creativity 3472598501_4c6e883bbf

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects,

I think, is still the secret of great creative people.

Leo Burnett

While it is certainly true that some people are born with more creative minds, this does not mean that creative thinking cannot be learned and developed.

You may be of the misinformed opinion that you do not have a creative bone in your body, but this simply is not true. If you were totally incapable of some type of creative thinking, you would be a robot!

Belief in yourself

The first step toward developing your creative muscle and thinking is the belief that you can acquire and develop the skill. The truth is that, if you continue to set up a mental roadblock and tell yourself that you cannot think creatively, you will never get past this important first step.

When you truly believe in yourself, you also begin to open up new doors and avenues. The possibilities are endless just because you have decided to give creative thinking a shot.

Developing creativity

In order to foster creativity in your life, start thinking about where you want to apply your newfound creativity. It will help, at least in the beginning, to have a specific goal instead of the broad goal of just “thinking” creatively overall.

You may wish to start with discovering better solutions to some of your more common problems at the office, or you might want to broaden your horizons with an artistic goal in your free time. No matter what your final goal is, here are a few creativity boosting tips:

1. Brainstorm. Spend time brainstorming. When looking for ideas for a project, or solutions to a challenge, write down any and everything that comes to mind without holding back. Don’t worry about logistics or staying organized at this point, just let your mind go free.

Another form of brainstorming that might be worth a shot is free writing. Simply pick up a pen and let your mind go wild on a topic of your choosing. Tell yourself that you cannot pause or put the pen down, you must keep writing. You will be surprised at what you can unload from your brain during a free writing session like this.

2. Move. Change your surroundings. You may have noticed that your patterns of thinking change when you are in different locations. If you find that your mind is stuck, try changing your environment. Go out for some fresh air or hang out in a coffee shop or book store. It may be just what you need in order to discover a new and exciting idea.

3. Take notes. Always carry some kind of note taking device with you, whether it’s pen and paper or a mobile device. Record your ideas as they come to you, no matter where you are at the time. Creative thoughts can come and go, but if you begin to make it a habit to write them down you won’t forget them.

4. Research your topics. Even though it may seem like a boring task, you can do some research online. When you do, you will learn that knowledge is power and this will help your brain to get to a place it wouldn’t normally have gone.

Enjoy the journey and always follow your love of learning. Research will always provide you with new angles of thinking.

Look at other perspectives

While everyone comes with their own unique set of abilities and opinions, when you develop your creativity, you can learn how to come up with new ideas and solve problems from different points of view.

No matter what challenge you are facing, spend some time considering the perspective of others. While you may not completely share the opinion of another, challenge yourself to see if you can figure out how or why they have that view. Think about how they feel. Developing this empathy will keep your mind open, which will always foster creativity.

When you get into the habit of consciously building up your creative muscle, you will be amazed at your outbursts of creativity!


Photo Credit: Andrea Costa Creative via Compfight cc