Thursday, March 27, 2014

To Boost Your Creativity, Do What the Creative People Do

Today is Wednesday, March 26, 2014. 

The other day, Daily Good presented a list of things that creative people do that most of the rest of us apparently don't do, at least not regularly.  Here's the list, with a few comments from me. 

1)  They take time to daydream.  Daydreaming is a process of "creative incubation" where ideas hatch and the mind makes connections that we sometimes miss during the day when a lot of other things are going on.  I have always been accused of daydreaming too much.  Now they say it's a good thing.  Who knew?

2)  They observe everything closely.  They seem to notice details and are able to recall them later. This is not necessarily one of my own strong points, but I have heard people say that learning to observe things in daily waking life can increase our recall of dreams when we wake up in the morning.  Dream information is definitely a part of creativity.

3)  They work hours that are best for them, which may be very early in the morning or very late at night.  I can attest to this, as I generally get my best writing done during my night-owl time.

4)  They take time for solitude.  That's when you can think clearly without interruptions.  You can also let your mind wander a bit without having to focus on anything in particular.  I've realized in recent years how important solitude is for me.  I crave it daily.  If I ever get into a relationship again, I'm definitely going to allow time for solitude for my own peace of mind.

5)  They overcome obstacles by finding the silver lining.  When you do this, you can strengthen your own sense of self-worth, improve your relationships with others, and deepen your spiritual beliefs.  Once you have a track record of overcoming obstacles, it's always a little easier to believe that the current problem will in time be solved, and sometimes that makes all the difference.

6)  They seek out new experiences.  Not only that, but they are open to them.  They accept new things without immediate judgment.  They are willing to explore new ways of thinking, perceiving and feeling.  They don't get stuck in a rut. 

7)  They "fall up."   In other words, they are not afraid to fail, and they tend to be very resilient.  In other words, they manage to find a way past the failure to achieve success.  They learn from their mistakes. 

8)  They ask "big questions."  They maintain their sense of curiosity about how things work, and what makes people tick.  They ask "what if?" and "why?"

9)  They observe people.  They watch their actions and reactions to situations.  They listen to conversations.  They observe and identify patterns.  Writers and painters are especially good at this.  Songwriters, too. 

10) They take risks.  They try things that have not been tried before.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  When they don't, the creative people learn from that. 

11) They view life as an opportunity for self-expression.  They do things that they want to do, rather than things that they have to do.  They do things their way, even if others don't understand or approve.

12) They follow their true passion.  They do things they are highly interested in, rather than things that will net them some sort of reward, such as money, power, or fame.  

13) They get out of their own heads.  They walk in others' moccasins.  They try to look at things from the perspective of other people.  

14) They lose track of time.  They are able to focus on something to the point where they are in a state known as a "flow state," a state of concentration and calm that seems effortless.  You can get into this state whenever you do something that you love, something that you are good at, and something that challenges you in some way. 

15) They surround themselves with beauty.  I suspect that one reason they do this is to keep out negativity, which can stop creative thinking cold.

16) They connect the dots.  This is the basis of the higher-order mental activity called "synthesis," or making new things out of a combination of things you already know, or taking known concepts to a new level.

17) They shake things up.  They certainly aren't interested in getting into any ruts.  "Diversity of experience," is the opposite of living life as a series of habits.  They seek out new experiences and new ways of doing things, even if these seem outrageous or even taboo. 

18) They make time more mindfulness.  In other words, they meditate or go into contemplation.  They experience improved memory, better focus, better mental clarity, and reduced stress.  

How many of these things do you do?  What one thing could you add to your life to boost your own creativity?  :-)

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