The 100 Day Challenge, Day 18:

I have really been pretty lucky with some of the people I have had the opportunity to spend time with!  One of those people is Mike Vance.  You may not recognize his name, but you will want to if you are interested in expanding your thinking.  Mike, along with Diane Deacon, founded the Creative Thinking Association,, and have written several books including Think Out of the Box, Raise the Bar, and Stop Pissing and Moaning.  Most notably Mike is the former Dean of Disney University and was one of Walt Disney’s main collaborators and creators in the Disney World Florida project.  I love to hear him talk about showing up with Walt in Florida and being shown a huge piece of swamp land that was to be the Magic Kingdom!- talk about using your imagination!

I have learned so much from Mike that I could fill up more than 100 days of blog posts!  One of my favorite “Mike” concepts is that of the Kitchen for the Mind.  He explains in detail how you can create a space in your home and make it a place that stimulates you to think out of the box.  (Read the book Think Out of the Box, to find out how Mike devoloped the concept- a fascinating story.)  His premise is that we have a kitchen in our house to serve our stomach and it is just as important to have such a room for our brain.  A place to let your imagination take off!

What goes into your kitchen?  Anything that feeds your spirit and inspires you.  Mike’s includes telescope, microscope, piles of books, artwork that he loves, pictures, music, games, uplifting lighting, a place to write and hang up ideas, computer, and more.  

What goes on in your kitchen?  Four activities- projects, programs, celebrations, and personal activities.  I will mention that with personal activities that the interests of the individual must have a central place in the kitchen.  This your place to go to feel inspired and surrounded by things you love.

I have set up my home office as my Kitchen for the Mind.  The celebrations I have here are with my clients when they have a big break through, and with myself when I do the same!   Maybe it is time to invite some others into this space I have created to celebrate something and to share the energy- I will get to work on some ideas! 

It doesn’t matter how big or small your kitchen is, just that you have a space dedicated to stoking your imagination.  Continuing to design, change and add to it is part of the fun!  If you are looking to put yourself in a more motivating environment, this is the perfect way to do it.  The business-world counterpart to this idea is what Mike and Diane have coined The Team Center and is a way for businesses to build the ultimate place for creative collaboration.

Having the space is a great first step- there are obstacles to overcome in using your imagination and thinking bigger.  More on those tomorrow!