5 Brain Training Techniques to Cultivate Your Creative Genius

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The ingenious inventor, the savvy entrepreneur, the innovative scientist, the imaginative writer… No matter what our field or area of expertise, we all seek to be more creative and innovative. We all want to be original.

Many of us regard creativity as an awe-inspiring, almost magical gift that some people are simply born with. But just as creativity can be expressed in many different ways, it can also be learned and sharpened like any other skill.

In the modern world, there is no room for the humdrum or mundane. A clever and inventive mind opens doors to success. Here are five ingenious ways you can begin training your mind to be more creative and innovative.

1. Seek to use both sides of your brain.

Don’t fall for the myth that right-brained people are more creative while left-brained people are more analytical. True creativity comes from using both sides of your brain.

The most imaginative ideas must be logical and rational in order to work. The most scientific and analytical of approaches must still be unique, thoughtful and ingenious.

Roger Sperry’s research into his split-brain hypothesis in the 1960s showed that some activities, such as spatial reasoning and appreciation of beauty, stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain, while things like analytical thinking and language stimulate the left hemisphere.

But creativity requires a whole-brained approach because it requires lateral thinking, or thinking about things in new ways. When we “think outside the box,” we devise fresh approaches to solving problems and meeting challenges.

Work to build your whole brain by using both right and left sides. Try juggling or doing origami, or just do daily activities like writing your name or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand.

Start looking at things differently — literally — by wearing your watch upside down or using your phone upside down. Try writing backward: it worked for Leonardo da Vinci, who wrote his notes in “mirror writing.”

2. Cultivate a thirst for knowledge.

A lifelong thirst for knowledge will fuel your creativity. A thoughtful and intelligent mind demands a constant flow of information. By continually learning and growing, you feed your mind with ideas and expand your thinking. Seek to be broad-minded and open to new concepts and approaches.

This includes being willing to try different ideas and not just dismissing something you disagree with out of hand. Communication isn’t a one-way street. It means being willing to question everything, to keep yourself motivated and curious about the world around you.

Work to develop both vertical knowledge, which is a deep dive into a particular topic, and horizontal knowledge, which means having a solid amount of understanding in a wide variety of fields.

Having a broad range of knowledge in different areas will give you the background to pull new ideas from. But being deeply familiar with one area will give you the insight necessary to innovate within that field.


3. Explain things back to yourself.

Being creative also requires that you understand the information you have been given. It’s one thing to read a book and study a subject, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to explain that topic to someone else (or yourself). Being able to explain new knowledge shows that you have processed and internalized the information on a deeper level.

If you can explain something back to yourself, you can also expand on it, reshape it in your own unique vision or integrate your own ideas. You can follow threads of ideas and create new concepts.

To be a good explainer requires you be a good listener. After all, you can’t fully absorb and retain information if you haven’t really heard what has been said.

Get in the habit of explaining things back to yourself to further solidify knowledge. This process can also help you think through areas that may be improved, which will boost your ability to brainstorm and build on concepts.


4. Take breaks to “switch on” your creative side.

Have you ever been hard at work at a task that required problem-solving, feeling like you’re on a roll, only to realize later your ideas were mostly redundant and uninspired?

According to Harvard Business Review, our natural inclination is to keep working on a problem even when we aren’t making headway. When working on an idea that requires creativity, we often reach a dead end without realizing it. Research shows that it’s crucial to take breaks at regular intervals to give your mind a chance to refresh.

Set a timer, and when it goes off, switch tasks. Do something else for a while, and then return to your original task. Doing this will help you switch on your creativity and keep your problem-solving productive and innovative.

If you’re having trouble, try approaching a problem from a different perspective. It may help to work backward, starting with the solution, or to turn a problem on its head and conceptualize it from a different angle.


5. Let your imagination run wild.

One of the best things you can do to hone your creativity is to tap into the natural imaginativeness and ingenuity that you had as a child. We loved to play and pretend as kids. We learned how to create imaginary worlds where anything was possible. We enjoyed challenging ourselves with games and tests of skill.

Give yourself time to let your mind wander, to explore, to daydream, and then use the ideas that surface as part of your brainstorming. Challenge yourself with creative exercises, such as doodling in a sketchbook or writing flash fiction.

Keep a journal of your ideas, however fantastical or impractical they might be. Giving your mind time to dream and problem-solve is a great way to build your creative muscle.

If you cultivate a mind that is imaginative, open to all possibilities, balanced, full of knowledge and refreshed frequently, your genius and creativity will start to flourish.


Melinda Gates – Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Melinda French Gates
(born Melinda Ann French)
(August 15, 1964, Dallas, Texas, USA)
Nationality: United States
Category: Votaries of Spirit and Humanity
Occupation: Philanthropist, businesswoman
Specification: Co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gender: Female
Religion: Roman Catholic
Residence: Medina, WA, near Seattle.
Education: She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and an Master of Business Administration, Duke University Fuqua School of Business in 1987.
Family: Father-Raymond Joseph French, Jr., an engineer and mother- Elaine Agnes Amerland French a homemaker (from Germany). Melinda was 16 when her father brought home the first Apple III computer.
Spouse – Bill Gates, 2nd Richest Man in the World (Net Worth $66 Billion as of Sept. 2012). They met in 1987 at a Microsoft press event in Manhattan. On 1st of January, 1994, she married Bill Gates in a private ceremony held in Lanai, Hawaii.
Children: Melinda and Bill Gates have three children: daughters Jennifer Katharine Gates (b. 26 April 1996) and Phoebe Adele Gates (b. 2002), and son Rory John Gates (b. 23 May1999).
1. In 1987 she joined Microsoft Corp. and distinguished herself in business as a unit manager and leader in the development of Microsoft’s multimedia products.
2. In 1996, M. Gates retired from her position as Microsoft’s General Manager of Information Products.
3. She is a former member of the board of trustees of Duke University (1996 to 2003) and is a former co-chair of the Washington State Governor’s Commission on Early Learning.
4. Melinda is Co-founder and co-chair of the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, which was formed in 1994 and renamed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) in 1999. The basic Values of the foundation are: Optimism, Collaboration, Rigor, Innovation and the primary aims are, in the world to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology, improve public libraries and support at-risk families.
As of 2009, Melinda and Bill Gates have donated more than US$24 billion to the Foundation. And as of 2011 it had an endowment of US$33.5 billion andas of 2012- $37.6 billion.
In December 2005, Melinda and Bill Gates were named by Time as Persons of the Year alongside Bono.
In 2006 Melinda and Bill Gates received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation and Order of the Aztec Eagle for their philanthropic work around the world in the areas of health and education.
In May 2006, she was honored for her work to improve the lives of children locally and around the world.
She and her husband, Bill Gates, were both awarded the 2010 «J. William Fulbright» Prize for International Understanding.
Melinda Gates was ranked list of the 100 Most Powerful Women, #12 in Forbes in 2006, #24 in 2007, #40 2008 and #4 in 2012.
Quotes by Melinda Gates: “Our desire to bring every good thing to our children is a force for good throughout the world. It’s what propels societies forward.”

Mark Zuckerberg – Co-Founder, CEO, President of Facebook

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Mark Elliot “Zuck” Zuckerberg
(May 14, 1984, White Plains, New York, USA)
Nationality: United States
Category: Figures
Occupation: Businessperson, Computer Programmer, Inventor.
Specification: Co-Founder, CEO & President of Facebook, the world’s youngest billionaire
Gender: Male
Net worth: US$6.9 billion (2010)
Videos: 1. 2. 

Read More:  Genvive

The Digerati: 7 Profiles of Successful Entrepreneurs

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In the Day in the Life Series, Mashable hand-picked seven successful tech entrepreneurs to follow for a day. We wanted to know what their routine is like, what they eat for lunch, how much time they spend in meetings, who they seek out for advice and what keeps them going day after day on little sleep. What we found is that these entrepreneurs are driven by insatiable passion, and they’ll let nothing stand in their way. Read on and get to know these entrepreneurs; click through for the full story, which will include either a cinematic video or a beautiful photo gallery of go-getters at work.

1. Felicia Day, YouTube Star and Founder of Geek and Sundry

Few people know YouTube stardom more than actress Felicia Day, who memorably co-starred in Joss Whedon’s Internet musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. In April, Day launched Geek & Sundry, a multimedia company and premium YouTube channel dedicated to indie geek entertainment, and the sixth season of her web series The Guild will be released on Geek & Sundry soon, along with six new web shows. While shooting season six, Day let us follow her around to see what it’s like to be in her shoes. (Hint: It involves long days and a lot of caffeine.)

Watch the video here.

2. Nihal Mehta, Founder and CEO, LocalResponse

Typical New Yorkers are always hustling, always busy. But when you’re a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Alley, you might find yourself busier than most Manhattan dwellers. In fact, you might look at your Google Calendar only to see a collage of color and very little white space. And if you’re like Nihal Mehta, that’s exactly how you like it.

Mehta is the founder and CEO of LocalResponse, which targets social media content toward consumers who’ve displayed intent to purchase. For example, a Foursquare check-in at Walgreen’s might yield a targeted tweet about a special discount.

“A phone knows who you are, where you are and where you’ve been. But no ad platform was taking advantage of that [when we launched],” Mehta told Mashable.

Watch the video here.

3. Jason Goldberg, CEO and Co-Founder, Fab

Fab has become the darling of the Interwebs. What started as a gay social network has pivoted into a design-focused, socially charged ecommerce site that sells everything from rugs to wine glasses to decorative tchotchkes. And co-founder/CEO Jason Goldberg is incredibly involved in every element of the Fab product.

We followed Goldberg around for a day to get a sense of what a typical in his life is, but we learned quickly that there’s no such thing as a “typical day” for Goldberg. Just last month, he got married, and he parlayed his honeymoon into a trip to the Fab office in India. He returned stateside for a week, so he could have a board meeting and a global all-hands meeting, and then headed to Berlin for a week to visit Fab offices, before heading to Tokyo to check out trends in the design-forward city. Such is the life of a busy CEO, but you’ll see in the photos that Goldberg does it all in style.

Check out pics here.

4. Ge Wang, Stanford Professor and Co-Founder, Smule

“I don’t really have a set schedule,” says Ge Wang. His name may not be familiar, but his work certainly is. Wang is the co-founder and chief creative officer of Smule, the app developer responsible for the Ocarina and iPad violin and other things that started out as “crazy-ass ideas.” To date, Smule has accumulated more than 65 million downloads. Also in Wang’s repertoire are the Stanford Laptop Orchestra and the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra. On a day-to-day basis, Wang explores social music-making, both as a Stanford professor and an app developer. For someone with interests and obligations as widespread as Wang, would you expect him to have a set schedule? And yet, between teaching, research, coding and product testing, Wang finds plenty of time to “goof off.” Take a look at what a “typical” day entails for Wang. If you’re like us, you’re bound to be jealous.

Watch the video here.

5. Zach Sims, Co-Founder and CEO, Codecademy

Despite the early success and $12.5 million in funding for Codecademy, Zach Sims doesn’t get a whole lot of sleep. He goes to bed around 2:00 a.m., usually wakes up by 7:00 a.m. and works almost non-stop. But he doesn’t mind.

“I’m pretty much working whether I’m in the office or not. Having a phone means always being tied to work. That said, work isn’t always ‘work.’ It’s spending the day with smart people and building something that can change the world,” he tells Mashable.

Check out pics here.

6. Scott Heiferman, Founder and CEO, Meetup

50,000 Meetups. 45,000 cities. 10.8 million monthly visitors. 11.1 million members. 117,000 Meetup topics.

When Scott Heiferman and his co-founder launched Meetup in the wake of 9/11, their mission was to revitalize local communities in America. With these numbers 10 years later, it’s safe to say, “mission accomplished.”

But Heiferman is still hard at work helping people find “Meetups Everywhere About Most Everything.” The platform uses the power of the Internet to get people off the Internet, so they can develop relationships IRL with those who share their passions, from book clubs to entrepreneurship networking to running groups. If you have a passion, there’s a Meetup for it.

Heiferman himself starts many days with a Meetup. “It’s so important to stay connected to what you’re doing,” he says.

Watch the video here.

7. Kellee Khalil, Founder and CEO,

When Pinterest launched in 2010 and exploded in popularity in 2011, the big joke was that people use it to plan their weddings (even if they’re single or not yet engaged), or to decorate their hypothetical dream homes. But little did brides-to-be know that there was something better for wedding planning, something more tailored to their precise needs. That product came from Los Angeles native Kellee Khalil, who received $1 million in seed funding to get her idea off the ground.

“We’re in execution mode. You have to move 100 miles per hour in any direction you can. It’s all about momentum and keeping the momentum going. That’s what I love about business — you get to go hard,” says Khalil.

Lauren Drell September 29, 2012 by 1

Сreative advertising

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Упаковано с креативом – Упаковка.

Хлебный гном

Дизайн: Lo Siento Studio

Наклейки на дно бутылок кетчупа

Креатив агентства JWT, NY. Реклама секс-шопа.

Банка-миска для чипсов

После удаления стягивающего элемента цилиндр, выполненный из сжатой бумаги, модернизируется в фигурную посуду. Дизайнер Dohyuk Kwon.


Заколки для волос St. Stephen

Дизайн: Prompt Design

Часы в воде

Водонепроницаемые часы Festina продаются в пакете с водой. Rhtfnbd futyncndf Scholz & Friends.


Упаковка Fit Buns превращает сдобные булки в кубики пресса. Реклама сети фитнес клубов. Креатив принадлежит украинскому агентству MEX.

Бутылка-стакан Coca-Cola

Таблетки от прыщей Clearasil

Бутылка с розовыми очками

Дизайн: Luksemburk

Зубастая пицца

Реклама зубной пасты Colgate Max Night. Креатив агентства Y&R Paris.

Пакет “Пустой желудок”

Дизайн: Andy Winner and One Show Merit.


Дизайнер Simon Laliberté

Вино в полене

Рождественская упаковка от агентства Cole & Weber United.


Для любителей сдирать этикетки с пивных бутылок. Дизайнер: Clara Lindsten.

Пышные булочки

Акция “Поддержите грудь” в рамках борьбы с раком груди. Рекламное агентство envision.

Чайный пакетик-птица

Дизайнер Наталья Пономарева.

Сырный карандаш

Рекламное агентство Kolle Rebbe / KOREFE.

Диск группы Vonnegut Dollhouse

Рекламное агентство Rethink Canada


Дизайнер Hannah Jor

Держатель для салфеток

Дизайнер Tomohiro Ikegaya

Хлебобулочные изделия Fazer Vilpuri

Дизайн: Hasan and Partners

Худеющая бутылка

Чем больше пьешь, тем стройнее становишься. Рекламное агентство Grabarz & Partner.

Джемы La Vieja Fabrica

Концепт упаковки от агентства tapsa.

Visual Thinking Framework

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Visual Thinking Framework

via Framework.

The richest people in America

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Two-thirds of the wealthiest people in the U.S. added to their fortunes, boosting their average net worth by $400 million to a record $4.2 billion.