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Release Your Creativity

by Brian Davis(more info)

listed in personal growth, originally published in issue 98 - April 2004

The desire to be more creative is top of many people's New Year resolutions. But living your creative dream need not be wishful thinking. It is simply a matter of following a few simple steps that will open the doors of possibility wider than you could ever imagine. Everything is possible. If you can imagine it, then someday or somehow it can become true. Everything starts with an idea, whether you are creating Friends Reunited, the Bach Flower Remedies, a story about a boy with magic powers that catches everybody's imagination, a dream resort, or Walt Disney wanting to entertain the world with a cartoon mouse. So what do you do with your ideas? Are you one of those people who wake up in the morning feeling you had an idea for the next healthcare/well-being sensation, a life changing gadget, or plot for the greatest novel at your fingertips. Then lost it when you opened your bleary eyes and thought about that overdue telephone bill on the kitchen table.

We all have brilliant ideas

Step 1: We all have brilliant ideas running around our heads. The trick is to write them down. Not on scraps of paper which get mislaid, but on a special notebook – ideally hard-backed. I use A5 notebooks from art shops, which have beautiful plain paper for drawings, words, photos and useful press cuttings. Rarely a day goes by without finding something fascinating, and its wonderful to have a resource I can refer to years ahead. Find a notebook that works for you. Don't let the ideas fly away – they are far too valuable. Even Richard Branson walks around with a little notebook. You can imagine how many ideas he has, let alone the number of people that rush up to him with theirs.

Step 2: Give yourself a break. If you want to be creative, find a peaceful space in the park – even in the winter; resting in a comfy armchair at home; or having a cappuccino in a café. It's no coincidence that people have some of their best ideas in the smallest room in the house. Sometimes it's the only place to get a bit of peace and quiet. Carlos Castaneda wrote in Tales of Power about the teachings of shaman Don Juan, and the importance of finding your own place of power. There's often a particular position in a room (or location) that makes you feel safe, relaxed and empowered. I know a social worker who sits in a corner of a café each morning, and spends an hour writing her novel before going to work. I tried the seat one day but it didn't work for me. Then I found a perfect place in a local theatre's café. It does great homemade soup, makes an ideal place for jotting down thoughts, and offers a chance to spot famous actors occasionally.

Step 3: Scribble down the ideas fast, without censorship. Like a scrapbook, use pictures, articles and items from newspapers, magazines or brochures. You never know what will inspire action or make new connections. Keep making a list of all the things you'd like to do, buy, use or experience. Use techniques like Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping to sketch out ideas and make unexpected connections.

Step 4: Ask the right questions. Don't worry about finding the right answers immediately. The right questions are: "What would I need to do to live to 120?" or "How could I change the world?" The wrong questions are: "Why am I so poor and fat?" "Why am I not rich and famous like Madonna?" Answer: Because you never look after yourself or take the risks!

Step 5: Risk taking should become a habit. This doesn't mean becoming foolhardy, though it helps to be fun and playful. Enjoy the challenge. Punks used to say: "If it ain't fun, it ain't worth a f***!" Be passionate. Change your pattern. Try new foods, new routes to work, different magazines, courses and workshops you've never tried before. Ignore what your mother says, and occasionally: "Talk to strangers".

Step 6: Stay focused. After all – a risk is a RISK. But don't let that stop you. They say: "If it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger." You may give your friends and even the bank manager a few quivers. I often suggest it's ill advised to ask friends for their opinion when taking creative risks. Don't ask others for permission, as they'll often express their own fears, with the best of intentions. However, the right upbeat friends or 'master-mind group' will be full of enthusiasm for your new ventures. Listen to your inner voice. Turn down the volume on that devilish inner critic, and raise the volume of that angelic cheerleader on your shoulder! Gut reactions are often good reactions.

Goal setting: Be wild. Don't limit yourself. Have you always promised yourself to speak Spanish, play cello, create an alternative health centre or artists' sanctuary in Mexico, make a movie or get to the moon? Let your mind fly.

Step 7: Don't be afraid to set ambitious goals. Everybody is creative, it's just a matter of perception. Traditionally, people think of creativity as the arts, painting, sculpture, music, acting, but it could be creating a new business, a different approach to healing, or cross-fertilising skills from wildly different areas. Somebody came to see me at the Creative Dream Company wanting to create a workshop about flirting. She'd done loads of NLP and workshops and wanted to try something for herself. Peta is a vivacious, go-for-it personality, but her partner thought the idea was outrageous and tried to dissuade her. I encouraged Peta to take the leap, and suggested running the workshops in a nightclub where the attendees could put the theory into practice later that night. Peta Heskell has become an outstanding success as a Flirt Coach, running workshops here and abroad, appears regularly on TV and in the press and has written two books. The first, What Are You Truly Passionate About?, was published on St Valentine's day.

Step 8: Relax. Music is great for creativity. Make sure you are playing something relaxing and the tone will often take your mind into new spaces. I enjoy chill-out music but others may prefer classical, Indian ragas, Gregorian chants, or even hip-hop to get in the mood. Remember nobody is the same. Do what works for you.

Step 9: List everything you're GOOD at. Not simply: therapeutic skills, admin and 3 A-levels. It's not a CV. List everything from nutritionist, wind surfing, painting, working in teams, to making love and cooking great pancakes. You'll be surprised what comes up. If the list isn't at least 30 items long, keep working at it and ask other people what they think you're good at.

Step 10: Take a breath. Now write down all the things you think you're BAD at. Don't worry. Be tough on yourself. Give yourself just three minutes to scribble it all down. If it's less than 30 items – I'll be surprised! Take another breath. Circle the three things that are worst. Then put a big grin on your face, and smile with the realization that these are just challenges, and you can learn to improve on them all. Then tear up this sheet and throw it away, as there are no limits to creativity.

Step 11: Look again at all the things you're good at. You're brilliant. Circle the three you're best at. These are some of the main tools for making your dreams come true. Plus, there should be at least another 27 to support your core creative skills!

Making the Dream list

Now here's the exciting part. Stand up. Shake yourself out. Go for a short walk. Jump around and get that energy moving. Maybe order another coffee or tea, if you're in a café. Put on some mellow music (not Eminem), with a sheet of paper and a pen to hand. Sit back and close your eyes. Think about your favourite place of peace and happiness. Imagine yourself on a perfect day in a perfect place. Feel the sun on your face, hear the sounds around you – maybe water from a gentle stream or the sound of a breeze rustling the grass, or birds above. Do what works for you. Ask yourself: "On a perfect day, in this perfect place, what do I really want?" Don't analyse. But when the answer comes, quickly open your eyes and jot down one or two words. Then close your eyes again and drift back to that perfect place. Feel how good it is. If you're in the countryside, walk through the grass and breathe in the scent of flowers. If you're by the sea, feel the sand between your toes and go for a paddle or swim. Enjoy yourself. This is your perfect place. Then think how it would be to have what you REALLY want. Make it real. See what you would see. Hear what you would hear. Feel what you would feel. Then ask yourself: "On a perfect day, in this perfect place, what do I really want?" When it comes, jot it down quickly. Then close your eyes and imagine how amazing it would be to have that also. Play with the idea. See who you would see. Hear what people would say, and imagine what your life would be like.

If you're not grinning by now you will be soon. Repeat the process once again. Return to your favourite spot and ask yourself: "On a perfect day, in this perfect place, now what do I really want?" Imagine what this would be like. See what you would see. Hear what you would hear. And feel what you would feel. Beautiful.

What it means

By now you will have three Dream words in front of you. When you are ready, gently come back into the world. Look at the sheet and the three words or phrases. Let me explain. The first Dream word describes your 'conscious' desires. These are the ideas and wishes that fly around your head nearly every hour of the day. The second Dream word takes you to a deeper level and reflects your sub-conscious desires. Those dreams and desires which you'd dearly love to achieve but often fear to acknowledge, even to yourself. Level three is truly fascinating. Did the third Dream word surprise you? This is a reflection of your unconscious, a direct line to your real dreams. But here's the exciting part. Level three shows what you really dream and desire NOW. This demands immediate action for true happiness. It is your deepest desire and what you deserve most.

Note: This exercise may be entirely different a month later. It's a reality check on what you desire currently.

Making your dreams come true

Simply making a wish or saying 'affirmations' is not enough. Imagine you were sitting in front of a door and kept saying: "This door will open. This door will open…" You could be sitting there a long time. Now imagine you take a step forward, then somebody walks in through the door you haven't seen for ages. Perhaps this chance meeting will change your life. Making your dreams come true is all about action as well as good intentions. American success coach Tony Robbins recommends: "Build you decision muscles." I reckon that's what it's all about. Back to the exercise…

Step 12: Now you have identified what you truly want NOW, you must take action. Be bold, you have nothing to fear. Remember that incredible skills list you wrote earlier. Look at the third Dream word, then choose one action you can take within 24 hours or even better – right now. For example, make that phone call, send that email, join the course or whatever. Don't think about it. Don't ask anybody for permission or what they think. This is your gift. If you take action now, all your other dreams will come true faster than you can ever believe.

I did this exercise during a tough period of unemployment, yearning for a date and wanting to travel. Within a day, somebody called me out of the blue to say she'd fancied getting in touch for a year, I was offered two jobs, and commissioned to make a film (all expenses paid) in Nepal, Kathmandu and Tibet.

A single mum came to see me at the Creative Dream Company. Following this exercise, she came up with the idea for a game, which won a £1 million licensing deal. Ann Marie, a relationship therapist, dreamed up a workshop she now does for groups worldwide, including Native American Indians, and recently wrote a book Secrets of a High-Healed Healer. A young guy fancied becoming a Mitsubishi rally driver after spending a day roaring round a test circuit. Trouble was he had to raise £20,000 in a month to get the rally car. He also hadn't had a relationship for ages, being a workaholic who lived on pizza and exhausting schedules most weekends. Within a month he'd scored on both counts and changed his life for keeps.

You're not alone

As you open your mind, both synchronicity and serendipity (the silly side of coincidence) occur. People often say, "I can't do this on my own." I've found that if the vision is big and bold enough, the right people will materialise and also be inspired by your vision – whether you want to create an allergy test for pets, a New Age Club, or the first workshop for flirting.

There's an invisible network for wonderful ideas, which is bigger and better than even the Internet. The world truly opens up if you allow yourself to dream. I have never been let down by this process. Sometimes it helps to ask a friend to take you through the Creative Dream process. You do the same for theirs, then both of you will experience your dreams, and gain inspiration from each other.

When I created The Creative Dream Company seven years ago "to help myself and others make their creative dreams come true" – the girl of my dreams also came into my life. Frederique is a beautiful French actress, who dreamt (along with thousands of other 'resting' actors) of getting into a feature film by 30. She did the exercise, and recently won a role in the new movie by James Bond director Roger Spotiswoode called White on White.

These are powerful exercises that will open the doors of perception beyond your wildest dreams. There are no limits, whether you dream of groundbreaking inventions, the ultimate job, a soul mate, or sailing solo round the world. The more imaginative and 'impossible' the dream, the more likely it is to happen. Concorde started as a dream, so did the Celestine Prophecy, the Paramedic Olympics and so eventually will the cure for cancer. Dreaming is the sixth sense, and making dreams come true is the greatest gift of all the senses we have.


1. Castaneda C. Tales of Power. Simon & Schuster. USA. 1974/1992.
2. Buzan T and Buzan B. The Mind Map Book. BBC Consumer Publishing. UK. 2003.
3. Heskell P. The Flirt Coach. Harper Collins. UK. 2001.
4. Robbins T. Awaken the Giant Within. Simon Schuster. USA. 2001.
5. Woodall Anne Marie. Secrets of a High-Heeled Healer. Cygnus. UK. 2003.
6. Davis B. Release Your Creativity or 'Why is Everybody Rich, Slim and Famous, while I'm Poor, Fat and Fed-up?' tba. 2004.


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About Brian Davis

Brian Davis runs the Creative Dream Company designed to help people make their creative dreams come true – however, extraordinary! He does one-2-one sessions with individuals, and work with groups. He has been fascinated by personal development since the 1970s, when gestalt-led (encounter) workshops first started to come onto the scene. After going through a divorce in the early 1990s, he became involved with many of the participants in Alternatives, and a wide variety of approaches including Tony Robbins, healing, NLP, tantra, co-counselling, Psychology of Vision, and other alternative therapeutic/development approaches. He is also working on a book about creativity at present. Brian Davis can be contacted on Tel: 020-7359 7799;

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