Change Agent: David J. Schwartz

Be Inspired. Be Empowered. Be Transformed.

How to Think and Dream Creatively


The_Magic_of_Thinking_BigFirst, Let’s clear up a common fallacy about the meaning of creative thinking. For some illogical reason, science, engineering art, and writing felt tabbed as about the only truly creative pursuits. Most people associate creative things 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 super-intelligent 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 which doubles his Sunday evening attendance. That’s creative thinking.

Figuring out ways to simplify record-keeping, selling to 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. 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.

Step Two: Don’t let tradition paralyze your mind. Be receptive to new ideas. Be experimental. Try new approaches. Be progressive in everything you do.

Step Three: 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.

Step Four: Ask yourself, “How can I do more?” Capacity is a state of mind. Asking yourself this question puts your mind to work to find intelligent short-cuts. 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.)

Step Five: 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.

Step Six: Stretch your mind. Get stimulated. Associate with people who can help you to think of new ideas, new ways of doing things. Mix with people of different occupational and social interests.