One of my favorite qualities in myself and other people is creativity. I’m often amazed and in awe when I think about the masterpieces that have been created. I don’t just mean paintings that you can visit in a museum. I mean anything that was created out of the tiniest seed of an idea, or a hunch, or a nudge or just the faintest spark of inspiration.
Examples of Creativity
It could be a joke – a simple little joke could have resulted from someone’s imagination in just one second.
It could be a novel, or song lyrics, or a design for a house. Or, it could be a marketing campaign including a clever slogan or a memorable commercial.
I’m amazed at the creativity of Vince Gilligan who created the TV shows Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul (among many other things). I’m just fascinated that he thought of an entire fictional universe of characters and events and then produced it into reality by making TV shows and movies.
Right now, since I’ve started to get interested in gardening, I’m so impressed with the beautiful gardens other people have created. I love the mix of colors and scents and textures and heights and purposes – some plants are for eating, some plants are for looking at, some plants are for the ecosystem. It’s a growing, breathing, changing 3D work of art!
Train your Brain
All of these amazing creations I’ve just mentioned most likely have something in common. They probably all started with a bright idea or a brainstorm.
I think it’s possible to train your brain to be creative so it gives you more of those great ideas!
Why not celebrate your creativity?
Start to look for patterns of what makes you think of new things, what makes you willing to come up with solutions to problems? What makes you hesitant to find solutions?
Why not figure out what sometimes holds you back from moving forward on something that you were previously so excited about?
In case you haven’t noticed, I have been brimming with creativity lately! It’s so fun and energizing and I hope you’re feeling this high vibe in your own life and work too.
Part of what is making me notice my heightened level of creativity is realizing how many fun, interesting and imaginative ideas that are just coming to me, nonstop. I feel lit up with bright ideas and brainstorms.
I want to capture this essence and tell you about it so you can replicate it for yourself… and so I can replicate it later, since I’m aware that this season probably won’t last indefinitely – but maybe it will? Who knows?
So, in an effort to inspire you and give you examples of these bright ideas and brainstorms, I have a list of a few of mine that have taken off and some that didn’t get too far.
Starting a Podcast
The first one I have to bring up is creating my podcast and this website! We’re sharing in the fruits of my creativity!
The reason I decided to start a podcast is multipart. I had been listening to and loving podcasts for years and thought it was such an effective way to get in front of an audience.
I thought of a few ideas of podcasts other people should do to grow their businesses or promote their causes. I got really excited for them – but I couldn’t see that promotion and growth idea being applicable to me until I was finishing up my coach certification program and thinking of starting my own coaching practice. Then, suddenly, having my own podcast made a lot of sense for me.
As I was in the planning stages, I was very intentional about defining what success would be for me with this podcast. I didn’t want my definition of success to hinge on factors outside of my control – so I decided I would consider the podcast a success if I had at least 1 listener for each episode. That was built-in guaranteed success because I had already decided to be that listener for each episode.
Secondly, I made the commitment to post an episode each Friday of 2020 – no matter what. And I did! Success Achieved!
Of course, now I can see many other ways to define the success of this podcast. But back in the brainstorming phase, using those 2 definitions helped to keep me moving forward and kept me focused on what I personally cared about.
Creating the Surrender Study Group
The next bright idea to tell you about is currently in the execution phase and I’m loving it so much! At the end of February, I got the inspirational nudge to try to put together a Surrender Study Group. I wanted to have a group of other people on their own journeys of surrender to talk to, ask questions of and check in with for understanding and camaraderie.
I was excited about the prospect of hearing something explained from a perspective that I hadn’t thought of. I’m a firm believer that the best way to learn something is to teach it, so, like a teacher, I was completely excited by the idea of developing lists of topics for each of our weekly calls and discussions.
Even though we’re just barely over the halfway point of our study group, I have to tell you how perfect it is. The community is thoughtful, supportive, and participative. Even people who aren’t able to join us on our weekly calls add to the discussion in the facebook group. I’m getting a deeper understanding of how to surrender and how to live my life in abundance. I really attribute my current flow of creativity to the fact that I’m steeping myself in these topics.
The third thing I’ll tell you about came out of what might be considered a more traditional brainstorm. Most people would probably describe brainstorming as listing as many ideas as possible in one session without judgement or criticism. The point is just to let all the ideas come out like a torrent of rain during a storm. Then, the ideas can be evaluated and discarded and decided on.
Last year at the beginning of covid, I was trying to think of interesting and unique ideas for creating online meetups. So, I came up with a whole list of them – and tried them all. Some were fine. Some were flops. But one really took off: it was PodClub.
I’ve always liked the idea of book clubs but never really participated consistently because I never liked the commitment of having to read a specific book by a specific time. It felt like a school assignment.
I always secretly wished there was a magazine club where instead of reading a whole book, we could just flip through a magazine. But the better solution was staring me right in the eye, or rather, the ear!
In a PodClub, we’re not committed to reading an entire book. We just listen to one episode of a podcast then get together to discuss. We have listened to the most interesting episodes about a variety of topics and we’ve had the best discussions! I’m so pleased and proud and encouraged that we’re about to come up to our one year anniversary of PodClub’s invention.
So, even though the low attendance at some of those early other meet ups I experimented with might have kept me from moving forward, I’m so glad I kept taking those teeny-tiny steps to try them out to finally land on one that has worked so well.
Intentionally Giving Myself Credit
Those first 3 Bright Ideas I shared were public facing and involve other people. The next 2 ideas are ones that I’m doing on my own. I’m sharing them because they have been working out so well for me and to illustrate that your bright ideas and brainstorms can be completely private and personal things you do in your own life for your own benefit that other people may never find out about – unless you publicly announce them like I’m doing now.
At the beginning of this year I started the practice of intentionally giving myself credit. This may seem obvious and basic – but, really, how often do you intentionally look for and acknowledge things that you deserve to give yourself credit for?
This idea came from a coaching session. In fact, I think my coach even asked me “what are you giving yourself credit for in this situation?” and the question stumped me. I couldn’t think of anything I was giving myself credit for.
So, I decided to take the teeny-tiny step of answering that question in my journaling the next morning. Then, I took that step a little further by sprinkling credit-giving prompts in my journal for the next few months.
Now, every once in a while, when I sit down to write, I come to a question like “what 10 things do you deserve credit for as a friend?” Or “what did you do in the past week that you deserve credit for?”
I love seeing these prompts and answering them because I know I’m developing my own skill at acknowledging and appreciating myself. Plus, who doesn’t like to get credit for things?!
Following Aileen’s Example to Journal Daily
The last successful bright idea I’ll share is one that I’ve already talked about so much. It’s when I decided to follow Aileen Xu’s example to journal daily. I’ve done a few episodes about journaling and my morning ritual and I’ve described why Aileen is one of my favorite teachers.
So, today I’ll just add to say, at the time I decided to follow this idea, I considered success as journaling daily and loving it and being able to see all the positive benefits from it. Check, check and check!
I don’t remember if I asked myself at the time what might keep me from moving forward but I probably had the fear or doubt that I wouldn’t keep moving forward. I know that’s one of the number one reasons people don’t start journaling. They don’t think they’ll keep the habit going. I overcame that by building my whole daily schedule including, work and working out and everything else, around my journaling time. I protect that time fiercely!
Now let’s talk about some ideas I thought were great, but didn’t take off quite as much:
Woo and Wines Meetup
You’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m into the Woo. I like Tarot and Crystals and Astrology and lots of other woo-adjacent topics. I’ve been known to enjoy a glass of wine here or there, so, back in 2019, I came up with the bright idea of creating a series of workshops called Woo and Wines Workshops where each week we’d learn about a woo topic and enjoy some wine together.
The idea excited me because it combined a few of my favorite topics. But, alas, the workshops never made it into existence. The idea did result in 2 Woo and Wine Wednesday Night Meetups which were interesting. It prompted a Woo and Wine Weekend to Sedona that was to include, among other things, attending a seance, but we didn’t make it that night because we did too much wine-tasting earlier in the day. Oh well!
Also in the workshop brainstorming category, a few years ago I tested out the idea of hosting craft workshops where people could come together for a happy hour or on a weekend afternoon to make an easy craft to take home or to give as a gift.
At the time, I was considering success to be a viable business opportunity. It really didn’t take off for me like that. Probably my “slow take off” (by my own standards) was what kept me from moving forward. But, I am so glad that I tried it out and I’m even more glad I’m not running those workshops now.
So, what am I doing now? What was I referring to when I mentioned that I’m brimming with creativity?
My Current Bright Idea
My current bright idea that I’m so excited about launching today is my Journal Shop. I’ve started creating and selling journals and notebooks.
It’s more than just blank journals. These are themed journals, prompted journals, and notebooks for specific purposes.
Ever since the spark of inspiration, I’ve been brainstorming topics and themes and cover designs and I have been having so much fun. I’ve been engaged, inspired and delighted!
This is so aligning for me because I love journaling and making lists and taking notes. Plus I get the fun artistic outlet of imagining and designing covers full of color and images with lots of different fun fonts!
So far, I’ve created books that go along with concepts I personally live by and use. For example, I have a Dream Interpretation Journal, a Birthday List Notebook. Maybe you already guessed one: A Bright Ideas and Brainstorms Book.
This whole post has been an example of how and why you could use that last one. The book has space for you to write out your bright ideas and brainstorms and then ask yourself questions, like
Why does this excite me?
What might success look like?
What might keep me from moving forward?
What’s a teeny-tiny first step to take?
Where did this idea come from?
Imagine if the next time you get a bright idea or brainstorm, you can write it down and answer some questions about it, intentionally, with curiosity and awareness! What if you had a specific place to put all your amazing new concepts so that you could come back to them later to develop them further or revive them if you forget about them.
You don’t have to imagine it! You can own and hold and write in a physical copy – in your own hands- within just a few days!