By Bob Lowry
Every one of us has the ability to creatively solve a problem or learn a new craft. We can come up with all sorts of ways to make something better or more productive. Like any other skill, creativity can be developed. Here are 5 ways to feed your creative spirit and supercharge your internal idea machine. You may discover a new passion that gives you the spark you have been seeking.
1. Stretch Your Horizons. Stimulate your mind by doing things out of your comfort zone. Go to a museum you usually avoid. Listen to a type of music that normally isn’t’t on your Ipod. Visit web sites that present a point of view you don’t agree with. Pick up a magazine that covers a subject you are unfamiliar with. Stepping outside your usual behavior will energize your thought process.
2. Expand Social Interactions. Leave the computer or Blackberry for a while and go meet real people. The skills required to engage in small talk force you to think more deeply, listen more intently, and consider your response more thoroughly. People are highly unpredictable and often full of ideas you don’t have. Tap into that flow and see where it may take you.
3. Visit Web Sites Designed To Provoke. Places like TED or Open Culture offer hundreds of free video and audio lectures specifically designed to make you think. Virtually every topic you can name is covered. Even better, choose a subject you don’t understand very well. Invest a little time and maybe discover a new passion. If you missed it, click here to read an earlier post I wrote on this subject.
4. Keep A Journal. Not a boring “here’s what I did today” recap. How about three things you are thankful for today in your Gratitude Journal. Make note of new software or computing tricks you’d like to try in a Techno Journal. A Nature Journal forces you to notice things around you in a new way. A sketchbook of things you see and draw works well. Adding to a journal on a regular basis works your mind. You may discover something about yourself you didn’t know. More Journal ideas here.
5. Use Everything Libraries Have To Offer. Most libraries now have e-books and videos you download right to your home computer, no Kindle required. CDs provide different music choices. DVDs make art or foreign films come alive for free. Try wandering the stacks until you find a topic you know nothing about. Pick a few books, take them home, and see what develops. Creativity comes when exposed to new ideas. Discovering a new passion may be the end result.
When you learn something new, or tackle a difficult problem, you feel alive. What you are feeling is the power of creativity.
How do you stoke your creative fires? What are you doing to stay excited and engaged? Are you looking for something to give you that “I can’t wait to get out of bed this morning” feeling? Please leave a comment and share.