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Creativity is intertwined in life more than any other subject, but many people mistakenly believe that they aren’t creative or that imagination is only for hippie artists. In fact, we would be stuck in a cave with no fire and no communication if it weren’t for creative innovation. Furthermore, we would be a lifeless society if it weren’t for the beauty of artistic expression. So then for the sake of a beautifully prosperous society we need to nurture creative thinking.
In terms of this article, I define creativity in the broadest of terms as the act of perceiving the world in new ways, generating new ideas and putting those ideas into action. That could mean an idea, innovation, invention, solution or masterpiece. This article is an elaboration on the understanding of the overall concept of how to be more creative as it applies to art, science, business, and everyday life.
We are all inherently creative creatures. Aside from art projects and inventions our entire lives are a result of our creative interaction with it. The meaning of creative thinking is generating new thoughts based on prior knowledge and applying them to current situations. Learning can give you all of the knowledge in the world, but it is useless unless you are able to creatively apply it to your current situation. Read on as we discover how to be more creative in everyday life.
Benefits of Creativity
Most of life’s wonders are a showcase of the benefits of creativity including complex computer programs to Mozart’s soothing melodies. In addition to art, innovation, and invention creativity is present in everyday life as well. The simplest of tasks can use creative thinking including communication, organization, cooking, problem solving, thinking etc. Shelley Berc founder of The Creativity Workshop, an organization that helps individuals and groups find creativity, has written a wonderfully encouraging article on Creativity in Daily Life.
While creativity should come naturally to all of us the reality is sometimes originality gets stagnant and imagination flat lines. In the majority of these situations, it is actually our own fault. We are often our own worst enemies and Dean Rieck of Copyblogger.com has outlined an exhaustive list of 8 Bad Habits that Crush Your Creativity and Stifle Your Success. It’s important to unchain your imagination and allow it blossom.
Characteristics of Creative People
You may have noticed that some people seem better at creative tasks than others. This is true, but it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from their creative traits and strive to bring them out in yourself. Alex Busson from lifehack.com has provided us with a useful list of 7 Common Traits of Highly Creative People. The traits in this article can emerge with a little awareness and practice.
Have you ever wondered why children are so creative? According to Beth Catherine from RockYourPower.com, you can still harness that power and Turbo Charge your Creativity with Childish Ambition. Beth is an inspirational web development and branding coach who uses creativity every day. Her article explains that as we grow older we prevent our creative ideas to come forward because we second guess them. It is important not to hold yourself back by jumping to immediate conclusions.
The Vulnerability of Creative Expression
Another reason children make creativity look easy is because they don’t care what other people think. When we have a new idea or create something new it is often hard to open up and show the world because we fear failure and ridicule. Grace of heartfulhabits.com has written a brilliant article asking Is the Vulnerability of Creativity Worth It? Grace and many other artists including myself have had to overcome this fear of failure in order to succeed. Some may judge your work negatively, but the majority will praise and encourage your imagination. Sharing your work is the only way to make a difference in this world.
Creativity in the Details
When we look at a masterpiece or an innovation from a wide lens it can often appear not to be creative at all. It is only when we look at the detailed brush strokes or simple innovative adjustments that we notice the pure genius of creativity. Elizabeth King, a well known author, speaker, and entrepreneur, says that Creativity Starts with Examination. An important element of creative thinking is the ability to absorb the details of the world around you and use them to your advantage.
Boost Creative Thinking
I think it’s safe to say that as artists we have all encountered mental blocks or have created things that weren’t very inventive. Sometimes our brains aren’t in the right state of mind to create a particular piece or it just doesn’t feel creative at the moment. This article written by Gregory Ciotti of sparringmind.com is an interesting examination of How to Encourage Creative Thinking through proven psychological principles. In the article, he provides many techniques to help prime your brain for inspiration and problem solving. The article also provides other insightful information about how psychology meets creativity
Daily Creative Practice
Creativity is not something that you are born with. It is sharpened over time and practice much like any other skill or hobby. Embracing your imagination and practicing every day will help improve your ability to think creatively. This article written by Larry Kim provides 9 Ways to Become More Creative in the Next 10 Minutes. Doing simple exercises every day is easy to fit into your busy schedule and it goes a long way in stretching your creative mind.
If you’re interested in learning the latest ideas in creativity, I highly recommend you take a look at this creativity playlist by TED Talks. It includes inspiring lectures from such influential people as Sir Ken Robinson, Julie Burstein, and Elizabeth Gilbert. All of the videos in this series are very empowering, but I found “Embrace the shake” by artist Phil Hansen to be particularly intriguing.
Best Books on Creativity
There are many books on creativity. Here are three books that I think provide an extremely useful knowledge of creative thinking.
- “The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life” written by American choreographer and writer Twyla Tharp. This book is a highly useful thesis on creative thinking that provides activities to create powerfully innovative habits.
- ”Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education” written by educational pioneer Sir Ken Robinson. It explains how our education system is backward and how we can change it to set our children up for success.
- “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” written by Pixar Animation co-Founder Ed Catmull. This book is hailed as one of the best management books of all time encouraging business leaders to cultivate creative thinking.
Creativity usually comes in the oddest moments. You don’t always have the time to pursue the idea or a pen to write it down. In the 21st century, the smartphone is replacing most of our gadgets and the notepad is no exception. Evernote(iTuenes and Gooogle Play) is the Cadillac of notepads it has the power to capture your voice, pictures, and written notes. In addition to your ideas, it can save anything you come across on your phone and arrange it all for later. It is the perfect tool to stay organized and never lose a thought.
If you are looking for a more in-depth course that provides information on more advanced creativity techniques then Skyrocket Your Creativity is the course for you. It is taught by two university professors and includes great techniques that will take your creative thinking to the next level. Learn more about brainstorming, mind mapping, reverse psychology and several other tools to take your creativity to the moon.
The practical uses of creativity are only limited to your imagination. You can use it at work to find innovative ways to improve or solve problems. You can use it to produce awe inspiring works of art to soothe personal stress or spread glimmering joy throughout the world. This article is only a small glimpse of creativity. It is a lifestyle that I challenge you to live.
Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on creativity or how you use it in your everyday life. If you liked this article and are interested in personal growth then subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social media as I explore many topics to expand your knowledge and help you reach your fullest potential.