People seem to have the misconception that only a select few can unleash a steady creative genius flow. That is not true at all. The fact is, creativity is very much like a muscle that needs to be exercised to give out great results consistently. If you don’t practice harnessing creative thinking, this skill will very much atrophy into inexistence. But keep working, and this skill will soon come to you in a snap.
Well, the first thing is to become a human sponge. No, I’m not talking about just sucking the life out of every living being available; I’m sure we all know someone who is an expert life sponge. No, I’m 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 to your life.
I see it in pictures, people, and in simple tedious tasks. One glance at someone in a supermarket, and I can create a character and back story. I often use my creativity as a form of entertainment. Practice makes perfect, and you have to practice creative thinking every day. It would be best if you also put effort into thinking outside of the box. Have you ever encountered someone who looked at a problem and only thought about the ways they can’t solve it? Thinking outside of the box will move you from “I can’t to I will.”
Yes, it’s an effort. Even doodling is a creative activity. Don’t let anything hinder you. Mindlessness may be a creative activity, but for people who are just starting 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.
As a writer, I keep a notebook handy to write all of my story ideas and character development. Another cool writing exercise idea is to describing something with your five senses. Try to avoid vague adjectives like “marvelous,” “amazing,” and “delicious.” Before you know it, you’ll have built yourself a tiny story catalog, and you’ll be amazed at the growth you’ve undertaken after amassing all those works of art. Who knows, you might take to liking those things you do every day. Pretty soon, those things will become a part of you, and you’ll be addicted to these creative exercises.
Sometimes, constraints are a good thing. Limitations discipline you to work within your means. It enables you to be more resourceful. Creative freedom is great, but rules enforce discipline.
Explore a new district in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in an art museum to which you’ve never been before. Talk with 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 bungee jumping 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.
No, not to the point of practically admitting yourself into the mental ward. 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. The thing is, sanity or being normal confines people to think… well, naturally. We think limits.
Yes, this includes the bizarre and the downright strange. I’m not saying that you should develop a creative personality. That might go haywire. An example of an innovative character would be George Washington, who often rode into battle naked, or James Joyce, who wrote “Dubliners” with beetle juice for an intense fear of ink, or Albert Einstein, who thought his cat was a spy sent by his rival (or in thinking creatively in this case, the term could probably be “archnemesis.”) your creativity mustn’t get you detached from the real world completely.
I hope this article has inspired you to start thinking beyond your “limits.” If you follow these steps pretty soon, you’ll be living a life full of exciting adventures. Unleashing your creative thinking will bring about a new zest for living life.
Check out more advice from Alan Wild here