Many people seem to have the mistaken idea that only a select few are able to unleash a steady flow of creative genius. This probably comes from the idea of ‘personality types’ that leads us to think our personality and style of working are set in stone.
That is not true at all. Our so-called personality type is simply a set of behavior patterns that we adopted in order to meet the different challenges of our early lives. Those behavior patterns can be changed.
The fact is, creativity is very much like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to consistently give out great results. If you don’t practice harnessing creative thinking, this skill will atrophy and become weak. But keep it working and it will come to you whenever you call.
So how do you unleash your creative thinking? Well, the first thing is to become a human leech. No, we’re not talking about sucking the blood out of every living being available, we’re saying that you should take in as much knowledge and learning you can find. Read everything available — good and bad, and keep your mind open to the infinite possibilities of the universe. The more you know, the more you’ll want to know, and the more your faculty of wonder will be exercised. Prepare to be amazed at little facts that add a bit of color into your life.
Focus on a creative activity everyday. Yes, it’s an effort. But even doodling is a creative activity. Don’t let anything hinder you. Daydreaming may be a creative activity in some circumstances, but for people who are just starting out to unleash a little bit of creative thinking in their lives, it is helpful and encouraging to have concrete evidence, that, “hey, what I’m doing is getting somewhere.”
So why don’t you try it. Practice drawing for a couple of minutes each day. Bring out your old camera and start snapping photos like crazy. Keep a journal and make a point to write in it religiously every day. Another cool idea is to write by describing something with each of your five senses. Try to avoid vague adjectives like “marvelous,” “amazing,” and “delicious”.
Try to do a lot of different creative activities, not just the ones that you always knew you enjoyed. You may discover hidden talents that way. Before you know it, you’ll have built yourself a portfolio, and you’ll be amazed at the growth you’ve seen in yourself. Who knows, you might actually take to liking some of those things you do everyday. You may find that you want to keep on doing all of them, or you may decide to drop one or two. It’s up to you.
Think out of the box — or don’t. Sometimes, constraints are actually a good thing. Rules and limitations discipline you to work within certain boundaries. It enables you to be more resourceful. Creative freedom is great, but if there are no limits it can be hard to even know where to start.
Try something new everyday and let your experiences broaden your perspective. Explore a new district in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in a museum to which you’ve never been before. Chat to someone on the bus. Open up to the people around you. As you thrust yourself out of your comfort zone more and more each day, your sense of adventure grows and so does your zest for life.
Think about it. When was the last time you did something for the first time? If it’s been a while, I tell you, you’ve been missing out on a whole lot of experiences that could’ve added to your growth, emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. Why don’t you try parachute jumping, horse riding or yoga today? Not only will you learn, but you will also have plenty of stories to share, enabling you to practice your storytelling skills and making you the life of the party.
Embrace insanity. No, not to the point of admitting yourself into the mental ward. As John Russell once said, “Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.” Exactly! Every creative thought was once deemed insanity by other “normal” people at one time or another. Luckily, that didn’t stop the creative geniuses from standing by them.
Trying to be like everybody else is something that really stifles creativity. It’s impossible, too, because everybody is different. If they are not all the same, how can you be like them all? You will be much happier if you allow yourself to be different … in your own way.
Creativity can involve breaking through barriers. Yes, this includes the bizzarre and the downright strange. However, keep your feet on the ground. It’s important that your creativity doesn’t get you detached from the real world completely.
I hope this article has inspired you to start thinking beyond your self imposed “limits.” If you follow these steps pretty soon you’ll be living a life full of interesting adventures. Unleashing your creative thinking will bring about a new zest for living life.
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