Creativity (quotes)

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What is creativity?

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Creativity is the use of imagination to create something new

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Creativity is about self-expression

  • Creativity pervades human life. It is the mark of individuality. The vehicle of self-expression.  The engine of progress in every human endeavour.  Elliot Samuel Paul
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Creativity is about discovery

  • Creativity is an act of self-discovery.  Sebastian Esteverena
  • Creativity is the process of discovering something you did not start out with.  Collingwood
  • Creativity is seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.  Michele Shea
  • Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is.  Mason Cooley
  • Creativeness often consists of merely turning up what is already there.  Bernice Fitz-Gibbon
  • Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience.  Masaru Ibuka
  • Discovery
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Creativity is about coming up with new ideas …

  • Creativity is the capacity within individuals to develop ideas for the purpose of solving problems and exploiting opportunities.  Mark Batey
  • I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • Ideas
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… and putting those ideas into action

  • What is creativity? I define creativity as the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. Innovation is the production or implementation of a creative idea. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative.  Linda Naiman
  • Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.  Theodore Levitt
  • Innovation is the application of creativity to give rise to a new concept, product, service or process delivering something new and better to the world.  Mark Batey
  • Action
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Creativity is fuelled by imagination and enthusiasm

  • Creativity is the unbounded refuge of the imaginative.  Michael Rawls
  • Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.  Earl Nightingale
  • Creativity is the ideas expressed after summoning everything you’ve learned and disregarding everything you know. It’s the ability to get out of the way of one’s originality and imagination.  Dan Greenberger
  • Finding the medium that excites your imagination, that you love to play with and work in, is an important step to freeing your creative energies.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • ImaginationEnthusiasm
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The importance of creativity

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Creative thinking is becoming an essential skill

  • As competition intensifies, the need for creative thinking increases. It is no longer enough to do the same thing better . . . no longer enough to be efficient and solve problems.  Edward de Bono
  • Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.  Ken Robinson
  • Skill
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Creativity is necessary in any field

  • We are designed to create. We are all Artists. Each of us is a Creative, not just the people in advertising and design. Accountants and firefighters, math teachers and breakfast servers. We are all meant to innovate and ideate and use our brains to birth our best ideas into the world.  Robin Sharma
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Creativity is essential in teaching and learning

  • Creativity is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • Educators must ask themselves, ‘To what degree do I deliberately promote creativity?’  Susan Keller-Mathers
  • Teaching for creativity aims to encourage self-confidence, independence of mind, and the capacity to think for oneself.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • The first task in teaching for creativity in any field is to encourage people to believe in their creative potential and to nurture the confidence to try.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.  Albert Einstein
  • The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.  Jean Piaget
  • It is easy to consider the essential role of creativity in bringing joy and meaning to the human condition–without creativity we have no art, no literature, no science, no innovation, no problem solving, no progress.  It is, perhaps, less obvious that creativity has an equally essential role in schools.  The processes of creativity parallel those of learning.  Recent calls for authentic activities, teaching for understanding, and real-world problem solving all require engaging students with content in flexible and innovative ways.  Alane Jordan Starko
  • TeachingLearning
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Creativity is a divine gift to cherish and utilise

  • Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.  Julia Cameron
  • Creativity is the greatest gift of human intelligence.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you got.  Steven Pressfield
  • Creativity is the state of consciousness in which you enter into the treasury of your innermost being and bring the beauty into manifestation.  Torkom Saraydarian
  • When the creative impulse sweeps over you, grab it. You grab it and honour it and use it, because momentum is a rare gift.  Justina Chen Headley
  • When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.  Julia Cameron
  • Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.  Julia Cameron
  • Creativity comes from the spiritual realm, the collective consciousness. And the mind is in a different realm than the molecules of the brain. The brain is a receiver, not a source. Candace Pert
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The rewards of creativity

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Creativity leads to innovation and progress

  • Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true – but it’s father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife.  Jonathan Schattke
  • Innovation is applied creativity.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.  Edward De Bono
  • InnovationProgress
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Creativity creates something new

  • Something is born, comes into being, something which did not exist before – which is as good a definition of creativity as we can get.  Rollo May
  • Removing the faults in a stage-coach may produce a perfect stage-coach, but it is unlikely to produce the first motor car.  Edward de Bono
  • Creativity, by its very nature, implies getting away from the norm. The statistical concept of the norm, the average, gives rise to our concept of ‘normal’. Normal is that to which your brain has become accustomed; that which gives you no surprises; that which remains the same; that which no longer shocks, startles, surprises or provokes you; that which does not stretch your imagination. To create means virtually the opposite: to bring into existence something new; to give rise to; to establish an association that has never been established before.  Tony Buzan
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Creativity is about originality

  • The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.  Arthur Koestler
  • Our creative genius is the fountainhead of originality. It fires our compulsion to evolve. It inspires us to challenge norms. Creative genius is about flying to new heights on untested wings. It is about the danger of crashing.  Gordon MacKenzie
  • Originality
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Creativity solves problems

  • Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists.  Edward de Bono
  • Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.  George Lois
  • The ultimate solutions to problems are rational; the process of finding them is not.  W. Gordon
  • Problem solving
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Creativity gives birth to potential and possibility

  • Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires a creative imagination and marks the real advances in science.   Albert Einstein
  • Creativity is rich with unexpected possibility.  John O’Donohue
  • Creativity is imagining possibilities and making them real.  Marta Davidovich Ockuly
  • Creativity is our human capacity to imagine and express new possibilities.  Marta Davidovich Ockuly
  • Traditional thinking is all about “what is;” Future thinking will also need to be about what can be.  Edward de Bono
  • To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.  Albert Einstein
  • Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future.  James Bertrand
  • In all creative processes, we are pushing the boundaries of what we know now, to explore new possibilities; we are drawing on the skills we have now, often stretching and evolving them as the work demands.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • PotentialPossibility
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Creativity makes us come alive

  • Creativity is the mother of all energies, nurturer of your most alive self. It charges up every part of you. When you’re plugged in, a spontaneous combustion occurs that ‘artists’ don’t have a monopoly on.  Judith Orloff
  • Our everyday creativity is not only good for us, it’s also one of the most powerful capacities we have, bringing us alive in each moment, affecting our health and well-being, offering richness and alternatives in what we do, and helping move us further in our creative and personal development.  Ruth Richards
  • During those rare moments of creativeness, when an ordinary person has something in common with the making of the universe, he feels a sense of transcendence, of moving beyond his daily life. What could be a greater reward?  Joseph Zinker
  • …joy is integral to all creativity. Creativity brings joy.  Matthew Fox
  • The joy is in creating, not maintaining.  Vince Lombardi
  • Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.  Albert Einstein
  • The highest prize we can receive for creative work is the joy of being creative. Creative effort spent for any other reason than the joy of being in that light filled space, love, god, whatever we want to call it, is lacking in integrity.  Marianne Williamson
  • To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.  Osho
  • True creativity is impossible without some measure of passion.  Teresa Amabile
  • By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non- existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.  Nikos Kazantzakis
  • Truly creative people care a little about what they have done, and a lot about what they are doing. Their driving focus is the life force that surges in them now.   Alan Cohen
  • Creativity contributes to our sense of aliveness and our playfulness. One art teacher, Adriana Diaz, defines creations as “places where caring and daring come together.”  They open our eyes to nature and the body and give us fresh appreciation for both ritual and recreation.  Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
  • What keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul.  Deepak Chopra
  • Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. . . most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity . . . when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • VitalityBeing fully alive
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Creativity breeds motivation, excitement and hope

  • Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.  Edward de Bono
  • The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts.  Henry Moore
  • Every act of creating is an act of power, an act of hope.  Pam Grout
  • MotivationExcitementHope
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Creativity feeds the soul

  • Creativity of all kinds focuses your mind, engages your imagination, and feeds your soul.  Being creative can also facilitate understanding and encourage healing.  Creativity is mindfulness in motion–intuitive, artistic motion.  Creative moments and activities give you a boost and help you feel energized and good about yourself.  Sue Patton Thoel
  • The soul
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Creativity is available to everyone; a skill that can be learned

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Creativity is innate in all of us

  • We are all creative. Creativity is the hallmark human capacity that has allowed us to survive thus far. Our brains are wired to be creative, and the only thing stopping you from expressing the creativity that is your birth right is your belief that there are creative people and uncreative people and that you fall in that second category.  Shelly Carson
  • You are in possession of one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, one that has virtually unlimited potential not only to change your life, but also to change your world.  Shelly Carson
  • We express our being by creating. Creativity is a necessary sequel to being.  Rollo May
  • In a sense, as we are creative beings, our lives become our work of art.  Julia Cameron
  • Creativity is our true nature; blocks are an unnatural thwarting of a process at once as normal and as miraculous as the blossoming of a flower at the end of a slender green stem.  Julia Cameron
  • You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.  Maya Angelou
  • The refusal to be creative is an act of self-will and is counter to our true nature.  When we are open to our creativity, we are opening to God:  good, orderly direction.  As we pursue our creative fulfilment, all elements of our life move toward harmony.  As we strengthen our creativity, we strengthen our connection to the Creator within.  Artists love other artists.  Our relationship to God is co-creative, artist to artist.  It is God’s will for us to live in creative abundance.  Julia Cameron
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Creativity is a skill that can be learned, cultivated and practiced

  • In order to have a real relationship with our creativity, we must take the time and care to cultivate it.  Julia Cameron
  • Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learned. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and, where appropriate, profits.  Edward de Bono
  • Studying creativity is not an elite distraction, but provides one of the most exciting models for living.  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill which must be learned.  Edward de Bono
  • Learn the craft of knowing how to open your heart and to turn on your creativity. There’s a light inside of you.  Judith Jamison
  • All of us can create if we allow ourselves to.  Natalie Goldberg
  • Whatever creative success I gained was due to my belief that creative power can be stepped up by effort, and that there are ways in which we can guide our creative thinking.  Alex Osborn
  • We cannot will to have insights. We cannot will to have creativity, but we can will to give ourselves to the creative experience with intensity of dedication and commitment. Rollo May
  • Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits.  Twyla Tharp
  • Creativity is not an impulse, but a process.  Deepak Chopra
  • Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of the car is separate from the way the car is driven.  Edward De Bono
  • Creative thinking – in terms of idea creativity – is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practised and nurtured.  Edward de Bono
  • You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.  Jack London
  • I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice.  Erich Fromm
  • Inspiration comes and goes, creativity is the result of practice.  Phil Cousineau
  • Life skillsSkill
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Creativity is an approach to life – a transformational mind-set to adopt

  • Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.  Alan Alda
  • Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.  Mae Jemison
  • Creative thinking is more than just coming up with new ideas. It is about living life in a way that is open, authentic and curious. It is a mind-set and approach to everything we do.  Cyndi Burnett
  • Creativity is like freedom: once you taste it, you cannot live without it. It is a transformational force, enhancing self- esteem and self- empowerment.  Natalie Rogers
  • Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.  Mary Lou Cook
  • Creativity is an attitude that transcends paradigms and beliefs. It’s a soul level yearning to fulfill a purpose, uniquely contribute and leave a mark. Janice Francisco
  • Fostering creativity within yourself and others revitalizes the ability to feel, express, and act constructively – crucial competencies for our world.  Natalie Rogers
  • If you want to be more creative, believe you are creative.  The worlds of thought and action overlap.  Believe in the worth of your ideas and have the persistence to continue building on them.  With this attitude, you take more risks and break the rules occasionally.  Roger von Oech
  • Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things . . . Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative.  Osho
  • Creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which makes a mold into which the plastic and as yet undifferentiated substance can flow and take the desired form.  Thomas Troward
  • The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.  Robert Henri
  • To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.  Osho
  • Attitude
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Creativity is a process

  • Creativity is a catchall term for a variety of distinct thought processes.  Jonah Lehrer
  • Creativity is a process more often than it is an event.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • Creativity is a multi-faceted process. It involves many ordinary abilities and some specialized skills and techniques; it can be fostered by many different ways of thinking, and it draws on critical judgment as well as imagination, intuition and often gut feelings.  Sir Ken Robinson
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Ways to cultivate creativity

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Believe in your creativity

  • You’re always believing ahead of your evidence. What was the evidence I could write a poem? I just believed it. The most creative thing in us is to believe in a thing.  Robert Frost
  • If you want to be more creative, believe you are creative.  The worlds of thought and action overlap.  Believe in the worth of your ideas and have the persistence to continue building on them.  With this attitude, you take more risks and break the rules occasionally.  Roger von Oech
  • We are all creative. Creativity is the hallmark human capacity that has allowed us to survive thus far. Our brains are wired to be creative, and the only thing stopping you from expressing the creativity that is your birth right is your belief that there are creative people and uncreative people and that you fall in that second category.  Shelley Carson
  • Self-belief
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Adopt an attitude of creativity

  • Creativity is an attitude that transcends paradigms and beliefs. It’s a soul level yearning to fulfill a purpose, uniquely contribute and leave a mark.  Janice Francisco
  • Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things.  Osho
  • A child’s attitude toward everything is an artist’s attitude.  Willa Cather
  • As we transcend our past in the things we do, we also become who we can be. Thus, creativity is those attitudes by which we fulfil ourselves.  John G. Young
  • The difference is that of attitude. But that difference determines who gets ideas and who does not. An apathetic or hostile attitude is the enemy of creative thought. Ideas, like people, flourish when they are welcomed and embraced.  Barbara J. Winter
  • Attitude
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Generate lots of ideas

  • Creativity consists of coming up with many ideas, not just that one great idea.  Charles Thompson
  • As in the piling up of hypothetical alternatives, creative accidents follow the law of probabilities –  the more we fish, the more likely we are to get a strike.  Alex Osborn
  • Ideas
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Suspend the judge and critic

  • It seems that the creative faculty and the critical faculty cannot exist together in their highest perfection.  Thomas Macaulay
  • Non-judgment quiets the internal dialogue, and this opens once again the doorway to creativity.  Deepak Chopra
  • Let go of the need to judgeCriticism
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Look at things in a different and fresh way…

  • Innovation is the creation of the new or the re-arranging of the old in a new way.  Michaael Vance
  • The problems we have today cannot be solved if we think the same way we thought when we created them.  Albert Einstein
  • Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.  Edward de Bono
  • Creative novelty springs largely from the rearrangement of the existing knowledge, a rearrangement that is itself an addition to knowledge.  J. Kneller
  • The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good” sense.  Pablo Picasso
  • Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience.  Masaru Ibuka
  • Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvellous.  Bill Moyers
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… especially at things you take for granted

  • One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.  Edward De Bono
  • Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.   George Knelle
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Identify your assumptions and deliberately question them

  • The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.  John W. Gardner
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Consciously provoke and challenge the status quo

  • Creative thinking may mean simply the realization that there’s no particular virtue in doing things the way they always have been done. Rudolf Flesch
  • Creativity challenges the status quo.  Ruth Richards
  • Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.  Pablo Picasso
  • Innovation comes from creative destruction. Yoshihisa Tabuchi
  • Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.  Donatella Versace
  • Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.  Arthur Koestler
  • A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations.  Gerald Jampolsky
  • Creativity is an act of defiance.  Twyla Tharp
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Challenge the rules

  • The first step to being creative is to get rid of your own unwritten rules.  Mary M. Byers
  • When there is no freedom, there is no creativity.  Soud Qbeilat
  • In all matters of creativity, rules are meant to be broken when necessary.  Haley Langford
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Put on your fool’s cap

  • When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.  Cynthia Heimel
  • Absurdity and anti-absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.  Karl Lagerfeld
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Deliberately create some crazy and absurd ideas

  • The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless.  Frank Goble
  • Ideas
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Laugh at it

  • Laughter is the best creative medicine.  John Cleese
  • Laughter
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Use the mind to deliberately make associations and connections

  • The ability to relate and to connect, sometimes in odd and yet striking fashion, lies at the very heart of any creative use of the mind, no matter in what field or discipline.  George J. Seidel
  • Creativity is more about taking the facts, fictions, and feelings we store away and finding new ways to connect them. Twyla Tharp
  • Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.  William Plomer
  • Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist.  Thomas Disch
  • Creativity is that marvellous capacity to grasp mutually distinct realities and draw a spark from their juxtaposition.  Max Ernst
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Cross fertilise with outside areas

  • Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum.  The creative person looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.  Robert Wiedler
  • The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-    century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen.  Carl Ally
  • Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before.  Margaret J. Wheatley
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Feed your mind with fresh, new inputs

  • One sure-fire way to stay creative: force yourself to learn something new.  Harvey Mackay
  • Knowing a lot is a springboard to creativity.  Charlie Rose
  • Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people. Leo Burnett
  • Curiosity is the key to creativity.  Akio Morita
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Embrace uncertainty, confusion and even chaos

  • Uncertainty, on the other hand, is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. Uncertainty means stepping into the unknown in every moment of our existence. The unknown is the field of all possibilities, ever fresh, ever new, always open to the creation of new manifestations. Without uncertainty and the unknown, life is just the stale repetition of outworn memories.  Deepak Chopra
  • Chaos is creativity, and creativity is chaos.  Leo Babauta
  • Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity.  Karl Lagerfeld
  • Confusion is the welcome mat at the door of creativity.  Michael J. Gelb
  • Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.  Gail Sheehy
  • Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.  Erich Fromm
  • Creative minds are rarely tidy.  John William Gardner
  • Dive again and again into the river of uncertainty. Create in the dark, only then can you recognize the light.  Jyrki Vainonen
  • Every creative journey is marked by patches and even long stretches of bewilderment as, disoriented and upset, you realize that you don’t know what to do next. These patches of not knowing just can’t be avoided, unless you refuse to create.  Eric Maisel
  • Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.  Mary Shelley
  • Keeping your mind open in the face of uncertainty is the single most powerful secret of unleashing your creative potential.  Michael J. Gelb
  • Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.  Julia Cameron
  • The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.  Julia Cameron
  • The search for certainty and security is an attachment to the known. The known is the past. There is no evolution in that. Uncertainty on the other hand is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. I relinquish my attachment to the known and step into the field of all possibilities.  Deepak Chopra
  • Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.  R. I. Fitzhenry
  • Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness.  Julia Cameron
  • ConfusionChaosLet go of the need for certainty
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Embrace ambiguity

  • The creative person is willing to live with ambiguity. He doesn’t need problems solved immediately and can afford to wait for the right ideas.  Abe Tannenbaum
  • There are instances when ambiguity can be a powerful stimulant to your imagination.  When you’re in the imaginative phase of the creative process, a little ambiguity can whack you into asking questions such as “What’s going on here?  What does this mean? How else can this be interpreted?”   Roger von Oech
  • The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science.  Eric Fromm
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Tap into the creative power of play

  • Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.  Abraham Maslow
  • To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.  Albert Einstein
  • The human urge to create comes from the play impulse.  Carla Hannaford
  • If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.  John Cleese
  • The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.  Carl Jung
  • Too much of our work amounts to the drudgery of arranging means toward ends, mechanically placing the right foot in front of the left and the left in front of the right, moving down narrow corridors toward narrow goals. Play widens the halls. Work will always be with us, and many works are worthy. But the worthiest works of all often reflect an artful creativity that looks more like play than work.  James Ogilvy
  • A person might be able to play without being creative, but he sure can’t be creative without playing.  Kurt Hanks and Jay Parry
  • When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.  Linda Naiman
  • Play
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Embrace your inner child

  • To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.  Albert Einstein
  • Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.  Norman Podhoretz
  • A child’s attitude toward everything is an artist’s attitude.  Willa Cather
  • No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, you’re keeping the child inside alive.  John Cassavetes
  • The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.  Stephen Nachmanovitch
  • Nurture your inner child
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Embrace new experiences

  • Thought, creativity and learning arise from experience.  Carla Hannaford
  • Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well-supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known.  Loris Malaguzzi
  • Embrace new experiences
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Tap into the power of imagination and fantasy

  • Creativity involves putting your imagination to work. In a sense, creativity is applied imagination.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.  Carl Jung
  • Creativity is imagining possibilities and making them real.  Marta Davidovich Ockuly
  • Creativity is our human capacity to imagine and express new possibilities.  Marta Davidovich Ockuly
  • Creativity is the process of expressing and applying imagination.  Marta Davidovich Ockuly
  • Imagination is the spark that ignites the fire of creativity.  Richard Laurence Peterson
  • Without the playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.  Carl Jung
  • We have imaginations. As a result, we have unlimited powers of creativity.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • ImaginationFantasy
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Tap into the power of hunches and intuition

  • A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.  Frank Capra
  • The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.  Alan Alda
  • Intuition
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Tap into the power of flow

  • When you are completely absorbed or caught up in something, you become oblivious to things around you, or to the passage of time. It is this absorption in what you are doing that frees your unconscious and releases your creative imagination.  Dr. Rollo May
  • Go with the flow
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Don’t be scared to borrow ideas from others

  • The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.  Albert Einstein
  • Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.  Wayne Dyer
  • It seems to be one of the paradoxes of creativity that in order to think originally, we must familiarize ourselves with the ideas of others.  George Kneller
  • To be creative you have to contribute something different from what you’ve done before. Your results need not be original to the world; few results truly meet that criterion. In fact, most results are built on the work of others.  Lynne C. Levesque
  • A person who can create ideas worthy of note is a person who has learned much from others.  Konosuke Matsushita
  • We are apt to think that our ideas are the creation of our own wisdom but the truth is that they are the result of the experience through outside contact.  Konosuke Matsushita
  • Ideas
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Be dissatisfied

  • Dissatisfaction can be beneficial to the creative process.  Otherwise you lose the prod you need to spot potential problems and opportunities.  What are you dissatisfied about?  What are you going to do about it?  Roger von Oech
  • The achievement of excellence can only occur if the organization promotes a culture of creative dissatisfaction.  Lawrence Miller
  • Creativity is discontent translated into arts.   Eric Hoffer
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Make creative use of time

  • Creativity has everything to do with making the most of time – not in the sense of frantic pacing, but in the sense of a kind of private peace in which one is quietly making time come alive.  John B. McLeish
  • I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.  Miles Dewey Davis
  • TimeTime management
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Spend time in solitude

  • In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.  Rollo May
  • Proximity to the crowd, to the majority view, spells the death of creativity. For a soul can create only when alone, and some are chosen for the flowering that takes place in the dark avenues of night.  Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.  Albert Einstein
  • Spend less time immersed in popular culture and take conscious breaks from the everyday world to practice creative thinking.  Charles Cave
  • It is well to be alone. It fertilizes the creative impulse.  Max Nordau
  • A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • SolitudeTime alone stimulates creativity
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Spend time loafing around

  • In producers, loafing is productive; and no creator, of whatever magnitude, has ever been able to skip that stage, any more than a mother can skip gestation.  Jacques Barzun
  • Creativity is the residue of time wasted.  Albert Einstein
  • Many times, we will get more ideas and better ideas in two hours of creative loafing than in eight hours at a desk.  Wilferd A. Peterson
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Relax and quieten your mind

  • To create you must quiet your mind. You need a quiet mind so that ideas will have a chance of connecting.  Eric Maisel
  • Good ideas and creativity usually do not appear under stress. When you are relaxed and rejuvenated, creative ideas usually come rather naturally.  Take a walk on the beach, take a nap, go and play some sport or do whatever it is that relaxes you so that your brain can be more creative when you get back to work.  Diann Daniel
  • Behind all creation is silence. Silence is the essential condition, the vital ingredient for all creation and all that is created. It is a power in its own right. The artist starts with a blank canvas-silence. The composer places it between and behind the notes. The very ground of your being, out of which comes all your thoughts, is silence. The way to silence is through meditation. When you arrive in your own silence, you will know true freedom and real power. Stop, take a minute, and listen to the silence within you today. Then be aware of what disturbs your inner silence. It could be negative thought, memories or sensations. And when you are aware, you will know what is draining your creative power, and you will know what needs to change… on the inside.  Karen Beacon
  • You can’t keep bitch-slapping your creativity, or it’ll run away and find a new pimp.  George Meyer
  • Whenever an answer, a solution, or a creative idea is needed, stop thinking for a moment by focusing attention on your inner energy field. … When you resume thinking, it will be fresh and creative.  Eckhart Tolle
  • To create you must quiet your mind. You need a quiet mind so that ideas will have a chance of connecting. Eric Maisel
  • StillnessRelaxation
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Get away from the office desk

  • How many of you do your best thinking and get your most creative ideas at work? When we ask people in our groups this question, no one ever raises their hand.  Robert Kriegel and David Brandt
  • If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.  Hilary Mantel
  • I often joke with my audiences that I make most of my income on a ski pole. People smile but they get my point. You need to make time for your genius to flow. We get our creative bursts, those idea torrents that take our business and personal lives to the next level, while we are skiing or drinking coffee in a Starbucks or walking in the woods or meditation with a sunrise. Those pursuits are not a waste of time. Creativity comes when you are relaxed, happy and enjoying the moment. And when it comes, it brings ideas that rock your world.  Robin Sharma
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Slow down

  • If you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up — to know that there’s life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else.  Natalie Goldberg
  • HasteSlow down
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Go for a walk

  • If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.  Raymond Inmon
  • The most potent tool for contacting inner guidance and creativity is walking.  Julia Cameron
  • The legs are the wheels of creativity.  Albert Einstein
  • Walking
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Use a journal or notebook

  • I write and record ideas everywhere. On flight sickness bags on airplanes. On paper napkins in restaurants. In my journal that follows me much of where I go. Yes, I’m obsessed with creativity. And that’s my encouragement for you too.  Robin Sharma
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Overcome self-consciousness, doubt and fear…

  • The thing about creativity is – people are going to laugh at it. Get over it.  Twyla Tharp
  • The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.  Sylvia Plath
  • You need courage to be creative. You need the courage to see things differently, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take a different approach, courage to stand alone, if you have to, courage to choose activity over inactivity.  Jim Rohn
  • Creativity flourishes when we have a sense of safety and self- acceptance. Julia Cameron
  • The things we fear most in organizations—fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.  Margaret J. Wheatley
  • Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.  T. S. Eliot
  • If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  Vincent van Gogh
  • DoubtFear
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… especially fear of failure …

  • I think there are two keys to being creatively productive. One is not being daunted by one’s fear of failure. the second is sheer perseverance.  Mary-Claire King
  • It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.  Herman Melville
  • An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.  Edwin Land
  • Remember these two benefits of failure.  First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work.  Second, the failure gives you an opportunity to try a different approach.  Roger von Oech
  • Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they both are products of the same process.  Roger von Oech
  • The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.  Edwin H. Land
  • Failure
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…and fear of being wrong

  • To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.  Joseph Pearce
  • If you are going to be original, you are going to be wrong a lot.
  • If you make an error, use it as a stepping stone to an idea you might not otherwise have considered.  Roger von Oech
  • If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • The only sure way to avoid making mistakes is to have no new ideas.  Albert Einstein
  • If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.  Ken Robinson
  • A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.  Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
  • I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them.  Thomas Edison
  • Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.  Scott Adams
  • We need to be willing to risk embarrassment, ask silly questions, surround ourselves with people who don’t know what we’re talking about. We need to leave behind the safety of our expertise.  Jonah Lehrer
  • MistakesLet go of the need to be right
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Ask questions

  • A major stimulant to creative thinking is focused questions. There is something about a well- worded question that often penetrates to the heart of the matter and triggers new ideas and insights.  Brian Tracy
  • Questions
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Be flexible

  • The hallmark of creative people is their mental flexibility… Sometimes they are open and probing, at others they’re playful and off- the-  wall. At still other times, they’re critical and fault-finding. And finally, they’re doggedly persistent in striving to reach their goals.  Roger von Oech
  • The creative person is flexible; he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.  Frank Goble
  • Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.  Henri Matisse
  • Flexibility
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Avoid boredom and routine

  • Routine kills creative thought.  Scarlett Thomas
  • The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes. Saul Steinberg
  • BoredomRoutines and rituals
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Set limits

  • Limitation spawns creativity. Alec Soth
  • But out of limitations comes creativity. Debbie Allen
  • Creativity can flourish within sensible financial limitations. Michael Eisner
  • Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem. Rollo May
  • The principle of Creative Limitations calls for freedom within a circle of obstacles and restricted boundaries. Talent is like a muscle: without something to push against, it atrophies. So we deliberately put obstacles in our path – barriers that will inspire us. We disciple ourselves as to what to do, while we’re boundless as to how to do it. Robert McKee
  • Many articles and books on creativity encourage us to ‘think out of the box’ and get rid of all the restrictions on our thinking. The trouble with this advice is that it is almost entirely wrong. It is very difficult to be creative when ‘anything goes’ and you have no limitations, because it is the limitations that actually encourage creativity. Mark Forster
  • Creativity is not simply originality and unlimited freedom. There is much more to it than that. Creativity also imposes restrictions. While it uses methods other than those of ordinary thinking, it must not be in disagreement with ordinary thinking-or rather, it must be something that, sooner or later, ordinary thinking will understand, accept, and appreciate. Otherwise the result would be bizarre, not creative. Silvano Arieti
  • Limitation
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Slow down

  • If you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down.  For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity.  It has allowed me to open up — to know that there’s life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else.  Natalie Goldberg
  • Slow down
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Do what you love doing

  • Finding the medium that excites your imagination, that you love to play with and work in, is an important step to freeing your creative energies.  Sir Ken Robinson
  • When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.  Linda Naiman
  • Do what you lovePassion
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Creativity taps the subconscious and right brain

  • In the creative state a man is taken out of himself. He lets down as it were a bucket into his subconscious, and draws up something which is normally beyond his reach. He mixes this thing with his normal experiences and out of the mixture he makes a work of art.  E. M. Forster
  • The creative person seems to have a special talent for dipping into his intuitive, image- filled right hemisphere while harnessing the illuminating experience with his left brain.  Steven Zinker
  • The subconscious
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On a lighter note

  • I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.  Terry Pratchett
  • I think I’m really learning a lot from my creative writing classes; the entire experience is just indescribable.   Stewart Francis
  • Good taste is the enemy of creativity.    Picasso
  • The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.   Albert Einstein
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