Creativity is the backbone for everything that we see and interact with on a daily basis. The recipes for the meals we cook were first born in the thoughts of a curious chef. The apps on our phone were first thought of by the the creative engineers that encapsulate Silicon Valley. The master piece that takes our breath away was stored away inside the creativity caverns of an artist’s mind.
The root skill that makes all of our physical reality possible is creativity. Creativity is used in every facet of life and requires us to push our brain to new levels of thinking. It’s only outside of our mental comfort zone where we can start to see what we’re truly capable of. From that point, we can start to share that with the world in the form of business, services, products, art, love, and so forth.
The downfall of creativity is that it’s often overlooked in the broad spectrum of things. People place critical thinking, logic, and levelheadedness at the forefront of their daily activities. While this approach is very affective, we need to learn to grow our creativity muscle and expand from that by applying logic, reason, and action to our creative thoughts.
1. Make 10 new ideas per day
This is an idea that was first brought to our attention by a successful serial entrepreneur named James Altucher. James has made millions, lost millions, and lived to make it all back (and then some) in the end. One of the main proponents for his success, in his words, is that he forces himself to develop new ideas every day. He uses a waiter’s pad in order to jot down notes, ideas and questions as he progresses through each day – never letting an idea wither away into the void of lost thought.
He highly encourages individuals ‘flex’ their creativity muscle and tackle new thoughts and ideas each and every single day. If you write down 10 new ideas every single day for a year you will have accumulated 3,650 thoughts after a 365 day period. By doing this you increase your odds for success and the chance to become lucky. There is 100% chance that at least 1 of those thoughts is a good one.
2. Gather opinions from another person’s point of view
We often fall into the trap of thinking that our way of thinking is the best way – nothing else comes close. Even if you feel this way about an idea that you may have, consult the advice and opinions of others. This will give you a fresh perspective on how to approach a situation and find a solution. There are multiple ways to bake a cake and your way may not always be the most efficient.
Always seek constructive criticism about the ideas and actions you’re taking on a regular basis. Elon Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur, values critiques of his work and seeks out differing opinions on a regular basis. The individuals that surround themselves with ‘yes men’ are the ones who are doomed to fail at whatever they’re trying to accomplish.
3. Reverse engineer the problem
Reverse engineering is one of the most potent tools in creative thinking. Take the large picture or solution that you’re trying to come to and build backwards. Develop and conceptualize the steps, in your opinion, that are needed in order to reach this end goal. Even though a set-in-stone method may already be in place to attain said goal, developing your own perspective is essential to creative thinking.
You need to convince yourself that thinking outside of the box, even when there’s a known solution, is ‘ok’ and acceptable. Many creative solutions can be crafted off of new ideas and it often helps find more efficient solutions to problems.
For example, traveling by horse and carriage were acceptable means of transportation in older times. You have a place you need to be, you need a quicker means of getting there, you’re protected from the environment – perfect! However, it was the creative mind of Karl Benz that developed a new creative form of getting from point A to point B. Sure, a tried-and-true method already existed — so what?
Always challenge the current way of thinking and develop ways in which to become better. This will not only help mankind as a whole, but it will strengthen the creativity muscle in our mind like never before.
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