There is so much written about the importance of creativity these days, but what is creativity exactly and how can we improve our creative abilities?
Creativity is the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas: to find original solutions to problems. Nowadays many companies even recognize the importance of creativity. It not only plays an important role in being innovative, but also for being agile.
The good news is: everyone is creative, even if they say they are not ;-)... It is something that people are born with, but usually decreases as we get older. We learn to be more structured, have schedules, follow rules and sit still. None of these behaviors contribute to your creative skills, in fact they diminish them. It also doesn’t help that we get busier, and with our calendars packed, creativity is usually last on our list.
The most important conditions for developing creativity are time and (mental) freedom.
Now-a-days, everyone is busier than ever, and it might seem like ‘a waste of time’ to sit and think, or play, or stare, or just be bored. But actually, boredom can lead to great ideas: it is creativity at its best!
We also need mental freedom, which means no restrictive thinking, a mindset of ‘anything is possible’, and no limits! Forget about structure, schedules, and time limitations. Just let the creative juices flow and stop when you feel ready.
If you want to activate that creative genius inside of you, here is what you can do:
- Be curious. Try things you haven’t tried before. Learn a new skill, take a new path for your hike, meet new people, and look at new ideas in other areas.
- Don’t force it. If you don’t feel like it or just don’t like the ideas, take a break and continue at another time.
- Collaborate with others. Creativity is contagious! Something as simple as the funny idea of one person can lead to a big breakthrough idea for another. You just build on each other's ideas. This works in business but also in your personal life when you struggle with something.
- Follow your intuition. Do what you love to do and not what you think you SHOULD do. Instead of what is expected of you, try what feels right to you. It will lead to something great, no doubt.
- Go for a walk. Get some exercise and fresh air.
- Acknowledge that you are not perfect, and get creative anyway!
It is never too late to start boosting your creativity. We often see older people (with more time) pick up their creativity. That’s because we need it, it energizes us, and gets us into a complete state of flow. Get in the creative zone and try it, you’ll see ;-)...