It has been truly said, and history confirms, that the growth of the United States is due more to independent creative thinkers than to scholars and statesmen. We seldom consciously think about it, but we all share that unique capacity to THINK and are born with a potential of greatness that exceeds our wildest imagination.
We can all identify with the French philosopher Rene Descartes who, as far back as the 15th century, made a great discovery and announced to the world, "Cogito ergo sum"...."I think therefore I am". We, too, upon awakening this morning, became aware of the irrefutable fact that we are each an individual thinking entity. It is axiomatic that as conscious thinking individuals we have the capacity to control and change our experiences by simply making disciplined choices as to what we think and how we think. All growth and achievement, prosperity and freedom is predicated more on creative thinking than on any other cause.
Creative thinking is defined by Webster as, "the ability to be productive through imaginative skills" and he defines imagination as, "the forming of mental images or ideas". Ideas are an omnipresent component of the thinking process. Indeed, thinking is comprised of ideas. Ideas are not something that exists somewhere external to our thinking; they are already resident in the mind, or consciousness, of each individual. We each have an unlimited inventory of ideas but we often find it impossible to find just the right idea when we need it.
How, then, does one access the flow of ideas in order that we may achieve the success, prosperity and freedom to which we all aspire?
First, let's realize that this creative mental phenomenon functions separate and apart from the conscious reasoning process. It is the opening of thought to a dimension of awareness that involves perceptive capacities and an intuitive sense that cannot be measured or predicted. It is known and recognized only by its effects.
Second, creativity is an approach or direction toward its subject that departs from routines and preconceived hypotheses and thereby breaks the barriers and generally accepted norms that might be held by those of more disciplined training. Creative thinking is based on the unlimited, unconfined, abstract, undisciplined and unencumbered
Third, in order that one develop this creative capacity he must, paradoxically, be aware of certain disciplines. These disciplines, however, are not rules of limitation or confining parameters but, rather, are conditions to be alert to that would tend to restrict the flow of ideas.
Look at it this way. A soft rubber ball naturally assumes its round shape as a ball. If you were to distort your ball by winding it with elastic bands, you would have a grotesque , distorted shape that's all bound up and restricted because of the unnatural limits imposed on it by the elastics. It would in no way resemble a ball. But if you were to remove the restrictive elastics, the ball would resume its natural shape as a ball.
Note this: You do not have to do anything to the ball to make it take its natural shape because that is the natural shape and characteristic of the ball. All you have to do to induce this natural function is to remove the restrictive barriers that have prevented it from appearing to be what it really is.
Our thought is much the same. It is the acceptance of restricting, limiting thoughts that prevent our being consciously aware of the ideas of which it is comprised. It's our limited thinking, our blind acceptance of preconceived prejudices that restricts the flow of ideas and new concepts. Therefore, it is the opening of thought, and the quiet mental listening for new ideas that brings them to our conscious awareness. These ideas, remember, are always present in our minds and simply waiting for our recognition of them. This brings forth new concepts and solutions to our problems and points the way to new growth opportunities and achievement.
Provide the proper mental environment. Take time to think, Be quiet and LISTEN!