Creativity is one of the most needed elements of our life style today. No matter what we do – something personal or something work/business related, we all need an adequate dose of creativity.
And with the competition with just about anything, a little bit of creativity is no longer enough. In order to outrank our competition and to stand out among the crowd we need to improve creativity a LOT.
What is creativity?
Creativity is not something that is attached to a particular skill. Mostly it is quite natural to attach creativity to something like painting, drawing etc.
But creativity is just about everything. It can be attached to literally any skill. The sky is the limit.
Creativity is usually a decorative attribute – it decorates your approach to a particular problem; it decorates your dreams and it decorates the way you do things.
And creativity is an aspect of appreciation. If you’re creative you can easily get appreciation from others for whatever you do, because you can easily outrank the others. You can easily outrank your competition.
But the major complaint I hear about all the time is this big question: How can I improve creativity?
You know, we are all born with that creative nerve. It just needs to be activated and well trained. That’s it. That’s the key to get creative with just about anything.
Just as you would train your muscles to become strong and well-built, the more you exercise your brain muscles, the more creative you can get.
Of course, when I say this, you might be taken aback – is improving creativity THAT simple? Yes it is so.
The fact is everyone has this attribute built in, some develop it and prosper while others leave it unattended. The point is, the more you use it the sharper it becomes. There is no need to identify the creativity in yourself for you already have it. I will briefly mention some tips to boost it -
Let’s dive in to see how you can improve creativity in any aspect of your business and personal life.
Here’s a handy presentation that summarizes the points:
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Ask why and how
Ask others and ask yourself these questions a lot. Be curious to know about stuff. The more you dig the more you will reflect new ideas.
Whenever you come across anything interesting or uninteresting ask these questions – why and how.
Trust me, they’re very effective!
Don’t wait for inspiration
Often times people struggle with getting creative. It doesn’t have to be that way. They wait for some kind of a magic moment to appear – some kind of an inspiration to happen.
Don’t either wait for some one to inspire you to be creative. Rather, be spontaneous. There should not be any push, need or reason whatsoever.
Creativity is a natural thing – let it happen naturally. Don’t force yourself.
Don’t calculate too much on the outcome
This is just the other side of the story. One side of the story is that you should not wait for the inspiration or force yourself to be creative.
And the other side of the story is that you should not worry about the outcome of your creative creation as well.
You don’t know what will be the outcome until you try out and complete your creation. Your guess and fear about how bad the outcome will be is just an obstacle – a very bad and unnecessary obstacle.
Even before you expose your creative idea, don’t worry about the results. Don’t ask to yourself what people will think. As long as it is your idea, there is no need to worry about.
By worrying about the outcome even before you put your idea to practice, you are creating a tight boundary even before you give your amazing idea a try!
Meditate, Exercise and/or Listen to Music
This is to refresh, nurture and boost your brain and to make it come up with even more creative ideas. In other words, this is to keep your brain fit.
Relaxation is something that most of us ignore these days. While doing so, apparently we don’t realize how crucial it is for the flow of our creative juices.
You can choose anything that suits you – exercise, or listening to music or meditating or reading a book that is out of your “business” niche.
The point is to give some fresh air and new colors to your brain so that it can come up with new and interesting ways to boring stuff.
Communicate and get feedback from friends/family
It is good to get input from the outside. A little thought or comment from your friend or a member of the family could often give you sparking ideas.
I’ve experienced this a lot. As I said above, you need to give your brain some fresh input now and then. Communicating with the others is a great form of opening up channels.
Not only you give your brain fresh ideas from the outside, you can also make use of the creativity and unique perspective of your friends and family.
As entertaining they are, puzzles train your mind to approach a problem in very different ways. You need to think of multiple solutions to a problem and needless to say your mind will be trained to be creative at its best.
I used to play puzzles just as a game without knowing about the sweet by-product. Yes solving puzzles, and playing games that improve creativity help exercise our brain and make it really flexible so that it can come up with a solution to ANY kind of tough problem on the earth (I’m not exaggerating).
Television is good for entertainment and to some extent, to get news. But with the availability of internet and smartphones I highly doubt its usage in getting hot news.
Nevertheless its a great time killer – we all know it. But something you might not know is this – watching too much TV kills your creativity.
Actually it kills your productivity too. Watching TV makes you a couch potato, lazy and kills the creative nerves.
I am not asking you to quit watching TV, but limit your time in front of the TV.
Listening to music and if you can, composing music will make you creative. This is kinda proven. And if you play some kind of instrument, this will greatly help too.
In my personal experience, when I have my ear plug on with some music on it, no matter how distracting the lyrics of the song I hear is, the words simply flow great.
Members of my family often ask me: “How are you able to write blog posts (without mistakes) with the music on?” – and they have a point, coz its not an instrumental or karoke that I listen to. I listen to songs.
And the lyrics can be quite distracting. But just the opposite happens. When I write without my earphone, I struggle for focus and struggle for new dimensions for a copy. But with the music on, there’s simply no friction.
Surround yourself with positive thoughts
This one’s a biggie and I kept it for the last. It is very important that you have the RIGHT environment to be productive.
When I say this, I don’t mean a Zen surrounding – not the beach that is calm with a mountain view where you can create something creative.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a house where you have your kids pulling all the cables of your computer, your partner watching television and your cat marching on your keyboard.
You need to have people and thoughts that are filled with positive thoughts, and affirmations – make sure you don’t allow any sort of negativity to come into your perimeter.
Negativity kills creative thinking; it puts a big halt on whatever your brain is working on – creativity will be gone forever if you have people who always talk negative things around you.
You too have to develop a positive attitude towards things in life. This keeps your brain worry-free, active and fresh.
How to improve creativity – Do you have an excuse?
As you can see there is no reason or excuse for you to lack creativity. You simply have to give your brain the right training and environment.
The more you train your brain and the more you practice the more creative you will be.
If you have more tips on how to improve creativity feel free to share in the comments.