The key to creativity

The key to creativity

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” — Albert Einstein

Have you ever tired to brainstorm with yourself for a bunch of great, exciting, high potential ideas and oops! – not much comes. That may be because you do not understand the creative process and the key to creativity. And when you do it will at least triple your creativity.

Our minds love to associate one thing with another. And each association can reveal a few new perspectives and insights and then we get stuck again in very fixed patterns of thinking. So the key is to stimulate our thinking with lots of different SEEDS to open new paths to a new grouping of connections in our brains.

I use this key of seeding my creativity often. For example, when I am waiting by myself in a restaurant, I pose a problem or question and I set an intention that as I look around the room, some object will grabs my attention and lead me to some great answers. Each item that grabs my attention is a metaphor of my problem or need and it gives me 2 to 5 insights.

Here is an example. I have done an exercise with my hundreds of people as I asked them in one minute to list uses of paper clips. The average is 7 or 8 standard uses. I then show them how to seed their creativity. First I look at my watch and can conceive of multiple uses of paper clips related to my watch – as a cleaner, second hand, button pusher, a way to mend the wristband, etc. Then I look at a light bulb and think of three more uses. Presto – 20 plus ideas in one minute. I SEEDED the creativity process by looking around for an item and relating it to paper clips uses.

That is why brainstorming with others can be powerful if done in a structured way. The key is have one idea at a time thrown out be the seed thought for more related insights, instead of everyone just throwing out random ideas.

So next time you want fresh ideas, seed them with metaphoric, ABC, alliteration or random, lateral thinking processes. To see more examples visit

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