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Nov
13 2012

Harry Potter, Frankenstein, and Andrew Carnegie Walk Into a Bar

Syndicated from: Change Bytes

New ideas, new ways of doing things, new products, every day brings with it the chance for dynamic change. Staying ahead of that change requires hard work, intuition, a bit of luck, and most of all creativity. But, how can you be creative? Is there a switch you can turn on? Or are some people just born creative?The superstar author J.K. Rowling came up with the iconic Harry Potter when she was doing nothing more spectacular than riding a train, looking out the window, and daydreaming. Similarly, rumor has it that author Mary Shelley invented Frankenstein during a late night round of story-telling with friends in a Swiss retreat. Andrew Carnegie, the insanely successful steel magnate, worked most of his young life not in steel, but in the railroad industry, but he took the insights he learned from the railroads and applied them to steel, revolutionizing the industry.These aren’t examples of naturally clever and creative people coming up with world-changing ideas; these are stories of people giving themselves the opportunity to be creative, by preparing, by sharing, and by ignoring. Preparing – Just like Andrew Carnegie, you need to make sure you’ve done your homework before you go about changing the world. Read every book, take every class, and learn everything you can about your subject, that way you can see the problem, and novel ideas for solving issues, from every angle. Sharing – Don’t keep your ideas to yourself. Mark Shelley invented Frankenstein’s monster by bouncing ideas off her friends. Could you do that? Talking to others helps you find solutions you might not have thought of yourself, and can be helpful in noticing roadblocks - before they bar the way forward. Ignoring – After you’ve prepared and shared, it’s time to do like J.K. Rowling and take a ride down the relaxation railroad. Take a break, relax, and work on something else for a while. You’ll be surprised how creative you can be when you aren’t even trying!Things change, and dealing with that change requires creativity, but you don’t have to be Andrew Carnegie to come up with a good idea. You just need to take the time to understand the problem, learn from others, and let the solutions surface. Next time you find yourself struggling for an answer, try these three tips and find your inner genius.

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