Want to increase your creativity by 15%?... Take your shoes off!

Want to increase your creativity by 15%?... Take your shoes off! ... How does reading that look or sound to you? How does it make you feel? Apparently when our feet are relaxed our brains are relaxed. Now many people who know me know I love my shoes however I also know how to kick off those shoes to give my brain a chance to get more relaxed and therefore when I’m relaxed my creativity increases. I learnt that particular fact on my very first NLP programme nearly 20 years ago and some other fascinating details about my brain that I had taken rather for granted up until that point!

Some quick interesting and useful facts about the brain that you too may be taking for granted each day:

  • It weighs about 3 pounds (1.4kg)
  • It uses 20% of our energy.
  • It has a trillion cells.
  • Its cells are capable of connecting with a hundred thousand other cells.
  • It contains 100 billion nerve cells that not only put together thoughts and highly coordinated physical actions but regulate our unconscious body processes, such as digestion and breathing.
  • There are more possible interconnections between these neurons than there are atoms in the universe.
  • All the world’s telephone connections would have to be recreated 1,349 times to equal the total number of possible brain connections.
  • It can record a thousand new bits of information every second of our lives.

Does that sound amazing? It should do. And yet while these are amazing facts about our wonderful brains, they pale in comparison to the most alarming fact:


So how to get more from your brain and get more creative other than just kicking off your shoes? Here's an example of how it works. Let’s take a paper clip as an example. Everyone has to come up with as many ways that it can be used for. What this does is it lets you look at something from a completely different perspective. This is how innovation (from your own creativity) is born. It's a succession of thoughts and ideas that guide us to the end result. So in the next 60 seconds come up with as many ideas as you can for how you could use a paperclip.

How did you do?

Some of my examples are below:

  • A rather unusual earring
  • A hem coming down on your trousers or skirt? Use a paperclip to hold the hem up till you get home (I’ve done that one!)
  • Make it into a useful device for getting a £1 coin out from the steering column of your car (again done that one when the coin got dropped accidentally just as we were about to use it for the car park!)

You get the idea hopefully that a paperclip can be useful for more than just attaching pieces of paper together.

How do you Use Your Whole Brain?

How about a brain power game which identifies and categorises individuals based on selecting cards that best describe their strengths and personality traits? Each card is colour coded into 4 quadrants of the brain.

Blue = Investigator (mathematical, technical, analytical, logical)

Yellow = Creator (creative, conceptual, synthesize, holistic, artistic)

Green = Evaluator (planner, controlled, detail oriented)

Red = Activator (action oriented, talkative, musical, emotional, interpersonal)

Which of the above do you think you are strong in? For me it’s yellow and red. I therefore seek out people who are more blue and green (my best friend is like that!). In this way I can learn more about the way they do things. E.g. setting goals, communicating etc. That means I can also use more of my own brain by learning from others and paying more attention to what goes on around me.

The exercise also serves several valuable purposes:-

  • It identifies which areas of the brain are your strengths.
  • It lets you notice where your deficiencies or weak spots are.
  • It identifies where you should seek outside help and learn with the people you are already connected with.

The exercise can even be used in learning and development events - once your selections define your colour quadrant, a coloured dot is applied to your name badge. This lets you and everyone know where your strengths are. So, for someone like me who's technically and detail challenged, I would be seeking out those individuals that have a Blue and/or a Green dot on their badge for help!

So how do you use your whole brain? Find people who are strong in the areas where you display less developed areas (used to be called weaknesses!). Enlist their help in those areas. Or if you are running a business and have people around you to help you then delegate those tasks and activities that suit their strengths.



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