What if you were a champion of humanity? What if you decided to start looking for, noticing and drawing attention to the goodness, ingenuity, creativity, kindness and courage in your own heart, as well as your fellow inhabitants of planet earth?
No need to ignore anything, just place your primary focus on the quiet heroes of everyday life that keep things working for all of us. More and more, statistics are piling up that show how we are improving as a species. Whether you believe we’re getting better or not, it will help you tremendously to look for evidence of goodness in yourself and the world around you. It will lower your stress, increase your joy, expand your compassion and give you greater access to your magnificent brain.
A sense of optimism about humanity and our ability to learn, grow and rise above our limitations is one of the greatest assets you could ever give to yourself.
So writes W.G. Defoore, Ph.D. on GoodFinding.com (June 2012 Volume 6 Number 6). More and more, as the years creep on, I have been subscribing to the “positive” vs. the negative. And, in this day and age – it is not an easy task staying on track. The media seems hell bent on dredging up the nastiest of the dirt, government is truly a mess and hence our collective futures seem to be in question and folks in general often have a bad attitude with something less than kind to say about most everything.
However, we are still a great nation and I suspect we can and will survive. And, if more of us, than not, are determined to find the positive in the future and do creative things to ensure that reality, we will find the brighter side of life, that once was not so elusive in America. We can choose to be negative and react negatively to all around us, or we can choose to be positive and live a happier, more productive existence. Which do you suppose is the healthier alternative? Ask your children – they know instinctively. Life is short...make it count by being a positive creative force for good.
Lately, instead of picking up my usual bottle of Advil or Benadryl from the pharmaceutical aisle, I've been buying the Help Remedies brand of cold medicine and pain relievers. I was first drawn to this brand because of its unique packaging...and the fact that it's $1.00. Upon opening my first blister pack of Help Remedies' acetaminophen ( called Help I have a headache), I noticed a funny one-liner above the drug facts: "Help I have a headache does not contain Red Dye #40. If you enjoy dye, you will have to eat it separately." Cute packaging? Check. Cheap? Check. Company with a sense of humor? Check. I'm officially sold on this new, random drug brand and have since done some investigating regarding their marketing tactics. The CEO of the company was tired of sifting through needlessly complex pharmaceuticals in the drugstores with names he couldn't pronounce, so he created Help Remedies. Simplicity being the most important factor, the brand's packaging names the one active ingredient and the symptom it treats: Help I'm nauseous, Help I have allergies, Help I can't sleep, etc. The straight forward labels make choosing the correct drug for your ailment 100% idiot-proof. Have a cold? Pick up Help I have a cold - done and done - no having to stand there and read 100 different labels. Complete with weird YouTube spots and an awesome interactive website, this is my new favorite brand.
So, what does an illusionist do in his spare time? Well, he creates a giant portrait using pushpins, of course! Brusspup, a YouTube illusionist, used Photoshop to break down a digital photo into five colors and, using 15,000 pushpins, created an amazing pushpin portraiture. Each colored pushpin functions as a pixel in the final image - a testament to creativity and dedication, rather than an "illusion." Luckily for us, the creation of Brusspup's artwork was captured in a seriously impressive time-lapse video. It's truly amazing what a little imagination, ingenuity and persistence can manifest.
I came across the blog Stuff My Mom Sends Me this morning and learned some really innovative solutions to everyday problems that will leave you wondering,"Why didn't I think of that?!" I feel it would be wrong to keep these solutions to myself so I've decided to share a few of my favorites. I guarantee you'll want to try at least one of these ideas soon as you're finished read this.
I've always been told that a little bit of lemon juice will keep sliced apples from browning but, although this works, I don't like it when my apples taste lemony. Prevent your apple from browning by slicing it and then putting it back together! Keep the pieces in place with a rubber band.
No matter how hard one tries, it's near impossible to keep your linen closet neat and tidy. Try folding your sheets and then placing them within one of the set's pillow cases. Don't worry, if you keep reading I'll tell you how to get that fitted sheet nice and flat.
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to play the music on your iPhone louder than its tiny speakers would allow, but there were no iPhone speakers on hand? I have. Place your iPhone in a bowl for a makeshift sound amplifier!
Storing wrapping paper is no easy feat. It's awkwardly shaped and you can't cram it somewhere or you'll ruin it. Try hanging some wire at the top of a closet and place the wrapping paper on the wire as shown.
Finally! The secret to neatly folding those clumsy fitted sheets. Your mother will be proud.
We've all been there. You squeeze behind your desk to unplug your mouse only to find a snarled mess of black cords and you can't tell what goes to what. You yell for your spouse and while they jiggle the cord above the desk you crouch below the desk watching for movement. This little dance is then followed by a brief game of tug-o-war to ensure that you have, indeed, grabbed the proper wire. Save yourself some frustration and label your wires with bread bag clips!
Anyone but me tired of trying to wade through one-sided presentations of the news these days or watching as our schools are forced to remove aspects of science, religion and even history from curriculums because there are those who insist that both sides of the story are somehow unconstitutional?
Wouldn’t it be nice if, on those issues that are especially controversial, we were regularly presented with both sides, so we could objectively make up our own minds about what to believe?
Well, since that isn't happening anytime in the near future, I thought I'd share this. Jeremy Kalgreen’s is hitting this head on. He takes on the big ones, like evolution, religion, science and politics, among others. But, he does so with some intelligence and a definite chuckle in the creative execution.
Now, we are supposed to be addressing issues that relate to creativity here, and so we are. You will find no suggestions about what is right or wrong, left or right wing...nothing intended that is political, religious or scientific. However, fun creative that pokes its finger at some of the most controversial issues on the planet just can’t be ignored.
Whether you like Kalgreen’s work or not, you must admit that he's certainly a clever guy. Check out more of his designs at controversy.wearscience.com to see how one person is dealing with the “controversy information overload." Hopefully it will bring a smile to your face. And, tell me which one is your favorite!
Never before in history has creativity and free enterprise been on a more exciting path. A 14 year old from Spanish Fork, Utah named Robert Nay has created the #1 most popular free iPhone app on iTunes. His game, called Bubble Ball, already has more than two million downloads, surpasssing the very popular Angry Birds game. Had he charged just 99 cents he would have more than $2 million in his account. He found the software to create his idea from a book at his local library.
Today’s tech environment has opened the door for anyone with a creative notion and initiative to take an idea globally. There is no longer any distance between creators and users. Market acceptance or failure is determined by the free market. No experts, research, marketing gurus or agents required. Never before has there been a more perfect time for ideas.
Mattias Konradsson wrote a great article on left brain/right brain function and how to use it. In part…
LEFT AND RIGHT
Eggheads believe our two brain halves control different "modes" of thinking. This hypothesis was spearheaded by Roger Sperry, who won a Nobel Prize for his research in 1981. The "modes" are roughly divided like this:
The left brain (don’t get delusions of grandeur; you don’t have two brains) is concerned with logical thinking, analysis and accuracy, while the right focuses on aesthetics, feeling and creativity.
When you're in the idea business, this seems like the right half is our creative friend, while the left is plotting against us. New ideas come from breaking out of the norm, ignoring limits and facts, venturing where no one has gone before, to seek out new galaxies and civi…err, sorry.
The left brain, on the other hand, analyzes, sorts stuff, and dwells in details, generally sabotaging our creative thinking. This is bad news for all who weren’t blessed with left-handedness, since that means you don’t have a dominant right brain. That's right: left-handed = right-brained; right-handed = left-brained. Confusing, eh? But before you decide to start doing everything left-handed, try this.
USE YOUR RIGHT BRAIN
Basically, we want to involve our right brain and numb the left one as much as possible. Remember, this is brainstorming, we’re not in production, so things don’t need to be perfectly logical at this point. We need to extract stuff from the brain and put it on some more tangible medium – to find the seed of the idea that will put a Ferrari in our garage. The trick is to teach yourself to ignore rules, conventions and "must-be" statements.
If you’re creating art, just doodle. If you’re writing, just scribble. If you’re a lawyer, change occupations. Even if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, you can’t escape your unconscious. It moves in mysterious ways.
After a while, nice ideas will start to surface. This might not happen right away; often, you need to train your brain into this sort of thinking (especially if you’re right handed). So keep at it. If good ideas were cheap we’d all be filthy rich.
In time, you’ll have a bunch of ideas. Some might work, some would shred your reputation into tiny pieces.
It has been said that everyone is creative. If you haven’t challenged yourself with the exercise outlined above (and you don’t sell ideas for a living), give it a shot. This right brain/left brain approach to being creative does work. And, with a little practice, you might surprise yourself at how innovative you can be in bringing new solutions to bear on old approaches. Think good thoughts!
Admittedly, I am a bit of a periodical freak. I have many subscriptions to a wide array of magazines, including design, architecture, interior design, food, wine and living. Similar to my attitude about shoes – you just can’t have too many.
Recently, I was introduced to Garden & Gun, a southern lifestyle magazine that focuses on all things having to do with living in the South - culture, environment, art, cities, food, etc. In short order, I have become a fan of this relevant documentation of the South, it’s creative legacy and genteel lifestyle.
Unlike the name may suggest, there is truly something for everyone in this well-written and beautiful publication. It is fun, smart and creative. Worth the read and in my opinion – worth the subscription.