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Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

1. Listen to music by Johann Sebastian Bach.  If Bach doesn’t make you more creative, you should probably see your doctor.

2. Brainstorm.  If properly carried out, brainstorming can help you not only come up with sacks full of new ideas, but can help you decide which is best.

3. Always carry a small notebook and a pen or pencil around with you.  That way, if you are struck by an idea, you can quickly note it down.  Upon rereading your notes, you may discover about 90% of your ideas are daft.  Don’t worry, that’s normal.  What’s important are the 10% that are brilliant.

4. If you’re stuck for an idea, open a dictionary, randomly select a word and then try to formulate ideas incorporating this word.  You’d be surprised how well this works.  The concept is based on a simple but little known truth: freedom inhibits creativity.  There are nothing like restrictions to get you thinking.

5. Define your problem.  Grab a sheet of paper, electronic notebook, computer or whatever you use to make notes, and define your problem in detail.  You’ll probably find ideas positively spewing out once you’ve done this.

6. If you can’t think, go for a walk.  A change of atmosphere is good for you and gentle exercise helps shake up the brain cells.

7. Don’t watch TV.  Experiments performed by the JPB Creative Laboratory show that watching TV causes your brain to slowly trickle out your ears and/or nose.  It’s not pretty, but it happens.

8. Don’t do drugs.  People on drugs think they are creative.  To everyone else, they seem like people on drugs.

9. Read as much as you can about everything possible.  Books exercise your brain, provide inspiration and fill you with information that allows you to make creative connections easily.

10. Exercise your brain.  Brains, like bodies, need exercise to keep fit.  If you don’t exercise your brain, it will get flabby and useless.  Exercise your brain by reading a lot (see above), talking to clever people and disagreeing with people- arguing can be a terrific way to give your brain cells a workout.  But note, arguing about politics or film directors is good for you; bickering over who should clean the dishes is not.

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This article was first published at Litemind.

What’s the secret creative geniuses share to come up with their remarkable ideas?

Even though idea generation may look like a somewhat mysterious and random process, there is a practical, simple lesson we can all apply to increase our chances of having great ideas.

Everybody wants to have great ideas, but have you ever wondered what an idea is? If you haven’t, take a few moments to think about it. The answer is probably simpler than you initially thought: ideas are connections.

Any idea, no matter how trivial, is an association between previous, established ideas. These connections happen in our minds all the time – often spontaneously and below our level of awareness.

Because of the randomness in idea generation, having great ideas is not a task that can be approached directly. The only way to increase the likelihood of having great ideas is to increase the amount of ideas that you have at your disposal to form connections. Ideas, no matter how simple, are the raw materials for higher-level ideas. The more ideas you have, the more material your mind will have to associate and generate a good one.

If the best way to get quality ideas is by creating them from a vast pool of ideas, then our job is to have as many ideas as possible. Here are six tips that can help you develop an “idea abundance” mindset:

1. Expect to Have Ideas

The first step is to get rid of common beliefs such as “I’m not a creative person”. Drop any preconceived notions that ideas are reserved just for a privileged few. That’s often enough to have ideas start coming to you.

2. Welcome Dumb Ideas, or Any Ideas for That Matter

Your focus should never be on having great ideas. Always strive for quantity. Most people don’t ever try having ideas because they’re socially afraid to have their ideas labeled as “stupid” or “dumb”. Get over it: your ideas that are regarded as dumb today may be the foundation for a groundbreaking idea tomorrow. And when you eventually have such an idea, nobody will remember your less successful ones. (And on the matter of being afraid to show your ideas, keep in mind that teasing is a disguised form of shaming, of others trying to throw you off balance.)

3. Expose Yourself to New Experiences

Your senses capture the basic information that your mind uses to generate associations. The more you expose yourself to different situations, people and places, the more fuel you will give to your mind to make connections. Learn to welcome variety in your life: travel, try out new foods, read magazines you usually don’t. Just don’t be afraid of doing things differently.

4. Capture Ideas Immediately

Get in the habit of capturing all your ideas. Use a paper notebook, PDA or voice recorder. It doesn’t matter how you capture them, just make sure that you carry your idea capturing tool everywhere you go. If you don’t capture your ideas the minute they come up, it’s guaranteed you’ll forget most of them – even worse, you won’t even be aware that you had ideas in the first place. Also, each time your mind notices you’re paying attention to its ideas, it rewards you with more ideas.

5. Be Thankful for Ideas

Every time you have an idea – any idea – be thankful for it. By developing this habit, you create an additional positive reinforcement that works as a “pat on the back” of your mind, encouraging it to produce even more ideas.

6. Realize that Ideas Come in Bursts

It’s perfectly normal to go through several days and not having one single idea. But then, suddenly, ideas will come to you one after another, just like a surging river. Sometimes, the ideas will come so quickly you’ll barely have time to write them all down. Don’t worry about the natural slow times, but make sure that you take full advantage of those idea bursts when they come.

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