Monthly Archives: August 2011

A Flying Pie?

A Flying Pie?
An Art of the Question Blog

How Do I Think?

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on the planet.

                    –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

                      —    Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

It was a pretty good pie.

Students across the northeast were familiar with the pies sold by the Frisbe Baking Company. Affordable, tasty, and readily available, they were a staple in colleges throughout New England. And to top it off, when the pie was gone, the pie plate was a lot of fun to toss around with friends.

One day, a fellow named Walter was tossing one of the pie plates with his wife. An onlooker saw how much fun they were having and offered them 25¢ for the plate.

Walter, seeing an opportunity, sold the plate. He later told someone, “That got the wheels turning, because you could buy a cake pan for 5 cents, and if people on the beach were willing to pay a quarter for it, well, there was a business.” 

A business indeed! Millions of sales later, the Frisbee is a cultural icon.

Walter was a thinker.

The tale of the Frisbee is actually a thinker’s story from beginning to end.  Initially, someone saw the Frisbe Pie plate as something other than a plate. They saw it as a toy, a flying pie, a flying saucer. 

Walter saw it as an opportunity. He was looking at the same thing everyone else was looking at, but he saw something different. He saw a business.

John Maxwell, in his great book Thinking For A Change talks about the concept of Creative Thinking and how it challenges the status quo.  And that is the secret.Successful people think differently than others. They consider options. They consider ideas others might think are crazy. They don’t limit their thinking.

There are several ways to help stimulate creative thinking.

Always be ready to jot down a note. Keep a pad of paper close by, in the car, on your desk or wherever you are. Or use your IPhone or Blackberry or a voice recorder or write on your shirt cuff. But be sure you can capture thoughts and ideas as they occur to you. If you think it – write it! Don’t limit yourself.

Brainstorm as many options as possible. Keep a pad of sticky notes close by. Jot down ideas and thoughts and options with no limitations. Stick them on the wall to organize and prioritize them.

Cultivate curiosity. Ask questions. Read something new. Learn a new word every day. Vary your patterns. Take a new route to work. Find a way to do things differently. Find a way to see things from a new perspective.

Share your thoughts with others. None of us are as smart as all of us. The exchange of thoughts and ideas with others can create a connection that leads to creativity that we might miss by flying solo.

Start a Doodle Kit. A doodle kit is a great tool for encouraging creative thinking. My kit has some pens with cool ink colors, some sticky notes, a notebook, highlighters, a Kindle and whatever book I am currently reading. When I read, I often jot notes in the back of the book or magazine. These become the inspiration for new ideas.

What are three ways I can begin to move out of old thinking?

Would you like to have a free copy of 10 Keys to Unlock the Creative Thinker Inside You?     Just send an email to to request your free copy!

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Keep The Change

Keep the Change
An Art of the Question Blog

How Do I Deal With Change?

“Changes aren’t permanent – but change is.”

                                                                  –  Neil Peart

“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”

— James Belasco and Ralph Stayer

Rick was on his way home from a New Year’s Eve party at his family’s home.  It was the middle of winter, and the weather was not good.  Speeding too fast through a turn, he lost control of his Corvette.  It sailed over a stone wall and came to rest upside down in a field.  He was thrown from the car, and during the crash, his left arm was severed.

He was a drummer.

Think about that for a minute. It’s like the worst kind of joke – a one-armed drummer.  And drumming wasn’t just a hobby or an enjoyable pastime. Rick earned a living by playing drums.

Rick went into a downward spin, thinking about all he had lost. His livelihood, his lifestyle, band, even his passion. Until one day, when one of his friends from the band stopped by to see him.

Joe sat with Rick and they began to discuss possibilities. Change. Options.

With Joe’s help, Rick began to see that there might be a way for him to play drums again, to pick up the pieces and move forward. With help from friends, Rick designed a new drum kit that he could play, using his left foot to play the rhythms that he had played with his left hand before the accident.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Two years after the accident, Rick made his first public concert appearance, to thunderous applause.  And not long after that, his band released a new album. It sold 20 million copies.  With a one-armed drummer! Nothing to joke about there!

Rick reached a point of change. The old way of things was no longer an option. The new way would be filled with challenges and setbacks. Rick decided to move forward, to change, to grow.  It took guts to make that decision. It took even more courage to follow through on it.

Change. As most of us know, change is uncomfortable. We may not resist change itself, but often, we resist being changed.  But only in change is growth possible.

What are two things you would like to change about your situation?

What is one thing you can do right now to begin the change?


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