When we need a new skill, we know what to do. We read up a lot and then choose a course that can teach us the skill. But creativity is something we believe only the gifted have. It is not a skill that can be acquired. A creative person thinks differently. While it is true that many of us tend to think along similar lines, there are ways in which one can trigger the creativity within us. Let’s look at some key steps here:
An open mind. We often feel we have all the answers. This can be the most limiting thought. It can enslave us. But when we open our minds to new possibilities, it immediately enriches us. It liberates us. Suddenly, our world is not limited to the obvious and we start thinking out of the box. The easiest way to do this is to articulate the problem or the issue to another person. Even as you are doing it, your thoughts become clearer. Then listen to the response of the other person without judgment to get fresh perspectives. It will perhaps help you think anew about the issue.
Gather knowledge. It is true that one’s true wealth is the knowledge we have. The more we gather, the more creative we can be. Even in this age when information is at our fingertips, knowledge is what gives one the winning edge. Unlike information, knowledge is something that we have absorbed well and have let it evolve. It helps us think deeply and use options from unlikely sources to find unique solutions.
Try something new. Do not ever hesitate to try something new. It could be travelling to a new place, picking up a new hobby, just taking a different route to travel. These changes give you new ideas and keep you alert.
Deconstruct. Often, the solution will be in hand. When you are trying to figure something out, nothing works better than deconstruction. If it’s a product, pull it apart and put it back together. If it’s a process, reconstruct it to get clarity.
Deep concentration. When trying to work something out, concentrate deeply on the issue. The intensity of your thoughts, to the exclusion of all else, triggers creativity within you. The moment you get absorbed in the issue, your subconscious mind registers it and comes up with solutions that would not have been available to you normally.
The unconscious mind. Once your subconscious has made note of the issue, sometimes all you need to do is ‘sleep on it.’ When you put aside a problem, it incubates and suddenly you find new solutions. So, let your subconscious guide you to find creativity. Scientists also say that the right side of the brain which deals with creativity is more active after sleep and that’s the reason why sleep helps us find solutions from seemingly unrelated information.
Silence. Very often, silence helps clear our thoughts. Constant chatter, whether internal or external, does not help the flow of thoughts that is required for creative thinking. So, spend some time in silence to let your thoughts settle and flow better.
When looking at a problem, always look at it as an opportunity to be creative. Using all your training and experience, try not to rush into solutions that are on top of your mind. To be creative, you need to give yourself time. So, don’t let others pressure you into coming up with quick-fix solutions.