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Chapter 5 – How To Think And Dream Creatively
First, LET’S Clean UP a common fallacy about the meaning of creative thinking. For some illogical reason, science, engineering, art, and writing got tabbed as about the only truly creative pursuits. Most people associate creative thinking with things like the discovery of electricity or polio vaccine, or the writing of a novel or the development of color television.
Certainly; accomplishments like these are evidence of creative thinking. Each forward step made in the conquest of space is the result of creative thinking, lots of it. But creative thinking is not reserved for certain occupations, nor is it restricted to superintelligent people.
Well, then, what is creative thinking?
A low-income family devises a plan to send their son to a leading university. That’s creative thinking.
A family turns the street’s most undesirable lot into the neighborhood beauty spot. That’s creative thinking.
A minister develops a plan that doubles his Sunday evening attendance. That’s creative thinking.
Figuring out ways to simplify record keeping, selling the “impossible” customer, keeping the children occupied constructively, making employees really like their work, or preventing a “certain” quarrel-all of these are examples of practical, every day creative thinking.
Creative thinking is simply finding new, improved ways to do anything. The rewards of all types of success-success in the home, at work, in the community-hinge on finding ways to do things better. Now let’s see what we can do to develop and strengthen our creative thinking ability.
Step one: Believe it can be done. Here is a basic truth: To do anything, we must first believe it can be done. Believing something can be done sets the mind in motion to find a way to do it.
To illustrate this point of creative thinking in training sessions, I often use this example: I ask the group, “How many of you feel it is possible to eliminate jails within the next thirty . years?”
Invariably the group looks bewildered, not quite sure they heard right and thinking they are listening to a real fuzzy-wuzzy. So after a pause I repeat, “How many of you feel it is possible to eliminate jails within the next thirty years?”
Once they’re sure I’m not joking, someone always blasts me with something like “You mean to say you want to turn all ‘ those murderers, thieves, and rapists loose? Don’t you realize what this would mean? Why, none of us would be safe. We have to have jails.”
Then the others cut loose:
‘M order would break down if we didn’t have jails.”
“Some people are born criminals.”
“If anything, we need more jails.”
“Did you read in this morning’s paper about that murder?”
And the group goes on, telling me ail sorts of good reasons why we must have jails. One fellow even suggested we’ve got to have jails so the police and prison guards can have jobs.
After about ten minutes of letting the group “prove” why we can’t eliminate the need for jails, I say to them, “Now let me mention here that this question of eliminating jails is used to make a point.
“Each of you has come up with reasons why we can’t eliminate the need for jails. Will you do me a favor? Will you try extra hard for a few minutes to believe we can eliminate jails?”
Joining in the spirit of the experiment, the group says, in effect, “Oh, well, but just for kicks.” Then I ask, “Now, assuming we can elimnate jails, how could we begin?”
Suggestions come slowly at first. Someone hesitantly says something like, “Well, you might cut down crime if you established more youth centers.”
Before long, the group, which ten minutes ago was solidly against the idea, now begins to work up real enthusiasm.
“Work to eliminate poverty. Most crime stems from the low income levels.”
“Conduct research to spot potential criminals before they commit a crime.”
“Develop surgical procedures to cure some kinds of criminals.”
“Educate law enforcement personnel in positive methods of reform.”
These are just samples of the seventy-eight specific ideas I’ve tabulated that could help accomplish the goal of eliminating jails. WHEN YOU BELIEVE, YOUR MIND FINDS WAYS TO DO.
This experiment has just one point: When you believe some thing is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But when you believe, really believe, something can be done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you find the ways to do it.
Believing something can be done paves the way for creative solutions. Believing something can’t be done is destructive thinking. This point applies to all situations, Little and big. The political leaders who do not genuinely believe permanent world peace can be established will fail because their minds are closed to creative ways to bring about peace. The economists who believe business depressions are inevitable will not develop creative ways to beat the business cycle.
In a similar fashion, you can find ways to like a person if you believe you can.
You can discover solutions to personal problems if you believe you can.
You can find a way to purchase that new, larger home if you believe you can.
Belief releases creative powers. Disbelief puts the brakes on.
Believe, and you’ll start thinking—constructively.
Your mind will creative way if you let it. A little over two years ago a young man asked me to help him find a job with more future. He was employed as a clerk in the credit department of a mail- order company and felt that he was getting nowhere. We talked about his past record and what he wanted to do. After knowing something about him, I said, “I admire you very much for wanting to move up the ladder to a better job and more responsibility. But getting a start in the kind of job you want requires a college degree these days. I notice you’ve finished three semesters. May I suggest you finish college. Going summers, you can do it
in two years. Then I’m sure you can land the job you want, with the company you want to work for.”
“I realize,” he answered, “that a college education would help. But it’s impossible for me to go back to school.”
“Impossible? Why?” I asked.
“Well, for one thing,” he began, ‘Tm twenty-four. On top of that, my wife and I are expecting our second child In a couple of months. We barely get by now on what I make. I wouldn’t have time to study since I’d have to keep my job. It’s just impossible, that’s all.”
This young man really had himself convinced that finishing college was impossible.
Then I said to him, “If you believe it is impossible to finish school, then it is. But by the same token, if you’ll just believe it is possible to return to the university, a solution will come.
“Now, here’s what I would like you to do. Make up your mind you are going to go back to school. Let that one thought dominate your thinking. Then think, really think, about how you can do it’ and still support your family. Come back in a couple of weeks and let me know what ideas you’ve come up with.”
My young friend returned two weeks later.
“I thought a lot about what you said,” he began. ‘I’ve decided I must go back to school. I haven’t figured out all the angles yet, but I’II find a solution.
And he did.
He managed to get a scholarship provided by a trade association, which paid his tuition, books, and incidentals. He rear- . ranged his work schedule so he could attend classes. His enthusiasm and the promise of a better life won him his wife’s full support. Together they creatively found ways to budget money and time more effectively.
Last month he received his degree one day and went to work the next as a management trainee for a large corporation.
Where there’s a will, there is a way.
Believe it can be done. That’s basic to creative thinking. Here are suggestions to help you develop creative power through belief:
- Eliminate the word impossible from your thinking and speaking vocabularies. Impossible is a failure word. The thought “It’s impossible’: sets off a chain reaction of other thoughts to prove you’re right.
- ‘Think of something special you’ve been wanting to do but felt,You couldn’t. Now make a list of reasons why you can do it. Many of us whip and defeat our desires simply because we concentrate on why we can’t when the only thing worthy of our mental concentration is why we can.
Recently I read a newspaper item that said there are too many counties in most states. The article pointed out that most county boundaries were established decades before the first automobile was built and while the horse and buggy was the chief mode of travel. But today, with fast automobiles and good roads, there is no reason why three or four counties could not be combined. This would cut down greatly on duplicated services so that taxpayers would actually get better service for less money.
The writer of this article said he thought he had stumbled across a really live idea, so he interviewed thirty people at random to get their reactions. The result: not one person thought the idea had merit, even though it would provide them with better local government at less cost.
That’s an example of traditional thinking. The traditional thinker’s mind is paralyzed. He reasons, “It’s been this way for a hundred years. Therefore, it must be good and must stay this way. Why risk a change?”
‘Average” people have always resented progress. Many voiced a protest toward the automobile on the grounds that nature meant for us to walk or use horses. The airplane seemed drastic to many. Man had no “right” to enter the province “reserved” for birds. A lot of “status-quo-ers” still insist that man has no business in space.
One top missile expert recently gave an answer to this kind of thinking. “Man belongs,” says Dr. von Braun, “where man wants to go.”
Around 1900 a sales executive discovered a “scientific” principle of sales management. It received a lot of publicity and even found its way into textbooks. The principle was this: There is one best way to sell a product. Find the best way. Then never deviate from it.
Fortunately for this man’s company, new leadership came in in time to save the organization from financial ruin.
Contrast that experience with the philosophy of Crawford H. Greenewalt, president of one of the nation’s largest business organizations! E. l. du Pont de Nemours. In a talk at Columbia University, Mr. Greenewalt said, ” … there are many ways in which a good job can be done-as many ways, in fact, as there are men to whom the task is given.”
In truth, there is no one best way to do anything. There is no one best way to decorate an apartment, landscape a lawn, make a sale, rear a child, or cook a steak. There are as many best ways as there are creative minds.
Nothing grows 10 ice. If we let tradition freeze our minds, new ideas can’t sprout. Make this test sometime soon. Propose one of the ideas below to someone and then watch his behavior.
- The postal system, long a government monopoly, should be turned oven to private enterprise.
- Presidential elections should be held every two or six years Instead of four.
- Regular hours for retail stores should be 1 P.M. to 8 P.M., instead of 9 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
- The retirement age should be raised to seventy.
Whether these ideas are sound or practical is not the point. What is significant is how a person handles propositions like these. If he laughs at the idea and doesn’t give it a second thought (and probably 95 percent· will laugh at it) chances are he
suffers from tradition paralysis. But the one 10 twenty who says, “That’s an Interesting idea; tell me more about it,” has a mind that’s turned to creativity.
Traditional thinking is personal enemy number one for the person who is interested 10 a creative personal success program. Traditional thinking freezes your mind, blocks your progress, and prevents you from developing creative power. Here are three ways to fight it:
1.Become receptive to ideas. Welcome new ideas. Destroy these thought repellents: “Won’t work,” “Can’t be done,” “It’s useless,” and “It’s stupid.”
A very successful friend of mine who holds a major position with an insurance company said to me, “I don’t pretend to be the smartest guy in the business. But I think I am the best sponge in the. insurance industry, I make it a point to soak up all the good ideas I can.”
2.Be an experimental person. Break up fixed routines. Expose yourself to new restaurants, new books, new theaters, new friends; take a different route to work someday, take a different vacation this year, do something new and different this weekend.
If your work is in distribution, develop an interest in production, accounting, finance, and the other elements of business. This gives you breadth and prepares you for larger responsibilities.
3.Be progressive, not regressive. Not “That’s the way we did it where I used to work, so we ought to do it that way here” but “How can we do it better than we did it where I used to work?” Not backward, regressive thinking but forward, progressive thinking. Because you got up at 5:30 A.M. to deliver papers or milk the cows when you were a Youngster doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for you to require your children to do the same.
Imagine what would happen to the Ford Motor Company if its management allowed itself to think, “This year we’ve built the ultimate in automobiles. Further improvement is impossible. Therefore, all experimental engineering and designing activities are hereby permanently terminated.” Even the mammoth Ford Motor Company would shrivel fast with this attitude.
Successful people, like successful businesses, live with these questions: “How can I improve the quality of my performance? How can I do better?”
Absolute perfection in all human undertakings from building missiles to rearing children is unattainable. This means there is endless room for improvement. Successful people know this, and they are always searching for a better way. (Note: The successful person doesn’t ask, “Can I do it better?” He knows he can. So he phrases the question: “How can I do it better?”)
A few months ago, a former student of mine, in business for just four years, opened her fourth hardware store. This was quite a feat, considering the young lady’s small initial capital investment of only $3,500, strong competition from other stores, and the relatively short time she had been in business.
I visited her new store shortly after it opened to congratulate her on the fine progress she had made.
In an indirect way I asked her how she was able to make a success of three stores and open a fourth one when most merchants had to struggle to make a success of just one store.
“Naturally;” she answered, “I worked hard, but just getting up early and working late isn’t responsible for the four stores. Most people in my business work hard. The main thing I attribute my success to is my self-styled ‘weekly improvement program.’
“A weekly improvement program? Sounds impressive. How does it work?” I asked.
“Well, it really isn’t anything elaborate,” she continued, “it’s just a plan to help me do a better job as each week rolls around.
“To keep my forward thinking on the track, I’ve divided my job into four elements: customers, employees, merchandise, and promotion. All during the week I make notes and jot down ideas as to how I can improve my business.
“Then, every Monday evening, I set aside four hours to review the ideas I’ve jotted down and figure Out how to put the solid ones to use in the business.
“In this four-hour period I force myself to take a hard look at my operation. I don’t simply wish more customers would shop in my store. Instead I ask myself, ‘What can I do to ‘attract more customers?’ ‘How can I develop regular, loyal customers?”’
She went on describing numerous little innovations that made her first three stores so successful: things like the way she arranged the merchandise within her stores, her suggestion-selling technique that sold two out of three customers merchandise they had not planned to buy when they entered her stores, the credit plan she devised when many of her customers were out of work because of a strike, the contest she developed that boosted sales during a slack season.
“I ask myself, ‘What can I do to improve my merchandise offerings?’ and I get ideas. Let me cite just one case. Four weeks ago, it occurred to me that I should do something to get more youngsters into the store. I reasoned, if I had something here to draw the kids to the store, I’d also draw more of the parents. I kept thinking about it, and then this idea came: Put in a line of small carded toys for children in the four-to-eight age bracket, It’s working! The toys take little space and I make a nice profit on them. But, most important, the toys have increased store traffic.
“Believe me,” she went on, “my weekly improvement plan works. Just by conscientiously asking myself, ‘How can I do a better job?’ I find the answers. It’s a rare Monday night that I don’t come up with some plan or technique that makes that profit and loss statement look better.
‘And I’ve learned something else too about successful merchandising, something that I think every person going into business for himself should know.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
‘Just this: It isn’t so much what you know when you start that matters. It’s what you learn and put to use after you open your doors that counts most.”
Big success calls for persons who continually set higher standards for themselves and others, persons who are searching for ways to increase efficiency, to get more output at lower cost, do more with less effort. Top success is reserved for the I-can-do it-better kind of person.
General Electric uses the slogan “Progress is our most important product.”
Why not make progress your most important product?
The I-can-do-better philosophy works magic. When you ask yourself, “How can I do better?” your creative power is switched on and ways for doing things better suggest themselves.
Here is a daily exercise that will help you discover and develop the power of the I-can-do-better attitude.
Each day before you begin work, devote ten minutes to thinking “How can I do a better job today?” Ask, “What can I do today to encourage my employees?” “What special favor can I do for my customers?” “How can I increase my personal efficiency?”
This exercise is simple. But it works. Try it, and you’ll find unlimited creative ways to win greater success.
Just about every time my wife and I would get together with a certain couple, the conversation would turn to “working wives.” Mrs. S. had worked several years before her marriage, and she had genuinely liked it.
“But now,” she’d say, “I’ve got two youngsters in school, a home to manage, and meals to prepare. I simply haven’t got time.”
Then, one Sunday evening, Mr. and Mrs. S. and their children were in an automobile accident. Mrs. S. and the youngsters escaped serious injury, but Mr. S. received a back injury that left him permanently disabled. Now Mrs. S. had no choice but to go to work.
When we saw her several months after the accident, we were amazed to find how well she had adjusted to her new responsibilities.
“You know,” she said, “six. months ago I never dreamed I could possibly manage the house and work full-time. But after the accident, I just made up my mind that I had to find the time. Believe me, my efficiency has gone up 100 percent. I discovered a lot of things I was doing didn’t need to be done at all. Then I discovered that the children could and wanted to help. I found dozens of ways to conserve time-fewer trips to the store, less TV; less telephoning, less of those time killers.”
This experience teaches us a lesson: Capacity is a state of mind. How much we can do depends on how much we think we can do. When you really believe you can do more, your mind thinks creatively and shows you the way.
A young bank executive related this personal experience about “work capacity.”
“One of the other executives in our bank left us with very short notice. This put our department on the spot. The fellow leaving had filled an ‘important job, and his work couldn’t be postponed or left undone.
“The day after he left, the vice president in charge of my department called me ,in, He explained to me that he had already talked individually to the two others in my group, asking them if they could divide the work of the man who had just left until
a replacement could be found. ‘Neither of them flatly refused: said the vice president, ‘but each stated that he is up to his neck now with his own pressing work. I’m wondering if you could handle some of the overload temporarily?’
“Throughout my working career, I’ve learned that it never pays to turn down what looks like an opportunity. So I agreed and promised to do my very best to handle all the vacated job as well as keep up with my own work. The vice president was pleased at this.
“I walked out of his office knowing I had taken on a big job. I was just as busy as the two others in my department who had wiggled out of this extra duty. But I was determined to find a way to handle both jobs. I finished up my work that afternoon, ‘and when the offices were closed, I sat down to figure out how I could increase my personal efficiency. I got a pencil and started writing down every idea I could think of.
‘And you know, I came up with some good ones: like working out an arrangement with my secretary to channel all routine telephone calls to me during a certain hour each day, placing all outgoing calls during a certain hour, cutting my usual conference periods from fifteen minutes to ten, giving all my dictation at one time each day. I also discovered my secretary could and was eager to-take over a number of little time-consuming details for me.
“I had been handling my present job for over two years, and frankly, I was amazed to discover how much inefficiency I had let creep in.
“Within a week’s time, I was dictating twice as many letters, handling 50 percent more phone calls, attending half again as many meetings-all with no strain.
‘A couple more weeks passed. The vice president called me in. He complimented me on doing a fine job. He went on to say that he had looked over a number of people from both inside and outside the bank but he had not yet found the right man. Then he confessed that he had already cleared with the bank’s executive committee, and they had authorized him to combine the two jobs, put them both in my charge, and give me a substantial increase in salary.
“I proved to myself that how much I can do depends on how much I think I can do.”
Capacity is indeed a state of mind.
Every day, it seems, this takes place in the fast-moving world of business. The boss calls in an employee and explains that a special task must be accomplished. Then he says, “I know you’ve got a lot of work to do, but can you handle this?” Too often the employee replies, ‘Tm awfully sorry, but I’m all loaded down now. I wish I could take it on, but I’m just too busy.”
Under the circumstances, the boss doesn’t hold it against the employee, because it is “extra duty,” so to speak. But the boss realizes the task must be done, and he’ll keep looking until he finds an employee who is just as busy as the rest but who feels he can take on more. And this employee is the fellow who will forge ahead.
In business, in the home, in the community, the success combination is do what you do better (improve the quality of your output) and do more of what you do (increase the quantity of your output).
Convinced it pays to do more and better? Then try this two-step procedure:
- Eagerly accept the opportunity to do more. It’s a compliment to be asked to take on a new responsibility. Accepting greater responsibility on the job makes you stand out and shows that you’re more valuable. When your neighbors ask you to represent them on a civic matter, accept. It helps you to become a community leader.
- Next, concentrate on “How can I do more?” Creative answers will come. Some -of these answers may be better planning and organization of your present work or taking intelligent shortcuts in your routine activities, or possibly dropping nonessential activities altogether. But, let me repeat, the solution fur doing more will appear.
As a personal policy I have accepted fully the concept: If you want it done, give it to a busy man. I refuse to work on important projects with persons who have lots of free time. I have learned from painful, expensive experience that the fellow who has plenty of time makes an ineffective work partner.
All the successful, competent people I know are busy. When I start something, some project, with them, I know it will be satisfactorily completed.
I have learned in dozens of instances that I can count on a busy man to deliver. But I have often been disappointed in working with people who have “all the time in the world.”
Progressive business management constantly asks, “What can we do to expand output?” Why not ask yourself, ‘What can I do to expand my output?” Your mind will creatively show you how.
In hundreds of interviews with people at all levels I’ve made this discovery: The bigger the person, the more apt he is to encourage you to talk; the smaller the person, the more apt he is to preach to you.
Big people monopolize the listening.
Small people monopolize the talking.
Note this also: Top-level leaders in all walks of life spend much more time requesting advice than they do in giving it. Before a top man makes a decision, he asks, “How do you feel about it?” “What do you recommend?” “What would you do
under these circumstances?” “How does this sound to you?”
Look at it this way: A leader is a decision-making human machine. Now; to manufacture anything, you’ve got to have raw material. In reaching creative decisions, the raw materials are the ideas and suggestions of others. Don’t, of course, expect other people to give you ready-made solutions. That’s not the primary reason for asking and listening. Ideas of others help to spark your own ideas so your mind is more creative.
Recently I participated as a staff instructor in an executive management seminar. The seminar consisted of twelve sessions. One of the highlights of each meeting was a fifteen-minute discussion by one of the executives on the topic “How I solved my most pressing management problem.”
At the ninth session, the executive whose turn it was, a vice president of a large milk-processing company; did something different. Instead of telling how he had solved his problem, he announced his topic as “Needed: Help on solving my most pressing management problem.” He quickly outlined his problem and then asked the group for ideas on solving it. To be sure he got a record of each idea suggested, he had a ‘stenographer in the room taking down everything that was said.
Later I talked with this man and complimented’him on his unique approach. His comment was “There are some very sharp men in this group. I just figured I’d harvest some ideas. There’s a good possibility something someone said during that session may give me the clue I need to solve the problem.”
Note: this executive presented his problem, then listened. In so doing, he got some decision-making raw material, and, as a side benefit, the other executives in the audience enjoyed the discussion because it gave them the opportunity to take part.
Successful businesses invest large sums in consumer research. They ask people about the taste, quality; size, and appearance of a product. Listening to people provides definite ideas for making the product more salable. It also suggests to the manufacturer what he should tell consumers about the product in his advertising. The procedure for developing successful products is to get as much opinion as you can, listen to the people who will buy the product, and then design the product and its promotion to please these people.
In an office recently I noticed a sign that said, “To sell John Brown what John Brown buys, you’ve got to see things through John Brown’s eyes.” And the way to get John Brown’s vision is to listen to what John Brown has to say.
Your ears are your intake valves. They feed your mind raw materials that can be converted into creative power. We learn nothing from telling. But there is no limit to what we can learn by asking and listening.
Try this three-stage program to strengthen your creativity through asking and listening:
- Encourage others to talk. In personal conversation or in group meetings, draw out people with little urges, such as “Tell me about your experience … ” or “What do you think should be done about … ?” or “What do you think is the key point)” Encourage others to talk, and you win a double-barreled victory: your mind soaks up raw material that you can use to produce creative thought, and you win friends. There is no surer way to get people to like you than to encourage them to talk to you.
- Test your own views in the form of questions. Let other people help you smooth and polish your ideas. Use the what-do-you-think-of-this-suggestion? approach. Don’t be dogmatic. Don’t announce a fresh idea as if it were handed down on a gold tablet. Do a little informal research first. See how your associates react to it. If you do, chances are you’ll end up with a better idea.
- Concentrate on what the other person says. Listening is more than just keeping your own mouth shut. Listening means letting what’s said penetrate your mind. So often people pretend to listen when they aren’t listening at all. They’re just waiting for the other person to pause so they can take over with the talking. Concentrate on what the other person says. Evaluate it. That’s how you collect mind food.
More and more leading universities are offering advanced management training programs for senior’ business executives. According to the sponsors, the big benefit of these programs is not that the executives get ready·made formulae that they can use to operate their business more efficiently. Rather, they benefit most from the opportunity to exchange and discuss new ideas. Many of these programs require the executives to live together in college dormitories, thus encouraging bull sessions. Boiled down to one word, the executives benefit most from the stimulation received.
A year ago I directed two sessions in a one-week sales management school in Atlanta sponsored by the National Sales Executives, Inc. A few weeks later I met a salesman friend who worked for one of the sales executives who’d attended the school.
“You people at the school sure gave my sales manager a lot of things to do to run our company better,” my young friend said. Curious, I asked him specifically what changes he’d noticed. He reeled off a number of things-a revision in the compensation plan, sales meetings twice a month instead of once a month, new business cards and stationery; a revision in sales territories-not one of which was specifically recommended in the training program. The sales manager didn’t get
a bunch of canned techniques. Instead, he got something much more valuable, the stimulation to think of ideas directly beneficial to his own particular organization.
A young accountant for a paint manufacturer told me about a very successful venture of his that was sparked by ideas of others.
“I never had had more than a casual interest in real estate,” he told me. “I’ve been a professional accountant for several years now, and I’ve stuck pretty close to my profession. One day a Realtor friend invited me to be his guest at a luncheon of one of the city’s real estate groups.
“The speaker that day was an older man who had seen the city grow. His talk was about ‘The Next Twenty Years,’ He predicted that the metropolitan area would continue to grow far out into the surrounding farmland. He also predicted that there would be a record demand for what he called gentlemen-size farms, two to five acres, big enough so the businessman or professional person could have a pool, horses, a garden, and other hobbies that require space.
“This man’s talk really stimulated me. What he described was exactly what I wanted. The next few days I asked several friends what they thought about the idea of someday owning a five-acre estate. Everyone I talked to said, in effect, ‘I’d love that.’
“I continued to think about it and to figure how I could turn the idea into profit. Then one day as I was driving to work the answer came out of nowhere. Why not buy a farm and divide it into estates? I figured the land might be worth more in relatively small pieces than in one big piece.
“Twenty-two miles from the center of the city, I found a worn-out fifty-acre farm priced at $8,500. I bought it, paying only one-third down and working out a mortgage with the owner for the balance.
“Next, I planted pine seedlings where there were no trees. I did this because a real estate man whom I feel knows his business told me, ‘People want trees these days, lots of trees!’
“I wanted my prospective buyers to see that in a few years their estate would be covered with beautiful pine trees.
“Then I got a surveyor to divide the fifty acres into ten five acre plots.
“Now I was ready to start selling. I got several mailing lists of young executives in the city and put on a small-scale direct mail campaign. I pointed out how; for only $3,000, the price of a small city lot, they could buy an estate. I also described the
potentials for recreation and wholesome living.
“In six weeks’ time, working only evenings and on weekends, I sold all ten plots. Total income: $30,000. Total costs, including the land, advertising, surveying and legal expenses: $10,400. Profit: $19,600.
“I made a nice profit because I let myself be exposed to ideas of other intelligent people. Had I not accepted that invitation to attend a luncheon with a group completely foreign to my occupational interests, my brain would have never worked out this successful plan for making a profit.”
There are many ways to get mental stimulation, but here are two that you can incorporate into your pattern of life.
First, join and meet regularly with at least one professional group that provides stimulation in your own occupational area. Rub shoulders-and minds-with other success-oriented people. So often 1 hear someone say, “I picked up a great idea this noon at the –meeting” or “During the meeting yesterday 1 got to thinking … ” Remember, a mind that feeds only on itself soon is undernourished, becoming weak and incapable of creative progressive thought. Stimulation from others is excellent mind food.
Second, join and participate in at least one group outside your occupational interests. Association with people who have different job interests broadens your thinking and helps you to see the big picture. You’ll be surprised how mixing regularly with people outside your occupational area will stimulate your on-the-job thinking.
Ideas are fruits of your thinking. But they’ve got to be harnessed and put to work to have value.
Each year an oak tree produces enough acorns to populate a good-sized forest. Yet from these bushels of seeds perhaps only one or two acorns will become a tree. The squirrels destroy most of them, and the hard ground beneath the tree doesn’t give the few remaining seeds much chance for a start.
So it is with ideas. Very few bear fruit. Ideas are highly perishable. If we’re not on guard, the squirrels (negative-thinking people) will destroy most of them. Ideas require special handling from the time they are born until they’re transformed into practical ways for doing things better. Use these three ways to harness and develop your ideas:
- Don’t let ideas escape. Write them down. Every day lots of good ideas are born only to die quickly because they aren’t nailed to paper. Memory is a weak slave when it comes to preserving and nurturing brand-new ideas. Carry a note book or some small cards with you. When you get an idea, write it down. A friend who travels a lot keeps a clipboard beside him so that he can write down an idea the instant it occurs to him. People with fertile, creative minds know a good idea may sprout any time, any place. Don’t let ideas escape; else you destroy the fruits of your thinking. Fence them in ..
- Next, review your ideas. File these ideas in an active me. The me can be an elaborate cabinet, or it can be a desk drawer. A shoe box will do. But build a me and then examine your storehouse of ideas regularly. As you go over your ideas, some may, for very good reasons, have no value at all. Get rid of them. But so long as the idea has any promise, keep it.
- Cultivate and fertilize your idea. Now make your idea grow.’ Think about it. Tie the idea to related ideas. Read anything you can find that is in any way akin to your idea. Investigate all angles. Then, when the time is. ripe, put it to work for yourself, your job, your future.
When an architect gets an idea for a new building, he makes a preliminary drawing. When a creative advertising person gets an idea for a new TV commercial, he puts it into storyboard form, a series of drawings that suggest what the idea will look like in finished form. Writers with ideas prepare a first draft.
Note: Shape up the idea on paper. There are two excellent reasons for this. When the idea takes tangible form, you can literally look at it, see the loopholes, see what it needs in the way of polish. Then, too, ideas have to be “sold” to someone: customers, employees, the boss, friends, fellow club members, investors.
Somebody must ‘buy” the idea; else it has no value.
One.summer I was contacted by two life insurance salesmen. Both wanted to work on my insurance program. Both promised to return with a plan for making the needed changes. The first salesman gave me strictly an oral presentation. He told me in words what I needed. But I soon was confused. He brought in taxes, options, Social Security, all the technical details of insurance programming. Frankly, he lost me and I had to say no.
The second salesman used a different approach. He had charted his recommendations. All the details were shown in diagram form. I could grasp his proposal easily and quickly because I could literally see it. He sold me.
Resolve to put your ideas in salable form. An idea written or in some sort of picture or diagram form has many times more selling power than the idea presented only in oral form.
USE THESE TOOLS AND THINK CREATIVELY
1.Believe it tan be done. When you believe something can be done, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.
Eliminate impossible,” ‘won’t work,” can’t do,” no use trying” from your thinking and speaking vocabularies.
2.Don’t let tradition paralyze your mind. Be receptive to new ideas. Be experimental. Try new approaches. Be progressive in everything you do.
3.Ask yourself daily, “How can I do better?” There is no limit to self.improvement. When you ask yourself, “How can I do better?” sound answers will appear. Try it and see.
4.Ask yourself, “How can I do more?” Capacity is a state of mind. Asking yourself tills question puts your mind to work to find intelligent shortcuts. The success combination in business is: Do what you do better (improve the quality of your output), and: Do more of what you do (increase the quantity of your output).
5.Practice asking and listening. Ask and listen, and you’ll obtain raw material for reaching sound decisions. Remember: Big people monopolize the listening; small people monopolize the talking.
6.Stretch your mind. Get stimulated. Associate with people who can help you think of new ideas, new ways of doing things. Mix with people of different occupational and social interests.
-David J. Schwartz
This are some recommendation of books from side( but or not to buy it’s your choice, just check it out once)
How to win friends & influence people : https://amzn.to/2Z1bgU0
How to win friends & influence people (hindi) : https://amzn.to/2ZhrU12
How to stop worrying and start living : https://amzn.to/2ZdVyQG
Rich dad Poor dad : https://amzn.to/2ZdjALJ
How to start a conversation & make friends : https://amzn.to/2KSY7mf
Magic of thinking Big :https://amzn.to/2QdkzMT