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2 Ways to Access Your Creative Potential On-Demand

2 Ways to Access Your Creative Potential On-Demand

Experiencing a moment of creative genius is one of the most satisfying feelings we humans can have. You experience a spark of many positive emotions such as excitement, joy, and charismatic exuberance. Would you like to be able to prime your mind to access your creative potential on-demand? Would you like to increase your chances of arriving at creative genius? Here are two outstanding methods to ignite your creative fire.

Preparation:

What is Creativity?

Being creative means you are creating. You are producing, not consuming. Many of us know what creativity feels like. It is often a spontaneous thought that seemingly comes from nowhere at an unexpected time. Creativity may apply to writing a terrific article, creating a beautiful piece of art, or simply solving a problem. In these senses, creativity is best described as your brain connecting two or more unrelated pieces of information, and creating a unique new viewpoint.

In fact, your brain is full of a lot of information. It is expanding its database constantly as you sense new information. It does this quietly and without your direct instruction. Are you allowing it to sift through this data on occasion? Or are you simply a receptacle of information?

Separate Mind from Brain.

Imagine for a moment that your mind and your brain are separate entities. Separate your conscious and subconscious thinking. See your mind using your brain as a tool to interact with the outside world. As you visualize this, go ahead and close your eyes, and see your mind separating out from your body. You may imagine yourself looking down upon your body and your brain.

“You are not your brain. The mind that gives orders to the brain is the only true creator.” – Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, Super Brain

To form an analogy, you might see your body as a computer. Your brain makes up the user interface to the outside world. Your brain consists of the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Your mind, now separate, uses your brain to interface with the vast array of otherwise unintelligible information that the computer can collect from everything around you.

Separating mind from body and clarifying the role of each is a fundamental step to understanding the creative process.

Creativity and the Senses

Now that you can imagine the separation of mind from brain, you should begin thinking about the interaction between the two. Sensory input, in terms of site, taste, touch, vision, and hearing, make up our perception of the physical world. This information is passed from the brain to the mind, and is the basis for much of the conscious information flow between the two.

As you close your eyes once again, seeing your mind peering down upon your brain and body, add in another visualization: a colorful flow of information coming from the outside world into your body and up to your brain. Watch the brain process and filter this information, before it passes some of it up to your mind. Your mind responds, sending information and orders back down to the brain. This flow can look like a swirl of colors. This is a busy flow! Visualize your brain burdened by input and response—a computer running at 100%.

If you are able to see this visualization, you are prepared to begin igniting your creative potential.

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Reach Your Creative Potential:

Method 1: Overload your senses.

Have you ever been in a shower when out of nowhere, you solve a very complex or long-lasting problem, even though you weren’t directly thinking about it? Many people have reported this experience. This is a creative spark.

Part of the reason this occurs is because in the shower, you have overloaded your senses to the point that your mind has drifted away. During this state, information is flowing from your brain to your mind—uni-directional. Your mind leaves your brain alone and allows it to work through and process information it has been storing for a long period of time. You are allowing your brain to do its work rather than consciously directing it. This is similar to how computers used to “defragment” during down time, performing better once complete.

Does this mean you should take showers constantly? No! You can invoke this feeling in other ways. In fact, freshness and novelty are key.

Light up your senses. As you enjoy the experience, expect a creative spark. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sight: sit in a candlelit room. This causes a standard environment to look new, different, and exciting.
  • Sound: listen to interesting, rhythmic music or sounds, preferably without words.
  • Smell: use scented candles, incense, or aromatic food.
  • Touch: bring something of unique texture to hold onto as you sit. Beads, jewelry, and antiques can be great to run your fingers around.
  • Taste: bring a small snack that you normally do not eat. Wine, juice, fruits, and unique cheeses are excellent choices.

Placing yourself in this situation of sensual overload will cause you to become lost in the moment. You will stop thinking about work, your to-do list, and other stress factors. Your mind cannot help but get lost. Your brain is now free to make wonderful new connections and provide you solutions to problems that have been queued up.

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So how does this relate to your morning shower? Showers tend to excite your senses. You see body parts that are normally covered, the rhythmic sound of water hits your ears, your soaps bring unique scents, and there are different textures to touch.

You can place yourself in this situation for as long and as often as desired. You may try 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and several days per week to start. The more you do this type of activity, the more easily you will be able to achieve a wandering mind.

Method 2: Shut off your senses.

This method is a bit more challenging, but will ultimately allow you to most completely disconnect the flow between your mind and brain. Put simply, this is meditation, which has been used for centuries to help people solve problems and arrive at unique conclusions and spark creative genius.

Meditating for creativity is not easy. To start, go back to our visualization. See your mind floating over your body and brain. See the information exchange. As you hold this image, start allowing your mind to drift further and further away, until you can no long see your brain.

The flow of information fades until it has been temporarily stopped. You are not providing input and direction to your brain. You will return, but you will understand the importance of letting your brain alone to do its work. Your mind should continue to drift into blackness, reaching a state of calm. You may float in this state as long as you like, ultimately working your way back to your brain, re-engaging the information flow, and opening your eyes.

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Upon doing so, it may be good to sit down with a journal or instrument, and write, draw, or play whatever is at your finger tips. Let your brain communicate to you what it figured out while your mind was away.

If you’re having a hard time with this visualization, try starting out by focusing on a rhythmic bodily function, such as your breathing or heartbeat. Accept thoughts as they come to you, but then turn back to your body. As soon as random thoughts become less intrusive, begin the visualization.

Conclusion

If you are like most people, you probably operate in a near constant state of information overload. The Internet, TV, smartphones, and more all work to make you an information consumer—perhaps to beyond the degree we’re capable of handling. With this in mind, take time to unplug from your brain. Assign it a problem to solve. Then allow it to sift through and sort its database. Use your senses as the tool to do this. The results will be surprising.

Featured photo credit: Photo Credit:

More by this author

Justin Gesso

Bestselling Author, Business Leadership, Real Estate

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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