Do You Consider Yourself Creative?

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Most people think that creativity is a personality trait. It shows up in certain people who have a talent for writing songs, music, books and for developing new inventions. Truth is that this is a misconception and almost anyone can develop and improve their own creativity. 

By now you are probably wondering just how you become more creative?

If you don't think that you have any type of creative streak in you, you probably often think negative thoughts. You may be the type of person that easily puts yourself down. 

The way you approach different situations can affect just how creative you are. Many creative people love having problems thrown at them. They view them as a challenge and can't wait to tackle the problem and solve it. 

One of the first steps to awaken your creativity streak is to change your way of thinking. This includes gaining a more positive attitude and learning to look at things differently. Instead of seeing something for its face value, you want to start looking at it with a view to how it could be used in various ways. 

Think about how you currently look at problems. Do you see them as an obstacle or a challenge? Do you look for ways around things or view them as a road block and automatically turn around to avoid the situation. 

A sign that your creativity is improving is when you look for insights into problems. Have you had those Aha moments or those quick flashes of brilliance that help you solve a problem. These are the moments you are looking for! 

Sometimes it can help to actually distance yourself from a situation. You then take on the role of onlooker and this allows you to be more creative. When you don't feel directly involved in a situation it can make it easier to look at in a different light. 

Surrounding yourself with stimulants is another way to increase your creativity. It is thought that our modern environment has helped increase creativity in younger generations. Being exposed to more music, having the ability to travel and see more sights and meeting new people all help as creative stimulants. 

When you first read this article if you didn't think you had it in you to be creative, you now know differently. All it takes is a shift in your mind set and having a new perspective when looking at situations.

Do Brainstorming Session Really Work?

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Brainstorming is applied to a group of people who are looking for solutions to a specific problem. Most people seem to think that brainstorming sessions can really help increase your creativity. You may be surprised to know that this is not always true. 

While being part of a group can help you come up with new ideas, there is also a ton of pressure associated with it. If you don't contribute enough your self confidence levels drop. Everyone is eager to be the person that comes up with the perfect solution. So there is a lot of stress and expectations attached to brainstorming. 

So is there a better solution? Brainstorming can still be super effective, it is often the way you approach the meeting that needs to be changed. 

One alternative to this is to actually spend some time alone before going to the brainstorming session. Allow yourself plenty of time to sit and think up your own ideas and solutions. You can then weed through them and present your best ones to the group. This is an excellent option if your self confidence is a little low. 

As you come up with ideas also come up with a way of carrying it out. Your goal is to present the problem and present a solution at the same time. Right there this puts you in a favorable position and shows that you have put time and effort into your ideas. 

If you act as a moderator of a brainstorming session, you need to put thought into your replies. While you want everyone to come up with suggestions, you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings if an idea is just not suitable. 

Whenever possible you want to thank the person for their idea and then offer a workaround. This can be as simple as countering with a more plausible idea. Or, if their suggestion is good, take only a portion of it and then look for other ideas to make it work flawlessly. 

The next time you are asked to be part of a brainstorming session put more thought and effort into preparing for it. Give yourself time to let your creative juices work and come up with several ideas plus solutions ahead of time. Then really go through each one and present the best one as your main contribution to the group. This can be a much better method than attempting to come up with fantastic solutions on the spot.

Become A Better Thinker

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One of the biggest hurdles to creativity is your mindset. It has been shown that negative people are less creative and this is because they just have too many things that bother them. In order to free your mind, you want to get rid of these negative thoughts and allow your creative mind to surface. 

Use the following tips to achieve just this. 

  1. Write out a list of all those things that bother you, both big and small. 
  2. Relax in a bubble bath and let your mind wander.
  3. Start daydreaming. 
  4. List all the people that you know who are creative. 
  5. Go talk to these people. 
  6. Set yourself a goal in life. 
  7. Learn a new skill that requires detailed thinking. 
  8. Use positive affirmations on a daily basis. 
  9. Look at pictures of a blue sky and green grass when stuck for ideas. 
  10. 10.Start doodling when problem-solving. 
  11. 11.Solve crossword puzzles. 
  12. 12.Look for solutions that are outside the box.
  13. 13.Come up with more than one idea for each problem. 
  14. 14.Set yourself weekly problems to solve.
  15. 15.Play brain games. 
  16. 16.Talk to someone you don't know about the problem. 
  17. 17.Change something in your daily routine. 
  18. 18.Do something out of the ordinary for you. 
  19. 19.Sit outside at night time under the moon and debate your problem. 
  20. 20.Define your problem in as few as words as possible. 

As you can see if you change up your routine your mindset also changes. It can also help to unclutter your mind. You may be trying to think too much or just have too much on your mind to think clearly. 

This is exactly why it can be helpful to sit somewhere relaxing and allow yourself to daydream. When you stop thinking too much you will find that you can zero in on the issue at hand more clearly. Then suddenly you are filled with the solution, that was so hard to come up with before. 

You may also find that writing out your problem can help you solve it. Clearly write out what it is that you need to solve or learn, create a step by step method of how you are going to tackle it. Before you know it you have written your solution into your plan. 

You can become a better thinking by taking a deep breath, relaxing and allowing yourself the pleasure of daydreaming. 

Are You Getting Enough Creative Time?

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Everyone knows that you need to apply creativity to your business to make it succeed. This creative effort has a clear end in mind – to develop new products or streamline your business processes to increase profits. But creativity is also an end in itself and you should be allowing time to simply let your creative juices flow.

Google's 20 Percent Time

Google has a famous rule for its engineers. It gives them 20 percent of their time (one day a week) to work on their own creative projects. Although some refer to it as 'employee goof-off time,' it's actually an essential part of the company's product development process.

What are they doing during 20 percent time? You might imagine some fierce paper airplane flights and solitaire games, but not so in the creative corporate culture Google has fostered. This creative time is allegedly responsible for such revolutionary products as Gmail and AdSense.

The company makes creative time part of the job for its creative workers. Only by experimenting with their own ideas can engineers at the company create unique, innovative products.

Are You Getting Your 20 Percent Time?

How would your business change if you devoted 20 percent of your working time strictly to experimenting and being creative? How much of your time do you devote to playing with new ideas and not worrying about outcomes?

Remember that brainstorming and other creative activities are not always goal-directed. One of the reasons you should devote a portion of your time to creativity is to simply keep the floodgates open and play with ideas. If it works for Google, it'll work for your small business.

Where Do Your Creative Ideas Come From?

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What do you do when you're struggling with a business problem that requires creativity? If you're like most people, you sit at your desk at the office and get to work on the problem. You chew on pencils, crumple up pieces of paper and take occasional breaks to pace or get another cup of coffee. But are the ideas really coming?

Some creative people can generate ideas anytime anywhere. But most of us have certain activities that get our creative juices flowing. If you want to perform at your creative peak, you need to identify these activities and use them to your advantage.

Sleeping and Waking

For some reason, sleep seems to bring out the creative ideas in many people. Maybe it has something to do with how the mind runs wild during the dream state. When you're dreaming, there are no rules and your mind can really think outside the box.

Some get ideas while sleeping late at night while others find inspiration when they first wake up in the morning. If you find yourself dreaming up your best ideas, keep a notebook by the side of the bed so you can jot as soon as you wake up.

Good Conversation

Interacting with others is a great source of new ideas. When you discuss a problem with someone else, you 'talk it out' and often you can arrive at a good solution. You may get the idea or inspiration from something they say, or it may come out of your mouth during the discussion.

The people who inspire you don't have to be colleagues or business partners. Conversation with anyone can help. In fact, talking with someone who knows nothing about your problem can generate unique ideas.

Quite and Solitude

On the other hand, ideas may come to you when you're reading, meditating or otherwise enjoying the silence. Many people meditate for the sole purpose of stimulating their creativity. They sit still and focus on the problem, and the solution just seems to appear out of thin air.

Get Moving

Movement may help to jog your creativity. This is why long walks often produce great ideas. Some people find that exercise gets not only their blood but also their creative juices flowing. If this is the case for you, bring a handheld audio recording device or record your ideas quickly by phone in between sets.

The Most Mundane Activities

For some reason, the most mundane activities often bring forth creative ideas. When you're in the shower or heeding nature's call, a brilliant idea pops into your mind and you can't wait to get it down. Maybe this is because the activity is boring, allowing your mind to achieve an open, Zen-like state where ideas spring forth.

Your job is to discover when you get the best ideas. It's probably not when you're sitting at your desk 'working.' Identify these activities and keep a notebook or recorder handy so the ideas don't get lost.

Jog Your Creativity with an Idea File

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If you want to harness the power of your inner creativity to do great things in your business, one of the best ways to do that is to start an idea file. An idea file is a list of ideas that you can draw on anytime you need one. Think of it as your 'backburner.'

Why You Should Keep an Idea File

The main reason it's important to have an idea file is that it provides ideas when you need them, but there are other benefits as well. One is that it helps you organize your ideas. With several ideas written down and ready to go, you can choose which you feel most inspired to run with.

An idea file also allows you to capture ideas whenever inspiration hits. You can jot down the idea no matter where you are and add it to your idea file when you can get to the computer. This is more effective for generating ideas than setting aside a certain time of day for brainstorming.

Capturing Your Ideas

Although your idea file should be on your computer, you should be open to ideas everywhere you go. There are several ways to capture your ideas. You can jot things down on scraps of paper or carry a small notebook that fits easily in your back pocket. At the end of each day, add your ideas to the idea file.

Modern technology can help as well. If you have a smartphone, you can jot your ideas down in a memo file. You can also email them to your PC email address that you'll check when you get home.

Getting Your Ideas Down

There's a variety of approaches to writing down your ideas. You may write a single word or phrase, or find that it helps to realize the idea more fully. If you write down just a word, there's a chance you'll forget the details of the idea by the time you add it to your file. You may find yourself asking, 'What does that mean?'

The rule of thumb for capturing ideas most effectively is that the first thought is the best though. Write down whatever pops into your mind as quickly as possible. If an image, word or other outside stimulus-inspired the idea, you may want to jot that down as well.

Streamlining Your Idea File

There is no one method of keeping an idea file that works for everyone. Start with the basics as outlined above and see how it goes. You'll find ways to modify the idea file concept to suit your particular needs.

WHERE DOES CREATIVITY COME FROM? – THE ELUSIVE MUSE

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Artists and poets have for centuries talked about 'the muse.' The muse is the source of inspiration. It has often been seen as some kind of dark supernatural force, but actually it can be anyone around you or something as mundane as a photograph or a walk in the park. If you can identify your muse and turn to it when you need inspiration, this will help you unlock your creative flow.

Who's Your Muse?

Take a minute to think of the people you know. Who makes you feel inspired? Is there someone you chat with over coffee and then you find yourself rushing home full of creative energy? If there is, this person is your muse.

You don't need to have only one. Artist Pablo Picasso considered every woman he had a relationship with his muses. It may be that simply going out and socializing is a good way to get inspired. Your muse may be a stranger you have a conversation with at a bus stop.

Favorite Things

Your muse may not be a person at all. It could be an object or a work of art. Music is especially powerful for inspiring people. You might have a favorite song or album that gets you in the mood to create. It may be a photograph or a book of poetry that you like. Survey your house and ask yourself, 'What things here make me want to be creative?'

You may also find that looking at similar projects to your own gets you inspired. If you're trying to design a website, for example, get online and look at the sites of other similar businesses. You may get a great idea.

Follow Thought Leaders

There may be a person you don't know who serves as your muse. Many people find thought leaders in their industry to be inspiring. By following them and keeping up with their work, you can get inspiration from them.

Who Needs a Muse?

Actually, the muse is perhaps a bit overrated. Creative people have always had an almost spiritual belief that their creativity comes from outside themselves. It's as though inspiration blesses you suddenly and then disappears again. What people fail to recognize is that hard work, practice and habit play much bigger parts in the creative process. If you get into a routine of creative work, you'll find that the muse drops by much more often.

Risk Big. Win Bigger!

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Creativity Is All About Taking Risks

One of the key traits of creative people is that they're risk takers. They're not afraid to put something new out into the world that might be laughed at. They don't mind being dismissed as crazy. If you want to be a more creative person, this is a personality trait that you need to foster in yourself, and it's easy to do.

First, take a second to consider that without risks there are no rewards. You may have a few failures but if you can keep your failures from discouraging you, the next time you try might be a raging success. If you have what you think are good ideas but you're afraid to take the plunge and put them out into the world, here are some ideas for changing your mindset.

The Worst That Can Happen

What's the worst that could happen? You might face criticism or doubts, but that's all. In fact, you might face constructive feedback that leads you to a better idea. Perhaps some part of your idea can be used. You're not going to be ridiculed or discredited.

Rewards Matter More than Risks

On the other hand, what if your idea is the one that gets chosen? This is the great reward for taking that risk. One way to nurture your inner risk-taker is to focus on success rather than failure. If you focus on all the great things your idea could bring, it's impossible to not put it out there.

Risk-Taking Takes Practice

Like everything else that you want to be good at, risk-taking takes practice. You have to put your ideas out there over and over again, and eventually, it feels like a regular everyday thing. It's just like getting up on stage. You can tame the worst stage fright if you have enough stage time.

The Value of Failure

When it comes to creativity, both success and failure are valuable. Success is valuable for obvious reasons and failure is valuable because you can learn from it. But doing nothing at all offers no value. The only way to truly fail is to not try.

It's Not the End of the World

It's scary to do something for the first time, especially when you feel that those around you are seasoned pros. But the first time you put your ideas out there, you'll realize that even if they're shot down, you survived. Nothing bad happened. This gives you the confidence to try again next time.

Creativity is about risk-taking and it just takes practice. You're not bungee jumping or climbing Mount Everest. See it for the truly small, ordinary thing that it is, and make it a habit.