Do you consider yourself to be creative? Often we associate creativity with writers, artists, musicians, and dancers – things associated with the arts. And we may see some people as more naturally creative than others.
But in truth we are all creative beings. We’ve had to use our creativity in very practical ways in the past few years during these uncertain, challenging times. You can further develop your creativity in all aspects of your life. Whether it’s looking for an out-of-the-box solution at work or coming up with something fun and interesting to do with your family or friends this weekend, you can be more creative. I wrote earlier about Cranking up Your Problem Solving Creativity .
There are some basic things you can do to develop your creativity and use it to enhance your life.
- DECIDE to be creative. Start with making a decision. As with anything, you’re never going to improve in an area until you decide that you’re going to. You must commit to being creative. Then set up a plan to carry out that commitment.
- Increase your understanding. It’s hard to see a creative solution to a problem you don’t understand. So when you are facing something you are not familiar with, take the time to educate yourself in that area. Learn it inside and out, and then examine it again, from the point of view that comes from understanding.
- Be curious. Curiosity enriches our lives in multiple ways and certainly can help us develop our creativity. My grandson’s curiosity about the ocean and ocean creatures has led him to dig into the topic and become a walking encyclopedia on related subjects. It may well lead him to a career in that field.
Sometimes we pursue something that has sparked our curiosity immediately. But if we don’t have the time to pursue it at the moment, it may be forgotten. So I encourage you to capture those topics you want to learn more about in a CURIOSITY JOURNAL. When something interests you, take note of it. Write down your questions. Use these as jumping off points when you’re looking to be creative and when you are feeling stuck or bored.
As I write memoir essays, my curiosity about the background and context of some of my memories has led me to learn more about it and to develop an approach to writing such essays. Here’s my Kindle book that has resulted from that: Memoir Essays: Memories + Context + History = Deeper Appreciation of Your Life Journey
4. Become a risk-taker. Don’t stick with the tried and true solutions. Ask yourself how you can do things differently? Then jump in and try things that way to see how they go.
5. Drop the negativity. It’s so easy to fall into an attitude that things are too hard or you aren’t smart enough to figure out something. By thinking you can’t find a solution, or that it’s impossible to be creative, you have already failed. Don’t create self-fulfilling prophecies. Instead, decide you will succeed, that the solution is already there. (Another decision!!)
6. Try something new. By experimenting with new art, involving yourself in a new sport, or going somewhere you’ve never been before, you engage your brain along different neural pathways and see the world in ways you haven’t before. Now is the time to try that thing you’ve always wanted to do!
7. Brainstorm. Throw out ideas, one after another. Get wild and crazy and see what sticks. The best creative ideas come out of the silly ones. Doing this with someone else in a playful attitude can spark even more possibilities and develop your creativity.
8. Know there’s more than one right way to get something done. If something isn’t working, that doesn’t mean there’s no solution – only a solution you haven’t found yet. Keep trying. Look for the other ways things might work. Sometimes it’s a work-around rather than a direct solution.
9. Look for inspiration. Spend time exploring other people’s creativity to stimulate your own. Visit art galleries. Listen to music. Read books. Explore the world around you and see what touches off a creative spark in you. Being intentional as we read, watch and listen to the works of others will help open our minds to other ideas.
10. Let things snowball. Jump from one idea into another and another and another. See where the creative path takes you. Maybe you won’t find the solution to the problem you’re working on, but you might find the solution to something else, so jot down the best ideas that crop up.
To learn more: Tony Laidig’s book is a treasure! 21 Ways to Skyrocket Your Creativity 21 Ways to Skyrocket Your Creativity
Here’s another tool you may find helpful. It’s a printable item to capture your ideas and gives a process for moving the best ones to reality. Idea Journal and Planner Idea Journal and Planner
Creativity doesn’t have to be out of reach, even if you tend to think of yourself as an un-creative person. By working to develop your creativity, you’ll enjoy more success in your work and home life and will learn new ways to think and do things. With so much benefit, isn’t it time to find that new and exciting more creative version of you?
I’m Carol Brusegar, author, photographer and curator of information. My focus is on gathering and writing on topics that enhance all our lives – regardless of our age. Topics include health and wellness, personal development, innovation and creativity, and a variety of helpful, practical tools and practices. I have a special interest in helping people over 50 years of age to create their 3rd Age – the next stage of their lives – to be the best it can be. Visit my Amazon Author Page to find my published books: https://amazon.com/author/carolbrusegar
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