It’s a mistaken impression that some people are just born without a speck of creativity. Experts agree that, while certain individuals may be genetically dispositioned towards creative means, everyone has the ability to learn how to be creative.
This does come with a learning curve. It takes practice, focus, and the will to “play”.
But it’s also within your grasp.
Are you ready to spark your inner genius? Try out our six tips.
How to Be Creative
The human brain is built to solve problems, and that’s what creativity is all about. By practicing the art of inventiveness, every person can learn to be creative.
These six tips are several ways to foster the skills needed.
1. Alter Your Perspective
If you’re business-savvy, you’ve heard that teams made up of multiple cultures and all genders are the most successful. There is a reason for this: everyone has a unique perspective to bring to the corporation.
As we grow, our minds associate objects and events with our cultural, ethnographic, and familial background. This background forms connotations with everyday items and creates assumptions about the world.
By altering your perspective, you practice thinking about the world in different ways.
One of the best ways to do this is to travel or form relationships with members from other cultures. Another, more private, way is to write short stories from different perspectives.
2. Ask Questions
A 2017 study showed general curiosity, which is defined as a broad curiosity rather than specialized, is linked to creative problem-solving.
The reason for this is curious people ask many questions. This permits them to gather exponential amounts of knowledge, which is then applied to a problem. The large numbers of perspectives and amount of knowledge accrued make innovative ideas easier.
To help yourself do this, generate ideas frequently. Focus more on quantity than quality. Make lists of questions you consider throughout the day and any answers your mind creates.
3. Don’t Censor
We truly are our own worst critics.
Every day, we censor our thoughts. Sometimes this is a good thing (for example, discouraging judgmental beliefs); oftentimes, however, it only weakens our creative juices.
How many times do you use a fork each day? How many times have you thought of a different use for that fork beside as an eating utensil?
Ancient Greece thought such mind wandering was beneficial for the soul. Recent research in cognition suggests the same.
Less structured activities letting the thoughts roam without the rigid expectations of structure increase children’s and adult’s abilities to create their own goals and find ways to achieve them.
How do you go about letting the mind roam? To truly flex this creative muscle, try some of the following activities:
- Creating cluster diagrams
When conducting these activities, don’t stop to worry about what you’re doing or if you’re doing it correctly.
4. Keep a Journal of Ideas
Have you ever had a really great idea and forgotten it a few hours later?
Brain waves occur in four states within humans. The best state for yielding creativity is the theta state.
Theta waves occur during menial tasks which are so mundane our bodies go through the motions automatically. Brains are also in theta during initial wakening and right before falling asleep.
During theta brainwaves, individuals engage in free thought, which sparks new and innovative ideas. This was how Einstein came up with many of his thoughts.
But, if we don’t write those ideas down, we’re liable to forget them. That’s why it’s important to keep a journal of your ideas.
By logging possibilities, you give your mind permission to play without censorship. It also lets you explore patterns and commission new thoughts.
Some of the greatest creative minds in history kept journals, including Leonardo da Vinci.
5. Create an Encouraging Environment
Some research suggests colors enhance moods and it’s a tactic used in marketing and decorating. In fact, the entire architecture and designs of schools are created with these thoughts in mind.
By surrounding yourself with inspiration, you create an environment encouraging innovation. But what environment is best for a creative mind?
First, try background noises. They shouldn’t be too loud; think about the noise level in a comfortable restaurant. The noise pulls you away from your present thoughts and encourages connections to the outside world.
Next, surround yourself in blue. Many studies connect blue with creative-based tasks because it makes us think of the ocean and sky. Decorating with blue can involve something as simple as a blue room, a blue painting, or even a blue desktop.
And definitely add your splash of originality to your surroundings.
But don’t forget about other things which impact your environment. Eating healthily and exercising affect cognitive functioning, and safe “smart drugs” are even available on the market. This interesting read explores the effects of natural and synthetic nootropics.
6. Try Something New
The best way to spark that inner genius is to try something new without the fear of failure to hold you back. Unfortunately, this is the very thing which discourages many from exploring the unknown.
But it shouldn’t. Trying new things creates vivid experiences, encourages new forms of thinking, and opens the mind to possibilities.
Luckily, engaging in fun hobbies doesn’t have to be expensive. All these activities are possible on a budget:
- Learn a new language
- Go to a location you’ve never been to
- Take a class about something you’re interested in
- Redecorate the house
- Build a model
The point of these experiences is to violate the norms we come to see as true. By disproving these norms (even if the disproving incident occurs in a fictive sense), the brain questions its previous assumptions and creates new understandings of the world.
Bring Your Inner Creator to the Surface
Curious and creative individuals are usually the happiest ones. They find fulfillment in everyday lives where others find mediocrity.
Even if you think you weren’t born with the creative gene, you have the ability to find your own inner genius. The only thing necessary is to learn how to be creative in a way that works for you.
Give these six tips a try and check out our article about living life to the fullest. The world is waiting.