Move around. Whenever I see Rodin’s statue of The Thinker, I’m certain that whatever he’s thinking about is not causing a creative rush. Sitting and thinking while hoping ideas will land in your lap is both grueling and ineffective. While our minds need to rest, daydreaming seldom spawns a new idea, although a new idea may erupt after a daydreaming session. Although different people find different experiences creatively stimulating, people in motion seem to generate ideas more easily.

A woman who had left her corporate job and started a small service business called to share her excitement about her new life. As she talked about her venture, she said, “I have so many ideas now. I never had ideas when I worked at my old job.”

“I have a theory about that,” I told her. “I think ideas are out there floating around in the air, but they can’t get through to corporate cubicles.”

I was only partly joking. In order to attract ideas, we need to engage in activities that stimulate our thinking. Sitting and trying hard, doesn’t seem to help at all. Next time we’ll look at a surefire way to generate a steady stream of good ideas.

$100 Hour: Eliminate an expense that doesn’t bring you joy. Every so often, find a way to save $100. Quit smoking. Or find a credit card company with a lower interest rate. Find a tax deduction you overlooked. Cancel the movie channel you never watch. Sometimes our spending becomes automatic and habitual. It’s healthy to reevaluate and change old spending habits from time to time.

Explore More: I’m not sure I’ve ever come up with a good idea while reading about creativity. However, following the suggestions for exercises and activities in such books often gets things rolling. A perennial favorite is How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael Gelb.

Innovation is what you get when you get up from behind your desk and go and see where ideas and people lead you. ~ Richard Branson

The handouts are printed, the hotel has our room set up order, the Mystere tickets are booked. Everything that needs to be ready for another great Compelling Storytelling is in place. Alice Barry and I aren’t the only ones getting more excited as the days grow closer. Here’s a comment participant Charla Swift made on an earlier blog posting:

I can feel my heart starting to boom in my chest. I’m so excited about Compelling Storytelling, meeting new people who  share similar passions, returning to Vegas, and most of all reconnecting  with the woman who inspires creativity.  Barbara, you amaze me at how  effortlessly you embrace new experiences. You give me courage to see every event (small or large…planned or unplanned) as a gift.  One to be held up to the light, shaken, turned upside down, and really examined  to make certain I don’t miss the opportunity which may be hidden inside. It is with relish I board the plane on Dec. 1 to embrace yet another opportunity to be in your delightful company!!

Before I get to work whipping up the cranberry sauce for my family’s Thanksgiving feast, I wanted to pass along some things I’ve gathered recently. This is a random collection of resources to explore for yourself.

Need a little stress relieving break? Hop over to JacksonPollock.org and start playing. I’ve been telling everyone about this site since I learned about it. Be warned, however, that it can be addictive.

Remember what you got for Christmas last year? When I was visiting my daughter this week, we were talking about last year’s gifts and discovered we couldn’t remember what we’d received. The exception to that for me were the gifts that made a difference in somebody else’s life. My sister Becky made a donation to KIVA in my name, my daughter sponsored a Heifer llama in my name and I gave a Room to Read girl’s scholarship in her name. Maybe more stuff isn’t the most memorable gift after all.

Love a good success story? The October 13th issue of Newsweek had a special section on Women and Leadership. Several of the personal accounts were written about their entrepreneurial journey. You can read about Anna Sui’s Launching Her Label, Lisa Price’s On Becoming an Entrepreneur and Kimberly Pierce’s The  Power of Plot. All three are wonderfully inspiring. 

Fretting about the economy? Here’s what Seth Godin says entrepreneurs need to consider:

In times of financial stress and bailouts, the obvious solution (eliminate all the waste!) is not the one that works. In fact, in these times, we’re more likely than ever to be nervous about the status of the organization we’re working with.

I’d replace the expensive sponsorships and buildings with something more valuable, quicker to market and far more efficient: people. Real people, trustworthy people, honest people…people who take their time, look you in the eye, answer the phone and keep their promises. Not as easy to implement as writing a big check for the Super Bowl, but a lot more effective.

Life is enriched because of the commitment, passion and focus we give it, not the time we give it. ~ Jim Loehr