If you haven’t read the post before this one you may want to check it out before you do the exercise that follows. What is the exercise? It’s an experiential, and often very meaningful, opportunity for you to witness your creative process at work. If you want the chance to have an “aha” moment with this exercise, it’s important that you 1) Follow the directions exactly, and I do mean exactly as they are laid out. And 2) Read, then do one step at a time.

If you choose to read to the end of the directions without doing the exercise you will not be giving yourself the complete opportunity to see your own creativity at work. I’m just saying. So I hope you don’t rip yourself off. I’ve had clients catapult themselves into outcomes they had only wished for themselves after they did this simple exercise.

There’s really only one rule, follow the directions as they are spelled out to the T.

Ready? Here we go.

1) Gather 3 simple items and set them down on a flat surface in front of you. These items could be a piece of typing paper, a pencil and a paper clip. Or a post it note, a cell phone and a comb. Something like that. I would not chose anything that has the potential to roll. Once you have those three items, set them down in front of you in no particular way. DO NOT TOUCH THEM AGAIN! I mean it. Once you have arbitrarily set them down, hands OFF. (That includes blind folks. feel where the items are and keep your meat hooks off of em).

We’ll wait until you have done this first step <insert jeopardy music here>

2) LOOK AT (no touching unless you’re blind … blind folk NO MOVING THE STUFF) your three items. Just look at them. Now, THINK and only THINK about putting them in some other formation. Think about how you would like to move them around. JUST THINK. Okay, I want you to settle on something. Get the new configuration set in your head. Chose the configuration EXACTLY. If you say “oh maybe the paper clip could go on the paper,” that won’t do. In your MIND’S EYE imagine EXACTLY where that paper clip is going to go.

We’re going to wait here until you have your exact idea …

… While we wait I want to say you’re doing great. I have a hard time following any directions, let alone ones someone tells me I have to follow exactly. So, go you!

3) Move the objects to fit EXACTLY what you saw in your mind’s eye. This is critical, it needs to be exact. Do it and then HANDS OFF!

You’re done!!! Have a great day and thanks for playing.

My bad. If you followed the directions exactly and you moved your objects exactly as you saw them in your mind’s eye you have done something remarkable and translatable.

The remarkable part is this: You have brought a thought, a nebula’s thought, into a tangible reality! YOU THOUGHT of exactly how you wanted something to be AND YOU MADE that something exactly as you saw it in your head. Do you see how big this is?

If you’re thinking it was just a couple things moved around on my desk, big deal, you have missed the point.

Here’s the translatable part: If you can do this with a few objects, you can do this with anything.

When I was in grad. school, I developed and taught a class “Creating Your Life”, where I started students out with this exercise. Then I had them envision a dinner. They wrote down their dinner plans and handed in their plans to me before leaving the classroom. Next class they brought in a baggy with a bit of that meal in it. 🙂

The dinner exercise has more steps, and takes a wee bit more visioning and planning. It builds the creative process muscle. By the end of the class they had envisioned their futures and created a group instillation project that was great!

How was it doing this exercise?

Tomorrow I will talk about when and how to deviate from the vision you first had in your mind’s eye.

-Rachel Z. Cornell


Thank you to Jan Tallent for edited today’s blog post. Jan Tallent is owner & operator of Tallent Agency Virtual Assistance, who specializes in proofreading, editing and transcriptions at