Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is your definition Creative Thinking?
First of all there are probably over a hundred different models for creativity and my statements are based upon trying out a non-linear manifestation model and reporting on the results. The primary reason I have referred to these as thinking patterns for the 21st century is that we are being forced to seek new ways to exist . Technology increases the number of experiences available at a blinding pace, and seems to steal time in the same breath. For me creative thinking is as follows:
A process of continuously petitioning the unconscious field to obtain the new.
This model suggests that new knowledge emerges through the unconscious mind and that aspects of this mind may be shared via intuition and synchronicities. It does not detract from our linear brain functions involved in reasoning and previous knowledge, nor does it negate other creative techniques, but sets the stage for those activities.
2. How do you employ creative thinking to solve problems?
I ask intently and continuously to know the core question regarding any situation, trusting that the answer will appear whether definitively or intuitively; and using that core question as the contextual basis for all investigation to either a next step or a final solution.
This sets the contextual stage for the next step. It may even solve the problem. You may then engage with others using rationale analysis, brainstorming, and other techniques.
For example let us say you are a manager in a company and you have a chronic conflict between two employees to resolve. Your first inclination might be to think, “How can I help patch up a difference between these two people?” If however you ask yourself to know the core question, upon reflection it might be, “ What is the best outcome for all concerned?” With this question as the basis then a broader stage is set: it not only involves the two employees but the welfare of the company as well. Maybe instead of trying to patch things up it becomes clear in the ensuing process that the best outcome is for one of the people to leave. The loss of that person might cause a certain immediate burden, but his or her replacement could turn out to be a huge improvement and the person leaving may have actually wanted a change but lacked the initiative.
Frequently a problem involves how to create something new which is going to involve brainstorming with others. In this case when you do meet your unconscious mind has already been long at work. Then you are prepared for either a solution or the next step.
3. Can you incorporate creative thinking in decision making?
Absolutely. I actually went back to think about what factors were involved in my decision making process and produced a model to describe this. Most of our decisions are around situations requiring us to decide whether to go one direction or another or whether to act or not act.
You might then proceed by setting a goal of “ achieving the best outcome for all involved” as it relates to the action contemplated. I like to think of having invisible partners on the other end of my goal setting and this being a foundation order to them. As a further filter I like to evaluate the contemplated action through a values screen. Is it ethical? Is it purposeful? Is it harmful? Is it in line with my core values?
If the answer is “yes” then I am willing to proceed. If “no,” then stop and consider a new action.
As I move up the risk continuum I want to evaluate the nature of the desire. Is it for a pure experience or is it masking a fear? If it is masking a fear then reconsider. The fear may be replacing the original desire.
Finally I check my intuition. If I get a “yes,” I proceed until I get a positive outcome or a negative outcome. A negative outcome may not necessarily be bad. For example there is the story of the Chinese peasant who loses his prize horse. His neighbor says, “Oh what a tragedy.” The peasant replies, “Maybe, Maybe not.” The next day the peasant’ son goes out on a mule to find the horse. In so doing he brings back the horse but falls off the mule and breaks his leg. The neighbor says, “Oh what a tragedy.” The peasant replies, “Maybe, maybe not.” The next day the Chinese Army sweeps through conscripting every able bodied youth. The son is spared.
Before having an outcome you may experience synchronicities. These are meetings between inner desires and outer world occurrences. If positive, continue on. If negative , then either stop and consider a new course of action or continue on until you receive a confirming negative synchronicity. In that case stop and consider a new action.
I have this diagramed in a model: http://creativethinkingbook.com/intuitive-decision-making-model/
4. De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats have been introduced successfully in primary schools. What’s the age limit on your methodology – can children benefit from using a simplified version?
The one thing that makes the De Bono a success is that the hats introduce an element of fun while keeping the children focused on the hat’s topic.
I feel that the most valuable quality children exhibit is their questioning and curious mind, especially with regard to the “Why” and “How.”
I think that exercises with children need to be fun. My take is that my model per se might be a bit too intellectual. However any exercise that would lead children to discussing the value of a question, what makes a question good or better and why would be extremely valuable. I believe that learning to live life as a question is the portal to creativity.
5. How do you feel your book and guidebook spark creative thinking?
I wrote this book as an introspective journey seeing my life as being lived through a linear thinking lens, and then being made aware of an entirely new way of manifesting, and seeing life through that lens. I wanted to test this manifestation model in my daily life, being willing to raise the bar as the results seemed to confirm it was working. The book is the story of this journey. My feeling is that many people are on similar journeys and the younger people can gain by knowing what is possible. Perhaps the essence of this book is that if we live in a state of curiosity that will open up an expanding creative landscape. If we can realize our own personal power, and can learn to trust then we can have an extraordinary life. There are a great many self-help books, yet I feel what people want to hear is the personal experience of the author.
The guidebook came about as a desire to pass on the essence of what I had learned, especially to young people who are starting out in life. I had the good fortune of being exposed to a number of cutting edge thinkers, and fascinating people all of whom made a profound impact upon me. I tried out much of what they suggested. I felt that a short guidebook which suggests not only how to think but what to think about could be very beneficial. Dr. Kerry Monick, the psychiatrist who was my catalyst in the book, was my collaborator for the guidebook.
6. How did Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural designs influence you?
Frank Lloyd Wright was famous in the public eye, and was viewed as a genius by those who worked in his presence. To an even smaller audience he was known as a mystic. His apprentices knew he was a genius because when Edgar Kaufman asked Wright if the plans for “Fallingwater,” considered by many to be the most famous residence in America, were completed, Wright said, “Yes, drive on up and see them.” The apprentices were dumbfounded because Wright had not committed one idea to paper. In the following eight hours they witnessed the design with all elevations from all perspectives pour out of him like a slow moving Xerox machine; an impossibility for virtually anyone else. He was coloring in the last shrubbery detail when Kaufman walked through the front door. I visited many of Wright’s designs and was an overnight guest in his own home. I eventually was compelled to find out what it would be like to live inside the design of mystical genius. So I built one of his last designs and found out.
7. You have subtitled your book, Blueprint for Creative Thinking. What are you trying to convey to readers in this ‘map’ or ‘blueprint’?
I feel we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift, one moving us from linear decision making towards intuitive decision making, the awareness of which is being catalyzed by technology. We feel an ever increasing sense of time compression. For example when I first entered the advertising business we might have been allowed three weeks to create an ad. When I left the business, some twenty odd years later, the joke was that we would be lucky to have been given three hours.
In this type of environment we no longer have the luxury of being able to ponder. We must depend more and more on our intuition and trust that all will fall into place.
Once out on this intuitive journey, there are synchronicities both positive and negative that can help us navigate. This method of navigating I refer to as the “blueprint.”
8. What are the main points you would like readers of of your book and guidebook to take away?
In the past there was a saying that went , “Plan the work, and then work the plan.” It was a very logical linear process. What is at play now is learning to discern what an intuitive hit is, being willing to follow through on this intuition, looking for confirming signs, and trusting the process. Like anything else, it takes practice to gain more confidence. This is the process I wrote about -consciously testing, a little bit at a time, and slowly raising the ante. I might add that this does not mean abandoning reason or linear thinking. Not at all. It means learning to be comfortable with both modes and accepting that the intuitive model is not just blind luck, but as real as the linear one.
9. You say that ‘our intention does indeed affect the material world’. Can you explain what this means?
I am sure that some day in the future a scientist will be awarded the Nobel Prize for showing the mechanics of how this works. In the mean time it appears that our intentions seem to be the force and energy source that gives our thoughts their power to attract events into existence. Lynne McTaggert, in her book , “The Field” as well as through her ongoing Intention Experiment is documenting this process.
The bottom line is that what you think about with strong intent somehow begins to organize and order creative forces into play. Obviously where there are opposing forces there will be limitations. But the importance is that we all have this potential. If we accept and consciously try it out we can look for verification. As we do that, we can see that we have created much more than we previously were willing to acknowledge. This process builds on itself providing us with a useful tool to deal with the future.
10. Can your blueprint help world problems and, if so, in what way?
Yes. I feel that as more people begin to trust their intuition and experience the results there will a shift towards more trusting in general and cooperating to get things done. As this happens fearfulness will begin to recede. Problems will be solved much quicker.
11. As we approach the much talked about 2012, humanity as a whole is confronted by a climate of fear that may very well create/manifest all that is least desired in the misinterpreted prophecies of the likes of Nostradamus, the Hopi and the Mayans.”
A. What is the role of the individual in either creating a negative/positive environment for themselves and others?
I feel it is all about individuals first taking care of themselves so that they can assist others. Learning what to think about and how is the critical issue. There is a saying that the quality of our lives is determined by the questions we ask. Asking questions with intent sets the process in motion. For example: “ What are my gifts? How can I best use these? How can I be happy? The answers may not appear immediately, but they do come, and when they do one must summon the determination to act.
The real challenge occurs when people become overwhelmed with circumstances that they lose this focus and begin blaming their personal condition on the environment. They lose l contact with their personal power.
11 B. Will an environment of social, economic, political and religious turmoil increase the likelihood of more societal problems?
I feel we really don’t have a good grasp on this. The immediate surface answer would be yes. There will be those that resist changing , and there will be those promoting it. This dynamic tension will most likely always exist. Yet if we see more conscious awareness developing, then the over all movement will be to improve society.
I believe the Dalai Lama was once asked how he viewed the 20th century with all of its’ wars and bloodshed. He answered by saying that on balance it had been the best century when you look at number of lives, the standard of which, had improved worldwide. It is the nature of the challenge now that is important. We seem to be facing structural changes as opposed to just cyclical ones: that is the thinking and structures in place to deal with economics, politics, education, global interdependence, etc. are all in search of new models.
11 C.If society does not view its problems holistically and fails to understand that you cannot separate economics from such things as climate change, human rights, environmental protection, etc. is there any hope that humanity will keep its position as the dominant species?
If you accept the idea that the human species has immense personal power potential and that we are connected as Rupert Sheldrake surmises through the morphogenetic field or collective unconscious, then we might say that all is possible, that we can change our consciousness. The issue at stake is how far we go towards the brink of some environmental disaster through nature or nuclear war that we cannot reverse. Then all bets would be off. But I would venture to say that as long as man is on the planet with the knowledge gained so far, that even with an enormous set back, a wiser generation would emerge.
11 D. Humanity is facing a crisis; what can one person do?
I had the good fortune once to spend time with Eileen, Caddy the co-founder of The Findhorn Community in Scotland, years ago addressing this very same question. Her comment was that each person is responsible for taking care of one person, themselves. If enough people can rise to that level of awareness they will be able to assist the less fortunate, disabled, sick, etc. In this regard she was referring to each person becoming aware of their own personal power through the proper use of their minds, which means practicing and developing their minds to accomplish the tasks in front of them. This, of course, is the subject matter of the human potential movement.
11 E. Our ‘times’ are the culmination of synchronicities, is the future written or is their choice?
When you think about synchronicities as being meaningful coincidences it is extremely easy to imagine your connection with these synchronicities as messages from other consciousnesses. I like to think about these events as perhaps communication from your invisible partners. If this is indeed a reality then the future might not so much be written but explored jointly between ourselves and these partners.