Thinking of the creative minds of these authors reminded me of my grandmother. She taught creative thinking classes for many years before retiring back in 1981. Over the years she wrote a book about these lectures and her ideas on creative thinking, but never had it published. A year before she passed away, my father decided to surprise her for her 98th birthday and have her book published. He had my brother proof and edit it, then published it through IUniverse. On her birthday, she was presented with the book and several copies to autograph for all of us. She was absolutely delighted.
The book "Lady, Your Mind is Showing," a lecture on creative thinking is absolutely timeless
My grandmother also loved to write poetry and paint. The pictures of the painting on the cover are all hers. Each of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren received one of her paintings when she passed away. The right hand bottom painting on the cover of the book of the boat anchored in the bay at sunset found a home on my bedroom wall.
When I read the book I realized I had been using these ideas all my life. Her ideas, her way of thinking had been passed on to my father who in turn had passed them on to his children. I picked up the book yesterday and found a part that I had underlined
"What we think about, we become. Remember, creative thinking is the ability to bring into being new and different ideas through the process of thought. We should recognize the potential in new ideas and be prepared for changes, because there cannot be progress without change. A deliberate physical change eventually will bring about a mental change. Chester Bernard once observed: "To try and fail is at least to learn; to fail to try is to suffer the loss of what might have been."
Nana always talked about digging into our diamond minds.
"Several years ago, the lyrics to a popular Broadway song charmed its audiences into believing that "Diamonds are a girl's best friend." You may or may not agree with this notion. Diamonds reign as priceless gems in any age with some cultures using diamonds for currency. But I like to think of those diamonds as ideas. And if this is true, you are sitting in the very center of a diamond mine that can be worked to become a diamond mind. You have the richest treasure between your two ears that you can possible imagine. Few people realize this. The person who wishes she had a computer at her disposal doesn't recognize what she has in her own head. A diamond mine, or a diamond mind, AND a computer!" pg 18
I was raised to be a positive thinker. To think creatively, analyze everything, not let habits and conformity get in the way, not create excuses and reasons why you can't do something. Reading back over the book now, something that stood out was this.
"Your imaginative or creative power can help unlock the door to the subconscious, to tap its resources; its stored knowledge. It is a sad fact that we do not make enough of this wondrous power. Through research, it has been found that even though everyone is born with imagination, by the time a child enters the fourth grade or is about nine years old, he/she has usually stopped exercising this gift to the fullest. Often, this power to dream, to visualize, to imagine is crushed by the people around us...."
Remarks such as "You're old enough to know better, That's a silly story. You're letting your imagination run away with you or why not try being sensible for a change?" have the ability to crush the imagination. I've discovered this to be true with both my son and Father. One word and the light goes out of their eyes and makes them doubt. They are crushed. Which is pretty much why I support their ideas, their projects unconditionally - encouraging them to think creatively, applauding ideas, and being positive.
Which leads me back to books, book reviews and writing. Friday I mentioned getting a thank you note from James Lepore. Can you imagine if all the reviews for "A World I Never Made" had been negative? The life of a writer would have been crushed, a dream killed. I guess that is why I have such a hard time writing a negative review. I'm the eternal optimist who always looks at the glass half full.
Ronald Reagan loved to tell this story.
The joke concerns twin boys of five or six. Worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities -- one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist -- their parents took them to a psychiatrist.
First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. "What's the matter?" the psychiatrist asked, baffled. "Don't you want to play with any of the toys?" "Yes," the little boy bawled, "but if I did I'd only break them."
Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. "What do you think you're doing?" the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. "With all this manure," the little boy replied, beaming, "there must be a pony in here somewhere!"
I'm thinking that most writers have to be eternal optimists. Creating, digging deep down in that diamond mind, brainstorming, all the while seeing that glass half full.
What about you. Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?