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Creative Learning Cannes Lions

From insight to incarnation, Deepak Chopra’s 9 steps for creativity, spelled out at Cannes

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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

June 20, 2024 | 6 min read

The new age guru revealed his secrets to creativity to an exclusive group of marketers at Cannes Lions.

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra spoke with an intimate group of invitees at Cannes Lions on Tuesday / Kendra Barnett

On Tuesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Deepak Chopra, the renowned Indian-American author and new age philosopher, shared his unique take on human creativity at an intimate conversation hosted by Mastercard.

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Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, set the stage by praising Chopra’s profound impact.

“He is such a legend, and a prolific writer. I would consider [him] a philosopher and as somebody who is an extraordinarily spiritually evolved individual,” Rajamannar said. “I have read many of his books ... and every time, I come away feeling very, very deeply moved and impacted.”

Chopra began by defining his terms – and to him, creativity, like many things, is a fundamentally spiritual experience. “Creativity is literally disruptive. It doesn’t come from your mind – it comes from your spirit.”

Here are Deepak Chopra’s nine steps to creativity.

1. Setting an intention

He emphasized the importance of clarity of purpose: “What’s your intention? And what do you want to create? It could be a song, it could be a movie ... or it could be a new technology or a marketing [strategy]. Something new, or something old, but in a new way. What's your intended outcome?”

Part of this is homing in on the key message. Chopra encouraged attendees to consider: “What‘s my story?“

2. Information gathering

Dive deep into your subject and collect valuable insights. This is important, he says, because it helps form the shape of creative direction. As an example, he says, “In order to create a new marketing plan, it's very different than ... using your creativity to write a song.“

3. Information analysis

Next, evaluate your information and assess how it impacts your original goal. For instance, Chopra says, “Is somebody else doing this? I want to do something totally different.“

4. Incubation

Sit back and let the ideas brew. “It‘s actually a letting go of everything – either through meditation or, if you're a Republican, you play golf or whatever,“ Chopra joked.

”Surrender to uncertainty and unpredictability,” he added.

5. Insight

Await the breakthrough. “The ‘aha’ moment [is] insight,” Chopra explained. “Insight means ‘in our sight.‘“ It’s that sudden realization that comes when you least expect it.

6. Inspiration

“Insight leads to inspiration,“ he said. It‘s that divine spark of an idea. “Inspiration is spiritual – as the word says, ’in spirit.’”

And true inspiration propels you forward, he suggested. ”When you are in spirit, there’s no going back. You’re motivated.“

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7. Implementation

Put ideas into action – and learn as you go. “Implementation – you try, [and if it] doesn’t work, you try again,“ Chopra said.

8. Incarnation

“Implementation leads to incarnation,“ Chopra says. Watch the idea come to life.

9. Resurrection

Finally, Chopra encourages people to allow their idea and their creation to die and be reborn in its final form. “Death and resurrection – the old story is gone. Your meaning is gone. Your context is gone. Your old relationships are gone, or the quality of the relationships [is gone]. Creativity is new meaning, new contexts, new relationships and a new story.“

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