Creativity can release confidence and wellbeing.
Life is about adversity some would say. What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger is another familiar saying. Everyone you meet has troubles – no one is denying that. How you manage your troubles though is the key to happiness in an imperfect world. If you have any insights into suffering – you must help other people on their journey. The role you play in life is to master whatever strengths you have and to show kindness to people who do not possess your knowledge or insights. It could be as simple as showing a child how to press the ‘on’ button on a computer, or it could be helping a farmer in Ethiopia to buy 50 cows instead of one (contact me for the full story). Both have a quota of kindness that are no less valuable and important for the child or the farmer.
Below is from an article I wrote about my alcoholic father (who has since died) for a magazine about the relatives of alcoholics. Creativity has helped me to overcome my anxieties and low self esteem. I believe no matter who and where you are in the world, and whatever your circumstances – you can use creativity and education to free yourself from poverty and ignorance. Creativity is the key to confidence, learning and happiness.
Why Leadership and Confidence can be taught at any age. To date we have taught these processes from 5 years of age to 65 years. How so?
We have taught the Darwin Matrix in Industry to Innovation Scientists, Presidents and Vice Presidents as well as at the top Business Schools in the world. We have also taught these techniques to schools and youth charities.
“John Rainford’s ‘Creativity for Competitive Advantage’ course was mandatory for all of our students on our main MBA programme.” Jonathan Michie, Professor of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange at Oxford University, former Director, University of Birmingham Business School.
I have conducted business innovation workshops all over the world for little companies and for very big ones, like Royal Dutch Shell. What I noticed was that the more we engendered free visual thinking and deployed creativity the more adept people became in problem solving, not only that, but their confidence grew as a result. This is an outstanding revelation that has far reaching implications for our education system and economic prosperity. The techniques I use, follow many of the teachings of Pestalozzi who ran the famous ‘Visualisation school’ that Einstein attended. Afzal Shah of the charity, the Young Foundation, said of my methodologies “The answer is there to all our problems, we just need to look at them with different lenses. For me this is the future of learning, the next big thing in leadership and education.”
This is the place for creating a paradigm shift in our ability to make excellent decisions based on visualisation techniques and group learning for our children, helping them to build their confidence and self esteem.
The Negative mind trap.
There is a crime being committed, and it’s all the more heinous because no one seems to know the cure. At best the attempts to fix it are lame.
Its like the Aids virus in a way, it disguises itself in its host. Everyone can describe its effects, but no one knows what it looks like. A disease by definition is an abnormal condition that affects the whole body, it can affect the brain – and is the cause of much anguish and misguided retribution. The disease can infect the human psyche and in certain circumstances can cause death.
I was in Ireland recently speaking to Ann Horan, Chief Executive, who is responsible for Entrepreneurship and Creativity at one of Irelands most prestigious Academies – The Ryan (Air) Academy for Entrepreneurship. It was an interesting meeting in the sense that there are common concerns for the welfare of our respective nations especially amongst the young. We are of course all one people, and the disease I speak about has no political or geographical frontiers.
You may be guessing that I may be talking about a social disease, but its more than that. It is fundamental to our thinking and learning.
Many years ago, I forwarded the idea that young people should have a whole day at school, learning about self-confidence and self reliance and what it means.
The great thing about these discussions especially amongst teachers was that it was an ‘OK’ idea. But how to implement it? There is very little to guide them about building self confidence and developing leadership skills.
Ann was telling me about the high unemployment rates amongst young people, and the fact that the suicide rates amongst young people was a real concern. We both have teenage children and can empathise with those young people – and their parents. According the the World Health Organisation the highest suicide rates are between 15 and 19 years of age.
The common problem it seems is that they feel they have failed in life, failed their exams, couldn’t get a job, no good with relationships, the list goes on. The kids who committed suicide would describe their lives to their friends before they died – as worthless. They deemed themselves as failures. Does that sounds familiar? Disaffected youngsters looking for meaning and value in life? In sheer frustration they lash out, hit back at society in some way, or sadly, sometimes just give up!
It doesn’t have to be that way! It doesn’t make sense to have system that seemingly produces failures. Let’s empower the school teachers and the education system with liberating methods that will enhance learning !
I had just finished a lecture on Creativity and Entrepreneurship at the University of Birmingham Business School and speaking afterwards to the Director Jonathan Michie one day. He was telling me why the 100 foot clock tower, an Icon at the University, was padlocked. Apparently, too many graduate students who didn’t get the grades they wanted, would jump off, this happened so often the administration closed up the entrance.
Kids coming out of college who have 2 Ds and an E consider themselves failures, why? Because the emphasis is on academic achievement, not individual attainment, and self worth. Consequently, they feel that they have fewer or limited choices in life.
This is morally wrong. It is also a recipe for economic suicide.
There is a better way, which every teacher and parent can adopt and this website and the concepts it embraces hopefully will demonstrate. My visits to educational establishments in Finland and Scandinavia have given me encouragement and confidence that teachers can be coaches and that learning can be fun. That individual attainment and development is given a higher priority than a one size fits all system.There is a big bonus in providing a better way that works, and that is that society as a whole benefits, and is empowered both economically aa well as spiritually.
The creative journey takes us on the road of real self awareness. I have applied these same techniques on 3 continents, to young and old – to Corporations, Universities, and small businesses. Introducing creativity, that gives rise to innovation can be a very powerful inducement to adopt a creative culture – it also encourages self reliance and confident decision making – a precursor to entrepreneurial thinking.
I recently did a workshop for the Young Foundation, an International charity that helps and supports leaders in the community and I was pleased when a number of the students said that they considered these methods were the ‘future of education.’ The love of learning was energised and re-ignited. Through creativity then, we can find the ‘leader’ and the confidence within. Students show much more enthusiasm when when they can self direct their own learning paths.
The Creative Entrepreneurs School “John Rainford is a renowned world expert in the field of creativity and innovation. He has an enormous range of experience in many organisational sectors and is at the leading edge of thought on creativity and innovation.” Dr John Potter, formerly of Sandhurst, Royal Military Leadership Academy
The emphasis here is about empowerment, not everyone is an entrepreneur. However, there are entrepreneurial traits that can assit in the development of young people so that they can help them selves to find their true potential in life. It helps to build their self esteem. I have been enouraged in this process by Dr John Potter who was formerly the head of Leadership at Sandhurst military school of Leadership. The idea behind the Entrepreneurs School is that it is a virtual school which can be adapted to assist existing schools, colleges and universities with a ‘can do’ attitude.
This site is free to everyone, and especially to teachers and mentors, who would like to empower the young. Please write to me if you need any help with creativity and learning.
The results are that stronger and more able people can express themselves and take action in their lives, some might call this developing leaders, or entrepreneurs, indeed the benefits of the processes I use, leads to more entrepreneurs taking up the challenge. Young people especially embrace these ideas. In fact, though, it is about developing one’s inner capabilities, many of which lie dormant and under utilised, because our system has suppressed and dampened down latent creative capability. In short, it is about how igniting or releasing your own creativity within, leads to self confidence, empowerment and reaching your true potential in life. These pages will help you to formulate your own strategy for developing your own self esteem, at your own pace. As it is released, your energy will also increase – you will be far more aware of opportunities around you that you were previously not aware of, and will find it easier to act upon those opportunities. This the start of something new and fantastic. The workshops are free and subsidised by people who share these goals. The booklets on confidence are sponsored or free as are the workshops and other eligible groups such as Banardo’s and the Young Foundation.
When you walk along a beach, you will see rounded stones, and many may seem of little or no importance, the creative person in us, however see things differently – see’s beauty in uniqueness. The stones are just like people, we are all unique and have something special to give to the world, if we are only given the chance – that is why we must release our young peoples creativity, remove the blocks, empower them, give them choices and help to make their aspirations become a reality.
Creativity + Confidence = Empowerment. C+C = E
+44 (0) 1948 840102