Creativity is not something you either have or you don’t.
We are all creative beings. How creative we are (or aren’t) depends on how purposeful we are in cultivating this skill.
Try the following tips to boost your creative abilities:
1. Repurpose. Find new uses for existing things. Don’t look at items for what they are, but for what they could be. Try a new perspective.
2. Pay attention to trends. Let the creativity of others provide a boost for you. Watch what’s happening in fashion, film and music. Use books, television and movies to expand your imagination. When something resonates, see what you can do with it.
3. Look for multiple answers. Most problems have more than one solution. Come up with several before you decide what to do.
4. Play. Have some fun and see what you come up with when you’re not being serious.
5. Dump traditions and habits that block creativity. Question the rules that inhibit individuality. Remain moral and ethical, but remove the barriers that stifle creativity.
6. Establish habits that spark creativity. Come up with some new inspirational rituals that will condition your brain to be creative.
7. Identify and overcome limited resources. If you think something isn’t possible because you don’t have the resources (money, time, labor, information), think about what you have that you can substitute for what you need.
8. Seek new experiences. Deliberately putting yourself in new situations will keep your mind open and curious.
9. Keep learning. Creativity requires knowledge. Make time to study, explore and expand your information base.
10. Rest. Relax and let yourself have sufficient downtime; you’ll often get great ideas when you’re least expecting them.
11. Use the negativity of others as your motivation. There will always be naysayers. If their negative comments can lead to improvement, great. If not, don’t let their criticism discourage you.
12. Support the creativity of others. Encourage risk-taking in your friends and colleagues.
13. Welcome failure. Not every new idea is going to work. It takes courage to try, fail and try again. Have courage!
For more insight and thoughts on creativity, watch for the release of The Value of Creativity: How Developing Your Personal Creativity Can Have an Amazingly Positive Impact on Your Happiness, Health, Business Success and Life in General, a conversation with storyteller and entrepreneur Caitlin Roberson, author of 30 Ways to Happy.