When we measure the creativity of young children, virtually all of them will record as being ‘highly creative’. However, only a small percentage of adults register as being ‘highly creative’. What have happened? Probably, schooling have crushed creativity for sure. We were told to color within the lines. We were taught to follow instructions. The goal of any school is to get the “right” answer. Unfortunately, if you’re afraid to be wrong, you’ll never be creative or original. The job of education is to produce employees who follow instructions. And to this endeavor, they are doing a very good job. However, in terms of creativity, they are falling terribly short. This is one of the most unfortunate realities in our current education system.
To undo this, we must continually exercise our creative juices. That’s why I have assambled together these five tips or hints for expanding your creativity.
a. Try to keep a notebook and pencil on hand at all times.
It seems from realily that ideas are like in-laws, you never know when they’re coming over to visit. By keeping a notebook around, you will always be able to capture your ideas at any time of the day. Leonardo da Vinci was well known for keeping a journal of his ideas. His notebooks are now prized possessions that hold the many creative and genius thoughts of this master thinker, painter, and inventor. His notebooks were filled with plans for flying machines, a parachute, a helicopter, the extendable ladder, the bicycle, folding furniture, and a number of automated tools for increasing productivity. Yes, I am so proud to say that Leonardo da Vinci was a very productive thinker. A blank page is an open invitation for the creative and curious mind. The simple act of writing gets you into a creative flow that can last for hours. The free-flowing, exploratory practice of keeping a journal encourages freedom of thought and expanded perspectives. You have to try it to discover this.
2. The second key to creativity is to ask questions restlessly.
Something that is so important to understand is that questions are the root of all knowledge and creativity. By continually asking questions about the world around us, we fuel our creative fire and our imagination. Great minds are those who have asked the most interesting questions; for instance, Leonardo da Vinci asked such questions as: “why does the thunder last a longer time than that which causes it?” and “why is the sky blue?” and “why the blood is red?” Socrates asked such questions as: “what is wisdom?” or “what is piety?” or “what is beauty?” or many other related questions which were the interest of his times. As a young boy in high school, Albert Einstein asked himself (and to the professor of physics), “what would it be like to run beside a light beam at the speed of light?” and spent more a decade responding technically and correctly this very question using the technique of visualization called, Gedanken experiment. A number of inventions have been created by asking one simple question… “what if…..?” By asking questions we increase our level of consciousness and our perspective of the world and the reality around it.
c. To become a creative thinker, you must also be a voracious reader.
Reading enhances your mental ability and lets you experience the world from a brand new perspective. When we read a book, we let go of our own perspectives and experience the world from the characters that have been crafted by the author. I have found in my own life that the more I read, the more I want to know. Reading becomes an insatiable desire and an unquenchable thirst. And reading is like traveling, it makes you to broaden your experiences and ideas and insights. The key in reading is to choose those books that you may find very interesting, but also those books which can help you to learn something new or give you a complete picture of a new world of reality. Also, you have to look for areas of expertise in a book you never wander around before. This new venture will open up to you new brand perspectives and, probably, much fun as well.
d. Try to seek out new experiences.
Our minds are much like a garden. Without proper care, the weeds will take over. Nothing sparks the mind like learning something new. If you want to expand your creativity, then learn a new skill. It can be anything you choose. Learn a new language. Learn to water ski. Learn to play an instrument. Pick up photography or even try a new sport. Learn to play the piano. Live in Paris for at least six months. Start college—or finish it. Learn Greek or Hebrew or German or Chinese. Take a hot-air ballooning trip. Swim with dolphins. Do something life-changing for a person or family in need without their knowing you did it. Start your own business. Take a trip around the most inusual sites of your country. Learn countryside cooking. Start lettering or friendship with old folks or wise men and women living in the countryside. Dusted your math. Look for rare species in your own country or backyard. Learn astronomy. Write a book about some theme you’re interested on. Look for the real history of your own place. As you can realize, the list could be go on and on and on… All of these activities get your mind working outside of its regular patterns. Try them and you can discover the fascinanting process of being alive and learning.
e. Become a whole-brain thinker.
There are generally two-types of people in this world: left-brained and right-brained. In most cases, people are either analytical thinkers who enjoy math, science, and logic or they are highly imaginative and creative individuals who focus on the big-picture. Unfortunately, our school systems generally cater to those who are left-brained analytical thinkers. This has created a world of employees who are very good at following directions but are not so good at developing new ideas. To break the mold, we must become whole-brain, holistic thinkers. You can do this by using a powerful method known as mind mapping. Mind mapping has been used by some of history’s greatest brains, including Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Leonardo da Vinci, and Enrico Fermi.
Mind mapping is a whole-brain activity that will awaken your creative side as well as your analytical side. Mind mapping will also help you to generate new ideas when needed. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using it for personal goal setting, problem solving, or simply to become a more creative, whole-brain thinker. Our mind works in pictures, associating one idea to the next. Mind mapping allows you to continue this natural thought process on paper. Mind mapping is one of the most powerful tools for awakening your creativity.