Hello SOTGC community,
Do you consider yourself creative?
Do you think if you don’t paint, write, dance, or act you aren’t creative?
I bet if you really thought about what creativity is, you would find that you exhibit creative tendencies in many of the things you do.
Creative is defined in Dictionary.com as “resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.”
Dictionary.com also defines creativity as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships of the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.”
That means every time you have an original thought you are creative, and every time you transcend traditional ideas, rules, or patterns you are expressing creativity.
I’m not sure you could consider something like speeding creative – that’s transcending a traditional rule, right? – but it’s a start.
Have you ever had to come up with a way to get your employees or kids to work together in harmony? Have you ever had to adapt a recipe because you didn’t have all the right ingredients? Have you ever fixed something that’s broken with duct tape, glue, paper clips, or some other item that really wasn’t meant for what you were doing?
Those are all examples of creativity in action. Creativity isn’t a gift that we are born with, although some people are more inclined to it. It is something we can learn and cultivate through practice, just like any other skill.
Developing a creativity habit, in which you specifically seek out ways to think and act creatively, can prime the parts of your brain that do the heavy creative lifting, so they are ready to jump to action, even when you aren’t focused on it. This can help you have more creative ideas in meetings, in interactions with your coworkers or family, and when working on projects for your boss.
Commit to doing one thing each day that is outside of your creative comfort zone to build your creative brain muscles. Here are a few examples:
- Walk or drive a route you’ve never taken
- Sketch a picture of your partner, your child, or a friend
- Create a game out of items in your desk drawer
- Talk to a stranger
- Read an article on a topic you know nothing about
- Act out a scene from your favorite movie
- Write a poem or song
- Make a fancy paper airplane
- Make up new words to your favorite song
- Play with a child’s toy
- Take photos of things you think are beautiful
- Go to a museum, art gallery, or new shop in town
- Draw your favorite flower
- Try a new coffee shop or lunch spot
- Send your partner or a friend an email or text telling them why you love them
To further capture the creativity from these and other activities, get a journal or use a note app on your phone (such as Evernote) to write down what you did and how you felt about it. Recording your creative experiences will help you hold on to that feeling and any ideas or insights that came from them.
Use that same notebook or app to write down any interesting idea you may have, no matter what it is about. Writing down your ideas, even when they seem random or foolish, will give you something to come back to later when you are brainstorming or need a solution. You will be surprised how often seemingly random things you wrote down a week or month ago can be relevant to what you are currently working on.
Developing a creativity habit takes commitment and time, just like working out or eating healthfully, however it can be very enjoyable. Ultimately, the time you spend will pay off in an overall more creative mindset, and that can lead you to breakthrough ideas that lead to recognition, promotions, and a more satisfying career.
Pick one of the items from the list above to do and share the outcome with the other SOTGC community members in the comments below or on our Facebook page.