Forget “the box.” Think another dimension to access your creativity

silicontlesEDMONTON, AB, Dec 7, 2013/ Troy Media/ – Life can be pretty hectic. We often find ourselves running 18+ hours a day, and being electronically connected doesn’t make it any easier. So sometimes, when we are looking for a new idea, a solution to a challenging dilemma or maybe just have a desire to unlock one of life’s mysteries that’s been dogging us for eons, we tend to return to where we started, to the familiar and the comfortable, stuck in our current reality.

We think we’re starting fresh, perhaps with a clean sheet of paper. We might do some mind-mapping, a little brainstorming, throwing ideas around, capturing thoughts on coloured sticky pads. Maybe we resort to contorting pipe cleaners or squeezing the life out of stuffed toys to spark creativity or desperately hit up Google for some inspiration. It works, but only sometimes. It becomes our vicious cycle, being stuck on the same track, the same treadmill. But there’s hope.

The key? Break the chain and escape reality. Forget “the box.” Think another dimension. How about creating reality from fantasy?

That’s what businesswoman Ella Price, from the UK did. One night while travelling away from home she discovered, like us, a need to shift her mind to a different way of thinking. She thought if she read something other than the same old material, it might spark something, or at least shut off her mind for a while to help her recharge.

Unfortunately, that night nothing of that sort was nearby.

“The only thing in the hotel room was the Gideon Bible,” says Price.

Price soon realized something that had helped shift people’s minds for centuries – fairy tales that, by their very nature impact people, affected each reader in their own way.

So instead of rehashing the classics she created a book of her own, Silicon Tales – Story-Telling For The Digital Age, with newer, more modern and perhaps more relevant tales suitable to today’s world. A series of short stories, each begins with “Once upon a time”, but their meaning is left open to interpretation, not necessarily meant to leave you with a moral, a lesson or a happily ever after feeling, but rather to help you create whatever associations first spring to mind.

“People can read it and interpret it the way they want,” says Price.

Each of her tales can help you, in the words of Steve Jobs, “Think Different”.

One story did just that. The Matching Antique Chairs is about a woman who recently purchased a dilapidated pair for her clinic’s foyer. The story explores how patients reacted to those two chairs, after only one chair was remodeled.

One lesson that could be derived is how people react to the status quo or adapt to change. Another could show how people may react to twins who are treated differently. Or it could have simply been about two chairs.

I found the stories in the book, 18 in total, to be interesting, entertaining, intriguing and thought-provoking.

But it’s more than just about trying to figure it out; each story can act as a starting point to help you think through or create your own story.

Price says the stories can prompt you to think about things like: when you get disillusioned, (feel the) frustrations in everyday life, or when you feel left behind by life. “It’s to intrigue and inspire.”

To give you an idea about how diverse the stories are, here’s how a few begin: “Once upon a time, there was a good refrain”; “Once upon a time, there was a tiny nipping bug” and “Once upon a time, there was a big fat bully in a pinstripe suit”. One that really intrigued me was: “Once upon a time; there was a magical candle that lived in the lounge of a bachelor pad”.

Don’t be misled by the book’s title as I was initially, although that turned out to be a good thing, I came to read this book by accident, thinking it was twisted tales from Silicon Valley.

As it turns out, the title was inspired not by Silicon Valley but by Silicon itself – what it is and how it works. Price says, “Silicon works like that – it implants, it processes and it’s (about) storing your personal data in this digital age.”

Any disappointment due to expectation was quickly short-lived. At first I was perplexed, then curious. But once I realized what the book was about, I was hooked.

It’s not often that such a small book can serve multiple purposes. Fairy Tales can be used as a tool to help shift your way of thinking. It can guide you past a blank slate and get your creative juices flowing or for a time, help you escape reality. It can also help you tell your own story. If for no other reason, Silicon Tales certainly makes for a good bedside table read.

I’m glad I literally tripped over this book.

Senior Editor Greg Gazin is a Syndicated Tech Columnist, Small Business and Technology Speaker. He can be reached at Gadgetguy.CA on Twitter @gadgetgreg or you can find him on Empire Avenue at (e)GADGET1.

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