Would you like to have earth shattering ideas spring up so often it feels like your mind is a pixar meeting room? It is very easy to think creativity is just for the Advertisers responsible for selling a big brand product or the artist with a white canvas in front of them, yet I would argue that creativity is one of the most important traits we need to nourish within us in order to succeed. Being creative keeps you motivated in what you love doing, it keeps you fresh and on your toes. It never grows old that strong intense feeling in my stomach and the big smile on my face when a great idea hits my awareness.
The downside though is great creativity can not be forced, they don’t bubble up into consciousness at will. However the following 5 suggestions are where you can create conditions for yourself where your creative instinct gets finely tuned more often.
Have something you can note ideas down in seconds
We have all had those moments where we are walking, thinking about nothing in particular and all of a sudden a great idea or realization comes into your awareness. Making a note of the idea is a must but you say when you get home you’ll make a note of this epic brain wave. You get home and after Facebook has been updated, You tube has been viewed and your cat has been fed suddenly you haven’t got a clue what that big realization was! The truth is you have a window where you will remember your big ideas before there is a danger that your brain is required to focus on something else.
By getting into the habit of taking a notepad everywhere or having a note taking app on your phone you have a place to quickly note down the idea for you to go back to when it is convenient.
Don’t always rely on verbalizing it initially
I was speaking with a friend who is a great problem solver. He mentioned that he has ideas all day and sometimes he can’t even put words to an idea so he has to draw something that represents what he is thinking. Research shows that when people have these great ‘ah ha’ eureka moments the area of the right hemisphere sparks up on a brain scanner. The right hemisphere is more associated with lateral thinking but verbal literal language is more associated to the left hemisphere. As a result for some ideas, you may be able to visualise something (think Einsteins riding over a sunbeam on edge of universe) but not put words to it. For that just draw something so you can build on it rather than it get littered by your attempts to vocalize it.
Look outside your immediate interests
The fashion powerhouse Tom Ford commented that to get ideas for future seasons fashion he reads various magazines, newspapers, watches films and even rubbish TV. He does this to get a sense of the general mood of the culture at the time. Whatever your interests look outside your field in order to inspire new ideas and also because your competition are unlikely to be doing it! Today read a magazine you wouldn’t normally read and become aware of any connections coming up between what you are reading and your passions.
Constantly ask questions
The late fantastic comedian George Carlin once ranted for parents to not just teach their children to read but to get them to question everything. He was onto something because when you don’t accept the status quo your brain has to come up with an alternative. The humble MP3 player was in full force but Apple didn’t care, they knew they could do a better equivalent. Question everything you see in your chosen field and interests, you won’t always get a response but by asking
‘why does it have to be like that?’
‘what would be another way?’
‘What would happen if I did it this way?’
You are training your brain to become curious. I love Mixed martial arts (MMA) and up till a year ago it was considered a no no to do a front kick to the head…until someone did it, now everyone’s trying it!
We live in a world where, if allowed, there is a constant demand for our attention making us constantly in a state of focus, which is a hindrance for big creative insights. Why do you think you get big ‘ah ha’ moments when your washing your hair or daydreaming out the window or going on long walks? Its because you are not in a state of focus and as a result have more ability to ‘listen’ when these ideas filter through. If you want to become a creative powerhouse ensure you become ruthless with having times of not doing anything. If you do, be ready because your next million dollar idea might just seep through!
Being creative powerhouse means you can think outside the box, come up with new solutions to common problems and be that guy (or girl!); the one everyone goes to for the great ideas. Nurture your creative nugget and it will reap you many rewards.
What did I miss? What creative habits do you have that work for you?
Aaron Morton is the creator of The Confidence Lounge. A platform where you can discover how to turn your ideas into reality. Aaron works with individuals who want to earn money on the side from their job using the skills and talents they already have. If you want to learn more about igniting that confidence inside you, go to www.theconfidencelounge.com