It's unfortunate but it seems for many of us, the daily grind of doing what we need to do in order to survive often saps us of our creativity. Instead of being sapped, how would you like to be zapped?
How would your life be different if you were more creative? What would you do differently if you had the time and energy to tap into your creativity? Would you enjoy your job more? Would you find ways to enhance your business? Would your personal relationships be rejuvenated? Would you increase your skill in your favorite hobby? Would you be happier and more alive? Would you feel like you were living more of your potential?
I know for myself, when I am more creative, my life takes on a new energy. I feel enthusiastic, excited, and energised. When ideas pop into my head, I can either enjoy them for what they are or implement them in my life.
Everyone has a creative wellspring within them. If you've been sapped but want to be zapped, here's how to tap into that creativity inside you.
1. Look closely
Observe the world around you. Pay attention, search for details, and notice what's new and different in your environment rather than assuming nothing has changed.
Creativity is born out of curiosity so look for patterns in the sky, compare two trees standing side by side, watch people as they move and talk. Keep a notebook with you to jot down your observations, making comparisons, and noting what interests you. Take notes when you're stopped in traffic, running on the treadmill at the gym, or sitting at the coffee shop.
2. Listen intently
Use your ears as sharply as you use your eyes. Listen for unusual sounds in your surroundings and pay attention to dialogue between people, traffic sounds, and the sound of silence.
Did you know the letters in "listen" also spell "silent"? Get silent and listen to your inner sounds. What creative ideas are trying to come through the noise in your head? What can you hear around you when you silence that inner dialogue? Creativity stems from your inner thoughts and may even come from that place where we are all connected in consciousness. Stay open to creative ideas with your ears wide open.
3. Ask wisely
Did you know that dumb questions evoke smart answers? Well, there's really no such thing as a dumb question but creative people ask lots of questions: "How come? Why is that like that? What's important here? What's missing? What's next? How can I do this another way?"
Great questions provoke great solutions. Ask other people, from the experts to everyday folks. Then ask yourself. Put your inner creative juices to work.
4. Brainstorm often
Collaborating with others can generate new ideas that you might not come up with on your own. Release any judgment, turn off the editor, and don't censor any ideas that arise. Focus more on the process than the outcome because that's where the ideas will start flying. When you want to brainstorm on your own, use mind maps to pull ideas from the right brain as well as the left.
5. Be childlike
Children are highly creative. They make up songs, tell stories, and invent characters. They're open, playful, and curious. Highly creative people know how to have fun and to laugh at life and themselves. They don't take anything too seriously, knowing life is a joyful game. They exude passion, playfulness, and pleasure. In a childlike state, how can you be anything but creative?
6. Change often
Find one thing to change every day. Break your routine, change the way you do something, listen to a new radio station, take a different route to work. Is your life tiring or inspiring? Notice how other people do things and experiment with new ways of doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways.
7. Solve problems
A creative mind loves problems. That's when it pulls out all the stops to come up with solutions. Don't put a limit on your ideas; pull from the past. Experience, experiment and improvise... explore and invent. Take risks, learn from mistakes, keep creating, and never give up.
Use these 7 tips to zap your creativity and you'll find you are happier, more alive, and more successful in all areas of your life.