It’s happened to everyone
who has a goal. You decide what you want, develop a plan, take the first step,
and then the unexpected happens.
“Obstacles don’t have to
stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how
to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Michael
“What saved us over and over
was our willingness to recognize what wasn’t working and quickly identify a new
way of looking at it. By remaining flexible and open to creative solutions, the
results have been miraculous.” Anita Roddick
“I don’t let obstacle get
me down. I focus on how to overcome them. You can work around any obstacle by
going under it if it’s too high, going over it if it’s too low. There’s always
a way!” James Rocky Robinson
“You may have to fight a
battle more than once to win it.” Margaret
“All of this was possible
because I didn’t stop at the first or 100th no I received. If one
approach didn’t work, I’d try another one, and I never gave up.” John Mautner
“The truth is that the
average ‘bottom-of-the-ladder’ person is potentially as creative as the top
executive who sits in the big office. The problem is that the person on the
bottom of the ladder doesn’t trust his own brilliance and doesn’t therefore,
believe in his own ideas.” Dr. Robert H. Schuller
“We weren’t promised a
bed of roses,”“and the sun always
shines after the rain.”
“Things don’t just happen.
You have to make them happen and you can count on nothing working out exactly
as planned. By working hard and creatively looking for solutions, you will find
your way around all of life’s obstacles.” Eula Hall
Ask ourselves the
following question: “What can I do, with what I have, to get what I want?”
Personal Action Plan: Tapping Your Creativity
Pursuing a goal is a
constantly evolving process. No one who has ever followed a dream has taken a
direct, unobstructed path and arrived at his or her destination effortlessly
and on time. Following a dream is not a direct highway but a bumpy road full of
twists and turns and occasional roadblocks. The journey requires modifications
and adjustments in both thought and action, not just once, but over and over.
And that means you must be flexible and creative.
Step 1: Develop Your
Creativity is a Muscle
“Imagination is more
important than knowledge.” That’s what Albert Einstein said, and Einstein was
one of the most intelligent people who ever lived. He solved some of the
greatest riddles of science, riddles that had confounded other scientists for
centuries. Einstein was a master problem solver, yet he often said that his
greatest asset in solving problems was not his intellect but his imagination.
The good news is you don’t
have to be as imaginative as Einstein to be an effective problem solver. All
people have an abundance of creativity within themselves to solve any problem
that arises. The challenge is to keep your mind strong and flexible. Your mind
functions like a muscle. Exercising your mind might require spending less time
in front of the television set and more time thinking, creating, and
brainstorming with others on how you can identify a solution to your
Exercise for Expanding Your
Identify a problem and write the problem across the top of the sheet. Then
write the numbers 1 through 10 vertically down the left side of the sheet of
paper. Finally, write ten possible solutions to your problem. The purpose of
the exercise is to stretch your imagination and tap unconscious resources.
Next step in the exercise is to examine each
solution and crossed out the ones that don’t lead anywhere.
Apply this exercise to one of your current problems. Perhaps you’re looking for
a way to fund a new business, identify people who can help you launch a
product, or determine the solution to a community problem. Write down ten
different ways you could approach the problem and reach a solution. Make sure
they are viable options, but stretch your imagination.
Remember, the solution to
every problem lies within you. You may need a few minutes of quiet time to
complete the exercise effectively, or you may need to brainstorm possible
solution with a friend. Feel free to do whatever you think is necessary to
connect with your inner knowing. When you’ve completed the exercise, you should
find that the solutions you have found will renew your sense of possibility and
commitment to your goal.
Step 2: Be Flexible
“Your imagination is the
preview to life’s coming attractions.” Albert
“imaginative” – these three words are almost interchangeable. If you are
creative, you can think of alternative ways to work around problems, ways that
align with your own skills and reflect your values. If you are flexible, you
are able and willing to change and modify plans; you adjust to new circumstances
and needs. If you are imaginative, you envision what is not and what can be –
you see in your mind what you haven’t yet seen in the material world. All three
words refer to your willingness to experiment with new approaches and fresh
When a great wind blows, that which is rigid will snap and break.
That which is flexible will bend. When the wind dies down and calm returns, the
flexible will rise again.
Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison,
and Henry Ford, these people triumphed by using imagination and flexibility.
They experimented with new materials and techniques that often seemed
unrealistic or unbelievable at the time. For years, they suffered failure after
failure, but they never felt regret. Each time they simply abandoned what did
not work, revised their theories, and continued to look for what would work.
They were flexible and humble enough to learn from other people’s ideas and
experiments and to adapt them to their own projects.
Brian Tracy, business writer
and consultant, says that to create a successful product, the product need be
only 5% different from existing products. If the product is too different, it
may be “ahead of its time,” and consumers may not be ready for it. Ideas are
products too. Therefore, it is possible that a creative idea need be only
slightly different to yield significant results.
Unstoppable people always
find their way over, around, or under every barrier that confronts them. A
brick wall is intimidating, but it is not undefeatable. Unstoppable people believe
there’s a solution to every problem if they keep searching.
No one is asking you to
become as creative as Shakespeare, as flexible as Houdini, or as imaginative as
Da Vinci. But you may be surprised at how much exists within you. Dip into you
well of creativity. Apply imagination, creativity, and flexibility to the
challenges that predictably appear as you proceed toward your goal. If you tap
only 5% of your potential, you are on your way to being 100% unstoppable.
“We are told never to cross
a bridge till we come to it, but this world is owned by people who have
‘crossed bridges’ in their imagination far ahead of the crowd.” Speakers Library