Posts tagged creativity workplace

The Seven Stages to Mastery

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

Every year, as one year ends and the next begins, we often take time to reflect on what we experienced, how we did, what we learned, and then set goals for the next twelve months.

 

Passage

In all of this reflection, making of resolutions, and setting of goals, we are likely to identify a few key things we want to do better at, clean up, or shift.

 

We also identify the things we most desire to experience or accomplish as our ideal for the year to come. In alchemy, we could call these things our “lead” and our “gold”; the “lead” being what we want to clean up or eliminate, and the “gold” being what we want to achieve.

 

If your resolution is to loose weight, then the “lead” would be the excess weight and whatever contributes to it, while the “gold” would be the ideal body weight and health you most desire for yourself.  If your goal is to make more money, then the “lead” would be anything in your mind or current life choices that limit your abundance or put you in a state of experiencing lack, while the “gold” would be your ideal bank balance at the end of each month, plus how you make that money in such a way as to enjoy the journey and feel good about how you earned the money.

 

Alchemy gives us the pattern for successfully and masterfully accomplishing both.

 

The universe in mans head revealed

 

 

What alchemists really meant by the symbolic phrase of “turning lead into gold,” was to become a master at the art of manifestation and transformation.

 

Just like people today, the alchemists sought to transform their physical world and themselves into more whole and beautiful expressions of their innate potential. They had an ideal vision of themselves and how they wanted to experience life, and they devoted themselves to attaining that vision and making it a reality.

 

The Thinker

 

The concept of lead in Alchemy relates to anything of a dense, polluted, imbalanced or imperfect state.  This could be anything from our thoughts, our physical health, to an organization, or society, or even the world at large. On the other hand, gold was seen as a state of refined perfection, wholeness, and the ideal state.

 

Ultimately, the true goal of alchemy has always been the purification of one’s own being in order to come to a state of wholeness and achieving of one’s full potential: psychologically, physically, and spiritually.

 

 

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In our last blog, we discussed alchemy as it relates to accessing breakthrough creativity.  This week we begin to explore the Alchemical Formula for Transformation.  Through observing Nature, as well as their own transformational journeys and cycles, alchemists throughout time came to realize that there are seven stages to the process of complete transformation.

 

Since alchemy is about improving one’s nature and actualizing one’s potential, it involves a very specific and intentional process of going through these seven stages.

 

the butterfly

 

Anytime we want to make a change, achieve a new goal, eliminate a bad habit, or develop a new skill or gift, we must go through these same seven stages to get to a place of mastery in that new area. Often people don’t realize there are seven stages to mastery, and so they tend to fall short of truly mastering and fully integrating a new change.

 

When unaware of the full transformational process, people will tend to get stuck at the half-way point or even earlier, and instead repeat earlier stages over and over, without really progressing.

 

 

man with the blindfold walking on the rope over blue sky

 

By understanding what all seven stages are, how to identify where we are at in the journey, and what is needed to progress from one stage to the next, we can more powerfully accelerate our progress to mastery in any area of life.

 

In brief, the seven stages of the transformational journey involve:

 

  • Breaking down and breaking through the old, imperfect forms that limit us, while releasing the creative energy trapped within;

  • Separating out the various essential components that were released;

  • Purifying the parts or separated essences to eliminate any impurities;

  • Recombining the various aspects into a more harmonious and balanced whole;

  • Raising the energetic vibration of this purified substance;

  • Continuing to refine and purify the substance through more cycles of separation and recombination until it is matured and brought into a state of stability and integration;

  • Ultimately crystallizing the transformed essence into its full potential as a thing of beauty, integrity, and wholeness.

 

The practical applications for our own alchemical journey start with being able to identify each of these stages as it relates to our personal and professional lives.  From there we can begin to understand how to skillfully move through each stage.  In doing so, we ultimately learn to harness our creativity, focus the mind, revitalize our energy, apply our will, and so on.

 

Alchemy thus becomes a powerful method for unlocking our potential.

 

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Stay tuned! Over the next several months, we will explore each of the 7 Stages of the Alchemical Process of Transformation.  We will look at ways to identify each stage, how they relate to our life, how to skillfully move through each stage, and finally how to apply these principles to our roles as leaders.

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The Emergence of a New Type of Leader

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

What comes to mind when you think of creativity? A painting? A song? Perhaps a new invention or way of thinking?  Did you know that creativity is at the foundation of innovation and problem solving? In fact, it is now recognized as a key factor to success.

Businessman painting abstract colorful design on gray background concept for  business creativity, iBusinessman painting abstract colorful design on gray background concept for  business creativity, i

Businessman painting abstract colorful design on gray background concept for  business creativity, ibigstock-Creation-Of-Eve-57375380

 

This is why now more than ever it is critical that leaders possess the ability to access creativity and utilize it to drive their team and projects to success.

 

Understanding the power of creativity is essential for maintaining high performance, sustained advantage, and for identifying new solutions to the problems of today’s ever changing economy.

 

What is Creativity?

 

Creative Business Idea

 

Creativity is the part of us that envisions beyond our immediate physical experience of the world around us.  Creativity is the ability to use imagination to develop new and original ideas or things.  Using this key faculty of Imagination, it guides our creations, our dreams, and even our fears.

 

What is a Creative Advantage?

 

Businessman painting abstract colorful design on gray background concept for  business creativity, ibigstock-Vector-illustration-rocket-wit-68303701

 

The Creative Advantage, is the ability to continually tap into new ideas, solutions, and innovations.  This rests upon first being able to harness imagination.  A leader must not only learn to tap in to new ideas but also be able to break past the barriers to creativity when they “hit a wall” or have “creative block.”  When we are talking innovation, we are also talking about making Breakthroughs.

 

What is a Breakthrough?

 

Arrow with word Creativity breaking brick wall. Concept 3D illus

 

A breakthrough is an event that causes or marks the breaking down of a barrier to progress.  A breakthrough can also be an important new discovery.  As Albert Einstein said best, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

 

Enter the Era of Creative Leader

 

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Creativity is one of fundamental qualities we must cultivate as leaders.  Whatever your area of leadership may be, if your work touches society or the lives of people, it is time to develop new strategies for enhancing your creativity.

 

The Creative Leader is a new term that has emerged to coin the next generation leader who drives innovation through fostering an environment of Inspiration, Imagination, and Breakthrough Creativity.

 

Another blog you may find interesting is one where we identified some of the key Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader.  As leaders, we must learn practical techniques for continually tapping in to new ideas, solutions, and innovations that will keep us flourishing and evolving.

 

A key solution, we at Quantum Leap Alchemy see, is to move leaders out of the box of old ways of thinking, and to train you to master the arts and sciences of transformation and of accessing breakthrough creativity.

 

In fact, we believe another type of leader, one who recognizes that both Creativity and Transformation emerge from a Higher Plane of Consciousness, or from the Quantum Realm will become the next generation Transformational Leader.

 

Introducing the Quantum Creative Leader

 

Creative Business

 

There is much discussion these days about Transformational Leadership, a style of leadership in which one uses authentic presence, vision and inspiration to motivate others.  These are leaders who have the ability to skillfully embrace change, empower others and ultimately transform us.

 

The Quantum Creative Leader recognizes this ability to create and transform arise from higher consciousness and are able to access this realm to drive creative breakthroughs and change.

 

As author Danah Zohar states, “Quantum thinking is vital to creative thinking and leadership in organizations. It is the key to any genuine organizational transformation. It is the key to shifting our paradigm.”

 

We’ve identified 3 essential steps that allow you to access this higher plane of consciousness known as the Quantum Domain and ultimately elevate your creativity capacity to become a next generation Transformational Leader, a Quantum Creative Leader.  Stay tuned next week as we look closely at these 3 steps.

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Is Stress Impacting Your Creativity?

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Here are the essential keys to stress reduction and opening creative flow:

 

Being overly stressed is a major drawback faced by the majority of people in our modern way of life.  Much research has therefore been invested into understanding how stress affects the brain and body. In and of itself, stress is not actually a bad thing, so long as it is experienced only in short doses.

 

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Temporary stress or application of pressure can actually aid you in enhancing performance, improving memory, and accessing abilities you may not even realize you have.

 

However, extensive stress is very detrimental to your wellbeing, both physical and mental. Chronic stress has been linked to causing various illnesses, including stomach ulcers, digestive issues, heart problems, high blood pressure, decreased libido, weakened immune system, inhibited growth processes, and more. It essentially stops the normal functioning of the body in order to channel all resources into handling whatever perceived threat is causing the stress.

 

So how do you access creativity without adding additional stress to your life?

 

First it is important to realize that you don’t have to strain or wrack your brain for that next creative idea or innovation. Stressing yourself out is quite counter-productive to the whole process. Rather than stressing to pull out an idea from your head, you can simply choose to loosen up and allow it to come through you.

 

Beautiful Woman Doing Breath Exercises With An Autumn Background

 

By training yourself to relax the body and brain at will, you can drastically reduce the effects of stress and open up the circuits within you again to allow for greater access to creativity and wellbeing.

 

Research has shown that brain activity begins to change within just a few days of learning to meditate, decreasing stress, improving your mood, and supporting your health in many ways.

 

Brain

 

Upon relaxing and closing the eyes, yet still remaining awake, we quiet down the cortex, and the brain begins to be flooded by what are known as Alpha brainwaves (neural oscillations rhythmically varying between 7-13 Hz, beats per second). This carries our awareness deeper into the sub-cortical regions of the brain.

 

 

Such shifting from the outer to the inner, by closing the eyes and tuning in to more subtle awareness, bridges us to the deeper limbic regions of the brain, where the reward centers lie. It is in this state that you are best able to hear the quiet thoughts in the back of your mind revealing an insight.

 

Meditating

 

In addition to meditation, other useful approaches that can open us up to being more receptive and allowing of creative flow include: spending time in nature, listening to inspiring music, dancing, singing, drawing or painting feelings (with no particular object in mind), stimulating the five senses, or in other words, living a romantic life.  Check out our Creative Alchemy CD, a guided meditation that helps you to access higher states of consciousness and reach your goals.

 

Other essential keys for allowing creativity to flow include:

 

-Fluency

Magic Of Wave Particle

By learning to allow, creative people become fluent at generating new ideas. Fluency connotes fluidity and flow. Training ourselves to traverse through the multiple dimensions of mind with ease and fluency comes from learning to access higher states of consciousness regularly. In addition, it is about building the bridges that connect different levels of the brain in order to bring greater ability to traverse its vast terrain.

 

-Capturing the moment

Journal

 

It is a very worthwhile practice to keep a notepad or recorder with you at all times, especially in the car, the shower, by your bedside, in your gym pack, in your purse or wallet, and be sure to record the little insights that surface when they arise.

If you wait until later when it is more “convenient” to write it down, chances are you will have forgotten part of the brilliance of that creative idea or insight that came up. Whenever and wherever an insight surfaces, be sure to capture the moment.

 

-Optimism and Trust

people-jumping-sunset

 

Having a positive attitude of optimism and trust is essential to allowing the flow to continue unimpeded. Negativity such as pessimism, worry, judgment, criticism, and control will very quickly stifle creativity and put a damper on any motivation that was there (whether in yourself or those you lead).

 

Re-patterning your habitual thoughts from negative thinking to positive thinking is just as important as rewiring your physical behaviors. Such positive reinforcement will also help you keep yourself and those you lead motivated.

 

Allowing creativity to flow is just one aspect of developing yourself as a creative leader. To learn more check out our FREE Webinar on the 7 keys to cultivating the creative advantage.

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5 Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader

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In our ever evolving world, leaders are now being called upon to expand their thinking and skill set to bring creative change to their projects and organizations. A new term, Creative Leader has emerged to coin “the next generation leader who drives innovation through fostering an environment of inspiration and imagination.”

 

Here are 5 Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader: 

 

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1.  An Idea Generator:  Creative Leaders are exceptionally gifted at generating ideas.  These ideas may be totally new and innovative or simply a different way of perceiving an existing idea.  Idea generation is an art in and of itself.  Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help produce ideas.  Examples include:

 

-Brainstorming in a inspirational environment such as the beach, a local park, an art museum, or even a kids playground.  There are no set rules as to where you should brainstorm.  Step outside of your office and your comfort zone and into the zone of inspiration. You never know where creative ideas may come to you.

-Meditation through movement or stillness.  Modern day Creative Leaders understand the powerful benefits of calming the mind through activities such a yoga, qi gong, tai chi and meditation.  Even a slow walk in nature done with mindfulness can totally rejuvenate your mind and body and open up you up to a whole new level of creativity.

 

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2.  Problem Solver: Creative Leaders are continually able to meet and overcome challenges by coming up with breakthrough solutions to problems.  In fact, problem solving is at the very core of what Creative Leaders do. They have the ability to understand the problem, generate quality solutions and solve it in a rapid manner. Here are a few traits of an excellent problem solver:

 

-Interaction.  A Creative Leader understands and highly values group participation.  They are open to the  ideas of others and encourage interaction amongst those they lead.  They involve team members with input into the problem at hand as well as potential solutions.

-Communication.  A Creative Leader allows for open communication.  They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves.  Adopting a culture of open communication allows for finding win-win solutions and boosts employee morale.

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3.  Inspire Others: Creative Leaders have a deep sense of purpose, meaning and fulfillment in their position.  As a leader, they understand the importance of serving as a role model of inspiration to their team. Creative Leaders have several traits that help them to inspire others.

 

-Passion.  Creative Leaders are passionate about their company’s vision and mission are are able to share and inspire others to  feel the depth of this passion as well.  They understand the importance of showing everyone the big picture and continuing to foster a positive environment in which others can draw a sense of purpose and meaning from.

-Integrity.  Creative Leaders are authentic, honest and consistent with their words and actions.  They create trust which inspire employees to believe in the direction they are providing.

 

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4.  Foster Innovation: Creative Leaders know how to support and motivate others to think and perform in original ways.  They believe in fostering an environment of imagination and innovation.  Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help foster innovation.  Examples include:

 

-Sharing. A good leader will encourage employees to continually share creative ideas in brain storming sessions.  They understand the importance of keeping communication open and flowing through different departments.  They may even bring in props and provide art supplies to inspire the creative process.

-Education.  Another key to fostering innovation is to create programs that allow employees to keep learning and expanding their skill set.  Often times Creative Leaders will offer trainings or even bring in outside coaching companies to empower their team with new methods for developing their abilities.

 

 

5.  Project Finisher: Creative Leaders have the ability to see projects through.  They go beyond simply managing a project to motivating team members to stay focused and inspiring others to get the job done on time.  Creative Leaders are able to help their employees break past creative blocks, guide them to the finish line and ultimately see a idea come to full fruition.

 

At Quantum Leap Alchemy, we are dedicated to sharing breakthrough strategies and helping you become a more innovative and creative leader. Learn more at Quantum Leap Alchemy.com

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3 Steps to Rewire Your Brain for Creativity

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

Ever heard that right-brains are more creative? FALSE.  The truth is that creativity requires multiple brain regions, including both hemispheres of the cortex as well as deeper brain structures, to function at its optimal potential.

 

The ideal is not to be right-brained or left-brained dominant, but to be whole-brained and to have healthy interconnectivity and communication happening between the various brain regions.

 

alchemy2

 

Fortunately, neuroscientists have also discovered that the brain is subject to remolding throughout life due to something they call neuroplasticity. This opportunity to remold the brain is an important aspect of our ability to further develop our creative capacity and become more whole-brained. Training the mind and rewiring the brain to be able to access more creativity is an essential step we must take to amp up our performance and innovative abilities.

 

Here are 3 simple steps to rewire your brain for more creativity:

 

1.  Stimulate: In order to rewire, we must stimulate the brain with novel patterns, experiences, and concepts. When you commit to seeing things with fresh eyes or engaging in new activities each day, even when they are small things, this supports healthy neural activity and new connections.

 

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2.  Repeat. Neurons wire more strongly according to repeated patterns. When it gets to the point where you no longer have to think about each step, or apply much will power to undertake a task, and instead things just flow, that is when you know you have successfully wired in the new pattern.

 

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3.  Rest.  Finally, it is important to balance out activity and novelty with sufficient rest and downtime. Most creative breakthroughs happen not while in intense concentration, but rather during downtimes, when we allow the mind to wander or rest.

 

By cultivating a lifestyle that balances activity with rest time, you will be well on your way to thriving in life and feeling like you have plenty of energy and creative juice for the tasks at hand, rather than feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

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This step is where the practice of meditation or even some simple controlled breathing and closing your eyes, can really pay off to accelerate your rewiring process. Not only does it reduce stress, it helps put your brain into a deeper brain wave state that then gives it a chance to re-wire.

 

Just 20 min a day can do wonders for you. Even if you were to just take 5 minute breathers a couple times through your workday, this too would lead to greater reduction of stress and enhanced creative flow.

 

You might wonder how long it takes to successfully re-wire and anchor in a new, supportive behavior or skill? This depends on two key factors:
1. Motivation.
2. The level of complexity or simplicity of the new behavior

 

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When equipped with the right tools and a clear pattern of what to do, this rewiring of the brain can and will happen with optimal efficiency and accelerated learning.

 

Want to learn a quick and simple rewiring exercise? Check out our FREE Webinar on Cultivating the Creative Advantage.  or get started right now by following these steps below:

 

Anytime you identify some habit you have in life that gets in your way or has sabotaged your success, or anytime you run into a block or obstacle you can use this strategy to support you in rewiring the old pattern and breaking through the resistance.

-Write down the pattern or obstacle on a piece of paper, then draw an upright triangle around it.

-Now use your imagination to visualize fire inside the triangle, consuming and breaking down the obstacle or old pattern, and continue seeing it burn until the energy shifts.

-As the thoughts, words, and feelings associated with the old pattern burn away, this creates a disconnect in your neural associations with that old pattern, giving you opportunity to now rewire. The sooner you do this, upon recognizing a block or old pattern coming up, the more effective you will be at stopping the old neural pattern from being reinforced, and will instead bring in new energy for a shift to help you rewire.

 

Remember, when we rewire, that is when the shifts we make become sustainable, rather than short-lived. Training the mind and rewiring the brain to be able to access more creativity is an essential step we take that amps up our performance and innovative abilities.

 

Ready to get started right now with applying these techniques? Discover more about a revolutionary 7 Step Formula for accessing breakthrough creativity.

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3 Keys to Increasing Your Value While Being the Creative Leader

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

Creativity is at the foundation of innovation and is now recognized as a key factor to success. Creative Leaders are those who foster an environment of imagination and are able to lead, inspire and drive innovation within their organization.  Here are 3 Keys to Increasing Your Value While Being the Creative Leader:

 

1.  Imagine:  Innovation happens through “Leaps of Imagination”.  Everyone has the potential for a healthy imagination, and in fact, our survival and evolution depend on it. This first key is critical to harnessing your consciousness and breaking through blocks to the creative flow.

 

Creative Leaders must be able to imagine new approaches to solving problems, breaking through obstacles, and planning the steps to take to see ideas to their full fruition.   

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Being able to imagine new approaches to solving problems, breaking through obstacles, and planning the steps to take that will deliver optimal results, is essential to not getting stuck and to keeping the creative process flowing through, until results are delivered. Check out this free 12 minute video, with 3 strategies for harnessing the power of your ability to Imagine and go beyond the box.

 

2.  Interact:  A Creative Leader is open to the ideas of others and encourages interaction amongst those they lead. Often when we hit a wall, it is because we are not seeing past our own blind-spots or limited perspective.

 

When you have others to bounce ideas off of, who also understand where you are coming from, then the interaction of parts becomes greater than any one can achieve individually.

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Interaction will help boost your work to a new level. Interaction and interconnectivity is a key theme in the Quantum Domain. Nothing is truly isolated, but rather entangled with others. Emergence of truly new ideas and approaches comes when we allow for interaction and open exchange of information with other parts, people, forums, teams, etc.

When you allow and interact, then you make room for synergy to play a part, making the final result greater than what you could have imagined or accomplished alone. You don’t have to know what the exact outcome will be before you start taking action.

Let go of having to control all the variables and learn to be more flexible and adaptable. When you do, you will feel a huge weight lift off your shoulders, reducing stress, and allowing you to tap more into the flow around you. Be bolstered and stimulated by the ideas of others and allow for something new to emerge.

 

3.  Operating at the Edge: As Creative Leaders we must learn to operate at the edge or to be outside the comfort zone of routine, outside the box of patterned ways of thinking and doing. Our “comfort zone” is the zone in which we feel most familiar and that we can “control” to some level.

 

Creativity happens when we allow for Unconventional or Original approaches and ideas. It is outside the comfort zone where breakthroughs and magic occur. 

Outside the Box.001

Operating at the Edge is a mindset and attitude that a leader comes to  embody. It is an attitude of thinking out of box, taking risks, being unconventional. It involves a mix of rebelliousness tempered with discernment and tradition. Qualities to cultivate include:

Enthusiasm and Passion – this usually comes from having a strong vision that motivates and is something you want to dedicate yourself to.

Courage – Being willing to take Leaps and make risks, while staying Focused, Persistent, Disciplined, and Hard Working in order to carry the creative work through to its completion, and having to courage not to give up. The important part is “Never giving up on your dreams”.

Operating at The Edge is also about learning to conduct your life at the point of transition between the world of practical things (classical reality) and the realm of extraordinary possibilities (quantum reality).

 

At Quantra Leadership Academy, we are dedicated to sharing breakthrough strategies with you and to helping you become a more innovative and creative leader.  Check out our FREE Webinar to help you develop yourself as a Creative Leader.

 

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