How to be Creative: Unleash the Genius within you!

How to be Creative: Unleash the Genius within you!

How to be Creative: Unleash the Genius within you!

By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)

Most of wonder how to be creative.  But we think creativity is a natural trait that cannot be taught. Artists, writers who do great work are never told they are so skilled, they are always told, they are amazingly creative and talented. It is almost assumed that their creative works are a result of a completely god gifted talent and thinking ability that requires no skill.

The truth is that creativity in many ways is a skill, not just a talent. In other words, it is something that delivers the best results only when it is practised, learned and developed just like other skills. The more we take steps to cultivate creativity, the more our creative thinking ability grows, just like a muscle. And just like a muscle, the more we stop feeding those habits, it shrinks back quickly. Here are eleven suggestions that will teach how you to be creative in your life. But the most important part is to not just read the article but also implement these steps. So read and IMPLEMENT! Let’s go!

 

How to be Creative: Tip 1) Focus on quantity first, come up with lots of bad ideas.

Edison is known primarily for a few major inventions (The Light Bulb, Phonograph etc.) but do you know he also made 1093 other inventions, many of them never came into commercial use and have been forgotten? Similarly, Einstein is best known for his paper on the theory of relativity but do you know that the same genius published 247 other papers, many of which the public doesn’t even know about? It takes a lot of bad ideas to come up with a good one. It takes a lot of bad work to come up with a work of Genius. Do not be afraid of your work not being good enough, be afraid of not trying at all.

How to be Creative: Tip 2) Do what you love and what you are good at.

It is way too hard to keep going and consistently come up with new creative ideas if you don’t even do what you love. Sure, necessity is the mother of all invention so you can be creative even if you don’t love what you do, but loving what you do makes the whole process a lot more easier.

Secondly, do what you are good at.  If I love being an inventor but if it is not my core talent I can come up with as many creative ideas as I want, but they will all suck. Pick a field you are good at. When you love what you do and you are good at it, now whatever ideas you come up will have at least some merit and it makes sense working on them. Whether it is writing, art or anything else, whatever you want to be creative about, first take a good hard look and evaluate your talents in it.

 

How to be Creative: Tip 3) Be around like minded people

When you are around like minded people, you can bounce ideas off each other. You get to interact with people who are thinking like you, who have the same goals as you and maybe trying to solve a similar problem as yours. In the process of hanging around or interacting with them, you may get ideas or advice that clicks in your head and gets your creative juices flowing. The more you are around people who are motivated and driven in your field, the more you can get ideas from them, at least numerous suggestions that you can then build upon.

 

How to be Creative: Tip 4) Go for a walk or a jog outside

Henry Thoreau the philosopher claimed that his thoughts began to flow the moment his legs began to move. We all know how our mind tends to function better when we exercise and now this has been backed by research. Cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato found that the individuals who worked out 3 to 4 times a week were able to think more creatively. She came to this conclusion by performing a series of cognitive tests where those who walked or jogged a few times a week consistently performed better than those who did not exercise at all. So if you are stuck in the mind, get your running shoes out.

 

How to be Creative: Tip 5) Study other existing ideas and then build upon them

 

Most of the great advancements in the computer industry may seem to have come from Apple. After all they introduced the mouse, they introduced the tablet computer etc. But the fact is that Apple itself as well as other computer companies got a lot of their ideas from inventions that were taking place at Xerox. They then built upon it, made it user friendly and subsequently commercially viable and successful

The lesson is this. Stop trying to be completely original. It is impossible to be so anyway. Each one of us, even the greatest thinkers in history have studied and copied ideas that already existed, then built upon them and then transformed them and make the resulting work unique and original as a result of that transformation. Creativity is not about 100 percent originality, it is about creating uniqueness from what already exists. It is about taking a block of stone that exists in nature and then having the insight and skill to carve it into a beautiful sculpture.

 

How to be Creative: Tip 6) Get the sleep you require.

Salvador Dalí said that all his best ideas came to him in his dreams. Friedrich August Kekulé discovered the structure of benzene through an idea that came in his dream where he saw whirling snakes (signifying the structure of benzene). Poets, writers and even scientists have experienced that they become tremendously more creative through the ideas they get while they were sleeping.

It is also important to get the sleep you need for optimum efficiency. While we have been traditionally fed with the idea with sleeping less is better for productivity, the truth is everyone’s sleep requirements are different Some need more. Albert Einstein slept 10 hours a day and said he needed it to be creative, but you wouldn’t consider him any less productive, would you? So do what works for you. If sleeping more makes you more creative and productive, go for it.

 

How to be Creative: Tip  7) Compete against others

One of the most powerful examples of what goal setting can accomplish can be seen in the story of mankind’s progress in space. It may seem we have made astounding advancements. After all we have a permanent presence in low earth orbit in the form of the International space station. However, when you look at the fact that 40 years ago man, reached the moon, still being stuck in low year orbit does not seem like a remarkable achievement anymore.

Can you figure out the reason why 40 years earlier a seemingly impossible thing was accomplished and yet since that time we have made little progress. The answer to the question lies in the competition between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Not only did the Soviet Union launch the first man made satellite into space, it also launched the first man into space. This forced USA to get all its minds and resources together and come up with creative solutions to outdo Soviet Union NO MATTER what. Competition has always brought out the best in us and has led to some of the greatest advancements in human history. If you want to come up with more creative ideas and be more productive, genuinely try your best to compete against your contemporaries, you will be amazed to see how fast your brain starts working.

How to be Creative: Tip 8) Ask yourself, what would your role model do?

If you are faced with a problem and are confused about how to solve it. Here is a strategy that may work, think about one person who maybe your greatest role model. It maybe someone from history or it maybe someone you know personally and then ask yourself how they would go about solving the problem or what methods they would use to come up with a solution. This strategy involves both logic and creativity because you are following the steps that your role model would take but at the same time you are using your own interpretation of their approach.

This may seem like an odd strategy but some of the greatest people in history have testified to solving their dilemmas by imagining what their greatest role models would do in that situation and that gave them the answer they were looking for.

 

How to be Creative: Tip 9) Put a Gun to your head

I mean that figuratively. Imagine a gun was put to your head and you were told, come up with a creative solution or solutions to this problem in one hour or you are going to be killed. How long would it take to come up with a solution? Not too long. Even if you would not come up with a perfect solution you would come up with many incredible ideas because your LIFE depended on it. Set deadlines or fake deadlines in your head and imagine that if a solution was not found within this time, it would lead to disastrous consequences. To make it more realistic, make a promise to your friend or friends that you will be forced to do something embarrassing if you don’t come up with a solution within that time and then make sure you do that embarrassing thing if you fail 😉 This makes the method much more realistic and thus much more useful.

 

How to be Creative: Tip 10) Don’t just see, start Observing

You can get some of the greatest creative ideas by just observing the environment around you. You may claim, hey i already observe my environment, it doesn’t give me any ideas! The problem is that you are not observing, you are just seeing. What is the difference between seeing and observing? Let the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes explain it.

In “A Scandal in Bohemia,” Sherlock Holmes’ friend and fellow investigator once asked him, why is it that Holmes was always able to spot things that never occured to Watson at the time but seemed so amazingly simple and obvious in hindsight. Holmes responded by saying that the answer was simple, Watson saw but did not observe. Watson disagreed by telling Holmes that he observed everything. To explain the difference Holmes said “Have you observed the stair that lead to the hall we are sitting in?” Watson said that he did as he had walked up them hundreds of times. Then Holmes asked him, ” Then can you tell me the number of steps there are in those stairs?” Watson did not know the answer to the question. Holmes responded ” You see but you do not observe, that is why you do not know. I know there are seventeen steps because I do both.”

Start observing things instead of just seeing them, become mindful, you will find your creative ability and problem solving skills go up many fold.


How to be Creative Tip 11 – Take the help of a child

This may seem silly but it’s amazing how effective this can possibly be. As adults our brains often become locked into a predictable pattern of thinking, which has been shaped by years of conditioning. Thinking outside the box as an adult, especially if you have always conformed to the norms is quite difficult.

A child on the other hand has not yet been conditioned and their brains are open to ways of thinking and finding solutions in a way that an adult wouldn’t generally think of. Obviously a child generally won’t be able to solve complex scientific problems, but you can still get hints or inspiration from them that can help you think laterally and come up with better solutions. Don’t believe me? Here is a story about a child’s creativity.

A man was trying to do something but his daughter kept bothering him. So he tried to do something that would keep her busy and let him focus on his work. He took out a piece of paper from a book that had the world map and then tore it. He then asked the daughter to go arrange the puzzle. He was convinced this would keep the girl busy for hours, but she came back within 5 minutes.

The man was surprised and asked the girl how she could solve a complex puzzle so easily. She said, “Dad, on the other side of the page there was a woman’s face. I just arranged the woman’s face perfectly and the map assembled on its own.”

Never doubt the creative thinking abilities of a child!

 

Conclusion

I hope this article has been useful. As always, reading won’t change your life, implementation will. Implement those strategies mentioned above and see your life changed. And if it worked for you, drop me a mail at anubhav101@gmail.com to let me know. Good Luck!


About the Author

The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by over One Million People. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.

Email Anubhav Srivastava for coaching, consulting or motivational speaking queries at anubhav101@gmail.com. Facebook Profile: http://facebook.com/anubhav981

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