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Can You Learn Creativity Later in Life?

Creativity can be seen as an attribute a person has or doesn’t have. This idea implies that there’s a divide: some are being able to think in an innovative way, while others are more technical-minded.

For Ray Bradbury, creativity was the art of silencing rationality:

 The intellect is a great danger to creativity … because you begin to rationalise and make up reasons for things, instead of staying with your own basic truth — who you are, what you are, what you want to be. I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads “Don’t think!” You must never think at the typewriter — you must feel. Your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway … The worst thing you do when you think is lie — you can make up reasons that are not true for the things that you did, and what you’re trying to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — find out who you really are, and try not to lie, try to tell the truth all the time. And the only way to do this is by being very active and very emotional, and get it out of yourself — making things that you hate and things that you love, you write about these then, intensely. 

-Ray Bradbury

In recent years, there has been a growing call in learning facilities to nurture and teach creativity from an early age. Research indicates that for creative ideas to develop, it is necessary to train the mind. This idea of developing creativity is even taught as an area of study. Which might lead us to the question: What are the ways that educators evoke the creative spark? And should these techniques be taught?

How Can Creativity Be Developed?

Everybody seeks to develop and hone a creative spirit. Since the beginning of recorded artistry, the idea has been revered as the muses for writers and artists. Now, it’s not just the individualists and philosophers who are looking for an imaginative hit, but business people and students looking for a spark of creative magic.

Thinking outside the box has been regarded as such a clichéd precept that we have taken for granted the importance of being able to come up with far-reaching ideas in order to solve problems. Techniques to teach creativity are as vast and varied as the creative act itself.

So, if you are someone who is looking to develop their creativity, we recommend that you try the following:

Capture new ideas

Come up with an effective way to maintain innovative ideas as they occur, without criticism or modification first. This could mean keeping a notebook or using a voice recorder to record your thoughts before they vanish.

Seek out challenges

Don’t be afraid of challenging tasks or issues. Even if there is no evident solution to the problem, just motivating yourself to think about the possibilities will help you generate new ideas. Searching for opportunities also ensures that at times you will struggle, but recognising failure as a possibility is also a necessary part of being innovative.

Broaden your knowledge and skills

Acquiring knowledge and skills outside of your current field of expertise will provide interconnection with more diverse skills, which is the framework for creativity. You can do this by taking a short online course, attending seminars or reading journals in different fields.

Manage your surroundings

Your environment can have a big impact on how you think. Surrounding yourself with different physical and social stimuli can stimulate better approach for intuition and ideas. This may be anything from expanding your social circle to visiting art galleries to decorating your work or study space with unusual objects.

Step into An Inspired 2020 by Wrapping up 2019 on The Right Foot

The new year is fast approaching, which means the thrill of high levels of stress and pressure. Ending the year on a good note can be a sound method to get all your ducks in a row for the new year. 

Simple strategies can secure that you step into 2020 with success in your pocket:

Reflect

You might have heard that looking back is the best way to move forward. 

Before the year comes to a close, take a few days to look back intentionally on the year and identify what did and what did not work for you. Take the pain points and figure out how to avoid them in the next year and remember any excellent executions and think about how you can implement the winning strategies moving forward.

Resolve

This is the best time to decide what needs completing this year. Despite how you might feel, some tasks can wait. Avoid piling your plate up with things that don’t actually need to be completed. The more you take on, the thinner you’ll be stretching yourself. Prioritise what needs to be wrapped up this year and focus on it to give yourself breathing room. 

Revise

Start getting your head around what you want the new year to look like. Preparation doesn’t need to be a complete 2020 calendar overhaul. It just means giving some active thought to what you want to achieve while considering ways to accomplish those goals. Think New Year Resolutions, but with genuine follow-through.

Recognise

Acknowledge any problematic areas you might have been in or had in the year – and move on. While it’s a valuable process to recognise mistakes and learn from them, it’s not worth bringing any toxic regret into your 2020 workplace. 

Restore

Before stepping into the new year, make sure you take advantage of the festive break. Come back to work next year energised, with a new sense of excitement, ready to tackle the tasks with fervour!

5 Tips for Smarter Spending This Bonus Season

Fortunate enough to have an end-of-year bonus in sight for all your hard work in 2019? 

The temptation to splash out on the big-ticket purchases that yield short-term satisfaction can become very real once the money lands in your account. But you’re also being presented with a golden opportunity to strengthen your financial position going into the new year and beyond. 

Take a moment right now to consider the benefits of using your hard-earned money more effectively. With a little discipline and planning, you can enjoy a perfectly good festive season without breaking the bank, and invest in longer-term abundance.

Here are our top five tips to get you started…

Pay off debt

Enter the new year with more peace of mind by using this opportunity to reduce any short-term debt obligations with high-interest rates (such as personal loans or store cards). 

Invest in your future

If you’re lucky enough to not have any lingering debt, use the extra income to secure your future by topping up your retirement savings or opening (or adding to) a tax-free investment account.

Pay expenses in advance

One sure-fire way to alleviate financial stress in 2020 is by looking ahead to any large expenses you’ll have to cover in the new year (like school fees) and paying some in advance.

Plan your festive spending

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself and your family over the holiday season. Before you do so, though, decide on the percentage you’ll be using for luxury expenditure, and stick to it. A good rule of thumb is 10 – 15%.

Uplevel your career

Why not leverage the windfall to invest in further education and training that helps you up the ante at work and increase your chances of enjoying an even bigger bonus next year? 

If you’re ready to see just how hard the extra income can work for you, sign up for a university-accredited online business short course that’ll transform your professional life in 2020. 

Your future self will thank you for ditching the short-lived thrills of the spending season in favour of the lasting rewards of a brighter future.

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Black Friday Savings

Black Friday – the day that symbolises the beginning of holiday shopping across the world. Prices are slashed and discounts are big, bold and blaring. It can be exciting. Thrilling, even. The anticipation of waiting for a price to drop is enough to glue many to their screens. But if you aren’t careful, it can be unnecessarily expensive.

If you plan on going Black Friday shopping this year, be careful of certain traps laid out by businesses to get you to part with your hard-earned finances.

How to Avoid Wasting Money on Black Friday

Do your research

Often the discounted products you see on products are manufactured just for the Black Friday sale. This means that the massive ‘90%’ you see is simply a sales pitch because the product was not available before. Black Friday products are also generally created at a lower standard because the brand can rely on selling on urgency rather than on quality. Some retailers also slip in outdated or inferior models without explicitly stating it. A way to avoid this is to double-check the model numbers of any device that might snag your attention.

If you’re desperate to take part in Black Friday savings, make sure you do your research before committing your money to a substandard product.

Make a list in advance

If there is something that you have been needing or wanting to buy, taking advantage of the specials could be beneficial. The best way to make this work for you is to make a list in advance and stick to it when shopping on the day.  

This method means you might be able to save a little on something you would have bought otherwise, and won’t end up wasting money on other products you don’t need.

Pay attention to the price and not the discount

A massive discount doesn’t necessarily mean the product is a reasonable price. If you do consider buying on Black Friday, keep your focus on what you’re spending during the day, and not how much you might have saved.

If you think about it, if you buy something valued at R2000 at 50% off, you’re still spending R1000. If you don’t buy the product, you save yourself 100%

Invest in Something More Worthwhile

Black Friday plays on your emotions, with a strong focus on the sense of urgency. “Buy NOW and be happy today!” might be littered across the emails you receive or the malls you visit.

Instead of sinking your money into an impulse buy for the instant gratification of shopping, invest in something that will be longer-lasting. Investing in yourself and your professional development will offer you the sweet satisfaction you crave, with the added bonus of longevity. Sign up for a short course to ensure your finances work better for your long-term fulfilment.

How to Change Your Life in Under Two Months

You may have started the year strong, sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions for the first couple of months.

But life got in the way of your best intentions, and everything you wanted to accomplish fell a little by the wayside. 

It happens. Often.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t end the year on a strong note.

There are still 57 days to go until we see the end of the year (and decade!). That’s just under two months – more than eight weeks. Over 1 300 hours. It’s just enough time to make some big changes so that you can tick those should and would have items off your list.

You would have liked to explore more

No matter in which city you reside, there is something new to encounter every day. Taking a drive for the sole purpose of exploration is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have. 

There are eight weeks left in the year. Take a weekend off to do exactly what you would have liked to do throughout the year.

You would have liked to complete that big project 

You’ve been putting it off for some time now. Sometimes you think about it and tell yourself you must work on it.

Perhaps it’s to get your hands dirty and build something. Maybe it’s to put your green thumb to the test by growing that garden you’ve been dreaming of, or to stretch your creativity and design your portfolio. 

Whatever it is, it won’t start or complete itself. Take the time you have left until 2020 kicks off to put your head down and check this project off your list.

You would have liked to hit the gym

It takes three weeks to form a habit. You have eight. 

There is still time to get the summer bod’ you’re after for the Christmas holidays.

The most difficult part of regular exercise is the first session. Once you’ve got that done, you’re on your way to your healthiest self.

You would have liked to say yes to more adventure

Everyone understands that winter months are indoor months. It’s difficult to hype yourself up to go out when it’s absolutely freezing beyond your doorstep. As you see the summer sun pouring in through your windows earlier, the get-up-and-go for adventure can be a little more present. 

While it’s easier, it’s not always easy

It still takes saying “yes” to enjoy the adventures that life has to offer.

As we welcome in the summer Christmas spirit, choose to say “yes” while the year offers its best weather, mood and cheer!

You would have liked to start something creative

Whether it’s putting words on a page, paint on a canvas, or a dance into your step, creativity is subjectively beautiful and objectively satisfying. You still have time this year to pick up that pen, paintbrush or dance class you’ve been considering all year round.

You wanted to transform your career

There’s always something at work that bothers you.

It could be a colleague, a strategy, a system, or even something you have to or simply don’t know how to do.

While there’s not always a lot you can do to change the external agitations, you can change yourself and your career for the better!

Don’t waste time and find yourself facing the disappointing “should have” feeling again at this time next year! Take the step today to position yourself for the success you would like to see in 2020!