What is creativity?

Creativity is merely the process of combining things in new and original ways. For example:

  • To write a piece of music is simply combining existing notes in a new way;
  • To paint an original picture is to combine existing colors in a unique way.

Music or art requires NATURAL TALENT.

The creative thinking process can be easily learned by everyone.

Let’s go back for a moment to our Random Starting Point examples:

Reductions on the roads

We combined onboard computers in our vehicles with “smart” intersections that could determine more efficient traffic flows.

Sink or swim

We combined a sheet with two pillows to save us from sinking.

The complexities of coffee

We combined some of our in-store fridge capacity with a customer need.

“Original” creative thinking is quite simply the combining of ideas in ways not thought of previously.”


Combine these ideas with me to see how easily the creative process works.


  1. Start work a little early; and
  2. Taking out a library book.

My “combined” creative ideas:

  1. Finish work early enough to meet the kids after school at the library to develop some good habits;
  2. Create some quality time to further educate myself in some aspect of my work;
  3. The early finish could allow me to join social groups around the library.


  1. Getting a new pair of shoes for work; and
  2. Meet new people.

My “combined” creative ideas:

  1. I could buy walking or exercise shoes ALSO suitable for work and meet people through exercise at gym, walking etc; and
  2. I could ask people I don’t know at work about their great shoes.


Try creating your own original combination of ideas.


The combining of just “ideas” is rather limiting. Creativity has no boundaries. Think of “ideas” in a broad sense. You can combine projects, or people, or businesses, or . . .



New creative ideas occur when two or more “ideas” are merged that you have never combined in the same way before. Creativity (or creative thinking), therefore, is the DELIBERATE combining of “things” in new ways.

How easy was that? You are seriously well on the road to becoming an accomplished creative and lateral thinker as you now understand why we need creativity to break the shackles of our preconceived “blinkered” thinking, and what the creative process actually involves. You’ve already mastered one of the most powerful creative thinking tools known (Random Starting Points), and you now fully appreciate the power of simplicity.


Practice and discuss/share with those around you that you care about. We are attempting to create neural pathways of habit.


I’m going to save you 20 years. At the end of 14 days, you will be equally competent to me in all forms of creative thinking and creative personal management if you follow my advice and:

  • Practice the skills you learn;
  • Discuss with others what you learn and now understand; and
  • Share your learning by teaching others around you. That’s right. I’m expecting YOU to not only become proficient in the skills that I impart, but I expect YOU to become a teacher of these skills to people around you that you genuinely care for. Kids, parents, siblings, friends, work colleagues, neighbors, etc. The teaching starts NOW. Do NOT wait until you have finished the course or you will probably fail.



You should be confident to discuss the three following subjects:

  1. Our education and life experiences can often result in a “blinkered” viewpoint;
  2. Random starting points (or random entry points) is a lateral thinking tool (or skill) that can be easily employed to break the shackles of our blinkered thinking; and
  3. Creative thinking is merely the combining of two or more ideas that haven’t been combined/considered before.


That’s all for today, I hope to see you tomorrow. Please share and like this page so that you can include your friends and family with your journey of lateral thinking discovery.

And remember that I am happy to receive your queries and assist you with any difficulties you might be having . . . all absolutely FREE.

Please use the “Contact” page on this website.

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5 thoughts on “Lesson 3 – How Creativity Works

  1. Hi Michael

    Working from my Random Starting Point of “Recording” from my previous Lesson 2 comments, I have now put my two very different ideas together:

    – My objective to get my housekeeping under control
    – Use a “recording” based methodology

    Combining these two separate ideas eventually led to my new solution:

    – Break down the housekeeping activities into manageable, 15 minute bite-sized chunks, making way for a more flexible, realistic and stress-less approach to cleaning

    – Create a one-off master list for the fridge to use as a visual ‘quick reminder’, encourage involvement and support from the greater household and have more time to spend on the important stuff.

    Working through these lessons, I’m starting to get a sense of how these lessons will begin to play a part in my everyday life and thinking. I’m loving it so far…


  2. Awesome start! Well Done!! You are doing so well. Question, have you discussed your journey with others? Have you seriously sat down with someone and passed on your new knowledge? Helped someone work through an R.S.P. exercise of THEIR needs?

    It is one thing to work through these lessons on your own, it is another to interact and teach what you have learned, putting into practice the skills as you teach.

    The teaching process will help build your neural pathways of habit as your competence and confidence grow.

    Remember, lateral thinking is for ALL age 3 plus. I suggest that if you involve your kids in the discovery process, teach them what you have discovered, you and they will benefit HUGELY, and you will have someone around that you can frequently interact with to get those neural pathways firmly embedded.



    1. Yes, you’re right. I’ll put that to the test with my two boys. Maybe we use an RSP exercise to help us solve the biggest drama in our household – Managing Media!!


      1. Okay, give it a try, and involve your children in the exercise. If you get stuck, let me know and I’ll add what I can if you give me your RSP.

        For example, the R.S.P. you came up with before was “recording”. Can that be applied to the problem? Why not use an internet monitoring program that requires kids to “log on” so that actual hours spent on the internet are not disputed. It may shock you and them when they actually see how much time they actually spend on there. Have agreed hours that must be only used through a logon monitoring program of some sort.

        Lateral thinking guarantees creativity, but not always the best solutions. However, if one R.S.P. isn’t going anywhere, try another. I have NEVER come across a problem that creative thinking hasn’t eventually found a superior solution. Sometimes you just have to keep plugging away.


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