Many people shy away from the idea of creativity thinking that it is only fitting for those talented in the arts. Others think of their more creative ideas as incredibly silly, disabling them from actually taking these ideas seriously.
At this point, it is good to note that absolutely everything that changed the world and/or contributed to progress started out as an idea– a relatively new way of mixing and matching existing concepts to create something “new.”
To further this concept, studies show that employees who constantly find ways to induce personal creativity are highly motivated and are more likely to be successful. Now, if you’re stuck in a cubicle all day, how can you induce your own creativity? Here are a few tips to help you go from blank thoughts to a mind brimming with ideas:
1. Give Yourself Time to Daydream
Give yourself time to pause, reflect and dream about all the things you wish you could do. Take a five-minute walk outside the office, or juggle ideas in your head. It could be as simple as dreaming of an ideal meal for lunch or thinking of what you intend to wear on your next date.
To push this activity even further, think of your life’s “pain points” — is it the horrible traffic? your inability to spend time with your kids? Process these situations and think of ideas on how you can go around these “realities.” You might actually come up with something that’s actionable!
2. Make Curiosity Your Ally
Training yourself to always ask “WHY” is an excellent exercise in squeezing out those creative juices. “Why is it called a building when it’s already built?” “Why do fingernails grow faster than toenails?” “Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?” “Why am I doing this task in this manner?” Don’t let the answers frustrate or baffle you — instead, allow yourself to continuously learn and be challenged by them.
By continuously learning and discovering more, you enable yourself to have a better mix of ideas in your artillery. As they say, ” A curious mind has no limits”. Let your curiosity aid your creativity.
3. Create & Play
Last summer, an ad agency in Minnesota gave its employees something most of us can only dream of – 500 hours of paid vacation time. The time was to be spent identifying and actually concretizing what these employees are passionate about. Amazing, right?
This was after the executives realized that allowing their employees to create and play provided the best environment for inspiration (and every office needs inspiration!) Although we won’t be seeing this happen in our companies anytime soon, the importance of creating and playing are made more obvious.
4. Accept Your Ideas at Face Value
Do not make brutal judgements on the ideas you come up with. Other ideas take longer to develop. Sometimes it means making a few sketches and archiving them before a “Eureka!” moment comes along.
The best ideas are a product of innovation, constant exposure, and waiting for the right opportunity to hit you. Whatever your idea may be, give it time to develop before actually throwing it in the trash.
5. Have a Goal & Never Give Up
Colonel Harland Sanders started the first KFC franchise at age 65. His business went on to create over 18,000 outlets in over 120 countries and territories around the world. We may not be called for feats as big as his, but having a goal and pushing yourself despite the odds is a great way to induce creativity.
Because of the barriers you will encounter along the way, you’ll discover a dozen methods of solving the same problem. Sometimes, it is when there are limitations that we sometimes get to be the most creative.
These are just some simple ideas on how you can be more creative. Now, think of more ideas on how you can be more so — (and share it with us)!
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