Barton J. Goldsmith




The only difference between creative and reactive is that the “c’ is in a different place. You have to be a little reactive to be creative. You have to see things differently, and come from a “feeling” place. Creativity does not come from the head (the rational side). You get to it through feelings, not thinking.


Ten steps to creativity:


  1. Believe that you are a creative vehicle.


  1. Trust in your intuition; be open to all that life has to offer.


  1. Stay in the moment; enjoy the process of creating.


  1. Do not try to force creativity; coax it.


  1. Visualize your goals.


  1. Know your strengths.


  1. Create your personal vision and mission.


  1. Be willing to move past your comfort zone.


  1. Reduce stress in your life.


  1. Avoid self-criticism and self-doubt.


Start every meeting with something inspirational. When you touch people’s emotions, you’re much more likely to get their buy-in. Once you get the emotional charge going, you have a much better opening to connect with your people.


Fifty-five percent of verbal communication is visual. Thirty-eight percent is tone, and only seven percent is the actual content. When seeking to do something new and innovative, people have to have it visually and they have to hear it in a manner in which they will accept it.


Everybody is creative. Don’t confuse creativity with artistic ability because they aren’t the same thing. Creativity involves your ability to use your brain to change, renew and recombine aspects of your life. It involves using your sixth sense, or intuition, to perceive the world around you and make use of what you’ve discovered.


Intuition is the source of creative ideas. Your intuition has access to all the ideas, thoughts, past experiences and other memory impressions that, with effort, can be consciously recalled. To be conscious means to be aware of yourself, your acts and your surroundings. The subconscious is a state in which mental processes take place without conscious perception. Your intuition is a part of the subconscious that brings ideas to consciousness.


Common mental blocks to creativity:


  • It’s not important.


  • I don’t have time.


  • I already have the answer.


  • I’m not creative.


In an ever-changing world, getting stuck in these attitudes will block access to your natural creativity and cause you to soon get left behind.


Processing creativity consists of six steps:


  1. Desire. You have to feel the need to be creative. Necessity is the mother of invention.


  1. Flow of ideas. This is where the brainstorming occurs.


  1. Selection process. Delete the unnecessary and begin to clarify.


  1. Refine your ideas. Weed out the weak and only keep what works best.


  1. Review and revise. Get feedback on your ideas and be open to change. Great ideas rarely occur in isolation.


  1. Completion. This stage involves fulfillment and release. Let go of the idea and let it have its own life. Things wilt change. Don’t try to force the idea to turn out exactly your way.







Goal setting and creativity are closely related. To get what you really want, goals must:


  • Be your own.


  • Be positive.
  • Be measurable and specific.


  • Be stated in inflation-proof terms.


  • Be stated in the most visible terms available.


  • Contain a deadline.


  • Allow for personality changes.


  • Contain an interrelated statement of benefits.


  • Be realistic and attainable.


  • Be fun.


  • Be written.


Goals should also be SMART:


  • Specific


  • Measurable


  • Attainable


  • Realistic


  • Timely


Use a “goal achievement worksheet” to help accomplish your goals. This worksheet should include today’s date and a target date for achieving your goals. It should then list:


  • Benefits to you of achieving your goal.


  • Benefits to others of achieving your goal.


  • Possible obstacles to the goal.


  • Potential solutions to overcome those obstacles.


  • Actions needed to achieve the goal.


  • A deadline for taking each action.


  • A signature line whereby you commit to achieving the goal.








A personal creative mission statement can be an important tool in unleashing your creativity.

A personal mission statement should define why you exist, differentiate you from others, provide

the energy that motivates you to be extraordinary and move you towards your vision.


Create a personal creative mission statement of value and purpose that you can memorize and affirm. Use words that define you as a creative being.


Creativity is in the act. It is the process of doing, giving and sharing yourself with the people you are close to and the planet. When dying, you don’t think about how much money you have in the bank, how great your business was, what kind of car you drove, etc. You think about the people you loved and those who loved you and the effect you have had on each other. Keep that in mind when forming your mission statement.







The technique of visualization, which was created by the U.S. during the space program’s rush to the moon, can also aid creativity. The astronaut training program couldn’t duplicate on earth the situations the astronauts would face in space, so they learned to visualize the process on earth. As a result, they performed much better in space.


Today, visualization is used extensively by world-class athletes, artists, public speakers and others who find themselves in different situations every day. It gives you a picture of where you’re going and strengthens your ability to get there. If you don’t see yourself being in the race, you have no chance to win. It is a very powerful tool for creating what you want in life.


To practice effective visualization:


  • Relax, physically and mentally.


  • Start simple. Think, see and feel something small.


  • Add more elements and create a bigger picture.


  • See it from the “Hollywood director’s” point of view, the third person point of view.
  • Move into the picture and become part of it. Become the first person.


  • Experience the visualization using all five senses.


  • Use your emotions. You must feel the picture as well as see it.


  • Repeat these steps until the world around you fades away.


  • Keep this up until you feel self-confidence.


Start by imagining yourself in a very peaceful place, whether real or fantasy. Visualize yourself in the scene from the director’s point of view. Begin to feel the environment around you. Listen to what you most want to hear (the waves on the ocean, the wind rustling the leaves, etc.), smell the smells and taste the tastes. Using all five of your senses, put yourself in your restful place.


At first, see the scene with the action happening outside yourself. After a while, become part of the picture. Physically feel yourself going in and being part of what you are envisioning. It won’t work to just watch yourself doing what you want to do. You have to feel, see, taste, hear and be what it is you want to be doing. Experience your visualization using all five senses.


Use your emotions. Repeat this process over and over until the world fades away and you are in the process. A simple yoga breathing technique can enhance the process. Breath in deeply through your nose. Hold your breath for three to four seconds, then exhale slowly through the mouth.


Now, put yourself completely in the scene. Feel your whole body doing what you visualize yourself doing. You are completely relaxed. Everything you want or need is there for you. Recall a time in your life when you felt extremely successful. It could be business success, relationships success, athletics; anything that gave you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, when you knew that you were the best you could be. Feel that feeling of success. Feel the passion and joy that comes with great success.


Now put this feeling on top of a goal you have set for yourself. Translate that feeling of winning into achieving your goal. Imagine what it feels like to have accomplished your goal. See yourself winning. Feel yourself reaping the benefits. Put as much passion and feeling as possible into your visualization.


Visualization is also an effective tool for improving physical health. The breathing and relaxation aspects in and of themselves will extend your life span.

Everybody is creative to a certain extent. Innovation, intuition, creativity, decision making, problem solving and goal setting all come from the same place, the emotions, not the brain. Tapping into your creativity is a matter of bringing out the different intelligences that exist within you, of attuning yourself to the gifts inside you that everybody has.


Highly creative people tend to be either very successful or big failures. The difference between the two is often hard to define. Very creative people have the potential to be very successful or very unsuccessful. That’s why many CEOs feel uncomfortable with their success. They have an innate feeling they could very well be on the other end.


Give yourself credit for your success without getting carried away by it. Recognize your gifts and look for new and better ways to use them. Persistence and determination play a large role in creativity.



TEC – Innovative Decision Making – Barton J. Goldsmith