Friday, June 20, 2008

6 Steps to Mastering the Creative Process

6 Steps to Mastering the Creative Process
by Howard Voyles
Have you ever marveled at the incredible creative and productivity of successful people? Those individuals that I have most admired were exceptional achievers, all of them successful by any standard. There was one characteristic in common, they all mastered the creative process.
This series of articles explores the 6 milestones that I have identified make up the creative process. These steps are repeatable and can be applied to any situation, goal or dream you want to achieve. Go ahead; follow these steps to your wildest dreams. Your success is only limited to what you can imagine. Step 1 The Creative Mindset - Positioning yourself for the creative processStep 2 Conceptualize - Creating, processing and prioritizing your ideas Step 3 Visualize - Turning your ideas into virtual realityStep 4 Strategize - Laying out your road map from here to thereStep 5 Exercise - Organizing, executing and practicing self-disciplineStep 6 Materialize - Accepting the reality of success
Left side vs. right sideScience has long established that the human brain has a right and left sphere; logic is processed in the left and emotions and the creative in the right. Science may be correct but for years, society has sadly catalogued us as right or left brained, adding to perceived limitations. The truth is both sides of the brain are engaged when we employ the creative process.
So, to fully master the creative process we must first condition both sides of the brain. This means we must recondition emotional issues, reprogram preconceptions and prejudices, not accept our logic as absolute; in other words erase the bad tapes. Unless we have a concrete point of reference, it is human nature to posture events in a negative context.
Take our perception of failure. Generally, failure is taken as one’s inability to succeed at a given activity, so most folks simply stop trying when they meet the first failure. That is the right side of the brain talking. From that point on, logic (left side) will defer to the emotional (right side) and shut down that creative process in step 5 (Exercise). Too often, this is because earlier steps in the process were ignored or jumped.
You want your ideas and concepts to be fresh and untainted as you ready for the process.
At this point move your mental gears to neutral.
Conditioning both sidesIt is important to recognize that the creative process incorporates both sides of the brain at different steps and to different degrees during the process.
When you follow these steps to the creative process, you are training the full brain to work in harmony, maximizing the strengths of each side at the most opportune time, for the most critical tasks. This will create accord not discord. By engaging both sides in a coordinated effort you will have clearer vision, greater momentum and stay on your course.
Clear the ComputerThere are many ways to practice the process of clearing the mind, some use mediation others physical exercise. Use whatever suites your constitution and makeup.
When you clear you mind and logically layout the steps prior to launching your project, you give both your logical and emotional process a reference point to measure progress, control reactions and exercise sound judgment.
Best of all, this step makes room to develop and maintain a healthy prospective.
At this point move your mental gears from neutral to forward.
Congratulations, you are now ready to fully engage the creative process.


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