I believe everyone is creative. Yes, everyone.
You’re not creative, you say? Pfft! You must be confusing artistic with creative, so let’s get over that hurdle first:
Creativity is a method of thinking that is different from common, every day thinking.
Art is a product of creativity. It is only one form that creativity may take.
Here are a few examples how various “analytical” professions use creative thinking:
|Profession||Form of Creativity|
|Scientists||They find cures for diseases.|
|Inventors||They create solutions to world problems like famine and pollution.|
|Engineers||They turn theories and visions into reality.|
|Military strategists||They plan missions that the enemy doesn’t foresee.|
|Teachers||They provide our children with the skills to solve tomorrow’s unknown issues with tools not yet discovered.|
|CEO’s||They solve known and unknow issues and lead their companies into the future.|
Those are a few examples how creativity is used professionally. Now let’s see how creativity applies to everyday life.
Creative in Everyday Life
You may not realize it, but you already use creative thinking daily in many ways. If you are a parent, I’m sure you’ve used creative thinking to explain how Santa travels around the world in one night or to get your kids to clean their room.
How about your chore list? There is always more to do than there are hours in the day, but somehow you manage to check things off the list. You applied creative thinking to maximize your time and accomplish as much as possible.
Think back to when you first started out on your own. Money was probably tight. Remember all the creative ways you thought of to stretch your money to pay bills, put food on the table, and to still have enough to go out with your friends on Friday night? You apply creative thinking in everything you do, not just in art.
Improve Your Creativity
Now that you understand that you are creative, let’s talk about how you can spark that creative fire and bring it to new heights.
The key to improving and growing your creative thinking is practice! Here are a few specific ways that you can practice and improve your creative thinking.
- Idea journal. Dedicate a notebook specifically for the idea journal. Every day for one week, write one idea. It can be about anything – a new product, a solution to a problem, a new use for an old item, something silly – as long as it is a new idea. During the second and third week, increase your ideas to two a day. During week four try to create a total of 21 unique ideas. If you frequently practice generating ideas it becomes easier, and the easier it becomes to generate creative solutions to issues when it is needed.
- Brainteasers. Practice solving brainteaser puzzles. They are perfect for practicing creative thinking. To solve brainteasers, you must look at problems in different ways, make unusual connections, and think “outside-of-the-box.”
- Meditate. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter created in your brain when you are calm, and it greatly increases creative thinking. A great way to calm yourself is to meditate. There are many apps available that instruct and assist in meditation. Two of my favorites are Calm and Headspace. Make a goal to set aside 10 minutes every day to sit in a quiet area, breathe deeply, and calm your mind. If necessary, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier in the morning. That 10 minutes of meditation will make a larger impact on your clarity of mind and creative thinking than the extra 10 minutes of sleeping.