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How Thematic Thinking Frees Minds To Create Wildly

The process of adopting belief structures and 'mental constructs' that support you in being highly creative...

Do you want to break free to create wildly and be a world-changing innovator? Then dive into the process known as Thematic Thinking, and let your creative thinking soar....
Creativity is a process that occurs in the free mind. Creative thinking occurs at the moment that you break out of a familliar and habitual way of thinking. Learning to be more creative is a decision that you make, and with that intention you seek the ways and means to be more creative. With such a purpose, you inevitably discover more and more ways to support that intention and unleash your creativity. One way that you can support the intention to become a master of truly creative thinking is to practice THEMATIC THINKING.

What the heck is "Thematic Thinking"?

Good question. Thematic thinking means giving your thinking a theme.

Here's how the answers.com dictionary defines the word: theme


  1. A topic of discourse or discussion. 
  2. A subject of artistic representation.
  3. An implicit or recurrent idea; a motif: a theme of powerlessness that runs through the diary; a party with a tropical island theme.
  4. A short composition assigned to a student as a writing exercise.
  5. Music. The principal melodic phrase in a composition, especially a melody forming the basis of a set of variations.
  6. Linguistics. A stem.
  7. Linguistics.

tr.v., themed, themĀ·ing, themes.

Usage Problem. To provide with a particular topic or motif. .

[Middle English teme, theme, from Old French tesme, from Latin thema, from Greek.]


  1. What a speech, piece of writing, or artistic work is about
  2. A relatively brief discourse written especially as an exercise:
  3. The main part of a word to which affixes are attached:

Source: http://www.answers.com/theme&r=67

A topic of discourse or discussion
Let's look at this first. It's an obvious starting point. You have to have some 'thing' to think about. Once you have chosen something to focus upon, your mind can get to work on that specific area of enquiry. So the creative mind is theme driven in it's thinking. Give your mind a theme and it can start to explore it, mull it over, poke it and pull it apart and put it back together again in a better or different way.

A subject of artistic representation
In this type of creative thinking, the idea is a running theme in all your creative expressions. Maybe you are a poet and all your poems contain a running theme of lost love or the wonders of new life. The theme in this case is like an animating spirit that pervades your work. Or perhaps you are launching a new company, and everything from your products to your marketing materials to the way you answer the phone is imbued with the theme of sheer class. Here you use thematic thinking to 'color' all that you do with the particular theme that you are working with.

An implicit or recurrent idea; a motif
Nike's swoosh symbol and the "Just Do It!" slogan are prime examples of a motif and a recurring theme. The company name, Nike, from the Greek goddess who was "capable of running and flying at great speeds". The rallying cry of "Just Do It!" further embraces the theme of action, speed, and courage that are perfect for a sportswear company. And the swoosh looks fast and "ticks" the box of rightness, of success, and of winning. What motif and recurrent theme can you rally YOUR thinking behind?

A short composition assigned to a student as a writing exercise
Thematic thinking here enables you to do your creative thinking in written format. You select a theme and simply start writing about it. Writing is a strange alchemical process in which real magic can happen. Some people even believe that if you write richly enough about your goals, as though they were already true, that you can manifest that into reality. Now that would be really creative thinking! (See Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser). Personally, I think that writing helps you externalise your thinking, and helps you to refine and define your ideas. This in itself makes them easier to manifest in your life. By doing your creative thinking on paper you are half way to forming a plan of action. And action is the way to materialise what you want in your life.

The principal melodic phrase in a composition, especially a melody forming the basis of a set of variations
Okay, here we are talking about the core message, the core sound of your creative expression. If you think of your favourite songs, the bit that come first to mind is usually the chorus, and that contains the theme of the song: the main bit of melody and the main lyrics, on top of which are added the verses and additional melodies of each verse. So thematic thinking here involves working out your central message. It is like coming up with your elevator pitch, your motto or mission statement. It is your core message which supports and anchors your whole creative output. For example, you have a website selling baby products, and you are writing some content for your website, an article on 'Choosing The Right Carrier For Your Infant'. But your core message or theme is one of Total Love, Care and Safety - Only the Best Is Good Enough For Your Baby. And this imbues your writing with your vibe of loving, caring and nurturing.

A stem
Here your themes are your starting point, and you branch out from the stem. Think of a mind map with it central bubble containing your main idea or thought. You use that to trigger ideas and you grow out from it, returning to it when you exhaust your thinking along one branch, so you can start off on another. If you look around online, or explore the field of internet marketing, you will soon discover mini-empire builders. People start off with one website, and then they build another one and then another one, all clustered around a particular theme... like dogs, or gardening, or affiliate marketing. And so their first website might be on "How to build your own greenhouse", their next website is on "How to grow the biggest and best tomatoes in your neighbourhood!", and then they later come up with a site selling, "Greenhouse heating systems"... and so on. Stem themes allow you to think creatively around the theme. They keep you focussed and directed.

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Supercharge Your Creativity With Thematic Thinking

Okay, let's ramp this thematic thinking discussion up a bit and discover how you can flip the switch and ignite that powder keg of creativity that is packed tight into your brain.

Here are my own favourite ways to use thematic thinking:

1. Adopt the belief that YOU are The Creator.
Holy blasphemers, Batman! You don't mean THE Creator, do you??!! Yes, I do mean THE Creator. I want you to explore the idea that at some level you are the Creator of all of this. Now before you leap off into some mental argument over whether this is true, or whether this is blasphemous, or start saying that there is no God etc etc, just hold your horses and listen to me. All your arguments are ideas. And ideas are simply software programs running in your brain. Some ideas will serve you and make you happier and more creative. Other ideas will hinder you, or make you feel powerless and worthless. For the purposes of being super creative, I want you to pop this software program into your necktop computer, and play it for a while (or whenever you want to feel really, really creative). Just start thinking of yourself as being extraordinarily powerful. That you are connected to all beings, and that there is only this one life flowing in All -- and that you are That. Decide that there is an Infinite, All-Knowing Intelligence which you can and do access every day. Look around you and see everything that you see, and start to think, "I made that. I created that". And just as when you get an idea, it bubbles up from your unconscious mind, and you don't really know how you came up with it, you can accept that a similar process is happening with the world you are creating. You are doing it unconsciously, in your deeper mind. See: I Create Reality

2. Make out you are in a movie
Life is so much more exciting when you glamorise it with the touch of Hollywood. We all love a good movie. Sometimes we are stirred by action adventures. Other times we swell with pride and pleasure as the loser team overcomes obstacles and differences to pull together and against all the odds become the Champions. And we fall in Love ten times over as we gaze into the beautiful eyes of this year's screen goddess, or shiver at the smile of the Hunk of the month. Movies move us. So put the power of movies to work in your creative thinking. Let's say you work for a small company, in an average town, and you've got this new product that you need to promote. But Gee whizz, it's hard to get motivated, because your life is so mundane and a thousand miles from excitement. Okay, well, let's re-script that. You are now in a movie. People are watching that movie all over the world. They've seen the intro, they've seen that you live in a small town... and now they are anticipating something special to start happening. Don't let your audience down! You're not just Joe Blow or Jane Doe from Hicksville... you are a superstar playing a role. Have fun with it, add some sparkle and magic to your life. If your life is colorless and bland, who else but you can add the magic to make it bright and beautiful? You can be like Mel Gibson or Clint Eastwood and not only star in your movie, but write the script and direct it too!

Now with this new 'mental construct' you can re-approach your task of promoting your new product in a far more dynamic way. You have a story to tell, a movie to play. And you are going to make it as entertaining and interesting as possible....

3. To be-lieve or not to be-lieve...
Imbued as we are with many opposing meme idea viruses, I find it incredibly useful to embrace opposing beliefs and use them at will. Ideas are simply software programs for the hardware brain to play with. Many people are more entrenched in just one belief and pit themselves against opposing ideas. There are hardcore believers in God. And there are hardcore believers in rationalism, science and agnosticism. These two opposing ideas generally battle it out for 'airtime' in our minds. But rather than sitting in that battlefield waiting to find out the winner ('the truth'), I prefer to use these ideas as themes for thinking. There are times when it is extremely useful as a creative thinker and a human being, to think of there being a loving God, a causal intellligence and creator of life. Embracing that idea can fill us with inspiration, bring comfort and peace. Playing this software set in our mindspace, can inspire us to mighty deeds. One only has to look back in history and see the beautiful churches, cathedrals, mosques and temples that have been created to honour God or 'the gods'. One can also look to the wonderful works of art, paintings, sculptures and music created to represent spiritual life. People have been inspired by the idea of God, of Love, of spiritual life, to help one another and to set up charities and organisations to relieve suffering. So you can see that the God Belief idea software is a useful one to play. Equally useful is the belief in rationalism, self-determination, and agnosticism. When you play the idea software that there is no God, you experience an entirely different set of parameters for interpreting the world and your place in it. If you exchange the concept of life after death (in Heaven) for one in which this is the only life you've got and that you will die forevermore at the end of it, you see the world through different filters and will likely live and think differently as a result. Creative thinkers are interested solely in ways to think differently. The more perspectives we can adopt the better. The agnostic program allows us to look at life cleanly, and examine what is there. It creates an imperative to become more responsible... without a God we have to be the God, we have to make decisions, inventions and discoveries to improve the world during the time we have left. Perhaps the ultimate challenge for the agnostic is to discover a way to cheat death, achieve rejuvenation and prolong life forever? What a creative challenge that would be?

I encourage you to look for ways to foster thematic thinking in your life. You can invent different ways to incorporate it into your life. You will become a more creative person as a result. Innovation and creativity are set in motion by the themes that you choose to focus upon and through....

Get creative!

Feed me Feedback! I'd love to hear from YOU! Email me: wily[at]wilywalnut.com

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