventiveness and is an important part of the journey to succeed and to reach our goals.

THE CREATIVE PARADOX

To be successful and find your creativity, there are things you need to do which appear contradictory or to be against the success for which you aim...that is why they are "paradoxes". Apply these ideas to achieve your dreams and goals:
• Have knowledge... and suspend it to see other possibilities.
• Work hard... and spend time doing nothing.
• Aim for success… and learn from failure.
• Be persistent... but not stubborn and inflexible.
• Generate many ideas... yet know most of them will be not useful.
• Look at the same thing as others... and see something different.

The contents of the Health site are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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