The concept of the Iridium satellite communication system comprised of 66 satellites in low earth orbit 485 miles above the earth was started by two engineers writing on a napkin in a restaurant. The diagram on the napkin was an output that gave us the satellite phone and both voice and data transmission/reception anywhere on the earth's surface. The input was their combined imaginations playing off of each other and producing something new and unique that had never been created before. The output was the crude sketches of a new communication system on the only thing available at the time...a napkin.
We also need The Courage to Create as psychologist, Rollo May said in his book of the same name. The older we get the more risk adverse we may tend to become. This has both positive and negative consequences. Sometime being creative may subject us to risk. We are putting ourselves out there. But we need to be willing to take those risks. In 'A Morning Offering' from Benedictus A Book of Blessings, by John O'Donohue, he challenges us to risk being disturbed and changed, to postpone our dreams no longer, and to waste our hearts on fear no more.
While the focus of Imagine That Too is everyday creativity, the principles discussed are equally applicable to those who are creatively gifted with recognized talents as well as to people who are employed or unemployed and wish to start businesses or create innovative products.
Imagine That Too, is also the story of my life dealing with the consequences of Polio and now Post-Polio Syndrome. I have learned first hand the power of my imagination that enabled me to creatively cope with my challenges and turn them into significant positive changes through out my life. Imagine That Too is my story and personal journey. Click on 'Biography' in the navigation panel for more information.
If the mission of Imagine That Too, Ltd. could be summarized in a few words, it would be to educate and help others experience, as Csikszentmihalyi says , ‘full-blast living’. Living imaginatively, creatively, and innovatively is a life long process and journey. We never fully arrive at the destination. However, Imagine That Too, Ltd. can help provide the first few steps along the path.
I include 'thinking' or our 'thought processes' in my definition of imagination. Everyone is unique and uses the text and graphics abilities of their minds in different proportions or ratios and under different circumstances. Imagination, the graphics and text generation abilities of our minds, is the input to the creative process.
John Craig Venter, known for mapping the human genome and creating the first synthetic life form, told 60 Minutes that he has no visual imagination. Venter is totally 'thought' or as I say, 'text' oriented. Time Magazine put him on their top 100 most influential people in the world list. Venter is the exact opposite of Einstein. Einstein's imagination was visually oriented as he used the movies and pictures in his mind to conceive of his world-changing
ideas and theories. And yet these graphical imaginings were referred to as 'thought experiments.' Should we say that Venter is not imaginative because he doesn't have a 'mind's eye' with the graphic abilities that most of the rest of us possess? I think not.
Putting It All Together
Where The Rubber Meets The Road
The Little Engine That Could....or Maybe Couldn't
The Courage to Create
Don't Let Anything Hold You Back
My Story and Summing It Up
How You Can Help
Become a Focus Group Member
All ideas and concepts are reinforced with topic, relevant clips from movies, network, and cable channel programming in this multimedia presentation.
Imagine That Too, Ltd. is an educational, Not For Profit, public charity under IRS code 501(c)3.
Ana Mary Robertson Moses,'Grandma Moses', born in 1860, was a world renowned American folk artist, who painted her first picture at age 76 when her arthritis got so bad that she could no longer use an embroidery needle. Many people don't discover their creative sweet spot, their creative zone until well into their 30's, 40's, 50's, and later. It's not too late for you.
This seminar will help give you more confidence to step out and take the necessary risks to be creative. In the process we will deal with the fear of failure and redefine success and failure.
Mark Twain, the great humorist, and writer said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Gordon L. Campbell
The images and movies in our minds can almost seem like a version of reality and can have a significant emotional impact on our lives because our brains have a hard time distinguishing between the data from our environment captured by our five physical senses and those things we vividly imagine in our minds.
Even our dreams seem real until we wake up.
Inner Head Image in Page Header Licensed from Geo Images at http://ClipartOf.com/11318
Picture of Grandma Moses Library of Congress Public Domain
Official Portrait of Einstein from 1921. Photo by Fastfission Public Domain
Picture of John Craig Venter by Lisa Gross in PLoS Biology 2007
Sully Sullenberger. Photo by Clinberg Public Domain
Projector and Film,Tires, and Locomotive Images Licensed from Dreamstime
Valentine's Day Wrapped Picture by Gordon Campbell
Gear Head, Puzzle Head, Donate, & Thumbs Up Images Licensed from FreeDigitalPhotos
'Artist and Audience:Everyday Creativity and Visual Art' by Tobi Zausner,in Everyday Creativity ed. Ruth Richards
Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, by HarperCollins, 1996
Silence's Voice by Bryan Smith Chicagomag.comLife Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert
Image of Mark Twain Library of Congress, Public Domain
But we need to add some structure and process to imaginatively and creatively solve proble ms. This seems counter-intuitive to the spontaneity that many ascribe to the word 'creativity'. However, even those with major league, creative talents are solving problems as part of their creative process. An author of fiction novels is trying to solve problems like 'how should I develop my plot and characters?' A choreographer is trying to solve the problem, 'what dance movements should I use to properly express the music?' The questions vary but the essence of problem solving does not. Many times we are not even conscious that we are really engaging in problem solving because it is such a natural part of our everyday experience. However, to imaginatively and creatively solve problems, we need to see and filter the world differently. That is not a natural part of our everyday experience.
If Imagination is the input, then Creativity is the output. When we imagine something, nothing is produced or created. Imagination certainly has creative potential. However, the act of imagining is not creativity. During the creative process something concrete is actually made or produced.
Creativity occurs when we use our imaginations to produce something that is new, unique, novel, original, adaptive, or useful and has meaning or value to ourselves or others. Creativity can encompass new and original ideas, concepts, products, works of art, music, writing, choreography, services, strategies, and processes along with many other useful, adaptive, and meaningful expressions of our imaginations. But something is always created or produced or it is not creative.
The word imagination comes from Latin and means to ‘picture to one’s self’.
We use our imaginations all of the time picturing things to ourselves. These pictures or movies in our minds can be driven by conscious, willful intent or from the unconscious promptings of our needs, fears, and desires to name just a few. We may not always be aware of these pictures or personal movies and too often they may work against us rather than work for us.
The same graphics capability of our imagination that allows us to envision that upcoming vacation on an ocean beach releasing pleasurable endorphins into our blood stream, can also conjure up multiple, negative 'what if' scenarios of the future with unlimited, negative consequences. This can trigger fear, worry, and anxiety as if these events were really taking place in the present, all while we are sitting at our desk at work or driving down the road in our car.
Based on this definition, an invention can be an innovation if it produces a significant positive change for its' intended markets. The first telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell was an innovation based on this criterion. The mobile phone introduced by Motorola, Inc. was also an innovation because it was a significant positive improvement over Bell's phone that plugged into the wall. On the other hand, an invention may not be an innovation. The US Patent Office issues patents to recognize totally unique, first of its' kind products. Many inventions, however, never rise to the level of innovation because they couldn't be made, marketed, or sold in a way that produced significant positive change for the markets for which they were intended.
Along with the pictures and movies in our minds. we all experience mental activity which we call ‘thinking’. If our imagination is the ‘graphics’ ability of our minds, then thinking is the ability of our minds to create ‘text’. We assemble unspoken sentences or fragments of sentences in our minds to evaluate, analyze, compare, contrast, correlate, describe, associate, define, interpret, understand, plan, and reason along with many other capabilities.
Today a painting by Henri Matisse can cost as much as $17,000,000. However, this French painter studied the law, which he hated, and became a law clerk as Tobi Zausner relates in her essay in Everyday Creativity. During his recovery from several severe health problems, Matisse tried the equivalent of what we today call 'painting by the numbers', something that many children have done. It transformed him and now transforms us as we view his paintings. Your openness to try new things, have new experiences, and try life's experiments, could produce your 'paint by numbers' moment.
It is difficult to watch one hour of television without being exposed to an advertisement from a company that doesn't tout the innovational prowess of their products, processes, or services. Innovation has become the overused buzzword of the day. However, in reality, it is the backbone of the world's economies and our lives.
At the risk of creating a run-on sentence, we can say that someone is imaginative, creative, and innovative, when they use the graphics and text abilities of their minds to produce something that is new, novel, original, unique, adaptive, or useful that has meaning or value to ourselves or others, and produces significant positive change for whom the change was intended. The Internet certainly meets all of these criterion.
Increasingly individuals, organizations, and businesses are discovering that not only is imagination and creativity necessary to thrive but are key components for their very survival in world moving at warp speed.
Everyone has creative potential. It is part of our DNA. It is part of what it means to be human. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a leading researcher and pioneer in the field of creativity. In his book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, he said, “Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. Of all human activities, creativity comes closest to providing the fulfillment we all hope to get in our lives. Call it "full blast living.”
One of the lies that some have come to believe, consciously or unconsciously, is that they are not or cannot become more imaginative, creative, and produce significant positive changes in our own lives and in the lives of others. Isn't it time to challenge your self beliefs and limitations?
Albert Einstein, who had a fair amount of knowledge, said that "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world , and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Everything mankind knows and has created began in the thoughts, pictures, or personal movies in the imagination of an individual or in the collaborative imaginations of a group or team.
Imagine That Too, Ltd. is a multimedia seminar that educates and enables businesses, organizations, and individuals to consciously and intentionally use their imaginations to generate creative and innovative solutions to problems and to optimize the opportunities they encounter in everyday life.
>Teaches how to consciously and intentionally use your imagination
>Dispels many of the myths surrounding creativity and innovation
>Explains the personal and professional benefits of being imaginative and creative
>Identifies the constraints that inhibit creativity including our self-limiting beliefs
>Delves into the catalysts that promote creativity and innovation
>Presents how others have imaginatively and creatively made significant positive changes in their lives that you can apply immediately to your own.
The focus of Imagine That Too, Ltd. is everyday creativity. Unfortunately, many people without obvious gifts or talents don't recognize their own potential for engaging their imaginations, expressing their creativity, and producing significant positive changes in their own lives and the lives of others. They may never change the world, their culture, their profession, and the world may never beat a path to their door for building a better mouse trap. However, they can change their world and their sphere of influence. They can experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from being imaginative and creative.
More than ever parents, educators, students, employees, sales people, employers, small business people, the unemployed, the disabled, veterans, large corporations, organizations, colleges, universities, everyone, needs to be more imaginative, creative, and innovative in a world moving at warp speed.
This seminar is intensely practical. You can start applying what you learn about everyday creativity immediately to your job, business, organization, or personal life. This seminar is also about creative problem solving.
Imagine That Too integrates ideas and concepts from many outstanding scholars, authors, and researchers. From these sources, we will look at the lives of highly imaginative and creative p eople to glean principals that you can apply immediately and help you optimize the opportunities you encounter in everyday life.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times film critic, noted for his 'thumbs up', movie approval gesture, lost his ability to speak due to thyroid cancer. Byran Smith wrote in his article, "Silence's Voice" in Chicagomag.com that Ebert found his voice by losing his voice. Smith goes on to say that Ebert's loss of his physical ability to speak, liberated and deepened his inner voice and that now Ebert writes with new depths of feeling and understanding.
Creativity is also all about adapting and coping with what life throws at us whether or not we have health issues or physical disabilities. Creativity is instrumental in developing resilience, the ability to bounce back from setbacks and disappointments. Every day we need to be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep moving on. Creativity and our confidence in our creative abilities are key to developing resilience in every aspect of our lives.
We all have real limitations in life. However, we also have self imposed limitations, barriers which we consciously or unconsciously believe can't be crossed. These limitations are beliefs about ourselves that we have formed over the course of our lives regardless of our age. These belief's are a combination of truths, half-truths, and out right lies. One author also states that some of the things we believe about ourselves may have been true of us at one time but may no longer be true. However, we continue to act as if these beliefs are, in fact, still valid. Unchallenged, our self beliefs determine what is possible for us, the heights to which we can soar.
We don't become conscious of these processes until we start 'thinking' about our thinking. By thinking, we are able to generate and understand ideas and concepts without the graphic or movie generation abilities that we usually associate with imagination. Thinking is the language of the mind that consciously and unconsciously drives our internal dialogue and communication system.
I do a lot of my studying at a local restaurant. A young waitress was wrapping something at a nearby table. I asked her what she was doing. She told me that she decided to take the pictures off of the walls and wrap them in Valentine’s Day paper and bows. When I mentioned how imaginative and creative she was she replied, “I’m not the creative one in my family. You should see my sister draw.” Her comment reflects one of the prevailing myths we address in this seminar. Her wrapped pictures were imaginative, creative, and made a significant positive change to the ambiance enjoyed by the patrons of that restaurant.
If creativity can encompass new and original ideas, concepts, products, services, strategies, and processes that have meaning and value to others, then innovation is creativity on steroids. Scott Berkun, author of The Myths of Innovation, offers the definition of innovation as 'significant positive change' for whomever the change is intended or offered. If something is innovative it has already passed the creativity test. It's just a matter of the degree of the impact it has on those for whom it was created.
We usually think of imagination, creativity, and innovation when reading about a historical figure or examining the life of a prominent person who writes a New York Times bestseller, paints a work of art, performs a song that hits number one on the charts, or invents or improves an useful product. Names like Michael Crichton, Leonardo da Vinci, Taylor Swift, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates come to mind.
In Richard Linklater's animated film called Waking Life, Guy Forsyth's character reflects on the power of imagination, "The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibilities of your dreams. If you can do that, you can do anything."
Our imaginations allow us to create things out of nothing. That's something. Morgan Freeman gets to this point in Rob Reiner and Guy Thomas' movie, The Magic of Belle Isle, "Never stop seeing what's not there".
Imagination is the fuel that stokes the fires of creativity.
While these are high profile individuals may have changed their cultures, domains, fields, or even the world, we have millions of other artists, scientists, musicians, engineers, writers, educators, and people in many fields of endeavor who are extremely imaginative, creative, and innovative but who but who may never be mentioned in a history book or be widely recognized outside of their field.
However, what doesn't usually come to mind when thinking of imagination, creativity, and innovation are new, original, or unique ways to parent, to improve relationships, to reach disengaged students and their parents, to find a new job after being laid off, or to start a small business in a terrible business climate. We need to be able recognize and celebrate all expressions of imagination, creativity, and innovation. We need to begin to applaud originality and significant positive change in our own lives and the lives of others and not just in the products we use, books we read, movies we see, the music listen to, and art we buy.
Innovation can also mean taking existing knowledge and applying it in a new way. Captain Sully Sullenberger successfully ditched his US Airways airliner in the Hudson River in 2009 without any loss of life. Captain Sullenberger mentioned on MSNBC's Morning Joe, with host Joe Scarborough, that there is no way to train for an event like this, not even using a flight simulator. He said, "....I had to take what I did know to innovate and apply in a new way to something we had never seen before." Captain Sullenberger had 90 seconds to innovate or people would die. That is a significant positive change. That is innovation.
Imagine That Too