Being More Creative is an Achievable Goal
Creativity is a process, a personality trait, and also a product that belongs to a specific context or field. People who make creative things (products), had a certain way of going about it (their processes), and they acted in a certain way (their personality traits).
To be more creative, some researchers say that a prerequisite is to have the technical skills and knowledge for your field (the subject or place where you do your creative work). You also have to be extremely motivated to do what you’re going to do. And lastly you need certain skills, like flexible thinking and the ability to use heuristics (mental shortcuts) well.
How can I get more creative?
If you use it right, creativity is a skill that will help you adapt better to different situations in life. So here are a few attitudes and techniques to awaken, grow, and boost your creativity.
- Breaking out of your routine: try to get away from monotony, drop some repetitive habits, and challenge yourself to do things you’ve never done before.
- Internalize: be just as aware of your insecurities and fears as you are of your strengths, change your perspective, try to be another person..
- Seek knowledge and inspiration: read about things you find interesting, research the lives of creative people, try things out, go to new places, ask yourself new questions…
- Bring your imagination to live: visualize new scenarios and then try to play out how they’ll go.
- Create inspirational situations: get out of your comfort zone, risk being wrong, and find new stimulation (books, movies, people, paintings…).
- Take advantage of relaxation time: look for times to rest, daydream, and play.
Techniques to get more creative
Here are some of the most famous techniques for learning to be more creative.
- Robert W. Olsen’s DO IT method: A structured process for problem-solving.
- The SCAMPER method created by Bob Eberlee: A technique for fostering creativity and creative thought.
- The 3-6-5 method: A simple technique that involves working with other people.
- The mental map method: A very effective method for summarizing information and expressing ideas logically and creatively.
4 tools you need to come up with creative solutions
According to Guilford, these are the main skills and tools you need to solve problems creatively:
- Fluency: it’s been shown that the more ideas you come up with, the more likely it is you’ll come up with a good solution. So, brainstorming is one good example of a problem-solving tool.
- Flexibility: being flexible in your thinking will help you change your ideas and move closer to the solution to a specific problem or challenge. More specifically, there is a group of creative tools known as “verbal verification lists” that will help you be innovative.
- Originality: this means breaking out of your routine and going beyond the obvious answers. Image-based stimulation, photographic field trips, and object-based stimulation, are very well-known techniques for coming up with original ideas. You can also employ analogies and metaphors.
- Production: this is about building and finding alternatives. It’s a convergent process that you do after you do a divergent process. For example, mental mapping is a visual and verbal tool you can use to associate ideas, thoughts, objects, etc.
We’re more creative in extreme situations. And the most creative people are really fast problem-solvers. Now that you have some tools in your creativity toolkit, use them to improve your quality of life. That goes especially for people going through tough times in their life.
A long time ago, creativity was seen as a characteristic that only the occasional artist or scientist had. But nowadays, saying you’re not creative is like saying you just haven’t put in the practice.
According to Ken Robinson, we all have talents, we just have to know where to look. Would Steven Spielberg be a mathematical genius if he had focused on that instead of film? Challenge yourself to get more creative. If you do, get ready for an amazing journey that will absolutely be worth it.