Everyone wants to be creative. There are some people that can write hour after hour, day after day without fail. There are others that can draw incredibly well, others that can paint masterpieces — well perhaps compared to you and I.
We can say individuals such as Shakespere, Picasso and Bach were creative. But what about someone like Linus Tovalds? He did create LINUX. Is that creativity at work, or is that innovation?
According to an article on Wikipedia – Creativity is typically used to refer to the act of producing new ideas, approaches or actions, while innovation is the process of both generating and applying such creative ideas in some specific context. Regardless of how you define creativity – for some, ideas come like water flowing and for others… well, we need to struggle.
But even if you’re not born a creative genius there are simple things that you can do to enhance your creativity.
- Dream. Do you remember when you were a child, you could stare at the clouds and they would turn into shapes at the blink of an eye? I have fond memories of lying down on a hill close to home, on a beautiful summer day with a slight breeze blowing large, fluffly clouds accross the beautiful blue sky. The clouds would take shape, as if they could read our minds and turn into cars, planes, trains or whatever else we thought of. As we get older, and the realities of life sink in we seem to loose that ability to dream – or we dream, but it’s no longer as we did when we were children but adult dreams of nice houses, fast cars and an easy life.We need to break away from reality from time-to-time to just think. It could be as simple as staring into the water, or sky or looking at the traffic go by. You need to give your mind time to dream. Avoid the tempation to think about your writing, your blog, how to monetize it… just dream about anything or nothing.
- Ask… Why? It drives me crazy when my son asks me 10 times in the span of a few minutes “why”. Why do the wheels go round on the truck? Why is this toy green? Why can I see myself in the mirror? As adults we rarely ask why. We’ve been conditioned to accept the world around us for what it is. We’ve lost that ability – probably for the same reason that I said – “it drives me crazy when my son asks me 10 times…“. Curiosity is part and parcel of us. It’s because of curiosity that we’re able to make discoveries in science, medicine, technology and other important areas. Because someone was curious enough about Mars, NASA was able to send landers to the planet to explore. If you don’t understand something – ask why. The answer will get your mind thinking and may open up other ideas to you.
- Be a rebel. Along with questioning why something is the way it is, don’t perform the same tasks over and over again becuase it’s always been done that way. Question why and come up with a better way of doing it.
- Play games! Games are great to get your mind thinking, most games are puzzles that need to be solved. This will get you using your left and right brain.
- Ask “What If” Look at a task that you currently do one way, and question if it could be done another way. What would be the consequences of doing it differently? Again – you’re pushing your brain to think thereby flexing that muscle.
- Read, read, read. I love science fiction. When I read SCI-FI as a young adult, I’d come up with great ideas! I remember dreaming up electronic business cards, and I’ve seen a company produce something similar. I remember dreaming up a system whereby police could “tag” a vehicle with a GPS “marker” during a chase, so that the chase does not endanger the other people on the road. Since it would be GPS based, they could use helicopters and different pursuit methods to apprehend the suspects. There is a company in the US that has developed this type of a system. You’re not out to invent something new — but it could happen, rather these tips are designed to get you to use your mind in other ways that will help to enhance your creativity.
- Write everything down. Sometimes you’ll think of something, and will dismiss it right away because it doesn’t make sense, it might nt be logical or it’s confusing. Doesn’t matter. Write it down. It may not make any sense later on, but that idea revisted may trigger some other thoughts. What are you doing? It is called brainstorming.
- It’s OK to be wrong. You can’t always be right, it’s OK to be wrong. By taking risks and trying different things out. To be creative means to take risks and try something new. How do you think some of the worlds best commercials are developed? The creative individuals behind them didn’t have a guidebook to tell them what is right or wrong. They took risks.
- Enjoy the process of creation. When I would develop software, in my younger days and even as I got older and to this day I thoroughly enjoyed what I am creating. I think about the end result, but the process of developing the software or script always gives me a natural high that propels me to go even further. I’m in a zone where my mind is working overtime and every keystroke, every line of code I write opens up more ideas on how the particular task can be completed. Through this process, I end up developing new ways of solving programming problems or better algorithms. Just sitting here, writing about it gets me dreaming about what it feels like when I’m in that place. It is exhilerating!
- Nike said it best – Just DO IT! There is no perfect moment, there is no magic time when you’ll be at your peak. This is one of the key elements when developing your internet business as well. If you wait until the right moment to start a project, or look back and say that you want to do more research or try to spend more time making it perfect — it will never get done. If your goal is to write blog entries, sit down and think of a half-dozen or dozen words that perhaps describe you, your goals for your blog or ideas for your internet business products. From those few words brainstorm other words… eventually you will have a complete blue print. Doesn’t this sound so much like mind maps?
What do you do to spark your creative genius?