8 Habits of Successful People with High Creative Intelligence

When thinking of the celebrated minds of history for their accomplishments to mankind, the natural reaction is to assume they are highly intelligence with above average IQs. If you were to talk to men such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and even Jimi Hendrix for his unique gift for guitar playing, they would tell you that the mental component often overlooked is creativity.

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When thinking of the celebrated minds of history for their accomplishments to mankind, the natural reaction is to assume they are highly intelligence with above average IQs. If you were to talk to men such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and even Jimi Hendrix for his unique gift for guitar playing, they would tell you that the mental component often overlooked is creativity.

To contribute to humanity in the form of insightful information, invention or music, a person must first embrace their ability to create a new beneficial entity to the collective, the entity in creation first comes from your imagination. Intelligence alone cannot manifest into physical form from your imagination. A person needs to hone their skills in creative thinking and creative action.

According to TIME magazine 83% of people believe creativity is important to professional development, but only 25% of people view themselves as creative. The below suggestions might be like second nature to the 25%, but let’s fill in the gap and take a look at some advice from highly creative individuals.

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1) Improve Your Natural Talents
Sometimes your natural abilities are hard to detect because they come so easily you can often take them for granted. Making a commitment to enhancing your special skill with discovering your true self, you can excel to higher heights. Jimi Hendrix did have a natural gift with guitar playing, but he also practiced ALL the time. He became a master guitarist because he constantly practiced his craft. His ability to boost his superpower inspired guitarists and musicians for many generations to follow.

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky” –Jimi Hendrix

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2) Log Off and Recharge
Taking breaks leads to greater productivity and a higher quality of work versus putting in long hours. It was rumored Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle. Repetitive tasks such as gardening, running, swimming, showering and folding laundry helps to settle the conscious part of your mind allowing the random thoughts of genius to pop into your mind out of no-where. Make sure to write down these thoughts when you have them! They come and go quickly.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ― Albert Einstein

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3) Trust Your Gut
To access your creative stream, become aware of your initial instincts instead of over analyzing with rationality or with thoughts of what you should do. Apple founder Steve Jobs learned calligraphy after dropping out of Reed College. Jobs’ says, “It all just came to me.” The first Macintosh computer was the first with beautiful typography. The Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts if he never dropped in on that single college course – calligraphy. In addition, Jobs’ interest in Zen Buddhism assisted Jobs with the aesthetic touch that puts Apple products in high demand.

“You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny….” –Steve Jobs

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4) Follow Your Heart
Our creative gift often becomes clear when we embrace our passions instead of pushing ourselves to conform to fit the picture perfect life envisioned by someone else. Michelangelo was physically abused by his father whenever he stumbled upon him painting instead of performing his duties as a cloth merchant. Author of the best-seller The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, was placed in a mental institution because his parents wanted him to be an engineer. Every person has had the experience of a nagging sensation that will not go away for extended periods of time in our lives – if not forever. Your calling is reaching out to you.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” – Paulo Coelho

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5) Pressure is Good
This piece of advice is perhaps counterintuitive to achieving the natural flow of creativity, but sometimes when you do not have the time to over analyze, outburst of creative genius in the form of ideas and actions can come through. Most importantly, a deadline can force a person to finish a project which can be an issue for those who are not self-starters or those who are so creative they lose track of the end goals hoping from unfinished project to unfinished project. Stan Lee is exactly the type of person described above. Stan Lee, the creator of popular stories like the adventures of Spiderman and The X-Men, says he does better when he must rush to meet a deadline and if he is given enough time to complete a project he will wait until its closer to the deadline to complete it.

“I try not to do anything that’s too close to what I’ve done before. And the nice thing is we have a big universe here. It’s filled with new ideas. All you have to do is grab them.” – Stan Lee

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6) Dream BIG and Take Risks
In this instance, going with the flow is a negative choice that prevents those big dreams from coming into physical reality. Elon Musk is a man who values taking big risks. Musk co-founded PayPal, created America’s first viable all-electric car company and funded his own space ship to Mars. Elon Musk might be the real-life Tony Stark from the Ironman comic books.

“Don’t just follow the trend. Now is the time to take risks….do something bold, you won’t regret it.” – Elon Musk

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7) Rise Above Failure and Setbacks
Overcoming adversity is part of evolving into the best version of yourself. Sometimes we have to fail a few times, or many times, to finally discover our truest creative expression. With virtue alone you will improve just by showing up and aiming for success. Naturally, you will grow. Oprah Winfrey was demoted very early in her career as a news anchor and the reason was due to the belief she did not have the “it” factor needed for TV. She pushed forward and reinvented daytime talk shows into what they are today after a long and successful career as host of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” –Oprah Winfrey

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8) Inspiration is Reality
The inspired thoughts that swirl around in our mind from history, nature or other people can invent links to new creations. George Lucas wrote the famous series Star Wars with inspiration from mythology and religious beliefs. The idea behind the force holds strong universal appeal. In an interview with Bill Moyers, George Lucas stated: “I’ve tried to take the ideas, to cut across most cultures, because I’m fascinated by that, I think that’s one of the things that I really got from (Joseph) Campbell (late mythology and culture expert), was to find the common threads through the various mythologies, through the religions.” It is rumored philosophies and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and the Samurai Warrior Code influenced the Jedi model. The main idea of Star Wars was to complete the circle and find a balance between good and evil. The idea of finding balance and raising awareness was known in ancient Egypt as raising the Djed – common day named raising the kundalini. The purpose was to preserve order and repel chaos. In ancient Egypt, the Djed Eye (Jed – I) was a wizard who held the staff of power also known as a wassar staff that contained electrical conducts of power. George Lucas pulled together a large amount of history and invented this world that later inspired others to create gadgets like Ostendo Technologies’ tiny projector to put in phones or watches than can later be turned into a form of holographic communication just like in the Star Wars movies.

“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.” –George Lucas

9 Reasons Why Traveling Makes You Smarter

Travel is something most all of us want to do, but only a few of us actually do. Resources, time and responsibility keep us from it, but if you learned the multiple benefits of taking a vacation, you might acquire the motivation to find a way to take a trip!

I am positive this list could be longer, but these are the few that I find significant.

Tourist in mountain. Element of design.

Travel is something most all of us want to do, but only a few of us actually do. Resources, time and responsibility keep us from it, but if you learned the multiple benefits of taking a vacation, you might acquire the motivation to find a way to take a trip!

I am positive this list could be longer, but these are the few that I find significant.

1. Activates the Mind

The first time you travel to a new country is when you realize that most of your day to day life is lived on autopilot. The routine of your day you normally do not acknowledge like how you communicate, travel from home to work, get ready for work, cook your food, eat your food and go to the bathroom. I can imagine the shock of using a bidet for the first time and not knowing anything about it. The habits you have become used to that no longer require conscious effort to accomplish are gone. In a new place, your mind must be active and ready to learn much like a kid attending his first day in school.

2. Perspective

Traveling to a new country expands our awareness and introduces us to greater diversity. It’s likely you might help a person pick up their home after a monsoon or help a child fight starvation. There are things happening in the world we can only imagine on our TV screens.

3. Connect to New People

If you are lucky you will meet a few people from different countries who will teach you about their culture. If possible, maybe a few pen pals as well! They can continue to share with you their culture and you can further practice a new language instead of embarrassing yourself at the local Chinese restaurant where you end up talking in a fake Chinese accent thinking they understand you better that way.

4. Slows Us Down

One of the more obvious reasons to travel is to take a break from your life. Working, caring for a family, caring for a home, socializing, and responsibilities – they all contribute to our fast-paced lifestyle. Traveling offers the opportunity to live slowly and in the present. Enjoy yourself! Here you can see the habits in your life for what they are with a priceless clarity. It’s possible you might discover that 4 hours of gaming a day is not really a priority!

5. Learn to Love Life Again

Life can be such a drag sometimes! So many of us are stuck in the work to live lifestyle. Visiting a new country can regain your enthusiasm for life. Enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration is all you need to begin change.

6. Skill Development

Who knew you could climb a mountain – literally and metaphorically. You might have some hidden talents up your sleeve!

7. Curiosity

Traveling is about having adventures and experiencing things for the first time. It awakens you inner child. The part of you that wants to follow the rabbit down the hole and see where you end up.

8. Promotes Understanding

Visiting a new country releases the heavy expectations of the “One Right Way” mentality. When you are the minority in your thinking, it really helps to see that life revolves around patience and understanding. The sister words of love and brother words of wisdom. From here, you can move with the flow of life – organically.

9. Rediscover Yourself

This is the gold! Living away from your routine life and experiencing more can help you to feel your true self. For those of you who believe in karma, the awakening of your conscious mind by discarding habits, negative cycles and lower thought processes, can help us to get on the positive karma accumulation train! Living mindfully creates good karma. That being said, traveling is not necessary to achieve this, but it helps!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Do Employers Value Emotional Intelligence over IQ?

IQ is not the only prerequisite for success, nor is having a high IQ the most important skill when it comes to succeeding in life.

emotional-intelligenceOur culture places a high importance on intelligence (IQ) when determining a person’s ability to be successful in the professional world. In reality, IQ is not the only prerequisite for success, nor is having a high IQ the most important skill when it comes to succeeding in life. Life is all about decisions, and new research is showing that having the ability to understand yourself, your emotions, and the emotions of others is the key to making the best choices for yourself. That ability to understand your emotions and the emotions of others is known as emotional intelligence (EQ).

An experiment published on Psychological Science conducted by Jeremy Yip and Stephanie Cote of Yale University gathered some compelling insights into the reasons why a person with a high EQ is more likely to achieve success in life.

“In two experiments, we examined how a core dimension of emotional intelligence, emotion-understanding ability, facilitates decision making. Individuals with higher levels of emotion-understanding ability can correctly identify which events caused their emotions and, in particular, whether their emotions stem from events that are unrelated to current decisions. We predicted that incidental feelings of anxiety, which are unrelated to current decisions, would reduce risk taking more strongly among individuals with lower rather than higher levels of emotion-understanding ability. The results of Experiment 1 confirmed this prediction. In Experiment 2, the effect of incidental anxiety on risk taking among participants with lower emotion-understanding ability, relative to participants with higher emotion-understanding ability, was eliminated when we informed participants about the source of their anxiety. This finding reveals that emotion-understanding ability guards against the biasing effects of incidental anxiety by helping individuals determine that such anxiety is irrelevant to current decisions.”

People who have a well-developed understanding of emotions do not remove all emotions from their decision making, but they do remove emotions that have nothing to do with the decision before them.

A reason why a person with a high EQ tends to execute better decision making is they tend to have a well-developed observing ego. An observing ego is the part of your intellect that allows you to observe what you are feeling objectively, almost as if you are having an out of body experience with your emotions. As the study says, the participants with a low EQ needed to be told told by Yip and Cote that their anxiety to perform a 2nd task was actually due to the fact they could not separate their feelings from the 1st task they were asked to complete.

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So, how does your EQ effect your life?
Let’s assume a person with a high IQ / low EQ achieves professional success in life, as they so often do. They have a good job, marriage, and children, life is good. Now, let’s say for the purpose of this example, that stress from that good job manifests itself (as we all know it does), and it continues for a long period of time. That stress eventually bleeds into other aspects of life. A person who has an under-developed understanding of their emotions tends to make a variety of bad decisions due to an inability to understand what is going on internally. Alcoholism, infidelity, and domestic abuse are all symptoms of underlying emotional issues that go unchecked and manifest themselves as something completely different from the original problem.

In the same example, a person with a high EQ would quickly realize their stress and feelings of anxiety are only work-related. They would quickly detach their frustrations from other aspects of their life, and deal with their emotions constructively. Using healthy outlets to collect themselves or venting to their spouse or friends is a normal practice for people with a high EQ. Those healthy releases and emotional understanding would also help someone with a high EQ to return to work refreshed, ready make decisions to better their work situation and reduce stress in the future.

Understanding your emotions is really the only way to overcome them. I am not saying that you need to be a robot to be successful. I am, however, saying that taking the time to identify how you feel and why you feel that way is more constructive in life than avoiding emotions, or trying to dull them with drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs. Being successful in life is not a defined list of things to do or not do. It is a dynamic, ever-changing collection of skills to handle whatever life throws at you. Emotional intelligence is just one of these skills, and quite possibly – one of the most important.

9 Ways to Increase Your IQ by Growing Grey Matter in the BRAIN

Whether you are looking to increase your brain functioning or preserve your cognitive abilities, here are some activities to consider adding to your weekly routine to increase grey matter:

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The Grey Matter of the Hippocampus part of the brain is best known for its association with learning skills and memory capabilities, but it is also known for its connection to self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Basic activities done regularly in only a few weeks of time can increase your IQ and help you to feel more psychologically and physically at peace.

The discovery of neuroplasticity, the brain can change and reorganize itself, is revolutionizing the treatment of stroke patients, chronic pain sufferers, those with neurological disorders and by helping to ward off cognitive decline due to age-related issues.

Whether you are looking to increase your brain functioning or preserve your cognitive abilities, here are some activities to consider adding to your weekly routine to increase grey matter:

1) Embrace the Idea that the Brain Can Grow – This might seem like a silly suggestion, but it needs to be said. Children and young adults have the ability to learn skills faster and this often keeps adults from attempting more difficult feats. You are capable of learning a new language or learning to play an instrument in your older age. You are capable of evolving your behavioral habits. It begins with changing your mindset.

2) Meditation – Studies have shown mediation, particularly compassion mediation, increases neural activity and grey matter thickness. Meditation also puts you in beneficial brainwave patterns – alpha, theta, delta – a myriad of benefits manifest including super creativity, idea generation, enhanced cognitive abilities and overall intellectual capacity for growth.

3) Play Brain Games – Puzzles and Memory Games like Sudoku or other brain games will activate the mind by forcing us in a focused conscious state. This is the best way to increase grey matter via games.

4) Play Video Games – A recent study at University of Rochester, U.S., confirmed a link between 1st person video games and expanded visual awareness in the real world – a building block for the IQ. The ability to take in visual cues with speed and accuracy is invaluable.

5) Cardiovascular Exercise – Cardiovascular fitness is associated with increased cognitive scores and increased verbal intelligence by 50% according to a study done in Sweden. In contrast, muscle exercise was only weakly associated with intelligence.

6) Proper Nutrition – Food feeds the brain and a lack of the right food & nutrition will lead to lower energy levels which in turn lowers brain activity and eventually mental disorders. Vitamins B12, B6 and folic acid is needed for cognitive development. DHA/EPA is required for normal brain health and a lack of can lead to depression. Vitamin C increases mental agility. Vitamin K increases cognitive functioning. Berries containing anthocyanins increase short term memory. Zinc plays an important role in spatial learning and memory.

7) Learn a New Skill – Learning a new skill strengthens connections within the brain and it has the ability to get your mind out of a long time rut. The difficulty of the task is in close to relation to how much the brain will activate.

8) Use Your Imagination – Using your imagination is the same as using your visionary skills. Manifesting something positive into your life requires a lot of brain activity. Constantly using your visionary skills contributes to increased creativity, increased problem solving and idea generation.

9) Relinquish a Bad Habit – Forcing yourself to change a habit, whether it is smoking cigarettes or holding on too tightly to grudges, will help the brain to break down strong negative neural connections while making room for healthy new connections that benefit your brain growth. Weakening unhealthy brain connections is just as important as forming new healthy ones.