rock in handYou know how it is with tasty recipes, you need to know the secret ingredients. Whenever I ask the cook, they tell me that you need the magic ingredient. What is it?
I am a Creativityologist. People come to me with challenges, and the need for another human being to hear them out and create something different. My clients work with me to get a well-formed outcome … so they know exactly what it is that they want … and we make a plan.
A plan is familiar to business people. Identify the parameters, right? Strategy Creation, Execution, and Operations to name a few. questions of who, what, where, when, how, etc.
When you have the recipe or dream just the way you want you envision it. Create it in your mind. Make it real in the senses. Feel it, see it, hear it, smell it, taste it.
If you’ve read “The Secret” then you may take the continuing steps of a vision board, visiting places where your idea may be real in someone else’s world, or making a model. Keeping the mind positive is the “secret ingredient” in this strategy.


The flamboyant British entrepreneur Richard Branson advises to “prepare for many possible futures.” He explained in “The Optimist” article (, September/October 2013) that you need to be willing to take risks and be optimistic. Optimism means to him “preparing for many possible futures, pretty much purely for the joy.” The secret ingredient is “Preparing for many possible futures.”


A positive vision is all well and wonderful, but many of us wonder what to do in the meantime. Be sure to add the magic ingredient. Consider what is in your way – the obstacles. In “The Problem With Positive Thinking” by Gabriele Oettingen, a professor of psychology at New York University (New York Times, October 26, 2014) a study was discussed in positive thinking. What they found is that positive thinking is good, but you need the secret ingredient: “Mental Contrasting.” In this process you take the vision and then switch gears and imagine the obstacles in your way. Make a plan to handle them. Secret ingredient “mental contrasting.”

The Secret Ingredients

Let’s put the recipe together with the secret ingredients.   Take your idea and sit with it. Add 1) Vision with good sensory information, 2) Preparation for many possible futures with some risk and a dollop of optimism, and 3) mix in a shot of mental contrasting.
Go cook up your dream (and remember the secret ingredients)!