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Cultivating Creativity

Creativity is one of those intangible characteristics that produces amazing results when grown correctly. Many articles discuss how creativity is incorrectly perceived to crown only select personalities or interests. In reality, we are naturally creative people. But like any skill in life, you have to practice it to perfect it. But how do we learn to identify, grow, and use it in our daily lives?

What Is Creativity?

Creativity, put simply, means to be able to create something. This might sound obvious and vague – and it is – because its applications are ingrained into who we are. But here’s the trick: we can never create something from nothing. Instead, we rearrange options, ideas, situations, objects, or colors. In the book, Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon discusses how creative artists don’t really create something on their own. Instead, they absorb other works from artists and use fragments of resulting inspiration in their own work.

Can you Grow Creativity?

In the article “The Creative Brain,” Roger E. Beaty, Ph.D. found evidence that “memory, imagination, and creative thinking all activated the bilateral hippocampus.” When put in less fancy words, this means that we are anatomically wired to be creative thinkers. Instead of asking IF we are creative, we need to consider how to grow this ability already in our minds.

Honestly, it depends on who you are, but there are several fundamental concepts that can help improve your creativity (hence why you are reading this post). So, what makes you use a different pathway in your brain to accomplish a task?

How to Cultivate Creativity

  • Mix up your morning routine: Instead of waking to your alarm, checking the latest celebrity scandals on the news, crawling to the kitchen for coffee, eating breakfast of leftovers and taking a cold shower, try doing things in a different order. What about waking up with some stretches, walking backwards to get your coffee, eating your nutritious egg omelet with a spoon, then brushing your teeth in the shower? I dare you to at least try it, then tell me what it’s like.
  • Use different modes of communication: if you have a thought process you want to communicate, speaking may be the first go-to. Try drawing the idea or emotion without using words, write the concept in your journal, or find a song that deals with the same issue. Even write a haiku about it. What different mode of communication can you use to convey the same idea?
  • Consider all the possibilities: When it comes to problem solving, there are many ways to solve an issue. Considering the pros and cons of your most viable options is a logical method to vet your creative ideas: even if it requires writing them on sticky notes and rearranging them on a wall to think through it!
  • Do something new: Hobbies like sports, art, music, writing, videoblogging and related fields probably come to mind as creative tasks. This is true because they provide a framework for completing an activity with enough room to do it in a unique way. Try something new! From soap carving to cage fighting, I’m sure there’s a new activity that’s perfect for your style.

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