Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum on October 18, 2014 · 1 comment

Let Me In (Flickr Blog May 7th 2013)

“We must be will­ing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is wait­ing for us.” ~ Joseph Camp­bell

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Are You A Prometheus?

by Guest Author on October 9, 2014 · 1 comment

Has a Prometheus ever given you fire?

Accord­ing to Greek mythol­ogy, the Titan Prometheus cre­ated man out of clay and taught them to walk uprightly as the Gods. But at that time, the Gods con­sid­ered man to be an ani­mal; men were crea­tures with­out the gift of fire, which made their earth a cold, dark, and harsh place.

In time, Prometheus learned to love mankind and wanted to help them move for­ward. Because of this love, Prometheus dis­obeyed the com­mand of Zeus and stole fire from Mount Olym­pus. He then descended to earth and taught mankind how to build fires. With this gift, mankind could cook their food, build tools, stay warm — and per­haps most impor­tantly — they could have light in the dark­ness. Some even say that Prometheus lin­gered and taught man the ways of god­li­ness: orga­ni­za­tion, med­i­cine, sci­ence, writ­ing, math­e­mat­ics, and agriculture.

In a jeal­ous rage, Zeus pun­ished Prometheus for eter­nity, ban­ish­ing him from Mount Olym­pus forever.

But in spite of Zeus’s fury, mankind was never the same. The gift of fire — or the gift of light — gave them power to become as the gods.

Now I ask again, has a Prometheus ever given you fire? Has some­one given you the gift of light when your world was cold, harsh, and dark?

I believe that at var­i­ous points in our lives we all expe­ri­ence moments of Promethean fire. For what­ever rea­son we may feel as though we are wan­der­ing in dark­ness — lost and afraid. But then some­one comes who, because of love, gives us light. And with this light we are able to con­tinue mov­ing forward.

If you have iden­ti­fied some­one in your life who has been as Prometheus — some­one who gave you light dur­ing a period of dark­ness — I encour­age you to reach out and thank them.

And then I encour­age you to be as Prometheus — to give the gift of light to oth­ers. Because at some point, all of us strug­gle to move for­ward and all of us need the light of a Prometheus.

© 2014 Seth Adam Smith, author — Your Life Isn’t for You: A Self­ish Person’s Guide to Being Self­less


Author Bio
Seth Adam Smith,
author of Your Life Isn’t for You, is an inter­na­tion­ally acclaimed Alaskan-born writer. In 2013, his blog post “Mar­riage Isn’t for You” received over thirty mil­lion hits and was trans­lated into over twenty lan­guages. A sur­vivor of a sui­cide attempt in 2006, Seth has learned that true heal­ing comes from focus­ing on oth­ers and shar­ing “the north­ern lights of life.” He fre­quently writes about these top­ics on his web­site, SethAdamSmith.com

27-pat-black-cdipo

Great spir­its have always found vio­lent oppo­si­tion from medi­oc­ri­ties.” — Albert Einstein

For years, I have been fas­ci­nated with the rela­tion­ship between cre­ativ­ity and non­con­for­mity. Unfor­tu­nately, many of our insti­tu­tions, whether in edu­ca­tion, reli­gion, or work, sup­press cre­ativ­ity and focus on con­for­mity and obe­di­ence to author­ity. This sys­tem does not empower peo­ple to achieve their cre­ative poten­tial because it sti­fles our cre­ative gifts.

The cul­ture, includ­ing much of the edu­ca­tion sys­tem, often refuses to rec­og­nize the cre­ative gifts of those who march to a dif­fer­ent beat. Often stu­dents and oth­ers who are uncon­ven­tional cre­ative thinkers can feel out­cast. Bored with the sta­tus quo, they may turn to neg­a­tive, harm­ful, or even destruc­tive behav­iors because of this feel­ing that they just don’t fit in.

Sev­eral stud­ies have linked cre­ativ­ity and non­con­for­mity. A 1993 study from Turkey, for instance, pro­posed that cre­ativ­ity in chil­dren could be sti­fled by cul­tural demands for dis­ci­pline and con­for­mity. Researchers rated 192 chil­dren in the third and fourth grades using the Tor­rance Test of Cre­ative Think­ing and the Teacher Per­cep­tion Scale (a mea­sure of diver­gent thought and class­room non­con­for­mity devel­oped for study) and found a sig­nif­i­cant cor­re­la­tion between cre­ativ­ity and non­con­for­mity ( Runco — Pritzker Ency­lo­pe­dia of Cre­ativ­ity ).

If you have ever felt like your cre­ativ­ity was sti­fled by school, work, or soci­ety in gen­eral, remem­ber that many of the great­est thinkers who have changed the course of his­tory have been non­con­formists. Galileo Galilei refused to accept the Catholic Church’s teach­ing that the earth was the cen­ter of the uni­verse and was con­victed for refus­ing to renounce his astro­nom­i­cal obser­va­tions. Albert Ein­stein clashed with his early teach­ers and school author­i­ties because of his refusal to accept cen­turies of con­ven­tional think­ing, and went on to fun­da­men­tally reshape our ideas of how the uni­verse works. Mohan­das Gandhi stood up for India’s inde­pen­dence in the face of oppres­sive Eng­lish rule by pio­neer­ing non­vi­o­lent civil disobedience.

Despite the fact that some of history’s biggest game-changers were uncon­ven­tional thinkers, soci­ety often views non­con­formists as rebel­lious trou­ble­mak­ers. What dis­tin­guishes thought lead­ers like Galileo, Ein­stein, and Gandhi from non­con­formists who never leave their mark? Their com­mit­ment to pos­i­tive change and their pas­sion to stand up for what they believed in.

Ein­stein famously stated, “We can’t solve prob­lems by using the same kind of think­ing we used when we cre­ated them.” Today, as through­out his­tory, we need peo­ple who can think out­side the box and who are com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing pos­i­tive change.

Here are some ideas to nur­ture uncon­ven­tional, cre­ative thinking:

  • Find Your Sanc­tu­ary — We need a safe envi­ron­ment for risk tak­ing and cre­ativ­ity, a place we can explore our ideas with­out fear of being judged. For many of us, that is our cir­cle of friends. If you feel like you don’t fit in because you ques­tion every­thing, you may grav­i­tate toward oth­ers who feel out­cast by their nonconformity.
  • Fol­low Your Curios­ity - Most cre­ative uncon­ven­tional thinkers also explore many paths in their quest for ful­fill­ment. You may exhaus­tively study one path, only to find your­self on another path later. Don’t feel dis­cour­aged if oth­ers see you as a rest­less seeker, but rather fol­low your curios­ity to wher­ever it leads.
  • Stay Flex­i­ble - It is a maxim that the per­son with the most flex­i­bil­ity in a group con­trols the group (for exam­ple, a baby in a restau­rant). You can­not lead peo­ple for long from a rigid belief sys­tem. How­ever, you can if you develop flexibility.
  • Accept the learn­ing that comes from adver­sity - Under­stand­ing your expe­ri­ences are all part of your path to your pur­pose, and look­ing at the obsta­cles you encounter in this way, will change your per­spec­tive. It’s com­fort­ing to have the knowl­edge that there is a good pur­pose — learn­ing — for every­thing you experience.
  • Feed your pos­i­tive imag­i­na­tion — This is the abil­ity to envi­sion a future or a pos­si­bil­ity that does not yet exist. Imag­i­na­tion is the key to unlock­ing novel ways to solve prob­lems and cre­ate new pos­si­bil­i­ties. It’s the power to man­i­fest some­thing pos­i­tive on the phys­i­cal plane that pre­vi­ously existed only as an idea. I use the term “pos­i­tive imag­i­na­tion” because imag­i­na­tion can also be neg­a­tive if it causes you hurt your­self or those around you. If you want to be suc­cess­ful, you must use pos­i­tive imag­i­na­tion to cre­ate that success.
  • Under­stand Energy Flows in a Cycle — Energy flows in two direc­tions: you send it out with your emo­tions and it comes back to you with those same emo­tions. So if you send out the emo­tion of hate to some­one or some­thing, it returns to you as hate. If you send out the emo­tion of love to some­one or some­thing, it returns to you as love.

Cre­ative think­ing holds the key to advance human­ity beyond the prob­lems cre­ated by the mind­sets of the past. By rec­og­niz­ing, valu­ing, and sup­port­ing cre­ative thinkers, we empower them to unlock the poten­tial for cre­ative changes that will reshape the world for the better.


About the Author: Samuel P. “Pat” Black III (Pat Black), founder of vision­ary busi­nesses and phil­an­thropic orga­ni­za­tions, aims to cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where today’s uncon­ven­tional thinkers can thrive. One of his ground­break­ing com­pa­nies include HERO Bx, LLC one of the largest biodiesel man­u­fac­tur­ers in the North­east. He’s build­ing “The Flour­ish Sum­mit” to give com­mu­ni­ties tools, spaces, and pro­grams non­con­formist lead­ers will use to find solu­tions to today’s most press­ing chal­lenges. Learn more at www.FlourishSummit.com and in Pat’s new book, Crack­ing the Flour­ish­ing Code.

In the period of eco­nomic cri­sis peo­ple take the prob­lem of job search more cre­atively. The nov­elty of this approach is in use of non-standard com­mu­ni­ca­tion channels.

One of the cre­ative approaches in your job hunt­ing is self-promotion or self-advertising. The core of this method lies in the abil­ity to use dif­fer­ent sales tech­niques that work for prod­ucts and ser­vices but adapted to sell­ing your skills in the labor mar­ket. The employ­ers are taken as usual cus­tomers, so let’s work with them professionally!

Here are sev­eral exam­ples of such non-standard approach in find­ing a place known on the Internet:

- A uni­ver­sity stu­dent cre­ates a site inform­ing about the guar­an­teed remu­ner­a­tion in the form of a cruise or $ 500 to any­one who tells him a good option of get­ting a job;

- A for­mer bank employee hav­ing tried all the stan­dard ways to attract the poten­tial employ­ers, puts a “sand­wich” cos­tume with the mes­sage: “Expe­ri­enced MIT grad­u­ate is look­ing for a job” (MIT, i.e. Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy — a mecca of com­puter tech­nol­ogy) and goes to Park Avenue to dis­trib­ute his busi­ness cards among top man­agers going for lunch.

You can also see some posters or bill­boards with excerpts from the resume or ads put on the garages of top managers.

HR-specialists advise to com­bine cre­ativ­ity with a con­sid­ered approach — a com­mon sense should oblig­a­tory be present. The form of the appeal to poten­tial employ­ers should be cho­sen based on a clear under­stand­ing of the tar­get audi­ence, and the cre­ative com­po­nent should not over­shadow the information.

Don’t for­get that the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and prag­ma­tism will be appre­ci­ated in any sit­u­a­tion. HR spe­cial­ists advise to show results, i.e how much have your for­mer employ­ers earned or saved thanks to your efforts. Thus, we can con­clude that com­pe­tent lawyers or accoun­tants will be in a great demand with­out any creativity.

Cre­ative approach is wel­come for the can­di­dates of such posi­tions as: pro­ducer, com­mer­cial artist, art direc­tor, etc. In this case, the employer may be inter­ested in your focus on the results, the abil­ity to come up with inno­v­a­tive solu­tions. In addi­tion, an orig­i­nal approach is a way to reveal your pro­fes­sional qual­i­ties as a cre­ative worker, which is hardly pos­si­ble dur­ing the interview.

Recruiters advise that in order to stand out from the crowd you need to focus on:

- cre­at­ing a qual­i­ta­tive resume;

- find­ing and main­tain­ing rela­tion­ships with peo­ple who can assist in find­ing employ­ment — networking;

- improv­ing your inter­view­ing skills.

Recently, many can­di­dates are turn­ing to HR-managers and other employ­ees of the com­pa­nies directly through social net­works, blogs, forums and pro­fes­sional communities.

We offer you sev­eral other ways of uncon­ven­tional job search.

1. Online games. This method is suit­able for any online game, but prefer­ably with an active chat.

2. Dat­ing sites. A resume sub­mit­ted to the dat­ing site will help you find a life part­ner and work simultaneously.

3. Tax office. The fol­low­ing method pro­posed by one of the appli­cants seems most orig­i­nal. Com­pe­tent and col­or­fully dec­o­rated resume (col­ored paper and photo) placed as brochures on the tables of tax inspec­tors — are your chance to attract the atten­tion of accountants.

In con­clu­sion, we can say that an unusual way to find work says about your cre­ativ­ity, the abil­ity to achieve goals, orig­i­nal­ity and creativity.

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