These days, we put a premium on creativity. It doesn’t even really matter what industry you work in, position you hold in the organization, or what department you belong to. Sooner or later, people will expect you to devise resourceful solutions to some organizational challenges or some inspired ideas for new product lines. You know why? It’s because that’s where the money is these days.

Just take a look at stuff like VoIP service and cloud-based technology – those are actually some very creative ideas and solutions that are generating a lot of profit for a lot of people.

Of course, “take up creative thinking to succeed” is easier said than done. It’s not that it’s something that only some people are born with (although that is what many people believe); it’s more like it’s something that requires regular practice. Even then, you need to take up the right kinds of practices in order to have truly useful creative ideas. In order to start practicing creative thinking for modern business, you need to remember the following:

Creativity needs some limitations

Didn’t expect that, did you? For many people, creativity means tapping into unlimited possibilities that can be explored. But you don’t really have to explore said possibilities, just because you think you can or you think you should (because you’re being creative). All you do when you try to apply unlimited possibilities to creative thinking is overwhelm yourself, which is actually DETRIMENTAL to one’s imagination. As such, you need to set up a few rules for every time you’re trying to come up with innovative ideas and solutions – even if you’re just practicing doing that.

Challenges can be found anywhere

If you want to just practice thinking creatively, then you can start with trying to come up with solutions to challenges that you already find bothersome.  Have an apartment wall that you aren’t happy with, but don’t have the authority to alter significantly? You can try thinking of lateral alternatives to painting it or covering it with wallpaper like hanging up posters or curtains, taping on some ark sketches, or sticking illustration boards on them that you can cover in any pattern or color you want. There are always small things in your life that you can use for practicing creative thinking.

Solutions can be found elsewhere

While you do need to set up limitations when it comes to creative thinking, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to find some inspiration from completely unrelated situations. For example, you can challenge yourself to think of a great hang-out place for you and your friends by basing it on a place you already hang out in (say, a cafe) and thinking of your shared hobbies (comic books, for example). The idea of mashing up cafes and comic books may seem out there to some people, but it can have some creative and lucrative possibilities – like comic character-themed coffee blends.

Courage has its benefits

One of the major hindrances to creative thinking is fear. When we’re afraid that our ideas are wrong or ridiculous, we end up not trying to think of anything new or interesting anymore. Creativity takes some courage; you need to start being okay with thinking of ridiculous solutions and stop being worried about the judgment of other people. The braver you are with your thoughts, then the more creative ideas (and viable solutions) you can generate. You can start by allowing yourself to think of offbeat answers to silly questions that you ask yourself and sharing those thoughts with people you trust. It’s worth it.