Like the budding tree I caught in my camera when I was out on my walk, creativity is always waiting for the right time to reveal itself.
I know, I know, you’re not creative… right? Perhaps you have your own reasons for saying this, perhaps a quest for perfection or a painful memory. There are lots of times in our lives where we believe a message that does not serve us.
To me, being creative only means connecting the dots. Maybe you’re finding different dots, or connecting the same dots in a different way, but only you can connect those dots in your own special manner. In many ways you’re already doing that right now.
Problem-solving skills have creativity at their foundation. You assess an overall situation, then drill down to see the detail, then connect things that hadn’t been connected before to come up with a different solution.
A sense of humor is also a reflection of your creativity. Jokes are always understood in reverse, the last sentence, also known as the punchline, explains the story. A creative person can often guess the twist ahead of time, and a real punster can keep them coming for quite a while.
You are already creative in many ways, and you can adopt behaviors that stimulate your creativity even more. Here are five ways to keep the juices flowing.
- Give yourself unstructured time. Go for a walk or run, take a ride on your bike, go fishing, sit on the beach. Just being in nature is a proven creativity stimulator. When we relentlessly dig into a problem, we can get too close to it and our thinking becomes cloudy. Stepping away gives you distance to see things from a different angle.
- Set limits. Limits set you free to focus on what’s directly in front of you. It’s like writing a haiku. This rigorous poem structure dictates how many syllables belong on a line and how many lines in the poem. The narrow focus stimulates creativity. Why is that? Because we remove options and eliminate distractions. If the rules say you can’t have a line 12 syllables long, you won’t spend any time trying to think of one.
- Take care of your body. Get plenty of sleep so that your brain can integrate new information learned during the day. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain as well as releases endorphins. Foods you choose and the way you prepare them can have enormous impacts and poor choices can leave you with a foggy brain. You can’t connect dots that aren’t formed, and self-care will keep your brain healthy.
- Turn that frown upside down. A positive attitude opens possibility. Give yourself a break—call your friends and find a way to connect safely. Dance together, goof around. Free play helps increase your ability to make unexpected associations. It also helps you stay positive and upbeat, a state that increases problem-solving skills.
- Ask for help. Creative collaboration is a time-honored way to expand your idea beyond your wildest imaginings. Think Myers and Briggs, McCartney and Lennon, Rodgers and Hart. The list goes on. Brilliant creative work is not always made by the starving artist alone in the third-floor garret. Find like-minded folks to share ideas, and see what you can dream up together.
Your creativity is alive and hungry for you to feed it. And remember, when you create something, share it. Your completed project can serve as inspiration to others for their next creative leap. The more creativity in the world, the higher the vibration for everyone!