It took me awhile to recognize that I had a fixed mindset about fostering creativity, and that anyone can become more creative.
Once I developed the internal motivation to be creative, and started to spend more time with creative people, I noticed and engaged in opportunities to cultivate this ability. I also started to notice natural talents that were before dormant.
I was thirsty for challenges and looked forward to opportunities where I could create and express myself. Little by little I found that I could be just as creative as other people, if I was willing to let myself freely invent and explore ideas.
Here are a few suggestions on how this can be done.
1) Think outside the box, or look at things from a different angle
If one way doesn’t work, then try another. Sometimes we just need to approach a problem from a different angle to change our perspective. Creative people show this ability and tend to be able to produce numerous and diverse ideas.
I remember my cognitive psychology professor asking, “How many different uses are there for a concrete brick?”
How many can you think of?
In reality there are countless. The only limit is your imagination.
2) Look at what already exists and expand or change it
There are constant new ideas and creations every day. It’s quite amazing how quickly new developments emerge. This offers incredible opportunities to expand on ideas and create new concepts.
Essentially all ideas are a reiteration or reconstruction of some previous innovation. This is what creativity is all about. Taking something and using it or viewing it in a new and unique way.
Start considering how something could be improved, or how it could be changed to solve a new problem.
3) Experiment with what you already know well
What area would you consider yourself an expert in? It’s probably an area where you have a deep reservoir of knowledge to draw from. Examine your expertise and consider what new ideas or revelations you can come up with.
What theories or current standard of practice could you take a new view toward?
Use your existing experience to examine things in a way that a novice wouldn’t be able to. Whether it’s cooking, music, or business, try new and experimental ways of doing things.
4) View the world with wonder
Many people think that once they “grow up” and “mature” they can no longer look at things in a playful and imaginative way. Don’t let your increased responsibility stifle your creative potential. Try looking at the world with a fresh perspective, as if you’re seeing it for the first time.
Viewing things with an imaginative and inspired perspective can enhance your life by giving you more options and increasing your energy.
5) Put yourself in a creative environment
The creative mind doesn’t work in isolation from a creative environment. You need to find inspiration in you life and seek experiences that can expand your thinking.
When you’re in an environment that discourages novel and innovative ideas it becomes easy to fall into this pattern of thinking. It’s tough to share unorthodox ideas when a surrounding culture that doesn’t appreciate and value creativity.
When it comes down to it, creativity is the driving force behind any major change in the world. You can make your life more enjoyable and productive, as well as enhancing the surrounding culture you live in by working to be more creative.
Let the seed of creativity grow in your life by appreciating and developing your creative potential.
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Last reviewed: 27 Jan 2011