Mind Mapping for Your Creative Thinking

Exploring thoughts.

You get a thought and I believe it can have so much energy to it that it would be a waste to not pursue it and find out all of what it can do for you in your chosen form of creative expression.

When I want to write, create content or just plan out a family trip – I LOVE to Mind Map. It just helps me to see the bigger picture of my thoughts on paper that is much moe beneficial to me than a list or just writing out on paper sentences of what I am in considering or in thought about.

Years before knowing what Mind Maps were – I was doing my own version of them in my journals or on paper.

I have only one book on Mind Maps and it is by Tony Buzan and I actually enjoy the exercises and examples that are in the book – you can also do a search on YouTube and see Tony and others teaching elaborate mind map techniques – so, I will keep this as a simple introduction here for you to consider as you explore your own thinking for with topics of writing and creating.

Tony calls the main word you start with “Radiant Thinking” – which is to write out the word you are focusing on in the center of the page for now.

Next up are words that are freely associated with that word. Tony gives a cool example of the word “Happiness” and then just write words that are associated with Happiness all around the center word. It is different for everyone with what words you come up with and a fun exercise to do as a couple or for a team building exercise as well – then to share what you came up with – as many will think it will be very similar – but in reality most words are all unique and different, which means we can learn a lot about what makes each of us happy – as by doing this we realize there is not much sameness but more difference with how we process or think about happiness.

You can do this with pen, markers or pencil – but what I like to do is use colored pens and whatever word I write down has a color that is associated with it – so as I write out my Map I can see it forming a rainbow of thoughts.

From the center word you wrote down – you have some other words that radiate around this thought and then you can extend the first grouping with other thoughts, ideas or actions that form a second group of radiating thoughts – you can keep going on and on or keep it simple as I have here in this example – yes, there are Apps for doing this.

Here ia a Mind Map example using the previous article on The Passion Circle and this shows you the first outer grouping of Radiant Thoughts.

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Each thought can now be expanded on.

What is cool is what I came up with – if you want to take notes on a separate piece of paper or use software like the one here using an App (for Mac) called Scrapple (I actually prefer paper and color pens) – (iThoughtsHDis another great App for iPad) – I use the color that each topic is in as a form of ‘coding’ and this makes it fun and also purposeful in my mind for remembering things that I have in each topic with a color that I like it to be related to.
For example I can write in a purple pen that I get from Office Max – the above mind map section on “Techniques” (is purple) and come up with more ideas and transfer them on to an index card. I can use a green pen for “Life Style” (in green) and put those ideas on an index card and when I finish all of them I can put them on a table and move them around or pick one card, turn it over and further expand my thoughts to come up with actions to take, ideas to explore or topics to write about.
Seeing the white index cards spread out on a table – with the variety of ink colors – brings a sense of joy to creating something with this process.

Using cards and one ink is boring and uninspiring – so – I use white cards with different color inks to make the colors pop out,
No – I do not like colored index cards – but you might like that as an option….but I do like different colored Post It Notes!

I use Scrivener for writing and they have an index card option that allows you to manually move them around – and I hardly ever see anyone mention that they do this – do a search on it as that would make for another blog by itself (maybe I will do one, as I have other ideas and Apps that work with using Index Cards for thought processes).

You can get the Mind Map book by Tony if you want to explore it more, as these can turn into pieces of art – and read his thinking, but doing a search on YouTube will be just as beneficial – and this article really is all you need to know to actually do it because it is so simple and doesn’t really need to be compacted and studied – as what we want to use it for is stimulating thoughts to do what we do best and stay focused more about our passion for writing.

Discover Inspiration with 4 areas of Passion.

The Passion Circle

How I create, write and offer help to my Tribe of readers comes from a few things I have learned about and put together to form new ideas and to get a flow of creativity going that can be used to inspire, offer solutions and in some cases contribute to transformation of my readers needs, desires and wants.

The Passion Circle is used to find inspiration, to process and discover what you can do to help others with based on things you love to do and how you are as a person on fire to achieve a goal. It is not meant to be final or stuck on one thing….it can be flexible and change according to what you want it to be. You can make it permanent but you will miss out on its true purpose of using it to unpack your passion, imagination and help others with what you are designed to Tell the World through your writing or business.

This exercise is simple. All you do is create a circle and divide it into four sections.

It doesn’t matter where you start – but you put your Passion, vision or desire in one of the sections and mark it #1.
This area is what lights your fire, keeps you up and gets you up in the morning.

I will use myself for an example – my Passion Circle for this example is work & business related (you can do this for family, church, health, etc.) and my Work Passion is: Curly Hair. If you are unfamiliar with my work go to www.scottmusgravehair.com and get a glimpse of what I do. My business Facebook page Scott Musgrave Hair is full of tips and my website has a blog called MagiCurl – from this you can see that I love what I do as I have a healthy obsession with helping people with wavy, curly and multi cultural hair to embrace and know how to love their God-given hair (this is my purpose and calling).

Next is LifeStyle – how you incorporate everything you know of your passion into your daily living. Maybe someone has an issue in an area and you can offer suggestions, tips and counsel in their areas as solutions, resolution or transformation.
For me: People of Curl need help with dry hair, frizz & being in the rain or humidity. A question of how to make their hair look good for 2-4 days, etc. This is a matter of care and maintenance = LifeStyle. So I use the Passion Circle in helping clients develop a Routine, amounts of product and sequence of applying products with daily or weekly tips.

Next is Techniques or Methods – a system of solutions and once put into a box you can go out of the box and mix in other ideas and expand. Somethings are intuitive and second nature to some that need to be defined – to define that which is undefined and make it teachable for those that do not have it incorporated into what they do (as in being second nature).

You don’t have to take the best of the best and make something you own, as you can discover what is missing more so and create something new from what is lacking.

For me: I took what was not being taught in my industry and started to bring it back and take it to new levels. I took what was taught visually and defined steps to make it teachable. I created methods of product application that was based on frustration of what people were not getting elsewhere. New cutting methods to form a system that made for a vocabulary to create a way of communicating to other professionals and artists so that we are on the same page and can duplicate work anywhere in the world.

Next up is Tools – and this can be gadgets, objects – for me, I use Products to help and I also like to associate Brands with this area – what it is about brands and how they market like Apple or Starbucks and what they did to succeed. Systems.

The Passion Circle = in this case I wanted to expand my Service Experience (as an example):

Passion = Curly Hair, Waves, Multi Cultural
Products = Deva, Jessicurl, Homemade, Mop Top, Raw Curls
Techniques = MAP, Fabric Scrunching, Power Spray Bottle, Cubist Curl Cutting
LifeStyle = Rainy days, humidity, extending products used to day 2-4, sleeping with curly hair

For this exercise you as a writer may want to try:

Passion = Writer, blogger, Author
Products = Scrivener, Mole Skin Journals (read the insert that come in those), PROCESS
Techniques = mémoire, screen writing, rant, subjective, truth, opinion, self-help, poetry
LifeStyle = where you write, rituals, manifesto, chapter, eBook, observation of humanity, news

This is just an example – you are to create and process your own ideas WITHOUT over thinking the process and what I wrote is not objective truth for YOU – as there is no right or wrong and tomorrow it will have different activities and thoughts on what I will do to create through a process that can change daily to find inspiration FOR ME (as it should for YOU).

You will gain wonderful insights by doing one thing = asking others what they struggle with.
What frustrates you with your hair? – is one that I ask.
What frustrates you with your writing? – is one you can ask yourself or others.
As I ask People of Curl what they struggle with and they say, “Dry hair and frizz” – by using The Passion Circle I can go into products, techniques and methods to help them with a routine to help solve their problem of frizz and dry hair – in person – OR ON LINE in a forum or on a Facebook Post that they can incorporate into their LifeStyle.
Read what others are working on and struggle with and you can find inspiration by using and working through The Passion Circle.

The One Thing you Need to Kill Fear!

Mystery is a requirement for someone to live out their vision. If you are a man or woman of faith – there is one thing that fills in the gaps of uncertainty, mystery and fear.

To have confidence in something larger than yourself and to know you are growing and on a path without knowing every detail – is what faith is about.

So, when you have uncertainty – realize faith is fueling you in your vision…and when you sense that you are in a gap of uncertainty, it is prayer in these gap moments as one of your best defenses of not letting doubt, uncertainty and mystery lead to fear.

I guarantee you are muttering something under your breath when the poop hits the fan – you might just as well be talking with God as your doing it…and that is one form of prayer.

I also bet that when a sense of over-whelm hits you – or a feeling of inadequacy that you can’t do something you have never done before – all of these can cross an invisible line that sucks you into fear if left on it’s own.

I have seen many that mutter under their breath ‘prayer talk‘ instead of cussing – and this is a huge realization in that someone can reprogram their nervous system and cause positive reactions (peace, patience and even joy) as a response to mystery and fear. This is huge if you can practice this over and over.

Again, the best defense is to let the sense of overwhelm, uncertainty and fear LEAD you to prayer and that will help you to SEE FAITH IN ACTION as you Walk New.

The Easy Way to Discover Your Vision – Session #6

Each and everyday your thought process goes through a pattern of creation that no one else does – and yet you THINK that other people see, hear, feel and think the same thing…but they don’t – which means YOU have a unique Vision that is needed to be expressed. The RISK that you must take is to TELL THE WORLD and to express yourself to share to your community what it is that you alone are designed to reveal.

Say something about what you sense.
Life is not about shutting up – no, it is about sharing and speaking up.

Better yet – DO it!

Your vision requires something, then asking others about it may diffuse the possibility of its effectiveness. Your Vision may require you to act on it first and offer what you came up with to show others your idea.
What is even better is if it is incomplete you can offer the possibility of it and ask others for their input – getting others on board once they see what you came up with, as not everyone can see your imagination – they need to see what you came up with in your thoughts on paper or an actual start to the project to be able to move forward.
And that is how faith can be seen by taking an action of what frustrates you or others. As their is something that is lacking in the world and taking some form of action on it based on what your imagination offers to you for a possible solution to consider is learning to form vision from frustration. 

Let me stimulate your imagination with these thoughts to consider:

Something is being done within an area you like but it is not quite perfect until they do this: (describe it). 

What frustrates you about something that is not being done? (describe it)
You seem to be waiting over and over for something to be done about it and you can see it and know what it is and yet no one is doing anything about it. Or, you do not really know what to do about it but SOMETHING needs to be done.
Some actions require you to lead by starting something and taking it on or some actions require you to build a community and let someone else take the lead. Vision is about offering a perspective to take it on or let others take on.

We get glimpses of our purpose everyday – but avoid them over and over by misinterpreting our very own frustration by waiting for someone else to do the very thing WE are to take on or bring up to let someone else take on.
We get a sign of what our calling is everyday – but numb out with less fulfilling things and distractions because no one gives us a chance or a break to do something about it – when in all actuality we are just not doing it or taking an initiative to make it happen – we are waiting for permission when we just need to take it on and do it.

Many of us do not need a new job – you need a New Walk and this requires a risk to be taken by you to offer to the world a solution to the very thing that is lacking in you (and others) or frustrating you and others. These are signs of what you alone are to help others with.
This in one element of your Vision that no one else notices, as it sends you waves of energy for putting a long awaited passion into for its completion.

People are misinterpreting frustration with what it can become – a passion.

There are so many ‘little’ experiences like this that are needing your input that will accumulate into something larger in the future – a vision that needs so much more of what you or what you can get others to offer – but it is minimized or made insignificant, or is avoided or numbed out and killed before it can even be acted on.

These little experiences can be your personal training for accumulating wisdom and knowledge that you may not even realize immediately unless you act on them now and let them add up to reveal to you something larger that you can act on later.

Many times vision requires attention to small things now to be built up and used later for a larger vision. 

Purpose and Calling at times are not about immediate gratification. Fulfillment can come later on as the Vision takes on certain elements that are not exposed to you at first but come into play later on.
You need to discover the very things you lack in your growth by entering into your frustrations by training and through some trials to better understand your larger Vision later on.

Do you get a ‘little’ emotional from lack of understanding – well then learn to be a man or women of understanding (Proverbs 20:5) by bringing out the deep waters of your heart to impact the world with.

We all hear that God will not give you more than you can handle – so taking on what is required of you from your very own frustrations and see how turning that frustration into a solution will add to your sense of purpose & fulfillment and I guarantee that this will also help and serve others even if you or they do not see that going on yet.

Many people live without passion and yet they are fully frustrated – and learning to reframe that is a sign of Walking New.