How To Entertain A Thought
After studying scores of great thinkers like Leonardo Da Vinci, I think I've stumbled upon what really set them apart from the rest of the folks living (and thinking) at the same time.
It's remarkably simple. They learned how to entertain a thought.
Aristotle said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Hmmm. To entertain a thought without accepting it.
We need to do that. Everyone needs to learn how to be good host or hostess to new ideas. In fact, our goal should be to become the Martha Stewart of mental entertaining!
What if you treated a new thought like a guest?
It's easier to think about mental entertaining if we put together a to-do list, just like Martha. Here it is:
#1 Make the first move. First of all, you issue an invitation. Nothing fancy. You don't have to make any major investment or lifelong commitment. You're simply inviting this person in.
It's the same with initiating the entertainment of an idea. You might see a quote on the side of a bus somewhere, and decide you'd like to explore that concept more deeply. Or, maybe you find yourself bumping into the same topic all the time, and so you make up your mind to learn more about it. Either way, you need to be ready to initiate the process. Don't hide--you won't meet new ideas if you scurry away whenever the doorbell rings.
#2 Prepare. Uh-oh. Your house is a mess. You'd better do some cleaning. You're not really trying to impress, but hey, you could certainly do some sprucing up and get the place looking neat and inviting.
Prepare for a new thought in the same way. Make some space in your mind to think about something new. According to Deepak Chopra, the well-known author on health and longevity, the average human has 60,000 thoughts a day. Pretty impressive? Well, here's the kicker: 57,000 of those are the same ones you had YESTERDAY! Now that's some serious clutter! Get rid of a few of those dusty old thoughts and make room for new ones.
#3 Offer a warm greeting. When your new guest arrives, be warm and inviting. After all, you're hoping to start a friendship. Put your best foot forward.
It's the same with an idea. If you face it with skepticism, fear or detachment, you won't be entertaining it for long. You'll be eyeing your watch, yawning, or looking for a way to end the discussion early. You've got to be open and full of anticipation to prepare an environment in which new ideas will be explored and integrated fully. Just as it's no fair making lame excuses or having your friend call to interrupt the visit, it's also cheating to cut out too soon when it comes to entertaining an idea.
#4 Make introductions. This is the big one. You would certainly introduce your guest to everyone at the party, with a special effort to connect them to those with whom they may have something in common.
Any new idea you consider will be more likely to be welcomed if you actively and intentionally introduce it to your other ideas and interests. Look for unusual and inspired pairings. How does it fit? Where does it fit? DOES it fit? You won't know until you try.
Picture Leonardo Da Vinci's mental entertaining. His new idea, Human Flight, arrives, and immediately Leo sets about introducing him to others. "Human, meet my good friend, Engineering, and his lovely wife, Fabric Design. Oh, and have you met Bird Anatomy? She lives just around the corner from you. Oh, Dr. Entomology has arrived! Listen, Dr. E is absolutely brilliant, but a bit hard of hearing. Ask her about her recent work on the wings of insects! Now, you all make yourselves comfy and I'll go get some more wine."
What happened at that party? Leonardo threw these ideas together, and BAM! What emerged was the idea for a perfectly designed parachute as well as a remarkable helicopter--hundreds of years before the Wright brothers started building their flying machines! Talk about a soaring success! Don't you wish you'd been there?
#5 Offer the best seat in the house. You usually sit in that nice chair there by the fireplace, but when a special guest comes over, you graciously offer it.
When you are entertaining a new thought, give it the consideration it deserves. Every time you think a new thought, your brain is actually creating a new neural pathway. It's like a jungle in there, full of nerve endings and ganglia and all kinds of connections. Help it along. Make it comfortable.
Once you've considered an idea, that pathway is there. All you have to do to keep it "live" is to keep going down that path often enough to clear the trail, but not so often that it becomes a rut.
#6 Listen, inquire, and show interest. Ask questions. Dig a little deeper. Find the connections to other people, places, and activities. Learn as much as you can about your new idea.
#7 Relinquish control. Just like when you introduce guests to each other, you should not try to control the outcome. Some guests might hate each other on sight, while others click instantly. People might argue, or a married guest might sneak off to a back room with someone other than their partner. Anything can happen!
That's not up to you. You're having this party to offer an opportunity for people to connect. Make introductions, insert a few comments, smile and acknowledge everyone, but for the most part, just let things happen. Don't direct the flow of ideas.
#8 Leave room for future possibilities. Even if you decide this guest of yours is insufferable, you don't want to burn any bridges. Be gracious, and be glad you were excellent enough to offer the invitation.
You're not going to like every idea that comes your way. And you might not find any other interest or idea that connects with it initially. That's fine. You need to develop the ability to recognize useful concepts and distinguish valuable and valid ideas from those lacking a strong foundation. That's what critical thinking is all about.
But you also need to file that idea away so that you can look it up if and when you DO meet a likely candidate for another gathering of thoughts.
There is a great deal of room for different styles of mental entertaining. Maybe you're best at dealing with only two ideas at a time, or maybe you want to throw a huge bash and welcome all comers.
Entertain in whatever style suits you. Tete-a-tete or bacchanal--it doesn't matter, as long as it's happening.
Learn how to entertain a thought. With a little effort, you'll become a perfect host or hostess to new ideas that come your way. And guess what? You'll have no hangover, no cleaning up, and no regrets.
Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse in Portland, Oregon. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she teaches fun and effective eyes-wide-open alternatives to meditation. To subscribe to her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage, please visit http://www.MassageYourMind.com.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
We Tend To Make Up Our Own Truths: What Stories Are You Making Up?
Someone once said that man keeps looking for truth that fits his reality. Oddly, more often than looking for truth, we tend to make up our own truths.
Take Time To Think
I recently saw a program on television wherein the participants discussed the degree to which present day computer technology has contributed to our economy, well-being and our ability to communicate. They pointed out the many ways that this technology was already obsolete and that further refinements will impact our future in ways we dare not imagine.
Stress VS Creativity
Now when I use the term "creativity", I mean the kind of states of mind and body where thoughts and ideas flow freely; where there is a STREAM of data information that comes clearly from a very different place than one might normally inhabit and which translates smoothly and perfectly into colours, visions, sounds, patterns, movements, actions and resolutions.These are very beautiful states, very precious; this flow of "creativity" is nourishing, enlivening and one can do so many things for a long time without feeling in the slightest bit tired; when it is done, one is happy, very much at peace and delighted, too.
Top Ten Creative Strategies for Inspiring Creativity Where You Work and Play
Websites, automobiles, milk cartons, living spaces. Design saturates every aspect of our lives and the difference between success and failure could be the color purple, could be the person that you talk to every morning when you wake up, or could be the amount of light that streams into your office every day.
Story and Screenplay Structure
Structure is beneficial to creative output in a number of ways. There are at least two types of structure, work processes and frameworks:a) Work processes such as incremental production produce more output than a "do your best" approach.
A Quick Course in Creativity
This quick course in creativity is designed to give you a platform to stand on as we look at the various ways you can handle home, social and workplace situations, job-search details and career-path decisions. Let's examine what creativity might look like.
How Do You Paint New Age
About once every year or so, I take a critical look at the design of my web site and now our popular newsletter and wonder what I could do to create a theme background for them.The site has been changed several times over the last four years, but it doesn't really have a theme backdrop.
How to Generate Ideas for Info-products?
Dear friends the current study shows that there are more than 50,000,000 registered domain names on the Internet (approx.)(Reference http://www.
Be Creative to Get Money
Creativity alone can make you money and no matter what anyone tells you or what you think, anyone can be creative. Creativity is like a skill that needs to be developed.
Connect with Your Surroundings
Clutter is one of my favourite topics, and I've written before about the many different types of clutter and how each affects our creativity and our creative expression.Clutter is just one part of our surroundings - our physical environment - that has an impact on our creativity.
Creativity is the gift to mankind. This is not the thing which can be created by human beings.
How To Master Your Game
Learn how to master your area of endeavor the right way. Start out by finding the people and books that will make you exceptional.
Creativity: Getting Out of the Box
Leadership, especially in times of change, depends increasingly on the ability of managers, professionals and even front line workers to think and do things differently. In other words, to get out of the box!So, how do we get out of the box especially when most people are comfortable staying with the tried and true rather than exploring and championing new ideas? Here are tips to jolt your mind and start thinking more creatively.
Art, Artists and Vocation
"If you really want to upset your parents?go into the arts!"-Kurt VonnegutHow many times have people been told that "You can't make it as an artist."How many times when you've told someone that you are studying theater, dance, the visual arts, do people look at you and cringe; feel sorry for you, and feel that you and your family have wasted a great deal of money, and that you have wasted years of your life.
Innovation: Wake Up Your People's Creative Genius
Successful companies have innovation in their blood. The single most important element in an innovative company is the creativity of their people.
Is Your Team Suffering from FWTS?
Who do you know who is feeling stuck, under-performing, or dealing with frustration and upset?These folks might be suffering from FLAT WORLD THINKING SYNDROME! (FWTS)"Flat World Thinking Syndrome" is the number one issue standing between predictable performance and breakthrough performance. Allow me to illustrate.
For the past several hours, I've struggled with this week's message, the words, "what will I write?" screaming in my ears. I've felt like the princess who promises her first born child to the little man named "Rumplestiltskin" if only he will spin straw into gold.
Mindfulness and Music: Things That Go Hmmm
Problem Solving Techniques For Business And Life
Learning a few good problem solving techniques can improve your bottom line and your life.Do you ever run out of good ideas, or go around in circles trying to come up with a solution for a persistent problem? Maybe you just need to learn some simple problem solving techniques, and then start applying them.
Theres A Light At The End Of Your Tunnel, Called Imagination!
Imagine this. You've got this huge dream you just turned into an exciting accomplishment.
|home | site map | Ocean Art|