Sunday, 13 May 2012

Creativity can be demonstrated daily

"The economy is collapsing," is a expression of gloom that one hears frequently these days on the radio. Newspapers and TV illustrate current catastrophes with pictures of unemployed workers demonstrating in front of closed factories. No wonder that those who watch those images get the feeling that the world is coming to an end.

If you ask yourself what most people are going to do to help the victims, chances are that your answer will be "pretty much nothing." One could argue that the sole purpose of reporting those nightmares is to exaggerate existing problems and induce numbness in the audience. The implicit motto seems to be "watch and be paralysed."

Presenting problems as allegedly unsolvable is not an approach conductive to finding solutions. Why on earth are people devoting their precious time to watching news about dreadful events if they are not planning to contribute to a solution?

The antidote against this type of poison is simple. Cut down the hours that you spend in front of the television. Spend less time reading newspapers. Ignore depressing messages on the radio that are meant to turn misery into entertainment. Rational individuals are never satisfied with hearing about problems. An active mind looks for alternatives and practical solutions.

The question becomes essential when we focus on our immediate environment. A man needs resiliency and creativity to face problems that affect his family and friends. Compassion and good words rarely save the day. Acquiring the habit of looking for alternatives might do more to increase your success and happiness than receiving a substantial inheritance.

A man becomes an independent thinker when he readjusts his views in favour of a realistic perception of the world. Sooner or later, you will have to deal with a catastrophe in your life. Your ability to search relentlessly for better options will minimize your losses and lead you out of the danger zone.

Insecure men and women are paralysed by dreadful news, but rational individuals know that media reports tend to exaggerate catastrophes. Passive spectators love to point out how desperate a situation is, but self-reliant individuals know that depressing media stories tend to portray people who lack initiative to improve their own life. When scaremongers conclude that all is lost, independent thinkers are already exploring new opportunities.

Every minute devoted to contemplating disasters is wasted. If you are a victim of a major economic shift or personal tragedy, stand up, wipe the dust off your clothes, refocus your goals, and move on.

Remind yourself that today's catastrophes might be regarded as minor annoyances a decade later. In the long term, your goals, actions, and persistence play the decisive role in your life. An active mind does not stand still in the dark and is always searching for better alternatives.

False convictions, in particular when a persons believes that he is not creative, can constitute a monumental barriers to independent thinking. This is the kind of myth that is meant to keep you down and destroy everything you own. This is the sort of fantasy that can make you small and reduce your ambitions to nothing at all.

  • Have you ever been fed nonsense such as that creative people are exclusively those who do artistic things, such as singing, playing guitar, drawing, or directing films?
  • Have you been sold on the mistaken idea that most jobs in industry and commerce consist of boring routines to be performed in a narrowly-described manner in order to arrive at predetermined results?
  • Have you been wrongly told that only top positions in an organization require some measure of creativity and that all other employees are not supposed to put forward new ideas?
Those statements are misrepresentations you should not believe a word of them. Whatever your station in life, you owe to yourself to see things as they really are and let go of myths about creativity. The truth is that you are an intelligent, creative human being, and that it is up to you to decide how to exercise your creativity.

Nobody has the right to exclude any fields of human activity from creativity and innovation. You are the only one who is entitled to choose what goals you want to pursue and in which way. Your life and your personal conditions are unique. There is no one else like you in the world and there will never be.

Your perceptions and experience cannot be internalized by another human being. The combination of knowledge that exists in your mind is singular to one person. Your creativity is the factor that allows you to reshape that knowledge and produce something original.

The years of your life will end up some day, hopefully in a distant future. No man knows how much time he has, but we are all conscious of our mortality. This fact should not be interpreted negatively. On the contrary, it should become an encouragement to make the best of every hour.

Today, right now, is the best moment to discard preconceived ideas about creativity. It is the ideal time to reclaim for ourselves, in our chosen field of activity, the right to exert our mind to the utmost.

Don't waste a minute in admiration of someone else's grandiose view of his own avocation. Develop an active mind that looks for alternatives. Make your own decisions and throw away what doesn't work. Creativity can be demonstrated daily in all our actions. When we choose and when we move, we become ourselves the living proof.


[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Koshyk under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Creativity can be demonstrated daily

"The economy is collapsing," is a expression of gloom that one hears frequently these days on the radio. Newspapers and TV illustrate current catastrophes with pictures of unemployed workers demonstrating in front of closed factories. No wonder that those who watch those images get the feeling that the world is coming to an end.

If you ask yourself what most people are going to do to help the victims, chances are that your answer will be "pretty much nothing." One could argue that the sole purpose of reporting those nightmares is to exaggerate existing problems and induce numbness in the audience. The implicit motto seems to be "watch and be paralysed."

Presenting problems as allegedly unsolvable is not an approach conductive to finding solutions. Why on earth are people devoting their precious time to watching news about dreadful events if they are not planning to contribute to a solution?

The antidote against this type of poison is simple. Cut down the hours that you spend in front of the television. Spend less time reading newspapers. Ignore depressing messages on the radio that are meant to turn misery into entertainment. Rational individuals are never satisfied with hearing about problems. An active mind looks for alternatives and practical solutions.

The question becomes essential when we focus on our immediate environment. A man needs resiliency and creativity to face problems that affect his family and friends. Compassion and good words rarely save the day. Acquiring the habit of looking for alternatives might do more to increase your success and happiness than receiving a substantial inheritance.

A man becomes an independent thinker when he readjusts his views in favour of a realistic perception of the world. Sooner or later, you will have to deal with a catastrophe in your life. Your ability to search relentlessly for better options will minimize your losses and lead you out of the danger zone.

Insecure men and women are paralysed by dreadful news, but rational individuals know that media reports tend to exaggerate catastrophes. Passive spectators love to point out how desperate a situation is, but self-reliant individuals know that depressing media stories tend to portray people who lack initiative to improve their own life. When scaremongers conclude that all is lost, independent thinkers are already exploring new opportunities.

Every minute devoted to contemplating disasters is wasted. If you are a victim of a major economic shift or personal tragedy, stand up, wipe the dust off your clothes, refocus your goals, and move on.

Remind yourself that today's catastrophes might be regarded as minor annoyances a decade later. In the long term, your goals, actions, and persistence play the decisive role in your life. An active mind does not stand still in the dark and is always searching for better alternatives.

False convictions, in particular when a persons believes that he is not creative, can constitute a monumental barriers to independent thinking. This is the kind of myth that is meant to keep you down and destroy everything you own. This is the sort of fantasy that can make you small and reduce your ambitions to nothing at all.

  • Have you ever been fed nonsense such as that creative people are exclusively those who do artistic things, such as singing, playing guitar, drawing, or directing films?
  • Have you been sold on the mistaken idea that most jobs in industry and commerce consist of boring routines to be performed in a narrowly-described manner in order to arrive at predetermined results?
  • Have you been wrongly told that only top positions in an organization require some measure of creativity and that all other employees are not supposed to put forward new ideas?
Those statements are misrepresentations you should not believe a word of them. Whatever your station in life, you owe to yourself to see things as they really are and let go of myths about creativity. The truth is that you are an intelligent, creative human being, and that it is up to you to decide how to exercise your creativity.

Nobody has the right to exclude any fields of human activity from creativity and innovation. You are the only one who is entitled to choose what goals you want to pursue and in which way. Your life and your personal conditions are unique. There is no one else like you in the world and there will never be.

Your perceptions and experience cannot be internalized by another human being. The combination of knowledge that exists in your mind is singular to one person. Your creativity is the factor that allows you to reshape that knowledge and produce something original.

The years of your life will end up some day, hopefully in a distant future. No man knows how much time he has, but we are all conscious of our mortality. This fact should not be interpreted negatively. On the contrary, it should become an encouragement to make the best of every hour.

Today, right now, is the best moment to discard preconceived ideas about creativity. It is the ideal time to reclaim for ourselves, in our chosen field of activity, the right to exert our mind to the utmost.

Don't waste a minute in admiration of someone else's grandiose view of his own avocation. Develop an active mind that looks for alternatives. Make your own decisions and throw away what doesn't work. Creativity can be demonstrated daily in all our actions. When we choose and when we move, we become ourselves the living proof.


[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Koshyk under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The sound approach for dealing with emergencies

How long will it take until you have to face an emergency? Earthquakes are unusual in most parts of the world, but few men are exempted from the risk of fire at home or at work. How would you react if you were attacked by a tiger? What would you do in case of a flood?

Misfortune tends to hit at the most inconvenient moments. When bad luck runs wild, it may cut its path across our lives and destroy the work of decades. Do you have a system to deal with emergencies? Have you prepared a back-up plan for cases of catastrophic failure?

Most people who study Socrates (469-399 BC) as a philosopher retain few teachings of substance. This Ancient Greek philosopher is reputed for his skill at asking long series of questions aimed at revealing contradictions, discarding fallacies, and establishing truth. However, the most interesting lesson from his life is seldom pointed out.

According to Plato (428-347 BC), Socrates loved to question what everybody else considered self-evident. He would engage debates with prominent Athenian citizens and use his sharp mind to demonstrate the immorality of some comforts, the inconsistency of certain principles, and the difficulty of many truths.

Most of what we know about Socrates concerns his death. By the time he turned 70 years old, he had accumulated many friends but also a substantial number of enemies. While a minority of citizens appreciated Socrates' passion for philosophical conversation, he was detested by the subjects of his constant criticism. At one point, his opponents raised charges against him and demanded that he was put on trial.

Although the accusations against Socrates did not make much sense, the important point is that such trial could lead to a death sentence. If we trust Plato's recollections, the charges must have not taken Socrates by surprise. He had spent most of his life in Athens and was well acquainted with its customs and procedures. He knew what he risked if he was convicted.

The fact of being indicted causes great distress to any human being even if the complaints against him are false. One can hardly imagine an emergency most pressing than having to face a jury invested with the power to weigh your every word and put an end to your life in this world.

Plato's account of the trial describes Socrates' eloquent and passionate defence. The old philosopher countered the charges against him with facts, logic, and courage. He argued for his innocence and invoked his previous services to Athens. He pleaded with arguments that appealed to reason and emotion, expecting to be acquitted or, at worst, mildly reprimanded.

Even so, despite all his strenuous efforts, Socrates was condemned to death. The sentence was executed by making Socrates drink a mixture of hemlock, a Mediterranean plant whose poisonous effects are similar to those of curare: the muscles of the victim become progressively paralysed until he can no longer breathe.

What makes the story fascinating is that Socrates had the possibility to flee but refused to do it. This aspect is so intriguing that Plato devoted one of his works to explain why Socrates agreed to face his accusers at the peril of his life.

Crito, an Athenian businessman, was one of Socrates' friends who stood by him at all times during the trial. When Crito proposed a plan to escape jail, Socrates did not consent. When Crito volunteered to bribe the prison guards, Socrates did not accept.

Twenty-four centuries later, Socrates' decision seems as incomprehensible as it must have been in Ancient Greece. If you ask anyone in the street about what to do in case of fire, he will tell you to run. When human beings face emergencies, survival instincts often prove more reliable than a hundred essays on ancient philosophy.

Although Plato wrote extensively to explain why Socrates did not flee, the truth is that we have no idea. Xenophon (430-354 BC), an Ancient Greek historian, argues that Socrates was too old and had lost the will to live. How accurate is this theory?

Defeatism, which might apply to those who are terminally ill, seems difficult to conciliate with Socrates' energetic defence during the trial. If he had given up on life altogether, why did he bother to refute the accusations? Why did he try to convince his opponents of his innocence?

Even though we'll never know which version of the story corresponds to the facts, there is a crucial lesson to be drawn. What would you have done? Would you have accepted Crito's offer to escape jail? Would you have fled your city and gone away?

Irrespective of the soundness of the charges against Socrates, the tale of his trial might denote a negative aspect of the great philosopher's character: vanity. Did Socrates' desire to demonstrate his innocence and prove his point prevent him from running for safety?

Plato's account shows that Socrates must have been aware that he could not expect a fair trial. How can we understand Socrates' unhealthy reaction to such an emergency? If given the possibility, any rational man would have fled, stabilize his situation, and later tried to erase his accusations.

Taking swift protective action is the proven system for dealing with emergencies. Once you are safe, the next step is to achieve stability and come up with a recovery plan. We cannot ascertain if vanity did Socrates in, but the principle is valid all the same: when an emergency breaks out, put your pride aside and take the necessary action.


[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by insane photoholic under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]