Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking and Problem Solving

Your mind is one of the most powerful resources that you have. If you do not learn to master and control your mind, it will master and control your life and your time. Is it not true, that you are where you are in life because of the dominating thoughts that have occupied your mind? "For as you think in your heart, so are you."

Your mind is one of the most powerful resources that you have. If you do not learn to master and control your mind, it will master and control your life and your time. Is it not true, that you are where you are in life because of the dominating thoughts that have occupied your mind? "For as you think in your heart, so are you."

We send information, objects and pictures through our senses to our mind, as seen in Fig 6.1. Our mind then influences the way we feel, actions we take, words we speak and the results we achieve. It is therefore your responsibility to guard what your senses pick up and send to your mind. We become like the thoughts that consistently occupy our mind.

From Fig 6.1 it is very clear that the results we produce are influenced by what our senses pick up and send to the mind. We are affected by the:

aMusic we listen to.
bTV programmes we watch.
cBooks we read.
dPlaces we go.
eInformation we receive.
fPeople we talk to.
gEnvironment in which we work and live.

Fig 6.1 "What have you been sending to your mind since
you were born and what will you send from today?"

Senses
Mind
Feelings
Actions
Results
Garbage in garbage out.

Your conscious mind is the doorway to your subconscious mind. The conscious mind holds information that you are aware of right now. Once that information leaves your conscious mind it automatically enters your subconscious mind permanently. You remember things based upon what has already been stored up in your subconscious mind over the years. If all that is in your subconscious mind is garbage, then all that you are capable of producing at that time is garbage.

Be like a prison officer, security manager, policeman, sergeant-major or 007 agent of your mind. Stop unwelcome, unpleasant and wicked intruders from entering through your senses into your mind. Your mind is the most sophisticated, baffling and complex living computer ever conceived, it has the ability of producing whatever you feed into it. You have been warned! I share this information with you because I care about you.

Because of the amount of garbage that I had stored up in my subconscious mind by the age of twenty-two, I was incapable of achieving great results. It was when I took control of what I was sending through my senses and replaced the garbage with positiveness night and day, that my change started. If you want to be great, send in great thoughts. If you want to be an expert, listen to the experts. Remember, your mind is the only thing that you have control over, so control it or it will control you.

Allow me to share with you the twelve secrets to mind control that have assisted me over the years. I have gained many benefits from using them and I hope that you will too.

Conformity

Do not conform to bad customs and practices but rather "be transformed by the renewing of your mind". To conform is to adapt, adjust or to fit into a certain way of thinking that has a negative or positive influence. By conforming to bad habits you destroy your creativity, initiative, growth, independence and wealth and imprison yourself.

Thinking sometimes is like an evil disease that does not want to go away. Every now and then the mind wanders off uncontrollably to some negative or positive occurrences of the past, present or future. You may have been abused sexually, physically or mentally by a loved one or someone you trusted. Maybe you were raped or you lost a loved one and your home is left empty. You may be going through other circumstances in your life that no one seems to understand or even care about. You feel mentally trapped and imprisoned as in Fig 6.3.

Fig 6.3 reminds me of people who gave up on life at eighteen but were buried at seventy and lived a lifetime being imprisoned. From the age of eighteen to seventy they lived below their greatness. Are you living in this position right now?


Fig 6.3 "Do you feel mentally trapped and
imprisoned with no route of escape?"

I write to tell you that you can be set free from this mental distress, torture and anguish. Just attend this course and your mind will be renewed and go from strength to strength. If you remain in this prison or "hell", as one person described it, your life will get worse.

This is the reason why in so many cases the sufferer loses their family, friends, business, work and becomes less confident, less motivated and often suicidal. No one is immune from this type of thinking. I know about it because I have been there and I will never go back. My mind is now freed and renewed and I now control how and what I think about. I am not controlled by my circumstances, family, friends, radio, environment or the television. Conform only to good thoughts and get your mind freed and renewed.


Fig 6.4 "Do you feel mentally trapped and imprisoned even
though the cover has been removed?"

And now my friends, as I close this section let me say this one more thing: "Fix your thoughts on what is true, good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine good things in others. If there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

Regular Brainstorming Sessions

Most of us spend more time thinking about our problems than we do about the solutions to our problems. If you spend your time thinking about your problems, they will appear bigger. On the other hand, if you spend more time thinking about the solutions, you will find different ways to respond to your problems. Winners look for solutions while failures dwell on and cry about their circumstances all day long.

Your mind was not put together by man or by a lesser force than you but by the all powerful, all knowing, infinite creator. You are His best.

Brainstorming is a technique that I use regularly with my family, individuals, organisations and in training sessions. It is a unique way of coming up with different ideas to resolve complex situations. This works best with small groups of around five to ten people for approximately twenty minutes. I brainstorm with a group of five people that came up with 100 different ways to raise funds in ten minutes. From those ideas we raised thousands of pounds.

In any organisation, cleaners, caterers, security personnel, caretakers, directors, managers and others all have ideas. Their ideas could earn or save your organisation hundreds, thousands or even millions of pounds. Your children and other members of your family could come up with new and creative ways to save and enrich your family.

In small groups for approximately twenty minutes, pose a question of your most challenging situation such as: How can we improve our family? How can we improve customer care in this organisation? How can we make money? How can we improve sales? What can we do to stop crime in our community? How can we as parents work together to improve our school?

For the group to work effectively and the ideas to flow smoothly, introduce the following guidelines:

RRecord the Ideas
E Eliminate Judgement
LLet Ideas Flow
OObtain Quantity Not Quality
AAvoid Ridicule
DDo Not Edit

It is important that every idea is recorded. The idea that you did not record might be just the one you were looking for. Eliminating judgement of other people's ideas will cause others to let their ideas flow. Encourage the group to let ideas flow as quickly as they enter their mind, without hesitation. This method may help to spark another idea which helps to spark another idea and so on. Let the group concentrate on quantity and leave the quality to the end. If group members are allowed to ridicule others, they will not contribute. Editing should only take place once the group has exhausted all possible ideas. My most creative moments were in brainstorming sessions with a small group of people that I met with every week, for several years. When your family, organisation, country or community are faced with complex situations, RELOAD and move on.

Encouraged Self Imposed Barrier

More than 70% of the things some people think about themselves are negative. "I will never be able to achieve." "I am not good enough to do that." "I could never be as good as..." "I am rubbish and I am not fit to live." Have you put up barriers to stop yourself from achieving greatness, because of the way you think? If so, why?

I came across an inscription on a prison wall that helped to change my whole life. It read, "Your worst enemy is yourself!" I quickly wrote it down and asked my friends what they thought about it but no one would accept that they were their worst enemy. Somehow, deep down inside, I knew that it was true about me. It was my own thoughts that imprisoned me.


Fig 6.5 "Writing on the wall."

Are you a poverty mentality thinker or a millionaire mentality thinker? I was brought up in a poverty mentality environment. I was always told:

"Errol Williams, you are no good."

"You will never amount to anything worthwhile."

"You will never be able to achieve your dreams."

"You will fail in school."

"Errol, you will go to prison."

"You are worth nothing!"

Looking back at those days makes me feel like crying. My friends, teachers and enemies told me these dreadful things. Before long, I believed everything that was said about me, as they began to come true in my life. I stopped believing in myself because others did not believe in me. I thought this was the way I ought to think about myself. I sank very deep into a mentally degrading ghetto that was not fit for any human being. I became mentally sick and reached the lowest state that any human being could reach. I was the man in Fig 6.3 and Fig 6.4.

I lived in this mentally degrading ghetto for six long years.

If you find yourself in this ghetto my friend, it is like trying to escape from a top security prison. I served my poverty mentality ghetto prison sentence, but now I am free. I am a millionaire mentality thinker. I have clearly defined goals and values for every aspect of my life, and a detailed action plan of what needs to be done. I am totally committed to putting my plans into action without procrastinating. I have also set review dates to modify, change, learn and move to the next stage.

My mind consistently thinks, "I will", "I can", "I have" and "I am". Let the concept of yourself be continually positive and tell yourself every day and every time you feel low:

aI am a genius.
bI am an achiever.
cI am God's wonderful creation.
dI am wonderfully and beautifully made.
eI am a winner and I refuse to allow anyone to put garbage into my mind.
fI was not born for defeat or failure.
gI refuse to be influenced by the words of death.
hI am a lion, not a lamb.

You can become the next heavyweight champion in your chosen field. No one is better than yourself, but if you do not arise and shine you will always remain in darkness. You have all the resources that it takes inside of you, therefore awaken that sleeping giant and get to work. Every day the creative work of many geniuses surrounds us like an ocean.

Do not look at greatness and put yourself down. As I was passing McDonalds, I saw an advert of Michael Jordan in "Space Jam". My thoughts flashed at how great Michael had become and how financially comfortable he must be. Within seconds of those thoughts, I smiled with myself and thought, "I too have the seeds of greatness in me."

Listen to me my friends, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (1921) for his work in explaining the photoelectric effect. Was he also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? Did he receive gold in the Olympics or was he known as the fastest man on earth? Was he awarded the best entertainer of the year? Did he step foot on the moon? Did he win the masters in golf at 21 years of age?

My point is this, Einstein and all the others found an area that they loved and mastered it. They were not concerned with mastering other areas. They found their true love, stayed with it and mastered it. Do not try to become a master at everything, find your true love, stick with it and master it. Allow me to repeat myself, "Do not look at greatness and put yourself down." You too are a great somebody.

Always Challenge the Obvious

If I influence what goes into your mind over a long period of time, I will be able to control the way you think, feel, speak and act. Such influence can be dangerous. The chains of slavery have been removed from the people's wrists, ankles and necks and placed on their minds.

I was told of an experiment that was done some time ago whereby they tied a chain to one foot of a baby elephant and the other end to a tree. Month after month the elephant would pull and pull and pull without getting to freedom. Until one day the elephant gave up and did not pull any more.


Fig 6.6 "Have you also given up like this elephant?"

Soon after, they removed the chains, but the now grown up elephant continued to operate within the confinements of the twenty yards. He still believed the chains were on his feet, so he did not pull anymore. No! it was now on his mind. Are you like the elephant who has given up trying, because of circumstances, or what others think, say or do? Are you failing to challenge the obvious, because of pain, embarrassment, guilt or the past?

Never give up because you deserve the very best. Keep seeking for you will find. Keep knocking for the door of opportunity will open for you. Keep asking and you will receive. Be persistent, do not procrastinate. Do not stop pulling towards your dreams. Maximise your time and potential. Refuse to be conditioned by the thoughts, words and actions of others, unless you want to. Remember, 90% of failures are quitters. A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.

Two Types of Thinkers

Analytical thinker, one way. Creative thinker, many ways.
Fig 6.7 "The analytical and creative thinker."

There are two types of thinkers, the analytical thinker and the creative thinker. The analytical thinker looks for the one right answer but a creative thinker challenges their ability to look for more than one answer. Some situations require analytical thinking such as mathematics, whereas conflicts can be resolved using more than one possible way.

Condition yourself to look for more than one possible answer. A conflict with your spouse, child, friend, colleague or employer can be resolved in many different ways. You could say you are sorry, you could give a bunch of flowers or submit, the list is endless. In our SCHOLAR training programmes we ask delegates to list all the uses of a paper clip. The average number of responses we get is 5, yet there are in fact well over 100 uses that a paper clip could be used for.

I am convinced that if you lift weights every day you will become stronger. Therefore if you practise creative acts every day, your creative muscles will get better. If I were to ask you to give me different ways of how to hurt your enemy, the list may be endless. It seems that many of us are more creative towards evil than good.

Improvements

Creativity means improvement. Any improvement you make to yourself, your family, or organisation is a creative act. The improvements that you have made over the years are a clear indication that you are a creative genius. It is through the powerful creative ability of the mind that so many improvements have been made over the centuries. It is worth noting that every idea started at first in the mind of one person.


Fig 6.8 "Even a homeless person can make an
improvement to his/her life."

Improvements in technology, religion, architecture, science, music, education, and more, are a clear indication of our creative ability. There is so much more that we do not know, that is just waiting to be revealed to us. Reach out and aim for the moon because if you miss, you will be among the stars. Go after that unlimited untapped knowledge because you are a genius.

You are God's greatest creation. You are wonderfully and beautifully made, able to achieve your greatest potential.

The human mind is great, powerful and more sophisticated than the most advanced computer. It is very complex. Every achievement has been accomplished through creative minds. The more ways that you find to improve your family, organisation, relationship or your community, the more creative you are. The more creative you are, the more powerful and confident you are. The world needs you and your creative ability. It is always too soon to sleep, we need you and we need you now. Too many people have been buried at seventy years old but died at eighteen. For fifty-two years they lived fruitlessly and made no improvements to their lives but got worse. Do not be a contributor to this way of life. Get up, multiply, subdue and fill the earth with goodness, you are a master of the birds, fishes and all the animals. My family and I look forward to benefiting from your mastery.

Vision

Thoughts are like seeds that a farmer sows in fertile ground. He sows these seeds in the hope that at harvest time he will be rewarded with the fruit. Be careful what thoughts you dwell on or sow in your mind, because the thoughts that you sow you will reap. If you sow a bad thought, you will reap from a bad thought. If you store garbage into your mind, you will produce garbage. The wise man Solomon wrote, "Without a vision the people perish: but happy are they that keep the law." What law? The law is this, if you do not have a vision you will perish. This is a law within itself. The law of gravity states, "every time you let go of your pen, it will drop to the ground".

The law of a vision states, "if you do not have a vision, you will perish". If you break this law you will pay the price. (This is just one interpretation of that thought.)

If you have an intense burning desire for your vision, it will enable you to become more creative.

Nothing fuels creativity like an intense burning desire to achieve something. Write down your vision and make it clear. Your vision is for an appointed time, though it lingers, wait for it, because it will surely come. The more you think about your vision and dream about it, the more you will be able to see, smell, touch, hear, taste and be creative in achieving it. How is it that you are over seven years old and have no written vision? Do you not know that those who have a vision shape the future and those who do not are controlled by those who have! Millions of people have been born but have never exhibited their true greatness because they had no vision. If you need more help in this area, please go to goal setting.

Evaluating Too Quickly

You may have heard the phrases, "patience is a virtue", "think before you leap", "a person who answers a matter before hearing the facts, it is folly and shame to him". Evaluating too quickly is a fantastic waste of time, money and effort. A creative thinker always obtains the facts before arriving at a conclusion. A creative person is patient, "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger".

What justice would there be if judges and members of the jury, were to evaluate cases prematurely? What chance have children got, if parents refuse to listen, but jump to conclusions all the time? How can a relationship improve if one partner or both keeps on evaluating too quickly? How can an employee survive in an organisation if the boss evaluates too quickly every time?

Stop! Listen! Think! Understand! Act and Evaluate!
This is the mark of a creative person.

Memory Techniques

Most people say to themselves, I have a terrible memory. Even if you are mentally sick, you have the most powerful, complex and beautiful resource in your human body, called the mind. It has been, it is and it will always be more advanced than any computer.

Nothing in the past, present or future will ever be more powerful than the human mind. The mind has the ability to store an unlimited amount of information and recall it whenever it is needed.

Do not tell yourself that you have a bad memory because this will result in you suffering memory losses. You have a powerful memory that has already stored up millions of pieces of information. From the day you were born, every thing that you have seen, touched, smelled, heard and tasted is stored in that beautiful memory of yours. If your memory was poor, you would not be able to remember very much at all. One of the best memory techniques is to tell yourself every day, "I have a mega memory."

Rejuvenate your memory every day with physical exercise and sports of your choice. Challenge yourself to more complex tasks and games such as chess and backgammon. This will bring you into a new dimension of yourself. Boldly go where you have never been before. For some, reading a book a month, starting a business, learning a new language, playing golf, chess or cooking a meal is a new challenge. Be bold as a lion and do something new, challenging and exciting.

Just as your body needs exercise to stay fit, so must you exercise your memory, in order to remember more perfectly. I memorise verses from the Bible most mornings while I am in the bathroom, ironing or eating. Practising this technique every day for ten minutes will improve your memory and sharpen your concentration.

Before I give any presentation, I always spend time rehearsing and picturing myself in front of the audience, while I am in the bathroom, walking or driving. I have used this method for over ten years and found it extremely beneficial. Not only has my memory improved, but my confidence and knowledge has increased. When the moment arrives to give my presentation, I feel on top of the world, because I have given the presentation several times before. When I stand on the stage to give my presentation I feel at home.

Picture yourself in that important interview, a meeting with your boss, a sales presentation or resolving conflicts. When the actual time comes, you will be a winner.

Here are some memory techniques that are available for you to use:

SStory Telling and Picture Forming
AAcronyms
RRepetition
AAssociation

Telling stories and forming pictures in the mind of my delegates enables them to remember with pinpoint accuracy. Acronyms are words made up of initial letters of other words. SARA above is an acronym. Repetition is repeating something over and over until it sticks in the mind. This method is the most commonly used technique. Association is linking things together. In school we were taught, 1-bun, 2-shoe, 3-tree, 4-door, 5-hive, 6-sticks and 7-heaven and so on, this is association. When I use the above techniques, I can remember anything I wish, whenever I wish, and so can you.

As I was walking down the road, I saw a big door running away in horror, being chased by a colony of bees. The door looked back in horror, slipped on a bun and went crashing into a tree. Before the colony of bees could attack the door, out of the sky came a gigantic stick and kicked the bees with its shoe. Off flew the bees into the heavens.

This story is told so as to remember the telephone number, 451 3627. The big door running is 4. Colony of bees is 5. Slipping on bun is 1. Crashing into tree is 3. Stick is 6. Shoe is 2 and heaven is 7. Many people use imaginative stories like this to pass their exams. You too can use memory techniques to pass your exams all the time. In the above example, I have animated the story, made it crazy, unreal, funny and very imaginative. In this way it becomes easier to remember.

Imagination

Imagination is the act or power of forming a mental image or concept in your mind. The telephone number example in the last section is a fantastic example of imagination. You can use your imagination for evil or for good, the choice is yours.

Any vision, idea, or problem that you hold continually in your imagination will inevitably cause your entire being to move towards it.

We all have a conscious, subconscious and superconscious mind. Our conscious mind holds the things that we are aware of right now. It is also the area where we make our day-to-day decisions. Our subconscious mind is the area where we have stored away millions of pieces of information since we were born. Although you may not be able to remember everything straight away, it is stored up in your subconscious mind. It is also the area where we store our values, beliefs and attitudes. Our superconscious mind is the area of imagination.

It is through the imagination of the superconscious mind that so many discoveries have been made. Keep on dreaming for your dreams will come to pass.

I believe that the fastest known thing to man is not the speed of light but rather the speed of thought. One of our biggest problems with the mind today is our lack of understanding and training, and our inability to control this most powerful, complex and fast resource.

While a person is talking, your mind has the ability to take frequent side trips to places you have visited, or consider a pressing matter. This uncontrolled way of thinking is time consuming and can be frustrating. I have on many occasions caught myself thinking of things that I did not consciously decide to think about. Do not let your imagination control you, but rather let it serve you.

Nervousness and Fear

Everyone has a mind that is operating every hour, minute and second of the day, year after year. Dreams indicate that even while we are sleeping the mind is still fully active. Nervousness and fear have a crippling and paralysing effect upon their victims. Many people do not understand that fear produces torment, extreme pain and suffering. Many sicknesses can be linked to the way we think and the fears that we consistently hold in our mind. Fear is like a living demon inside its victims, seeking only to completely kill and destroy.

Ask yourself the question, "Why do I fear this situation or person?" Look for different ways to wrestle with these demons called "Nervousness and Fear" then eject them from your life. You can do it. Be careful because the thing that you fear may come true in your life. "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me."10 The death of a loved one will leave us in tears, sorrow and grief. However, if we change the way we think about our circumstances, we automatically change the way we feel and act and the results we receive.

Develop Your Skills

It is said that we use less than 10% of our potential. What has happened to the other 90%? How do we get our full potential successfully developed and functioning? If your mind is given the right training, it will develop and flourish.

Find the career that you wish to master and do everything in your power to become the best in the world. Spend up to eight hours a day learning about it. The time you dedicate to it daily is an indication of how serious you are to reach the top. Do not skip a day because every day that you skip puts pressure on you. Anything that you consistently focus on will become easier to do. If you use these three methods you will develop so fast you will surprise yourself:

AAction what you learn
RRevise every day
TTeach it to others

 Finally, one more thing before you take a break. The best thing that you can do for your children is to guard their minds from being polluted with garbage.


Fig 6.9 "Is this the environment that your child lives in?"

aHelp them every day to think highly of themselves and others.
bTell them about the good things that they do and help them with the other things that do not seem as good.
cTell them every day that you love them and that they are the most special people in the world.
dLet them know that you would not change them for anyone or anything.
eHelp them to write down their goals and plans for the future.

From a young age my daughters have written down their goals and values together with a plan of action and a deadline to attain their goals.

Errol A Williams©




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