5 Ways To Think More Creatively
We’ve all experienced it – that inevitable mental fog that seems to take over when work needs to get done. Ideas and decisions are hard to come by and nothing is getting accomplished. Our brains are wired to be creative; creative thinking is like exercise for the brain. Think about it, thoughts are a creative energy and when they are put into something tangible for other people to experience, they can then become a great source of influence. When you read a beautiful poem or listen to someone speak elegantly about a theory, it can inspire you to think differently.
If you think that creative thinking is something that you’re either born with or not, you’re wrong! Anyone can be creative, if given the right tools.
1. Make Time to Think
In our fast-paced world, if you’re not busy doing something, you risk being labeled as unproductive. However, making time for quite contemplation is important. All of the great creators and innovators of our time have taken time to detach from the demands of the world and sit alone with their thoughts. Thinking is what makes us human, and if we don’t take a break every now and again, new ideas and advancements will never be created.
2. Embrace Your Sense of Wonder
Children ask a lot of questions. Even when their questions are answered, they follow up with “why?” Curiosity prompts questions, and more questions prompt curiosity. We’re born to be creative and inquisitive about the world around us. Yet, the older we get, the more those traits seem to diminish. An article on Oprah.com pointed out a UCLA study that documented, “on average, at age 5 we engage in creative tasks 98 times a day, laugh 113 times and ask 65 questions. By age 44, the numbers fade to two creative tasks a day, 11 laughs and six questions.”
3. Develop and Refine
Not every idea will knock it out of the ballpark. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad idea. Try gaining different perspectives and let your idea evolve. Don’t be completely rigid and resist new ways of looking at your idea. Remember, it’s better to be flexible than to break.
4. Be Empathetic To Other Points-of-View
Don’t just see things from your point-of-view; try to put yourself in other's shoes. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of the world around you and breathe new life into your ideas.
5. Impossible is a Mindset
If you really think about it, almost anything is possible. When Shakespeare wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” he meant that the name of things do not matter, only what they are matters. Impossible is just a label given to identify uncertainty. For some people, it’s a roadblock, for others, it’s a challenge. Remove that word from your mindset and let your creativity flourish.
Try breaking away from the norm to uncover your creative thoughts. You may surprise yourself with what your mind can conceive! To read more about how to think creatively, read The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity From IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm.