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How to Hone Your Creative Edge

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“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

~ Albert Einstein

reverse mortgage newsWe’ve explored ways older adults might become creativity mavens in their later years. And how, for some elders, technology is igniting a fresh creative impulse in their neural networks. We’ve even suggested trying something new every day for a year. Still, busy professionals can fall prey to creative complacency.

How creative are you as a reverse mortgage specialist? A Huffington Post article described 18 traits of highly creative people. Here’s a synopsis of the salient points. How congruent are they for you?

  1. Daydream believer. You may be the one the teacher was always exhorting, “Pay attention!” Yet new ideas don’t originate from copying what’s on the blackboard or scoring an “A” on an exam. While structure and organization form the container for productive work, creative incubation plants the seeds that sprout into bestsellers, breakthrough business ideas, and HECM professionals who are both financially successful and beloved by the seniors they serve. So no worries if daydreaming was frowned upon when you were a child; it’s an asset now.
  2. “I want to be alone.” Take a tip from Greta Garbo and spend time in solitude. Even a brief solo sojourn can be immensely refreshing and creatively refueling, especially if you combine it with physical activity.
  3. Fail early and often. Mistakes lead to genius. Take intelligent risks, release the voice that says it won’t work, be willing to fail, and that immense idea — or the tiny tweak that makes a huge difference in your results — may be just around the mental corner.
  4. Lose the clock; connect the dots. Athletes call it being in “the zone.” Keeping close track of time is the enemy of creativity. When you need to stay on schedule and on task, by all means do so. When your hours don’t need to be as regulated, remove your watch, turn off your phone, and allow your mind to go walkabout while you tune in to a different frequency.

Although its detractors blame the Internet for turning us into unimaginative drones, the web is also producing myriad resources to enhance creativity. Once again, 18 appears to be the magic number: this article from Edutopia suggests no fewer than 18 apps to support the creative process. Einstein would doubtless be pleased with the creative marriage of intellect and intuition.

Finally, take heart from these simple intergenerational suggestions for anyone who thinks creativity is difficult, or that they “just aren’t creative.” As one midlife loan officer who thrives on ballroom dancing reminds, “Various activities, especially dancing, playing Bridge, book clubs and sewing clubs, etc. — things that exercise your mind and body — keep your brain functioning better and give you more of a social life.” And a fit brain and body are a good start to becoming a more vibrant, creative you.

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2 Comments

  1. Yes, we’ve met before…

    It’s pretty costly to be creative in this business, but following the plan is difficult when there really isn’t much of a plan or perspective — except that the old stuff isn’t working (anymore).

    Keep on Amara.

  2. Hi Warren ~

    Thanks for writing! I think you’ll find a lot more creative ideas in the links, and hopefully some of it will work for you.


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