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7 Ways to Wake up Your Imagination



5 Things No One Tells You About Adult Life

If we toss seeds on hard packed ground the chances of them taking root and producing healthy plants is minimal. However, if we plough and till the ground (that is, mix it up, break it apart, make it “less” solid and more “loose”) the chances of a variety of seeds (both those we purposely sow and those that serendipitously fall) will find a way to grow in the loose soil.

In the same way, if we start a brainstorming session cold with a serious, uptight facilitator throwing out questions and problems to a stiff, conservative group, the chances of producing healthy ideas is minimal. Following are tips on how to loosen up the group to energize their creative thinking.

7 Ways to Wake up Your Imagination


Ask participants to draw a personal symbol that metaphorically symbolizes their view about creativity. It can be anything…… eagle, a compass, a paint brush, the moon, etc. Then each participant displays his or her symbol and explains how or why it represents their view.



A recent book published by Smith Magazine carried the intriguing title, Not  Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. This book and similar collections of extremely short prose have been inspired by a six-word novel said to have been written by Ernest Hemingway on a dare. The novel read: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” A six word memoir might read “For sale. Chastity belt. Never worn.” “For sale. Wedding ring. Seldom worn.” A six word description of creative thinking could be: “Last night confused. Slept. Morning. Eureka!”, or “At night all thoughts are gray.” Ask each participant to write a six word book that describes their perspective on creativity.



 An activity to practice getting rid of preconceptions is to create different names for things. For example, “rainbow” might be named “painted rain”. Have the participants create different names for:

  • mountain
  • cloud
  • ocean
  • world
  • painting
  • creative thinking

Next have the participants rename the subject of the meeting with a different name. For example, if the meeting is about office morale, “morale” might be named “a spring flower”, or a “warm hug”, and so on.

As an aside, it’s always a good idea to habitually change the words in your challenge statement several times to get different perspectives. Toyota once posted a sign over their suggestion boxes that read “How can we become more productive?” They got few responses. When the sign was changed to “How can we make our jobs easier?”, they were inundated with ideas.



By thinking and saying positive thoughts about and to others, you gradually can create a positive change not only in the other person, but also in yourself. Psychologists call this restructuring cognitions. An exercise to illustrate this follows.

  • Tell the participants you are going to conduct an experiment.
  • Have the participants count off by twos. Ask the One’s, “How many of you are in a positive mood today? How many of you are in a negative mood?” On the board I record these numbers. Ask the Two’s the same questions and again tally the results on the board.
  • Next, tell the One’s to follow you out of the room. In the hallway, tell them to hang out for a few minutes, to talk to each other, and that you’ll come back to get them.
  • Return to the classroom and say to the Two’s, “I wish you health and happiness”. They usually laugh. I tell them to get up and while shaking the hands of five people in the room and looking them in the eye, say, as earnestly as possible, “I wish you health and happiness.” Usually, they do this with little difficulty, although there is some awkwardness and giggling. Once they finish, have the group all says together, “I wish you health and happiness.”
  • Call the One’s back into the room and again tally the positive and negative moods for both groups. It will become clear that the group that wished others health and happiness is now a much more positive, smiling group; whereas, the group in the hall doesn’t change much if at all. The effect of this little exercise is quite remarkable.


A collage is an assembly of various pictures, either as wholes or fragments, arranged in such a way that each element loses its separate identity as it becomes part of the collage. The collage is greater than, and often different from, the sum of it’s parts.

When two or more dissimilar images collide in a collage, the imagination transforms them into an altogether new reality transcendent over the separate elements. For example, a picture of  seals performing in a marine show next to a picture of a building may become a metaphor for salespeople performing for customers, a user-friendly computer program, or how to perform for a job interview, and so on. The imagination transforms the picture into a symbol for many different things. The guidelines are:

  • Cut out several pictures or parts of pictures from magazines, newspapers, catalogs, flyers, and so on.
  • Mix and match the pictures by moving them around into different patterns and associations. Play with the pictures until you get a feeling for possible ways to use these patterns. Form patterns and associations without forcing them. Continue until your collage feels complete. Make one large metaphorical picture by assigning a word or phrase to each picture and then completing the sentence,  “My subject is a lot like (insert a word or phrase from the montage) because it—-“.

Think metaphorically and analogically. The R&D staff for a furniture company looked for ways to develop a paint that does not fade, chip, or scratch. They made a collage that included pictures of various trees and plants. The collage triggered a discussion of how trees and plants get their color. Their subsequent research inspired the idea of “everlasting” color. They created the idea of injecting trees with dye additives that impregnates color to the plant cells which spreads the color throughout the tree. The tree is painted before it is cut down.

Another interesting way to collage your subject is to create two separate ones to represent two separate aspects of your subject.  Suppose you want to improve corporate communications. You could create one collage to represent upper management and another one to represent employees. With the two sets of visuals, compare the common points and identify the gaps between upper management and the employees.



Conceptual inertia is the property of your mind that allows you to resist change. Just as physical objects resist changes in state, ideas resist movement from their current state, and change in direction of their movement. Thus, when people try to create new ideas, those ideas tend to resemble old ideas and new ideas do not move much from the old.

Practice to upset conceptual inertia and get a group’s imagination moving with the “bizarre” activity “Cross Breeding”.  Encourage the group to wildly experiment by cross-breeding plants, objects, and animals. Have three boxes containing slips of paper with random names of “Plants”,  “Objects”, and  “Animals”. A variation is to use objects that are business related such as Xerox machine, product, phone, paperwork, desk, meeting room and so on; and people instead of animals. Each participant takes one of each. Then make hybrids out of two of them.


  • bird x supervisor
  • pony x patient
  • customer x door
  • watermelon x therapist
  • key x plant
  • meeting room x ballet dancer


  • What does each look like? Draw a picture. Label and post it on a wall.
  • Think. What does each do?
  • What sound does each make?
  • What are the unique strengths of each (at least 3)?
  • What are the unique weaknesses of each (at least 3)?

Finally create an idea about the cross breed strengths. One person cross bred a rose with a key. She thought a strength would be the availability of a key flowering in the garden. This made her think of a rose as the key which triggered the thought of “key chain plants”. A key chain plant is a clear plastic micro-mini case where plants grow in their own individual arboretum until they get too large, at which point they can be transplanted into bigger pots.



When we compare problems to something unusual, we tend to have a need to understand it. Consequently, we break it down and analyze the different parts to see if this will allow us to understand it or make it somehow familiar. When this happens, we form new links and relationships that may lead to breakthrough ideas. For example, years back, a group of designers were looking for ideas for a new light fixture. They compared a light fixture with a “monkey” and imagined a monkey running around a house with a light. This thought led them to conceive track lighting. Ask metaphoric questions to stimulate the group’s imagination. For example:

    • What animal is like the problem? Why?
    • A cold, half-eaten pizza is like the solution to the problem because….
    • How is your problem like a flash light battery? How can the similarities spark new ideas?
    • What famous historical figure comes closest to resembling the essence of the problem?
    • What movie comes closest to representing your life? What movie character?
    • Suppose your organization has a communications problem. Metaphoric scenario: Astronauts travel to Mars. While visiting Mars, their perception of events becomes different for each, depending on their prior history. They perceive everything differently. A sequence of events can be anything; quick or slow, orderly or random, causal or without cause, salty or sweet and so on. How can they work together in order to return to earth? What can be learned and applied to real life from the metaphoric scenario?

Suppose your company is thinking about restructuring and reorganizing itself.  Metaphoric scenario: A comet hits the earth and permanently wipes out everyone’s long-term memory, except the people in this room. How do we handle this global situation? How do you reorganize the people on earth? What can be learned and applied to real life from the scenario?

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Self Improvement

3 small steps that could make the biggest impact on your life



small steps in the right direction

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”Lao Tzu

Every day that passes by, there is someone who is living a life that does not fuel their passion or purpose. Each moment feels like they are just existing or living life by accident. This could be due to fear of change, or limiting beliefs within them that say “you’re not worthy” or “I don’t deserve to be successful”.

It could be a number of things. Believe it or not, I used to be this person. I was stuck in a 9-5 job, in a 7-year relationship that was emotionally draining, and I was 75 lbs. overweight.

Then came that ONE day that would forever change my life. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw what I had become. I didn’t recognize myself. I immediately burst into tears. This was NOT the life I wanted to live. I had neglected the most important person in my world: ME. 

It was then that I had to make an important choice. I decided to take the first step towards creating the life I would often dream about. That very next day, I promised myself that I would do just one thing that made me feel more connected to the goals I wanted to accomplish.

Not two or three. Just one. It didn’t matter how small it was. The point was it was a small step in the RIGHT direction. This has led me to the level of success that I am at today.

Here are three small steps that will help you make that same important decision and transform your life.


3 Small Steps That Could Make a Big Impact In Your Life

1.) Have a heart to heart with yourself.

small steps in the right direction

Take time to get away from people, places, or things, and just spend some time with yourself. In order to truly make any step towards the success you desire, you must have a great sense of self-awareness.

What is it that you want to accomplish and why? What truly makes you happy? What are you passionate about? How will accomplishing this change your life? How would it make you feel?

Be completely honest with yourself, your thoughts, and your intentions. Having these questions in front of you will keep you from going around in circles. They will give you more clarity and vision that should help you determine which small steps you need to take.

As a result, instead of being frustrated or reluctant to leave your comfort zone, you will be more confident now that you have a plan in place.


2.) Do ONE thing everyday that is connected to your goals.

small steps in the right direction

Always remember that you don’t have to always make massive amounts of progress at one time. The important thing is that you are continuously moving in the right direction. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took consistent daily, focused action. Over time, it became one of the most celebrated cities on the planet.

We live in a world that is bombarded with messages of instant gratification. But the truth is, any level of success is the result of a daily routine of the right things done for a certain period of time. That time can vary from days, weeks, months, or even years.

However, throughout the journey, you can see that you are moving closer and closer towards your ultimate goals. Do not underestimate the power of small steps. You will find yourself accomplishing things you never thought possible (and sooner than you anticipated).


3.) Do not measure your level of success by comparing yourself to others.

small steps in the right direction

Success means something different for everyone. You must not become fixated on what media or entertainment portrays as successful. A fulfilling life is more than material possessions. Understand that you can only live the greatest life possible when you have defined what success is to you.

As you begin taking small steps and making progress, focus only on what your desired goals are. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what others are saying, doing, or what they believe success should look like. Too often, we get caught up in what society, current trends, and what the masses portray as “I’ve made it”.

This is your life. Only YOU can determine what accomplishment, achievement, and true success means to you. In fact, one of the reasons why you may be in the position you are in is because you designed your life based on the thoughts and opinions of others. This was my case years ago.



You deserve to be great. You have greatness within you. Sometimes, that can be clouded by limiting beliefs, adversity, or just the many circumstances in life. Think about everything that has happened in your life right up until the point you are reading this article.

I want you to know that everything that happened before NO LONGER MATTERS. What matters now is that today, you have the knowledge of who you are and where you want to go. The ability to change your life is within your grasp and your power.

Today, you have the chance to begin a journey that leads to some amazing and incredible years ahead. The best part about it is that you only need to take small steps in the right direction. So take action now – your dreams are waiting for you!

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Self Improvement

Couple Entrepreneurs: How to Make It Happen With Your Partner



Partners entrepreneurs


Have you always dreamed of having success as an entrepreneur? Thoughts of working for yourself, doing things you’re passionate about, and not worrying about working for someone else may linger in your mind most of the time. If you’re married, there is a chance that your partner has some of the same goals, and that means the two of you could eventually become a pair of successful entrepreneurs who motivate one another, continually work hard, and reach all kinds of goals that will get you both further in life.


How to Make It Work


Although you may like the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur while your partner does the same, it’s not uncommon to have some concerns about the situation. You may worry that you’re both going to take on too much and not have enough time for one another, but that isn’t always the case. It’s all about prioritizing work, setting a schedule, and being there to support one another through the ups and downs that will eventually occur.


Before working together to achieve goals, sit down and have a full conversation about the goals you’d like to achieve and the role you’ll each take on. Both of you will need to come to an agreement to keep work and the relationship separately while being respectful to one another. You can’t expect to have success with your partner if neither of you are respecting one another or collectively sharing ideas. You’ll need to focus on communication and compromising at times to make things work on a long-term basis.


Prime Examples of Successful Entrepreneur Couples


If you’re in need of motivation and encouragement because you’re not sure how to get your start in a specific industry with your partner, it may be best for you to learn a bit more about some of the successful entrepreneur couples out there. These couples work hard to achieve their goals and they support one another in various business ventures. They put forth the effort that is required of them to consistently achieve their goals.


Chris Sacca is a successful billionaire who once was fired from a job as a lawyer and then moved on to Google where had more opportunities to learn, invest, and become the success he is today. He is now the owner of a successful venture capital fund, known as Lowercase Capital. Although he’s had much success in his career, Chris Sacca’s wife, Crystal English Sacca, is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She’s spent most of her career creating compelling and engaging commercials as well as digital advertisements for various companies. She’s worked for several of the most popular brands, including Sprint and HBO. In addition to these accomplishments, she works as an art director. While these two individuals aren’t doing the same things, they’re a married couple supporting one another while they each work hard to achieve their own personal goals.


In addition to Chris Sacca and his wife, Stewart and Lynda Resnick are another good example of a successful entrepreneur power couple. They currently have a net worth of 3.9 billion dollars. So, what is it that they’re selling? There is a good chance you’ve consumed at least one of the many products they own and distribute, such as Fiji Water or Halos oranges. The pair met when Lynda started her own ad agency and was assisting Stewart with a project for the business he was running at that time. Over time, they started working collectively together to invest and sell assorted products to the public, many of which are naturally good for human consumption.


Do What You Love and Respect One Another


There are plenty of entrepreneur couples out there. Some are just getting started while others have been in business for decades and continue to achieve a high level of success. Although you may be focused on figuring out your passion and what you want to do to get further in life while making a decent income, it’s important to understand that it’s possible for you to achieve the same level of success as some of these people who are earning millions of dollars each year. Most people don’t become a success overnight but figuring out what you want to do and how you’re going to make it happen is a great way to get started.


In addition to figuring out what you’d love to do for the rest of your life, you’ll need to remember to always respect your partner throughout the process. The thing about these successful couples is that they’re willing to provide support and guidance, they know how to communicate, and they believe in one another. If you don’t have respect, trust, and support in the relationship, it’s going to be difficult to have success as entrepreneurs together.


If you’ve always dreamed of running your own business with your partner by your side, it’s not a dream that is too farfetched. In fact, there are lots of successful couples that are working hard, reaching goals, and living the life they’ve always dreamed of having.

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