Creativity thinking opens up a whole world of new opportunities for you. Learn how to boost or awaken this power on the inside of you.
Sometimes creativity is also referred to as “thinking outside of the box”. That’s a great metaphor. It helps us grab the concept of what the creativity thinking really is. We live our normal lives inside our comfort zone. That is where we know everything and for the most part we may even like it.
However, some of the best ideas and best solutions may lie outside that zone or “box”. The trick is how to step out of the comfort zone and get those ideas or methods. Our brain strongly opposes such practices and it needs to be trained to do so.
Here is the thing: most of us possess pretty much the same information. The difference is made in what we DO with that information. How we apply it. That is where creativity thinking comes in. There are high chances that if we all know the same thing, we all do the same thing. No surprise that we all get stuck.
So, what is creative thinking?
- Pushing the limits
- Venturing outside of the comfort zone
- Breaking the boundaries of familiar
- Exploring the outside
- Replacing “should be” with “really are”
- Challenging the traditional concepts
- Finding divergent information
- Taking no preset direction
How to be creative?
We can say that creative process consists of two major elements: it’s YOU and the WORLD around you. You have a range of resources to use in the process of bringing about the innovations:
Let’s deal with the first part – YOU. What do you do to yourself and with yourself to boost your creativity thinking?
- Develop your imagination
How is that done? You may combine and connect various ideas. That is how the innovations are produced. One of the artists got really frustrated with his skills. He realized he would never be able to attain greatness in what he does. So, he threw them all away (the paintings) and moved to another town.
That’s a good start. In most cases to get a new idea you need to first get rid of the old one. It stands in the way of new discoveries. Then he sat down and written on a piece of paper all the verbs about bending and rolling, and curving, etc. He got about 100 of them.
Then he started to apply them to various materials, such as paper, rubber, steel, etc. Now he is well known as the guy, who makes people the center master piece of his art. His name is Richard
Serre. Basically, he combined and connected the uncontestable and attained great results. He boosted his creativity and imagination.
- Ask the right type of question
The question you ask greatly determines the answer you get and the number of possibilities you see out there. The answers you might think of really depend on how you word the question. You may do some creative thinking exercises to enhance this skill.
For one, you may single out regular questions you deal with and reverse or alter them. For instance, you may ask how much is 2+2? The answer is 4, obvious. What if you ask this ?+?=4 – now you get more than one answer at hand! So, just find your patterns and try to reverse or alter them. You may tap into something amazing doing that.
- Challenge your assumptions
Most of us have a set of preinstalled ideas about things. Here is a good example: we think trash is useless. How about getting engaged in an upcycling project? Upcycling is turning trash into treasure. You use your imagination to give the things thrown away and viewed as worthless a new meaning and new life. It’s a great creativity thinking exercise.
Basically you take the first obvious answer to the question and question it again. Are there any other answers? Let’s see how many can I get. It’s called brainstorming. You take an idea or a question, sit down and start writing down all the possible answers. As a rule first 10 of them suck. Really creative ideas start coming when you have used up all your preinstalled concepts.
- Gain more knowledge
Imagination is limited by your knowledge. It derives the ideas from this foundation. So, basically the more you know, the better creative ideas you can produce. Some people think they need to focus on one area. However, how do you expect to combine and connect, if you have a very narrow knowledge of things? So, get to reading, watching, talking, hearing, etc.
Often times innovations in one area come from another. Like MRT was initially not invented for medical purposes. It was meant to be used as a weapon, but it ended up in healthcare. Another way of getting knowledge is gotten by simply paying attention. The world around you can become the source of unique knowledge. Every time you get a situation stop and ask yourself: what does it reveal to me or about me or what does it teach me?
- Get motivated
That inner drive has to be present in creative people. Those individuals feel that what they have is never enough. They feel discontent with the current state of events. They get curious and keep asking “what if” question. They challenge themselves to try new stuff and experiment.
What keeps creative people pressing on? Instead of being puzzle builders, who quit if they have missing pieces, they view themselves as quilt makers. When you do a patch work, you use all the resources you have on hand. If something is missing, it’s no problem. You just use something else instead. That’s how you keep up your motivation.
Now, let’s move on to the WORLD component of creativity and find 5 more tips to follow.
- Stimulating Environment
Who you are is crucial, but where you are also matters. People around you and things provide vital stimulation to your creativity. That is why sometimes to get a break through, you need to break away from the habitual environment and get new folks and things around you.
Physical space is also important. You may not have heard of Maria Montessori. She was a teacher who lived in Italy and taught mentally challenged kids. She has attained amazing results and her kids over a time got perfectly normal and even genius. How did she do it? She created highly simulative physical environment for them. They never sat in a classroom. Instead they had the freedom of picking their own processes and were provided with things to handle and utilize. Basically creative environment boosts creative thinking. READ ALSO: Why do we study literature – 10 out-of-the-box reasons for Nigerians.
- View space as your stage
In reality the space around you is the stage, where you, as an actor play your life. It’s a setting for your great play. You are the main role performer on it. So, why not become in charge of the scenery?
- Find unique resources
Most of us have a set of prefixed ideas about what resources are. Those are time, money, things. This means we miss so much! We tend to look for what we don’t have instead of seeing what we have. Discovering your resources and believing they are enough makes you creative. There is this wonderful saying: “necessity is the mother of invention”. It is true!
Culture may limit or may stimulate your creativity. At times you can view it as your resource and draw ideas from it. Or, you may want to go outside the box and break some of the limitations installed by it.
It is something you should be using smartly. At times education can become suppressing for your creativity. You need to source out the ideas from others (that is what education is about).
However, you should not let those ideas to press out our own. So, eat the meat and spit out the bones!
Now you have ten great tips and sources for your creativity thinking. Five of them can be found within you and another five – sourced out from the world around you. Use them wisely and boost your creativity to pave the way to success.