Describe each improvement in a sentence or two (why is it an improvement? Note: Remember that some of the major problems in modern living are too much noise, too much information, too many decisions, too much complexity, together with a general lack of quality and reliability. Listing each condition to be met or part to be covered will assure that none are overlooked.

______________________________________________________________________ 3. This very factor that keeps us sane also keeps us from thinking beyond what we know to be true. Checklists help enormously in keeping the idea maker or problem solver alert to multiple aspects of the issue at hand.

Intelligent addressing of these problems in connection with your idea should produce welcome improvements to it. A major block to creativity for many of us is the mind's fierce grasp on reality. The mind can attend to only about seven items at one time; more than that will have to be recalled from memory, either by force of will or through a checklist.

For a one-person brainstorming session, using an idea map on a large piece of paper is useful. (Large writing helps keep your ideas in front of you. The moderator should prefer those with ideas that tag onto previous ideas, then those with new ideas. The creative juices flow best when participants are relaxed and enjoying themselves and feeling free to be silly or playful. In other words, the first step to implementing a new reality is to imagine it.

In fact, some people have said that using 11 by 17 inch paper instead of 8.5 by 11 inch increases their creativity. If necessary the moderator will also remind members of the group not to inject evaluation into the session (in case a member tsks, sneers, says, "Oh, come on," and so forth). Eat popcorn or pizza or ice cream or make paper airplanes or doodles while you work, even if the problem itself is deadly serious like cancer or child abuse. Notice when you mention a "what if" to your friends, their reaction will probably be to laugh and change the subject, or to laugh and suggest one funny consequence.

Don't call your best friend and offer to reform her disgusting and selfish personality.

(Similes and metaphors help in understanding abstractions). Don't rush up to your boss and declare that you are about to reveal why his management style stinks.You'll remember the five creative methods we discussed in the Introduction to Creative Thinking: evolution, synthesis, revolution, reapplication, changing direction. These questions are especially useful for generating ideas for improving something (the evolutionary approach), but they also help to break thinking out of the evolutionary mode and put it into the revolutionary mode by returning the thinker to the origin and purpose of the idea or solution. What-iffing is a tool for releasing the mind, for delivering us from being blocked by reality. A checklist of available tools used in your ordinary work can also be helpful.Many classic creative thinking techniques make use of one or more of these methods. (Agency or Method) How was it, could it be, should it be done, prevented, destroyed, made, improved, altered? By returning to the roots of the problem, a new vision can be created. In its simplest form, what-iffing involves describing an imagined action or solution and then examining the probable associated facts, consequences, or events. These lists might be called availability reminders.(Sequencing has been said to nearly double the number of ideas generated in a brainstorming session.) ______________________________________________________________________ Brainstorming. How compatible people can meet each other for romance 5. For creative thinkers, these questions stimulate thinking about the idea in question and allow approaches to it from various angles. But you could also break the ball bearings down into attributes, such as roundish, heavy, metal, smooth, shiny, hard, magnetizable. Choose one of the following problems for a brainstorming session. Then you could ask, "What can I do with 800 million heavy things? " Further, you can focus on each identified attribute and ask questions about it, like this: What can heavy things be used for? In personal relationships, romantic or supervisor/employee, in techniques and policies, whenever someone suggests an improvement, the typical response is, "So what's so terrible about it now?