Creativity is a funny thing. We owe the heights (and sometimes the lows) of human civilization to it. We see its effects in books we read, films we watch, advertisements we try to ignore, in buildings we live in, cars we drive and on and on.
And yet, where creativity comes from doesn’t have a clear universal answer. Some people seem to have a knack for it while others get demoralized the moment they’re expected to do something out of the norm. But what stimulates creativity? Where does the spark come from?
There’s plenty of answers out there for those questions, and many a self-help book, seminar and video has been peddled around assuring its readers the solution is at hand. For those of you who wish they would just get to the point and not charge exorbitant prices for their troubles, here are five useful (and free!) steps you can follow to find your creativity.
1. Explore yourself.
This is both simple and challenging, but introspection is the most necessary step for a creative person. Each of us is different. Beyond the drudgery of life, we all get pleasure from a whole multitude of things. It’s funny how rarely we actually pause to ask ourselves what do we enjoy? What has enjoyed us in the past? What did we like about them? Ask yourself and you may be surprised at the answers.
2. Seek the different.
If you don’t know many things that excite you, that give you pleasure merely by the act of doing them, seek them out. If you don’t really read, read more. If you only watch action films, watch dramas. If you’ve never painted or played a musical instrument in your life, why not try both? You’ll never know what might spark you. Sometimes trying one thing ends up leading you down the path of something seemingly irrelevant. You won’t know unless you try.
3. Schedule time for creativity.
The key for steps 1 and 2 is to give yourself time to do them the same way you give yourself time to exercise, go shopping or watch TV. Even dedicating a small slice of time a day or during weekends can pay off.
4. Act first, doubt later.
When we try new things we’re not very good at, or that perhaps seem pointless in our day to day lives, it’s typical of us to give up. Doubts are normal, but surrendering to them all the time shouldn’t be. Parking those doubts away even temporarily can sometimes have the effect of making them disappear altogether.
5. Share and communicate.
Now that you’ve expanded your inner horizons, extending them outwards can have positive effects. In our global digital age, you’ll always find others who share your interests and ideas. You can bounce thoughts, concepts, arguments…etc. off of them and vice versa. You might discover what you might be able to do better or what you can focus your attentions on. Doing so will only enhance your own creativity and that of others!