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Identify your tether
free your mind


Identify your tether-lessons from elephant story

When still a baby, the elephant is tethered by a very thick rope to a stake firmly hammered into the ground.

The elephant tries several times to get free, but it lacks the strength to do so. After some time, the animal gives up trying, believing that it cannot be free.

At this point, the trainer changes the thick rope to a thin one but the elephant makes no attempt to run away. Even when the elephant reaches adulthood, it continues to be tethered by a thin rope, reconciled to its captivity. As we grow up and gain experience, we collect lot of baggage which are imaginary and weighs us down. They are similar to the elephant's thin rope tied to a post. We can break away, but we are accustomed to the limit and constraints or false assumptions which stop us from exploring and finding new choices.

Tether 1. What will people think?

Your selfconsciousness is one big hurdle in your being creative. You don't even try to do so many things in life because you are afraid of making a fool of yourself.

We try to project an acceptable image

You had no such inhibitions as a child and therefore you were naturally creative. When you walk into something in spite of the fear, it simply vanishes because by then the unknown turns into the known. When you let go of your selfconsciousness, you turn more creative.

Tether 2. What is the right answer?

One of the worst aspects of formal education is the focus on the correct answer to a question or problem. When somebody asks a question, you generally give an acceptable answer instead of an original one fearing it might be wrong. While this approach helps you to function smoothly in society, it hurts creative thinking. Real-life issues are ambiguous. There is no one single answer to any problem. If you watch any competitve sports, the top players always employ different strategies to win or excel.

Tether 3. I am scared of Failing

The fear of failure is something that you learn in school…and it never just goes away. All through school, you perhaps take hundreds of tests, exams, assignments, etc. You are in one big trouble if you fail even once. You are scared of failure.

By the time you finish school, the fear of failure has seeped into your system and you avoid situations which could result in failure. You are extra-careful about whatever you take up. You play safe. The fear of failure does not let you try new things, crippling your creativity.

Tether 4-. That's not my field

Creativity requires finding connections between unrelated things. The diversity of your interests and experiences enhances your ability to find connections. When you explore completely unrelated areas, you are pleasantly surprised by the interrelatedness of almost everything. You start seeing new possibilities when you discover new connections. Most of the innovations like IPOD, Iphone, twitter, Amazon, telemedicine are born by interconnecting the unrelated areas.

Tether 5-. I don't like uncertainty

If you are not confused, you are not thinking clearly - Tom Peters

When people are confused, they feel compelled to resolve the situation quickly, regardless of the quality of solution. There is something in the culture or perhaps in the education system, which makes people want to be 'knowers' rather than 'find-outers'.

However, when it comes to creative thinking, not knowing is a good thing and ambiguity is a great thing. Certainty is the enemy of creativity.

Tether 6-. Everyone Says So

When all think alike, then no one is thinking. - Walter Lippman

The desire to belong is a powerful one and at times it leads to 'groupthink'. This herd approach is probably a relic from the cave age. It is important to have a mind of your own in order to be creative Some of the celebrated failures like New Cola, Ford Edsel or all KBC clones were example of goupthink.

Tether 7-Why keep thinking unnecessarily when I have found the answer?

People are satisfied with the first idea that comes to their mind. They stop thinking further. However, if you don't share your 'first' idea and keep thinking more and more, the subsequent ones are sure to be better. The more you think, the more the chances to find better solutions. You never know when you will hit the jackpot.

Tether 8-Smart people know all the anwers and respond quickly

While quick response is valued but avoiding of deep thinking and analysis results in missing out on the finer points of an issue.

In order to respond quickly you start giving out readymade answers.

In trying to show yourself as smart, you sacrifice creative and innovative possibilities.

Tether 10. Self-fulfilling prophecy

You become /achieve what you believe in.

Barrack Obama became the president of USA-(a possibilty which would have been presposterous if imagined 5 years ago.) because he strongly believed that he could be elected as the President.

The Indian cricket team is winning matches because they believe they can.

The defeatist attitude results in actually the loss/defeat

submitted by Rakesh Wadhwa


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