Georgia Institute for Non Profit Leadership

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Non Profit Leadership: Trust your Creative Side



The nearly impossible task we have as leaders is to stay focused on our goals, yet be creative, and not get sidetracked by over thinking things. Being intelligent we love to think about issues. But too much thinking at times can prevent us from tapping into our natural creativity. We have to remember we have a brain…and have a heart and soul as well. Sometimes we have to ignore what our logical brain is saying, and trust the creative part of us as well.  Sometimes we have to be courageous enough to buck the norm and trust our creative side in making decisions.

The world is lost in thinking. We think that thinking is who we are. We have lost sight of the fact that thinking is a tool, to help us live meaningful conscious, alive lives. We have other tools also, gut feelings and creative inspirations.

There is a time and place for thinking and an equal time and place for turning our minds off, and allowing silence to revitalize our lives.  From that silence new ideas flow.We have 3 brains so shutting down our newest thinking brain is fine. Our two older brains can still keep us living and moving safely.

Most of us think that thinking is who we are. It seems to be so obvious that we do not realize it is the water we live in. I am reminded of the following story.

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

This didactic little parable points out that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and deal with.

Obviously we cannot and should not stop thinking, but we must realize that we are not what we think, and that we must choose what to think and what to dismiss.

We have to realize that we are in control of our thoughts and must not allow them to control us. There is an old saying that is true to this point…”Our minds are a wonderful tool but a terrible master”

When we get too absorbed, or lost in our thinking we can become disconnected to the inspiration and creation opportunities all around us.  We must use our amazing ability to think, but not get  lost to the beauty and wonder of the “water” or creative energy within us, and all around us.


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Georgia Institute for Non Profit Leadership Atlanta, Georgia Stephen C Monahan, President
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