How to unlock your creative potential – with only one tiny change to your thinking

How to unlock your creative potential - Dr Martin Krengel

If you want to be creative, it can be of help to situate yourself in an open minded space that invites and nourishes imaginativeness. The same goes with the people you surround yourself with. You’ll need someone who won’t laugh at a queer idea but rather somebody who will take it and run with it, leaving you with something even more ridiculous.


But there is one little thing that makes all the difference.

It is so little, that you cannot see it. But it´s not that you cannot see it because it is so small, but because it´s in your head!

Okay, come on Martin, what is it?

Here´s the story …

I live part time in Brazil. And recently I visited a friend there in Salvador de Bahia. Thats a famous city in the north-east of that vast country. Salvador is the heart of Brazilian-African-Culture. If you think of Capoeira, dark-skinned-sexy-people and crazy carnival, then think of Salvador. There is also a decent old-city, high on a plateau, overlooking the see. My friend Sheena who lives there showed me around.

Creative sourrounding in Salvador de Bahia im Norden Brasiliens

We walked around and admired the colonial architecture. We had rice with red palm tree sauce. She showed me a nice old church and the place where Michael Jackson once screamed in his music video „they don´t care about us!“.

Later on we went thorugh a nice but small lane framed by tiny houses and nice little tourist stuff. At the end of that lane we had a great view of the ruinous harbour.

„Let’s go back!“ Shayna said and started to walk back towards the street we just came from.


I shouted. For me this didn’t make sense. I asked:

„Is it dangerous to walk back THAT next parallel street?“ – „No – but there is not much to see.“, Shayna replied. I took a tiny pause, thought and proposed:

Well, let’s do it anyway – just for a little change. Just to see something different! I am new to the city but still, walking back the exact same way doesn’t sound that exiting.“

„Okay, let’s do it. But there is really not much to see!“ Shayna excused herself a bit shamefully as her sight-seeing program now was running out of highlights.

And than it happened!


And this:

Oh, not to forget this:

I was thrilled! Adrenaline rushed through my veins. Joy was pumping in my heart. Happiness was to be read from my wide opened, excited eyes.

I like the romantic charm of decay. And I love Street Art! And this was one if not the nicest worn down streets full of art I have ever seen.

Every building enticed me. Every new drawing I saw excited me. Every excitement triggered my neurones to fire. And then they fired like a machine gun. I got so many ideas, a new series of visual articles, an insight into a personal branding issue I got to resolve, a marketing-concept that I now fully understood and so on, and on, and on…

And finally I found this wall:

Street Art in Salvador de Bahia - Brazilien - Martin Krengel - Stoppt die Welt-Ich will aussteigen

I was excited! This shot is a perfect analogy to my last travelling books´ cover:

We liked this shot on the left side so much, that we chose it for my book cover. It´s a wall in Cartagena, Colombia. And now, with that cool wall here in Salvador I had found the potential cover for a new travel book without looking for it! I was so, sooo happy and enticed!

Okay, I don´t like to bore you with my mental-creative orgasm. (But it was GREAT! – just saying … ;))


So what does this all mean – my personal experiences aside?

The first, obvious but a bit boring lesson is: If you put yourself in a creative environment one thing might lead to another.

The second, very fundamental underlying principle & lesson is: How do you do this? There is this one little thing you can and have to do if you want to be more creative.

You have to make this little SWITCH. You have to turn IT on. In your head.

What switch do I mean? This little thinking:

Let’s do it a bit different now. Let´s go explore. Just for a little change.“

You have to choose one of these two options: the routine and used one or the unknown more experiential one. Go for it! Just switch it and everything else will follow.

It is useful to try this in many different ways of life: go and explore a different angle if you don´t find the right solution to a problem …

  • … take a different angle on the way you present a story;
  • why don’t you use your daughters/grandfathers point of view;
  • why don´t you position yourself as the one that will be looking for new answers for continuously upcoming new issues in a field instead of (non-realistically) claiming that you are the only one real solution provider.

Would that not be a more lasting and trustworthy positioning?

Sure, it was a great deal of luck that this street was so fantastic. In 9 from 10 times maybe, nothing exciting will happen. But this 10th time, this might be an intense time. And lift your thoughts to a new experience.

There is another interesting, very broad insight here: Go your own way. Shayna lived in Salvador for 6 years. She didn’t care for this side street. She´s been there. Actually she even lived there! But she did not know that I was raised in a dodgy decay area. That I like that rusty charm. She did not know that I like Street Art. She had no idea – so she recommended to go back the Street 99% of the tourists find more exciting. But I am not 99%. I am not even that left one percent. I am Martin. I have my own inner net of complexities, desires, problems, contradictions. Therefore no-one can tell me which way is right or wrong. The same principle applies to everyone of us. No one can know what is best for us. They can only guess. There is only one way to find that out: Go and explore many different ways in your life till you find your true you!

View from Salvador

Lessons learned (summary):

If you have two ways (of doing sth.) to choose from, take the unknown one – just for a change and to discover something new.

Go and explore many different ways in your life ‚till you find your true you!


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Kategorie: Besser denken: Zeitmanagement, Motivation, Fokus
Artikel von
am 23.01.2017

Dr. Martin Krengel

Hi, ich bin Martin,

Schön, dass du hier bist! Ich werde dir helfen, deine Talente zu entfalten und deine Träume und Ziele zu verwirklichen.

Wie wurde ich vom Chaoten zum Zeitmanagement-Experten?

PS: Ich sende dir konkrete Taktiken, mit denen du sofort mehr Struktur in deinen Kopf bekommst:

Perfektes E-Mail-Coaching (gratis)

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