How To Be Creative

By Des Menz posted in Work, Life, and Yourself

Part 3 of a 5-part series on optimism, creative thinking, and innovation. 

And how to use a series like this for personal advantage and profit.  



Part 3 - How To Be Creative

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Does “Creative Genius” Exist?

We often hear about the “creative genius” of naturally gifted people, and in terms of the 
whole population they are very few. So we’ve been brought up to believe that the rest of
the population can not achieve creativity beyond a particular plane. 

That is a misconception. Whether it’s “genius” or not is debatable, because what really is
“genius”? Being creative and being a genius are not mutually exclusive, but there’s an
important distinction that should be understood.

Being a genius is having exceptional natural capacity for creative and original conceptions.
Being creative results from originality of thought or expression; a person does not need
genius to be creative. We can all achieve that elusive creative stroke.

Think of creativity much like a muscle (or indeed your whole body) that needs to be exercised in order to consistently produce results. Creative thinking is a practiced skill, and if it is not harnessed properly it will disappear as quickly as it arises. 

5 Steps To Unleashing Creativity

     Become an information sponge. Take in as much knowledge and learning that you
are able. Read as much as you can; read all sides of an argument, whether good 
and bad. Keep your mind open to the infinite possibilities of everything around you. 

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 not only small facts but also the
massive wonder of the universe.

     Focus on a creative activity every day. It can be a big effort, so avoid distractions and trivia. Don’t let anything hinder you. For people who are commencing a discovery of creative thinking in their lives, it can be very helpful and encouraging to 
document their progress and experiences. 

Here are a few examples.

Practice drawing for a couple of minutes each day. A few years ago, I joinedMark Joyner’s SIMPLEOLOGY and one of the elective modules I chose was onJacques Fresco and how to draw in incredibly rapid time. This is real-life personalcreativity at work. If you want to learn to draw in the most fascinating of ways, then give this a go.

Get creative with your camera or use your smart phone to dive into the natural andhuman environment in a big way. 

Keep a journal and write in it consistently. Get into the habit of writing long-hand;it can produce incredible results if you free yourself from the keyboard, much thesame way as drawing.  

Write by describing something using your five senses. Try to avoid vagueadjectives like “marvelous", “ mazing", and "delicious." Before you know it, a portfolio will have been created, and you'll be amazed at the transition you will make.

     Think laterally. Remember Edward De Bono in Part 2? Always consider that the
constraints and limitations you decide to place on yourself can be a positive thing.
Limitations discipline you to work within your means. It enables you to be more resourceful.
Creative freedom is necessary, but limitations enforce discipline.

     Experience something new as much as you can, and let these broaden your perspective.
Explore a new district in your neighbourhood. Spend an afternoon in a museum to which
you've never been before. Chat up someone on the bus. Go camping and experience the
natural world. 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 will grow and so will your zest for life. 
Think about this; when was the last time you did something for the first time? If it's been a while, then you’re missing out on a great part of life and living. Nurture your growth - emotional, mental, physical, cultural, spiritual. Learn, and share all your new stories, become a storyteller. 

     Embrace a sense of “insanity”. Don’t misread this. As John Russell (the 18th centruy painter) once said, "Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting."
Consider this - every creative thought was most likely thought of as “insane” at one time.
Fortunately, that hasn’t stopped the creative geniuses from flourishing. 
The thing is, sanity or being normal confines people to think ‘normally’ (alonmg with the crowd) and be confined to limits. Creativity is essentially breaking through barriers. This might include the bizarre and the strange (to others), so remember it's important that creativity doesn't result in detachment from the real world. 

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I hope this article has inspired you to start thinking beyond your "limits." If you follow these steps then soon you'll be living a life full of interesting adventures. Unleashing your creative juices will bring about a new zest for living life.


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