We are all naturally creative to some degree in childhood. But our creativity decreases as we are culturally programmed to share a common perspective, and we also become increasingly risk-averse. So, the opposite — intentionally questioning and experimenting beyond the bounds of conventional values and mindsets — is what can preserve and enhance this latent, but under-used ability.
Increase your ability to generate a continual flow of creative ideas by emulating the key attitudes & behaviors of creative thinkers
Explore new subjects by experimenting with different categories of radio & TV media programs, newspapers, magazines, journals, books, continuing education courses, movies, web sites.
Play with creative problem-solving exercises and intellectually challenging games.
Try new hobbies different from your past experiences.
Socialize with people outside your usual occupational and social circles.
Browse in a variety of stores, being on the lookout for the ‘new toys’ and trends.
Vacation off the beaten path to new places, and via different types of transportation.
Seek new things to do, and new ways of doing familiar things.
Change your physical perspective by occasionally rearranging your personal furnishings and office layout.
Take daydream breaks. Allow yourself to observe whatever spontaneously floats up into your consciousness.
Be open to what you can learn from children.
Explore the various options in your locale such as community events, different neighborhoods, ethnic restaurants
Ask more questions about other people’s experiences, interests, and opinions.
Be more open to change and serendipity.
Recognize and free yourself from self-limiting assumptions, (for example, negative self-talk such as “I’m not creative” and “It’s too foolish”).
Allow yourself to be more spontaneous and less concerned about other people’s opinions.
Try making some 10-second decisions on minor matters, such as selecting clothing, books, menu items.
Initiate more discussions with strangers.
Experiment with wearing different styles of clothes.
Follow your intuitive hunches.
Commit yourself to acting on this information. Thomas Edison provides an inspiring example as one of the world’s most prolific inventors, with more than 1,000 patents. He believed in exercising his mind by setting up quotas for future inventions such as a minor invention every 10 days and a major invention every six months. Now — go forth and multiply!
Check one of our next posts on the Creative Thinking Tools.
* This Blog post is adapted from part of an article by Dr. Eisenberg that was originally published as, “Become a Creative Breakthrough Thinker: Increase Your Value to Your Organization”, in an issue of Today’s Engineer, and is copyrighted by its Publisher – IEEE-USA.