Creativity and innovation are important for any business to strategize and envision. Creativity brings a new beginning for “time”. When you are creative, you break the monotony of time. It is very important for us to probe into the source of thought. Often we are called great thinkers, but what is a thought? Where does it originate? Is there any way to improve the thought process? What is the source of creativity? Here are the 7 ways to tap into your creative genius:
Tap the source with Meditation
The more we relax into ourselves the more we bring out creativity and happiness. Creativity is already present in every point in consciousness and it can be evoked. It is like applying heat to pop the corn kernels. There is inherent creativity in consciousness. Anyone who has discovered anything or any creativity has sprung up in any mind is because it is already present in the field. We are tapping what is already there and taking the credit. Sometimes we are able to do this without any effort; Before we know, it has already come out of us. Whether it is a scientific discovery or an inspiration for great art, the source is unknown. Tapping this field within us, being with this unknown field is meditation.
Go beyond your comfort zone
Anything creative and dynamic can happen only when you stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. You are often stuck thinking that you cannot do something. But if you make an effort and take that first step ahead, then you will find that you are not bound by your comfort zone. A good leader knows this.
The mind and body function on opposite laws. On the physical level, more the effort, better the result. Whereas on the mental level or the level of creativity, lesser the effort, greater the result. When the mind learns to let go and relax, then the ideas spring out. If you have forgotten something, the more effort you put to remember that, the longer it takes for you to remember. The sooner you let go, the faster the ideas come.
Be in the moment
If the mind vacillates between the past and the future, then it’s not sharp enough in the present. For creativity, all that is required is the sharpness of the mind, the ability to perceive better. Perception, observation, and expression -these three aspects which are integral to the success of any activity can blossom when our mind is well-rested.
Silence of mind
Balanced activity, rest and yoga can kindle skills and creativity in you.
Balance Imagination & Reality
Many inventions happened through certain imagination and linking that imagination to the present state of ground reality. If you are thinking only of the ground reality, then no creativity will come. And also if you base yourself purely on imagination, then there is no creativity. A balance is needed.
These simple tips on tapping into your creative genius will help you recharge your work and stay ahead.
The challenges that you face as an entrepreneur are not limited to just your work-related field, they are diverse – interpersonal, infrastructural, administrative and even emotional. To be able to deal with all these, one needs to be multi-faceted. All these aspects in you grow in you when you are established in yourself and are free from stress.
Some level of stress at the workplace is normal & acceptable, perhaps even essential. It can keep you on your toes, help you face challenges, and you’re able to meet your deadlines. However, just like too much salt can spoil the food, stress beyond normal levels can leave you feeling frustrated and powerless.
What is Stress?
Stress is when you have so much to do, very little time and don’t have enough energy. Now to deal with it, either reduce your workload – that’s impossible in a startup! Or increase your time – but a day has only 24 hours. The only option we’re left with is to increase our energy levels.
1) Increase your energy levels
There are 4 ways you can increase your energy levels:
a) Proper food will help you. Not too much, not too little. Also, pay attention to keeping a balanced diet, freshly prepared food that is easily digestible.
b) The right amount of sleep. You need 6-8 hours of sleep. Not more, not less.
c) Breathing is a lesser known but very critical source of energy! Regular practice of breathing exercises like pranayama is effective energy boosters. Breathing exercises help in improving perception, observation and expression, all vital for good management.
d) A few moments of meditative awareness. Meditation is conscious, deep relaxation. Just a few minutes of meditation regularly can relieve all types of stress. About 15-20 minutes of meditation, morning and evening, is good enough. Meditation also helps us get in touch with our inner space – the source of joy, peace, and love.
Meals and Meditation. When teams have meals together or sit together and meditate, they find it so refreshing that they’re able to carry on for the rest of the day with the same energy with which they came into the office. It also brings people closer and creates a healthier work environment.
3) Celebrate Diversity
Learn to accept diversity, and honour it. Everybody has their own strengths. Instead of having defined job descriptions and assigning people to them, see how their strengths and interests can be manoeuvred to the roles you have in mind.
4) Accept the opposites
Accept the pleasant and unpleasant moments of life. You need to accept that you will experience both of these in your life. This will help you maintain the equanimity of your mind.
5) Perfect Imperfections
Lastly, make room for imperfection. Accept a little bit of others’ as well as your own imperfections. It allows you to be more patient. It’s like the space in your house where you keep your dustbin. You need it there to keep the rest of your house clean.
Whatever happens in life, if you can keep these, then you have really found success.
Once a gentleman came to a doctor complaining that there was something severely wrong with him. He was hurting all over and was very sad but all the tests came out normal. The doctor said, “There is nothing wrong with you. Go to the circus and watch the clown there. He will make you laugh.” The gentleman said, “Doctor, I am that clown!”
It is one thing to entertain others and be humorous, but quite another to be happy yourself. Happiness does not come by a talent or skills that you develop. Unless you realise who you are, what the nature of consciousness is through your own introspection, happiness remains a far-fetched non-reality. The spirit of self-enquiry in the true sense which leads to meditation is absolutely essential in this quest for happiness.
The 6th century Indian philosopher and thinker Adi Shankaracharya has said that it is dispassion towards the ephemeral and connection with the eternal that brings true joy. In fact, he goes further and asks, “What joy does detachment not bring?”
The word for solitude in Sanskrit is ekant, meaning ‘the end of loneliness’. Loneliness cannot end by changing company, even if it is more sympathetic and understanding. It can only end when you discover your real nature for yourself.
A famous American comedian and actor, who committed suicide in 2014, though he made millions of people laugh, could not end the deep seated loneliness inside him. Only spiritual solace can take one out of despair and misery. Wealth, admiration and external validation and adulation are not helpful in dealing with inner discontent. While alive, he made people laugh and in his death, he gave people a message to lift their eyes above the mundane towards something higher.
You can bid goodbye to misery by connecting with an altogether different dimension, that I would say is solidified silence, a bolt of bliss and a glimpse of eternity, which is in you as you. You simply have to tap into it.
There is little use in having a machine which you cannot operate without a manual. Spiritual knowledge is like the manual for life. Just like to drive a car, we have to learn how to operate the steering wheel, the clutch, the brake and so on, to move towards stability of the mind, we must know the basic principles about our life force energy.
This is the whole science of pranayama. When our prana or life force keeps fluctuating, our mind also goes up and down through the roller coaster of emotions. One cannot handle the mind from the level of the mind. It is for this reason that although counselling or psychiatry seems to help in the beginning, it is not able to provide a complete cure in the longer term.
Just forcing positive thoughts on oneself is not enough and more often than not leads to a relapse. Medication like anti-depressants also seem to help only in the beginning and eventually make the person dependent on them rather than free him/her from the tendency.
This is where knowing the secret of breath can really transform lives. Breathing techniques like Sudarshan Kriya stabilise our life force and consequently the mind. The inner dimension unveiled by the practise of meditation deeply enriches us and its impact slowly spills over to all aspects of life.
As prana rises in the body, one starts to feel a transformation as direct experience and not as a forced mental exercise. One starts becoming happier, creative and more in command of their mind and emotions.
Another thing that can be really helpful in coming out of depression is developing an attitude of service. Thinking ‘what can I do for society’, getting involved in a bigger cause, shifts the whole focus of life and can take one out of the rut of ‘what about me’. Societies where values of service, sacrifice and community participation are ingrained do not have these issues of depression and suicides. The Sikh community is a great example of this.
Life is a combination of happiness and pain. Pain is inevitable but suffering remains optional. Having a broad perspective on life gives you the strength to move forward through painful times. Know that you are very much needed in this world. With all its infinite possibilities, this life is a gift for it can become a fountain of joy and happiness not just for oneself but for many others as well.
Of the four characteristics, karma is the most well-known and the most misunderstood. Some karma can be changed and some cannot. Prarabdha means begun, the action that is already manifesting. Prarabdha is the karma that is yielding its fruits, its effect, right now. You cannot avoid it, or change it because it is already happening.
Sanchitakarma is the “gathered up,” or “piled up,” karma. It is latent or in the form of a tendency. An impression in the mind is a latent action. It is still action, but it is latent. This is just like a memory. A memory can be functional now or latent. Sanchita karma can be burned off, changed, by spiritual practices before it becomes manifest.
Agami literally means “not come.” Agami karma is the karma that has not yet come, that will take effect in the future. If you commit a crime, you may not get caught today, but you will live with the possibility that one day you may get caught. This is agami karma, the future karma of the action.
Every habit is a sort of karma. If you have the habit of drinking coffee every morning, and one day when you don’t drink it and you get a headache, this could be called coffee karma. You can postpone the headache by drinking more coffee or you can take steps to eliminate future coffee karma and stop drinking it and observe what happens to you. Perhaps you will have headaches for some days, so you start some exercise program, or some meditation or breathing practices.
Every object in this universe is endowed with four characteristics. They are: Dharma, Karma, Prema and Gyana.
Dharma means nature. Everything has a definite nature, whether living or inanimate. Monkeys have their nature. Human beings have their nature. In the same way, metals have their nature, aluminum has its nature, copper has its nature. One’s nature, or an object’s nature, is called dharma.
Along with the characteristics of nature, there is a certain activity that is attributed to, or that comes out of every object. That activity is called karma.
The third characteristic is prema, which means love. There is love in every particle of this creation. Love is attraction. Love means bringing togetherness. From attraction, atoms come together and form molecules from which an object is made. Based on the combination of molecules or atoms we identify a material. There is something that holds the parts together. This force that brings things together and holds them together is called love or prema.
Love is present in the entire creation. There is love and that is why there is reproduction happening. Because of love the planets are moving in their orbits, the sun is shining, and the stars are there. There is love in every atom, and that is why the electron is moving around the charged particle. The charge of attraction, the charge in this entire creation is a power, is love.
The fourth characteristic is gyana. You are reading now, but who is reading? Who is knowing what is being read? There is something in this body that is knowing, but what? It is consciousness. This knowingness is present also in every particle of creation. How do we know? Do we know only through the head or only through the senses? No. Our entire body has the ability to know. The mind is not just in the head, it is all over the body. Even in sleep, we have the ability to know. For example, if a group of people are asleep in a dormitory and someone comes in and calls a name, only that person will wake up. Of course, if they call loudly enough, everyone will wake up, but when called lightly, only the person whose name is called will hear. This ability to know is permeating our entire consciousness and consciousness is present all over the body and beyond the body. This is called gyana, the knowingness of the intelligence or the intelligence in existence.
The first is the silence where there is no talking. This is very beneficial for people just to be aware of what they are saying and how much energy they spend talking. The second is the silence of stillness. This is the silence inside us that is detached from the noise in the world. Silence is disinterestedness in activity, an inward journey of the mind. This inner stillness is very important if we want to understand and grow spiritually. Inner silence frees us from the noise of the world. And finally, there is the silence of Oneness – Oneness with the entire universe. Oneness is the goal of silent practice. Whatever knowledge we study and understand with our intellect is limited. The knowledge that we gain by effort is immanent. The knowledge which is gained through effortlessness, through silence and intuition is transcendental.
Now one might think why bother meditating when sleep is good enough to bring silence? Remember, when you are sleeping, your body is rejuvenating, it is growing, cells are multiplying. There is a lot of activity in the body – in fact, much more than in the waking state. In meditation, the reverse happens. Metabolism, which is high in sleep, reduces during meditation. Since the body calms down, so does the mind. And then intelligence awakens. Since meditation rejuvenates the body and mind at the same time, you feel energetic.
We need to see and observe that most thoughts that come to our mind are not useful at all. Nearly every thought is about the past. These thoughts that arise in the mind are a projection of the past on the consciousness. We project whatever has happened in the past, into the future – ‘This is okay, that is not okay. I like this, I don’t like that.’ We need to bundle up all these thoughts, and throw them out. By just realizing that all these thoughts are useless, the mind becomes free. When you go deep into silence, you experience a form of communication without thoughts. Without words one is able to understand what is being conveyed. This is when all the questions in your mind disappear.
Questions are only vehicles to reach the destination. Answers are the fuel. When the answer to a question is found, the vehicle starts moving ahead. However, it is possible to reach your destination directly too, without the use of questions and answers. How? By sitting in silence. When one sits in silence and a question arises, the answer also comes along.
Inner silence is the mother of all creativity, the source of intuition, and the storehouse of energy, and we all have it. The only thing is we have locked it and forgotten the key! Just like how you forget your computer’s password sometimes. We all have this enormous wealth of silence in our heart, but somehow we have forgotten how to tap into it.
What a single glance can convey, a thousand conversations cannot. And what a moment of deep silence can convey, even a thousand glances cannot. In silence, we get back our energy, which is lost in the outer world. Being so busy in daily life, we do not see the central core of who we are. We are more than our five senses. It is important to go to the source of our being, beyond the mind, beyond emotion.
Silence brings you back home, and it gives you that much needed energy to realize who you are, to realize that there is bliss, there is beauty, there is joy, and that is You.
What are the signs of love? When you love someone you see nothing wrong in them. Even if you see a fault in them, you justify it in some way saying, “Everyone does that; it is normal.” You think you have not done enough for them and the more you do, the more you want to do for them. They are always on your mind. Ordinary things become extraordinary. When you love someone, you want to see them happy always and you want them to have the best.
When you love this creation, you see it as beautiful. When you are tired of this creation, you find it ugly. That is why to appreciate beauty, first you must understand love. The understanding I am speaking about is not merely intellectual, but looking into all points. Usually when we love something, we want to possess it. If you appreciate a painting, you want to buy it and keep it in your home. You find a beautiful garment, and although you know you will wear it only a couple of times, you buy it and put it in the closet. You have known only one way of loving — love it, possess it and forget it. When you try to possess love, you rob it of its beauty, and then that same love gives you pain. Whoever you love, you try to dictate terms to them. In a very subtle way you try to rule them. And whatever you try to control turns ugly.
You have never loved someone and not tried to possess them. It begins in childhood. When the second baby comes, the first baby wants all the attention. “Why did you bring this baby home? Give it away.” Many children say,”You belong to me and me alone.” It is a deep samskara, a deep impression, this fear of losing our place in the heart of someone we love.
First comes attraction. When it becomes a little difficult to attain whatever you are attracted to, then you start loving it. Have you noticed this? If you simply get whatever you are attracted to — just like that, quickly — you do not develop love for it. A longing must arise. That leads to love.
But love brings the fear of loss. Yet, a love which has the fear of loss does not blossom. It leads you to other ugly sensations and feelings. Jealousy comes. There is someone you love very much — a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend — but his or her attention is on someone else. See what is happening in your stomach — it is churning. You try all sorts of gimmicks to deny what is happening within you. Much ugliness arises because there is fear of loss. You never love something that is big, that is enormous because you have not yet become enormous yourself. And as long as you stay very small, there is no joy, there is no happiness, there is no peace. Joy is expansion, becoming big in your heart. This can only happen in a situation where you are very much in love, but you cannot possess what you love.
Have you thought about why you love someone? Is it because of their qualities or is it because of a sense of kinship or intimacy? You can love someone for their qualities and not have a sense of intimacy. This type of love gives rise to competition and jealousy. If love is based on the qualities of a person, that love is not stable. After some time the qualities change and the love becomes shaky. However, if you love someone because they belong to you, then that love remains for lifetimes. Loving someone because they belong to you, great or otherwise, is unconditional love. Love that is centered becomes bliss.
And when there is so much love you take total responsibility for any misunderstanding. For a moment you may express dismay on the surface. But when you do not feel the dismay in your heart, you arrive at a perfect understanding. You are in a state where all problems and all differences slide away and only love shines through.
In the world, people love you because you give them comfort. If you are demanding proof of their love, are you giving them comfort? If someone doubts your love and you have to constantly prove it, this becomes a heavy burden on you. Your nature is to shed burden, so when love is questioned, you don’t feel comfortable. Therefore, do not ask for proof that the other person loves you. Love needs no proof. Actions, words cannot prove the love.
Spiritual practices, knowledge of the Self, seva (service) and satsang (coming together in celebration) help to create a sense of belonging. When love springs from a sense of belongingness, then the action or qualities do not overshadow the love. Neither qualities nor actions can be perfect all the time. Only love and a feeling of kinship can be perfect.