Many people out there wonder how to increase creativity in their lives. While it is not as simple as flicking on a switch, it is definitely something that you can improve upon. Cultivating a creative mindset is your very first step in becoming more innovative.
Do not forget that you are not competing with anyone but yourself. Today’s goal should be that you are more creative today than you were yesterday. Just keep your eye on the ball and focus on how to increase creativity in your life.
Let us look at some ways you can immediately begin embracing a more creative mindset:
Start Finding New Ways to Stimulate Your Brain
When you want a change in your life, you cannot expect to get it by doing the same old things over and over again. Your senses have to be exposed to new stimuli on a regular basis – how else will you generate new perspectives and ideas?
Read as Much as You Can – Many great minds have said that the easiest and cheapest way to get an education in America is by visiting your local library. This is a true statement – even though what you learn there will not earn you an official college degree, it can make you smart enough for one.
It doesn’t really matter what you read either, just do more and more reading. The objective here is to get your brain working. Some people enjoy reading novels, others like non-fiction books, while others may prefer shorter pieces of content like magazines and newspapers. All of these will show you fresh new things in the world and expose your mind to new ideas – and this is exactly what you want.
Collaborate and Work with Other People – When you interact with other people, you get the benefit and exposure to how they think and work through problems. And guess what? They are getting the same benefit from you, so it’s a win-win for both of you.
Do not be afraid to question them and ask how they arrive at the conclusions they reach. Listen carefully to the ways their logic train works as compared to yours. You will learn something – I guarantee it!
Talk to New People – Yes, I realize that you might be shy, but if you are sincere and humble, people will react warmly to you in return. If they don’t, then they have bigger problems than you do. If you have a good sense of humor and are witty, then you should have no problem connecting with others.
When you get in the habit of conversing with other people that cross your path every day, you will grow in a multitude of ways. The most important thing is that you will learn to appreciate what others have to offer and this is the perfect state of mind for being more creative.
Avoid Activities That Don’t Stimulate You – We all have these activities and we certainly know what they are. It doesn’t necessarily mean these activities are bad or evil, it just means they do not motivate you, so there is no point in spending your time doing them.
Make it Point to Frequently Visit Places that Stimulate You – For me, I love going to libraries and book stores. For others, it may be going to art galleries or coffee shops. Still yet others may enjoy going to concerts or the movies.
Make a list of the places that make you feel good – and make it a point to spend more time in those places. You will discover that your mind kicks into hyper-drive when you do.
Spend Time Visiting Nature – There is nothing that quite matches the feelings you get when you are in the outdoors. The sounds and smells of nature are unique and relaxing. The most beneficial part of doing this is that you will ignite your senses.
When you get on that trail and pathway, try to pay more attention to the details of the plants, trees, and wildlife. Try to guess the age of a huge tree you see, and try to imagine the things that tree has seen in its lifetime. When you smell a new odor, try to find the plant it comes from. Just let your mind wander.
Train Your Mind Regularly
The best way to get the most out of your brain and make it more creative is through training. There is no doubt that you want to let your thoughts run in order to benefit from your imagination. However, there are ways to do this in an orderly way that will give you the most benefit.
Embrace Your Past Mistakes – Yes, we can learn from mistakes, but it is also a chance to exercise some creativity to find the right solution which would prevent the mistake from reoccurring. Do not shy away from your screw-ups, own them and then correct them.
Make a Mindmap to Express Your Thoughts Visually – We will talk more about mindmapping in a future lesson, but don’t let that stop you from using the method now. It is a fantastic way to put your thoughts on paper – and better yet – it allows you to organize them as well.
Set Aside Alone Time to gather your Thoughts – Getting quiet time is important for many reasons. The first reason is that it gives your mind a chance to relax and sort itself out. This is especially important if you have had a tough stressful day.
The second reason is that it gives you a chance to go deeper into your thoughts. Whenever you exercise deep thinking routinely at the same time every day, your mind will adapts to the schedule and start generating ideas for you. Trust me on this – it will happen.
Devote Yourself to Having a More Open Mind – This can be a tough task if you are an opinionated person. Sometimes we just don’t want to let go of our viewpoints.
However, when we decide to let go and let others to have opposite opinions, we find that we have more mental energy. This is because we are no longer spending all that mental energy defending our own positions and judging others for theirs. For this reason, an open mind is always more creative.
Start looking at Problems from Different Angles – This is probably one of those things where you are asking “How”? That’s actually pretty easy. You start by asking yourself why exactly you even want to solve a particular problem and what will your actions accomplish? Get very basic and work your way out from the problem. The objective is to find alternative solutions instead of the obvious solutions that everyone already knows about.
I recommend you keep some kind of journal to track your thoughts and goals. Also, start keeping a current “to do list” as well. Use both of these tools regularly. The format is up to you. Personally, I like to use spreadsheets and a planner because they work great for me.