Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pulling a MacGyver

By Ricardo Andorinho

According to the website, the Portuguese word ‘desenrascanço’ is one of the ten coolest foreign words the English language needs, and it means “pulling a MacGyver”.

If you have ever seen an episode of the 80s-TV adventure series named MacGyver, you already have a clear picture of what ‘desenrascanço’ is. In this American TV series, we have the opportunity to see how effortlessly MacGyver fishes car keys out of the toilet with a coat hanger, or how rapidly he takes down a helicopter with a fan, a dough-scraper, and some duct tape. In fact, this miracle man seems to be able to handle any kind of situation with just what he has around him and his Swiss army knife.

Generally speaking, ‘desenrascanço’ is the art or ability to, at the last possible minute, strike out a solution to an urgent problem with scarce, or no resources at all. Portuguese people are known to be able to find these kind of last-minute solutions.

So, what do you need to ‘pull a MacGyver’ or, to use the Portuguese term, what do you need to be known as “desenrascado”, someone who has the ability to find solutions to difficult problems at the last minute? In our opinion, you don’t need real weapons, but you certainly need to make use of your mind, your creative imagination and, perhaps… a Swiss army knife.

If ‘Swiss army knife’ plus ‘use of your mind’ plus ‘use of creative imagination’ equals ‘pulling a MacGyver’, and assuming that you have, or you know where to buy a Swiss army knife, and that you use your mind on a regular basis, creative imagination should work as the unknown factor of the equation.

How to be ‘desenrascado’?

Some might say that creativity or creative imagination is an inborn ability usually found in people that use the right side of their brain more.

It is a fact that right-brained people think and learn in visual terms and that they don't memorize well and need to visualize a picture so that they can recall facts. But we tend to disagree that creative ability is exclusive to right-brained individuals, or at least that it is an inborn ability.

Recent medical research proves that neurons can be created at any time and that the human brain can be reprogrammed at any age. Therefore, we believe that you can start to develop your mind and abilities, including your creative imagination, whenever you want to.

But how can we define this ability? Or, more importantly, how can we develop creative imagination?

Creative imagination is the power to envision a future result, to create something in your mind and to solve problems in a synergistic way. Creative imagination enables you to write your personal mission statements, goals, or simply plan a meeting without the conditionings that ground people to think small.

Consequently, this endowment empowers you to pursue your wildest dreams and goals and to fully realize your personal mission, even in the most challenging circumstances.

A word of advice

Since creativity is directly linked to positive thinking, psycho cybernetics, the magic of believing and neurolinguistic programming, we would like to challenge you to exercise your mind according to the so-called “Blue-Sky thinking”. The aim is to imagine that there are no obstacles, that there is nothing clouding your mind or conditioning you to follow a particular dream or goal.

So, visualize yourself as the master of your own destiny, or as someone that was born to be the happiest person on Earth. Then, just write down the things you envision.

As to enhancing creativity in your family or within your organization, here are some tips:

1) Think ahead;

2) Ask “why” and “what if” more often;

3) Value different views from others;

4) Disentangle yourself from your conditionings;

5) Motivate discussion;

6) Suspend judgment: sometimes the most absurd idea is the one that leads you to the most adequate solution or moves you beyond the attainable;

7) Be optimistic;

8) Laugh as it lifts enthusiasm and improves communication and openness;

9) Invest your time and energy until you reach your goal.

If you are a MacGyver enthusiast, or if you just admire the Portuguese people for their ability to be ‘desenrascados’, just follow our tips! With the formidable power of creative imagination and through visualization, you will start to conceive possibilities way beyond your direct experience that will help you reaffirm and realize your goals.

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