Creativity, they say, is not your slave. But there are habits you can develop to make those rare, spark moments come around more often. In their book Stimulated!, authors Andrew Pek and Jeannine McGlade explore five basic habits that can help you break out of the rut of everyday stresses and jump-start your life.

Stimulated! By Andrew Pek and Jeannine McGlade, ProLibris Publishing Media, 195 pages, 595.

Interspersed with brightly illustrated quotations and notes, Stimulated! is a fun, inspiring read. In an introductory chapter titled “Awaken Your Creative Genius", the authors spell out five innovative approaches to keep your creative thought process going. Edited excerpts:

The habits that spark your creative genius

In the many years we have helped organizations effect change, build leaders, develop high-performing teams, and grow the business and the employees within, we have consistently observed a set of specific behaviours (habits) that, working in harmony with one another, help people to be stimulated and ultimately spark creative genius.

We believe that every human being has the potential to cultivate and demonstrate these habits and in so doing, will unleash his creative genius. Human minds, bodies, and souls are equipped with a highly creative ability to sense things and also act on them in ingenious and industrious ways. While we constantly interact with our environment, our creative genius lingers in the background, waiting to be activated to produce creative expressions (style) and impressions (impact). For example, when a musician plays music, how he performs that music (tempo, tone, melody, style, and selection) is his expression, while the music he produces is the impression (the feeling and emotion) he leaves with others. The beauty of creative genius is that we have many creative expressions to choose from and consequently we can form many different impressions. Our creative expressions and impressions are the result of using these habits that we consciously nurture. By nurturing them, we nourish our appetite for creating and stimulating the creative potential in others.

The more that we stimulate our creativity the greater the likelihood we will produce creative expressions and impressions that yield advancement opportunities. It is cyclical and it builds momentum as our creative output increases. By developing our creative expressions and impressions through various sensing and action-oriented habits, we will naturally attract “sparks of creativity" or help advance creative insights on a more regular and high-quality basis.

We have identified five specific habits that work in harmony with one another to shape the anatomy of creative genius.

• Scouting forms the backbone of our creative anatomy. Scouting contains the essential orientation and energy we need to find, observe, and use to interact with stimulus and initiate the creative cycle we each possess.

• Cultivating is the habit of creating, growing, and developing the spaces and places in which sparks become possible and you are in a creative state of mind. Without fertile conditions, a proper environment in which to be inspired, your creative genius will not flourish and attracting sparks will be more difficult.

• Playing represents a childlike state that helps us to feel at ease in “experimenting" with stimulus and maintaining a perpetual state of curiosity in pursuit of creative insight and spark moments.

• Venturing is the essential habit of encouraging our hearts as well as our minds to make a leap into something unknown— and often a bit scary—territory. It is through venturing that we develop nerve and decide to either pursue a spark of inspiration or not.

• Harvesting is turning our sparks and ideas into something that is real and of value to ourselves and to others. Harvesting is where we yield and celebrate real results—those things that you can see, touch, feel, and experience that manifest as a result of all the hard work and energy of sparking your creative genius.

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