If you read this story until the end - I will give you a medal. This is a full story of “The Old and Creative Man”. The previous stories were excerpts. A fine story should always have a right structure.
Once upon a time, two young boys, Peter and John, grew up playing together in the same village. They were dreaming together about how they would become rich and successful. Years passed and two boys became full-grown men.
John became rich and successful while Peter only had problems, difficulties, and debts.
One day Peter came to meet John and asked him to lend some money. It had already happened before, and he never ever brought money back. John was as kind person, keen to help his friend and always gave easily.
However, this time John said,
”You know Peter, I know you are my friend, but I want my money back. I know that you don’t have it today, but maybe you can pay me back by doing one action.”
Peter was intrigued and asked “What kind of action?”
“I know that a wise man is living in the forest of our village. He knows the answers to every question. I need you to go to talk to him.”
“What kind of questions?” Peter couldn’t believe his ears. He was surprised by the task.
“I would like you to ask him,
”Can someone be creative if he is not gifted?”
Peter was very astonished, but he didn’t have a choice to say no, because he needed money to cover debts. He prepared himself to go to the forest and in the early morning of the next day left the town. It was a very hot day, he had to walk a lot, to crawl on the ground, to jump from stone to stone, to cross rivers, and to climb a huge mountain. Nevertheless, at end of the evening, he approached the house of the old man.
“Hello Old Man of the Forest, I came here to ask you a few questions.”
“Please come here, my young boy.“
I would like to know if “Someone can become more creative, even if he is not gifted?”
The old man explained, “If you have a brain, you are creative. Anyone can choose to develop this skill. “
The young man asked again, but "I understand your point, many people have some small inspirations but so few make something big enough to change the world. Why do so many people choose life that is the same day after day, doing their tasks if they have creativity within them?”
The old man smiled:
"Creativity is the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.”
Creativity involves two processes: THINKING and PRODUCING. If you have ideas but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative.
The young man got very interested and continued asking, "But across so many parts of our lives we have no freedom and have to follow orders and produce results as expected.
For example, if we are not technology geniuses, how can we be creative in business?”
The old man whispered: You are creative in business when you
connect dots which are meaningful to people.
Looking for friends + Sharing life experiences + Social media = you get Facebook
Cheap + Clothes + Social media = you get Vinted
Knowledge + Sharing + Social media = you get Qoorio
The young man was absolutely inspired and shouted excitedly, "How can I become more creative?"
The old man answered:
“You should spent a lifetime exploring new and unrelated things.
You should collect as many new experiences and knowledge as you can in order to master association.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever…. “
The old man said this and disappeared into his house.
Peter got back to his friend and shared the whole conversation with the old man. His friend was happy to hear interesting ideas. He applied the old man's ideas and expanded his field of activity in a few months.
However, Peter got himself in trouble again and he came to see John and to ask for money again.
John answered him, “I will give you the money, but this time I need you to go to the old man and ask him ‘How can someone improve his thinking?’”
Peter accepted. He did the same long and tiring journey but finally at the end of the day he reached his destination.
Again, he approached the old man and asked:
“Hello again, can I ask you one more question?
How can someone improve his thinking?”
The old man smiled:
- Here is something very basic my son. We don’t think in words and phrases. We think only in pictures and images.
Words are the raw materials of thought. When spoken or read, that amazing instrument, the mind, automatically converts words and phrases into mind pictures.
If someone tells you “John bought a new telephone” you see one picture. But if you are told, “Jonh bought a new house with a swimming pool” you see another picture.
So if you want to improve your thinking my boy, you should create a positive, forward-looking, optimistic pictures in your own mind.
- Do you mean to imagine things?
- Exactly! Imagination – it’s a beautiful ability that we humans have. It’s even more important than knowledge.
- Why do you say that?
- Because knowledge is limited, it is imagination which circles the world.
I give you an example. Let’s imagine a bird. And now imagine a bird wearing a dress. Do you see it?
- Yes I see it, but it is weird.
- No matter, the importance is that you see it. You have never probably seen a bird wear a dress before in real life, so there is no neuronal ensemble for that in your brain, but yet you will be able to imagine it – this is a very unique and complex human trait. When we imagine two of these familiar objects together, we can come up with something we have never ever seen before.
- I still don’t understand, why is it useful to see a bird with a dress?
- Oh my young boy! You are asking me about how to improve thinking and I am telling you that you should look at things not AS THEY ARE, but AS THEY CAN BE.
A big thinker always visualizes what can be done in the future.
He isn’t stuck with the present. By using imagination he adds value to everything.
It is like a great producer who hears a simple melody of piano and can imagine and hearing the whole orchestra playing together.
- And If I tell you that I don’t have this capacity to imagine?
- Then, my boy, you go and train yourself!!!
And the old man left.
Peter got back and retold the whole story to his friend John. John was very happy to hear the interesting thoughts of the old man again. And again, he applied all these ideas and moved forward in his activities, while Peter was still going down and down.
2 months later Peter came back to John and said, “Can you lend me some money? I will go to that old man if you wish.”
Now John said to him, “Can you ask the old man, ‘How can someone learn a lesson?’”
Peter agreed and the same day started the same long way to get to the old man. Once he reached his destination, he asked
“Hello Old Man,
I would like to ask you, how can someone learn a lesson?”
The old man looked at the young man and said, I cannot answer this question for free.
Peter was open-mouthed because he didn’t expect this from the old man.
The old man continued “If you want the answer to this question, it will cost you 1000 euros.”
It was the exact sum Peter borrowed from John.
He was confused, because it was the last money he had, and he came here in order to repay John, so if he gave this money to the old man, he would have nothing left.
He was thinking what to do, because at the same time he didn’t want to upset his friend, who was so good help him each time.
“So young man – do you want the answer?” asked the old man.
Peter took out 1000 euros from his pocket and gave the money to the old man, saying,
“I need this answer!”
The old man took his money and told “You can really learn a lesson when you pay for it”.
And he left.
Peter got back to John and told him the answer. After a month he started to do better in his business. He never had to borrow money from John again. He became both as rich and successful as his friend.
I am wondering how many of us have tried to go until the end of experience and to pay for a question here on Qoorio?
It took me 4 months until I tried. I can admit that it changes completely the value and the power of conversation once we put money on the table. Do you agree or not?