How Successful People Think (Part 2): Creativity and Focus Working Together

How Successful People Think (Part 2): Creativity and Focus Working Together Executive Coach Santa Barbara, CA Dr. Lynn K. Jones


“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~Mark Twain



How Successful People Think (Part 2): Creativity and Focus Working Together

Life is full of possibilities. One way that we learned in the last blog to recognize more of those possibilities is to shift your language from “yes, but” to “yes, and.” So the question now is:  What do you do with this knowledge that other possibilities exist? What happens after you accept and open up to these new possibilities?  Do you feel excited or overwhelmed in the face of these possibilities?

Depending on your emotions at the time, you either greet these possibilities with self-imposed limitations or creatively expand on them.  Clearly, creativity is the preferred choice.  It has historically been thought that creativity is an inherent trait that someone either has or does not have; in other words, that there are creative people and not so creative people. Scientific research is showing us that, in fact, creativity is a state of being we all have access to.

A simple technique to raise your creativity levels is to do something that puts you in a positive mood.  In her research at Emotional Intelligence Worldwide, Sue Langley found that positive moods are beneficial for creative output, both quantity and quality.  So once you have an awareness that there are other possibilities through using the “Yes, and….” reframe, you can now choose to engage in an activity that induces a mood of positivity or happiness. Going for a walk, calling a friend or watching something humorous, may in fact, lead to the insight you are looking for.

In his book FOCUS; The Hidden Driver of Excellence, Daniel Goleman, suggests that using focus has a profound impact on our emotions. He suggests that by noticing and paying attention to positive experiences we can elicit a more positive frame of mind.  When we are feeling more positive we make decisions using a higher level of emotional intelligence and increase our performance in many personal and professional domains.

In other words, by noticing and choosing activities wisely you can profoundly influence how successfully you are able to creatively move forward on the infinite possibilities that we all have before us.

How will you use this information?? Is there a more positive focus or activity that you can engage in today? Share what you will do in the comments below. And if it helps let us know!

Wishing you creative insight and much happiness today!


Dr. Lynn K Jones

P.S. Click this image and download it to remind you to choose a positive focus or activity today”!

“You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~Mark Twain

Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.


  1. PatriciaSchwartz on October 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Dr Lynn, this piece really hit home! Your advice for finding  something that puts me in a positive mood is simple yet so…. effective! I can already find myself saying “Yes, and” instead of “Yes, but”

    • lkjonesdsw on October 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      PatriciaSchwartz Yeah!!  “Yes, and”  what did you find? 🙂
      Dr. Lynn

      • PatriciaSchwartz on October 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm

        lkjonesdsw PatriciaSchwartz  so much to be grateful for! As I always do when I take a moment. The beautiful mountains, the ocean, my amazing clients and community. 🙂

  2. AmyOrozco on October 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you, Lynn. Sometimes I forget that work doesn’t have to be all drudgery. I’m going to crank up the enjoyment factor so I can work better and smarter.

    • lkjonesdsw on October 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      AmyOrozco LOVE this Amy! What is the smallest thing that you could do to make the biggest difference in your enjoyment of your job?

  3. Calla Gold on October 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I know I feel infinitely more creative after a good, long hike. A beautiful hike puts me in my happy place, and I definitely feel those creative juices flowing. And the effects stick with me throughout the work week.  Life is full of possibilities, and I gotta say, those possibilities are a lot more pleasant when you’re in a positive mood.

    Calla Gold

    • DrLynnKJones on October 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Calla Gold What a great way to tap into your positivity and you are so right, positivity gets a life of its own and you will feel its  impact into the future — once we get on that positive neural pathway, we notice and feel other positive effects and it becomes an upward spiral of positivity.  Bottom line:  Make your hikes a priority!

      • Calla Gold on October 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm

        DrLynnKJones Calla Gold 
        Best advice I’ve had all week. Thank you Doctor Lynn!

  4. Gabe Perez on October 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    The amount of research being conducted into positive psychology is a breath of fresh air.  For too long psychologists spent too much time focusing on what was wrong with people instead of what made people happy.  It’s nice to have findings that support positive moods with increased creativity levels (not that some people didn’t already know this).
    What’s also interesting is that a certain level of alcohol in one’s system (varies from person to person) has shown to also increase creativity!

    • lkjonesdsw on November 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Gabe Perez Thanks for responding… While perhaps true that for some that alcohol boosts creativity, I would love to see you experiment with some of the other ways to boost your positivity that doesn’t entail alcohol, like taking a short break, connecting with nature or a friend, reflecting on your reasons for gratitude. 

      • Gabe Perez on November 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm

        lkjonesdsw Gabe Perez 
        I don’t drink.  I was merely bringing up a study related to creativity.

  5. LindaMenesez on October 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you, Lynn!  I love that you highlighted the importance and power of our focus.  I believe so strongly in this.  I agree that a positive focus allows us to open our minds and access our creativity to move us forward.  Great article!

    • lkjonesdsw on November 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      LindaMenesez Isn’t it interesting how some of the practices that involve positive focus, like mindfulness and meditation are all converging and reinforcing why these activities have led to so many impactful outcomes?  Thanks for commenting, Linda.

  6. LindaHavlik on November 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for this Lynn! Staying creative can be quite a daunting task at times. But I’ve already taken your advice into consideration. I have already began thinking about the old activities that made me happy, and i cannot wait to start making more time for them!!

    • DrLynnKJones on November 21, 2013 at 9:39 am

      LindaHavlik Wonderful, Linda!  It is amazing how making some small changes towards positivity can such a big impact.  All the best in your rediscovered creative moments!

  7. BreciaKralovicLogan on December 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! Creativity and focus go hand in hand. Great reminder!

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