The Creativity Crusader

Sully Soars Above & Beyond


No Crystal Ball

None of us wake up and say, “Boy I hope I get a really big problem to solve today!” Instead most of us are hoping for smooth sailing. With this in mind we ask ourselves, “How can we prepare our children/students for unexpected life situations?”

Against All Odds

On January 15, 2009, veteran US Airways pilots Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffery Skiles took off with 155 passengers and crew. Just three minutes into the flight, disaster struck when the plane hit a flock of Canadian geese, disabling both engines. Without engine power, Sully landed the airliner on the frigid waters of the Hudson River. Against immeasurable odds, all on board were saved! View the movie trailer capturing this amazing story.

In hindsight, Captain Sullenberger performed the best possible action under the circumstances, saved lives, and proved that even the best training can’t prepare us for every scenario in life. As Charlie Brown quips, “In The Book of Life the answers are not in the back.” In the real world everything can change at a moments notice.

Preparing Minds

We can "prepare the minds" of children/students to increase their fluent and flexible thinking abilities. In as little as 90 seconds a day, we can increase their chances of generating more creative ideas. It begins with learning new creative tools and techniques. Then comes the required daily practice. This gives children/students on-going opportunities for opening their minds to new ideas, possibilities, and solutions.

Small Changes = Big Outcomes

As we mentioned in our last Blog everyone is born with varying degrees of creative talent. The ability to look at one thing and think of something new is a behavior of highly creatives. Using creative thinking strategies like, Pass Around will enhance all children’s/students’ fluent and flexible thinking capacities. Small changes can have huge results.

Creativity Tip of the week: Pass Around

Begin by selecting a flexible object (pipe cleaner, necktie, bandana, etc.). Take turns passing the object around in small groups for 90 seconds. Pass the object around three or four times and practice generating numerous (Fluency) and different creative ideas (Flexibility). Each person must give an idea for what the object could “creatively” become. For example, if you are using a pipe cleaner, you could say, “This is not a pipe cleaner, it is a _______. Some creative answers might include: a spoon to stir the soup, a stick of firewood, a mustache, a giant’s toothpick, a diving board for an ant’s swimming pool, an earring, etc.

Or as Sullly concluded, “This is not a river . . . it’s a runway!”



The Most Important Thing:

  •  Everyone’s capacity for creative thinking and living can be enhanced.
  • Activities and tools can be learned to increase fluent and flexible thinking.
  • Having a “prepared mind” might someday save lives.
  • Creative thinking practice can be done in 90 seconds a day!
  • Fluency and Flexibility are two Instructional Elements of the Creativity Fan Model.


“Le hazard favorise l’espirit prepare.” (Chance favors the prepared mind.)

~ Louis Pasteur

Live creatively and prosper!

Patti & Rick Shade

Founders – Curiosita Teaching™